CASTLE ROCK WRITERS CONFERENCE 2015
OVERVIEW OF SHEDULE
8 to 8:45 a.m.
SIGN-IN & PACKET PICK-UP
CONFERENCE OPENING & WELCOME
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Workshop #1-A Self Publishing Master Class (session 1 & 2)
Presenter: Amy Denim
Description: Amy emphasizes the tools needed to make writing a career and the steps to putting a book on Amazon. She covers information on what digital, print and audio books need to be professional: editing and formatting text; writing book descriptions and front and back copy; selecting a cover, and applying for ISBN #s and copyrights. She discusses author platform, websites and social media, and business plan. This latter part includes doing a competitive analysis, identifying target readers, and developing a three-part marketing plan. Other topics include preparing and uploading an eBook, print book, and audio book onto Amazon; tracking sales; expanding distribution; and financial planning. Amy gives information on special downloads and resources to make the business of being a writer fast and easy.
BIO: Amy Denim writes business books for writers and loves to let authors rent her brain. She started Coffee Break Publishing to help writers and artists learn to use social media platforms effectively, get motivated with business plans, and still have time to create. She believes social media, business plans and self-publishing can be every writer’s friend. She’s also known as Aidy Award and has a thing for writing romances with hot heroes and curvy intelligent heroines. Sign up for Coffee Break Tips and Tricks at www.CoffeeBreakPublishing.com, or visit www.AmyDenim.com www.CoffeeBreakPublishing.com.
Workshop #1-B Perfomance/Slam Poetry Master Class (Session 1 & 2) Presenter: Jovan Mays
Description: This interactive workshop is open to 30 high school students in the 11th & 12th grades. Jovan will lead students through the process of creating poetry using tools to craft pieces that can be performed in three minute or less. Students will also learn techniques to perform their poems “slam” style. This experience will culminate in a January reception where students can share their poetry with family and friends, sponsored by Castle Rock Writers. www.JovanMays.com
Bio: Jovan Mays is the first Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado. He exemplifies the true spirit of community that is the basis of the poetry slam. Since 2010 he has been a competing member of the Denver Slam Nuba National Team, being crowned a National Poetry Slam Champion in his second year. He continues to workshop and educate people of all ages about this great art. His poetry program “Your Writing Counts” has reached upwards of 300 schools in just two years. Mays also serves as the SlamMaster for Slam Nuba and their Open Mic/Slam night, which is sponsored by the Denver Film Society. His chapbook is Pride; PrideEP is available on CD.
Workshop #1-C Writing Flash Fiction
Presenter: Nancy Stohlman
Description: Flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words) is dominating the underground literary scene—novelists, non-fiction writers and poets are all embracing brevity, cultivating a new set of skills and creating an entirely new kind of story. In this workshop Stohlman will attempt to define flash fiction, examine what makes it successful, and lead participants in generating original flash pieces. This workshop is open to writers with all levels of experience. http://nancystohlman.com.
Bio: Nancy Stohlman’s books include the flash fiction collection The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, the novels The Monster Opera and Searching for Suzi: a flash novel, and four anthologies, including Fast Forward: The Mix Tape, which was a finalist for a 2011 Colorado Book Award. Stohlman is the creator and curator of the Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series in Denver, and The Huffington Post recently called her work one of “our favorite recent pieces of flash fiction”. Find out more at www.nancystohlman.com.
Workshop #1-D Writing for Magazines
Presenter: Kerrie Flanagan
Description: Participants will gain greater understanding of the basic process of writing nonfiction for magazines and how to increase their chances of getting published. There are five key strategies participants must know in order to find success when writing for magazines. This workshop will share unique and innovative ways to gain insight into a publication, how to understand a magazine’s guidelines and the components of writing a good query letter. You will leave with all the tools and information needed to begin submitting to magazines and be on your way to seeing your name in print. Best for beginner to intermediate journalists.
Bio: Kerrie Flanagan is the director and founder of Northern Colorado Writers, an accomplished freelance writer with over 15 years of experience, a writing consultant, publisher, writing instructor and author. Her recent articles can be found in The Writer, Writer’s Digest, and in the past four Writer’s Markets. She is the author of Planes, Trains and Chuck & Eddie, Write Away: A Year of Musings and Motivations for Writers and Claire’s Christmas Catastrophe. In addition to her own work, she has helped nearly a dozen writers self-publish their work and guides writers to reach their full potential. She teaches writing classes throughout the year in Colorado and Wyoming. www.KerrieFlanagan.com.
10:30 to 10:45 a.m.
10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Workshop #2-A Self Publishing Master Class (session 1 & 2) (Part I required to attend) SEE I-A for description & bio
Workshop #2-B Slam Poetry Part II (Part I required to attend)
SEE I-B for description & bio
Workshop #2-C The Resonance of Writing Master Class Presenter: Trai Cartwright Description: Genre, voice, and tone are three craft elements that are intricately interwoven, but many writers aren’t certain how to activate them in their work—or why. This workshop will break them down individually, beginning with genre. What is genre (and sub-genre), why is it important to know yours, and how does reader expectation shape your approach to your genre? How does genre influence your voice? What, for that matter, is voice? And how can voice radically overhaul the design of your book? And finally, what is effective tone? How can you manipulate it in your work both on an overall level as well as line-by-line? www.craftwrite.com.
BIO: Trai Cartwright, MFA, has over 20 years experience as a professional story developer. She currently teaches creative writing, film studies and screenwriting at the Colorado Film School and University of Northern Colorado, as well as for writer’s organizations across Colorado. During her 15 years as a Hollywood development executive, Trai consulted on tens of thousands of screenplays for HBO, Fox, Paramount, Universal, and New Line. She produced three indie movies and has had three of her own screenplays optioned to Academy and Emmy award-winning producers. A busy writing consultant and editor, she works one-on-one with novelists and screenwriters across the nation. Trai can be found at www.craftwrite.com.
Resources for Writers presented by Douglas County Librarians Shaun Boyd, director of History Resource Center; Linda Vincent, Fusion Media Lab; Sharon Nemechek, collections expert, and Amy Hall, database expert
How can you determine if your Hudson Valley heroine would be drinking Earl Grey tea in 1830? Find a historical character for your backstory? Where can you make a commercial at no cost to promote your book? Or convert your novel into an e-book? Record a song? Douglas County Libraries have a wealth of free resources and expertise to support writers from historical and current collections and informational databases to the Fusion Media Lab. Explore some of these resources to authenticate your story whether fiction or nonfiction as well as access tools to promote your writing.
12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
LUNCH BY TONY ROSACCI’S CATERING
Lunchtime Comedy Sketch by the Novelistas!
Susan Knudten and Sara Alan
1:15 to 2:15 p.m.
Workshop #3-A The Poetry of Writing Song Lyrics
Description: Your favorite lyrics are poetry, full of clever turns of phrases that resonate and seem to say it all in a few simple verses. Learn from a poet how to craft such lyrics through the use of extended metaphor. Perfect for musicians and songwriters, but just as valuable for non-musicians.
BIO: SETH is a poet, performer, producer, creative writer, and instructor. He has been collaborating with poets, musicians, actors, dancers and other creative artists for more than 20 years. He has been the driving force behind numerous award-winning and critically acclaimed productions. Since 1999, SETH has been teaching children, teens and young adults the joy inherent in mastering the literary arts and creative expression. SETH has worked extensively for public schools, summer camps, and neighborhood organizations. Author of A Black Odyssey: A Poetic Memoir. CDs include BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK and LOVE, DEATH & POETRY. For SETH’s events such as The Jam Before the Slam and Reader’s Laboratory Workshop go to WagingArt.com/events.
Workshop #3-B Dying is Easy, Comedy is Difficult: Writing Humor for Every Genre Presenter: Becky Clark
Description: That’s an Edmond Gwenn quip, but comedy doesn’t have to be difficult. No matter your style or genre, humor endears you to your readers. You need to inject humor into everything you write. Even the most serious thriller needs to let the reader take a breath once in awhile. This workshop studies examples of humor, and give you some practice writing it, using your own voice and style. For all writers. BeckyClarkBooks.com.
Bio: Becky Clark Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. Her newest titles are Banana Bamboozle and Marshmallow Mayhem. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Her stout-hearted dog keeps her safe from menacing squirrels and autumn leaves, but not plastic bags. Those things are terrifying. Find out Becky’s least favorite words at http://beckyclarkbooks.com/bio and subscribe to her newsletter to win cool stuff, http://beckyclarkbooks.com/mailing.
Workshop #3-C Resonance of Writing Master Class Part II Presenter: Trai Cartwright SEE #2-C for description & bio
Workshop #3-D Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget Presenter: Stant Litore
Description: “I just don’t care enough about your character.” This workshop is a toolkit for addressing that issue. Participants will learn some techniques for writing unforgettable characters who “come alive” on the page. For beginning writers and experienced writers who want to enhance their characters. StantLitore.com.
Bio: Stant Litore has appeared at Denver Comic Con and in podcasts for ReelNerds and The Geek Port. He was featured in “The Year’s Best New Sci-Fi” at NPR (March 2014) and as an Author Success Story on the Amazon.com homepage (November 2013). The Examiner, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Huffington Post, SF Signal, Weird Fiction Review, and Nomos all featured him in articles. An emerging voice in weird fiction, Stant Litore has published five volumes of The Zombie Bible. He is the author of Dante’s Heart and an ongoing sci-fi series, The Ansible Stories. www.StantLitore.com.
2:15 to 2:30 p.m.
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Workshop #4-A Turn Your Research into Revenue
Presenter: Becky Clark
Description: When you write your novel, don’t let all that research about medieval armor, or FBI protocol, or the perils of the World’s Worst Superbug go to waste. Repurpose your information for syndication and let it earn money for you by selling your books and/or digital downloads. Every author researches certain topics even when they write fiction. But none of that research needs to languish. It can be turned into syndicated articles that direct people back to your books or your website or to short e-book downloads you’ve created. Published or pre-published writers can use these techniques to make a few painless bucks so they can continue to chase their muse.
Bio: Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. Her newest titles are Banana Bamboozle and Marshmallow Mayhem. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Her stout-hearted dog keeps her safe from menacing squirrels and autumn leaves, but not plastic bags. Those things are terrifying. Find out Becky’s least favorite words at http://beckyclarkbooks.com/bio and subscribe to her newsletter to win cool stuff, http://beckyclarkbooks.com/mailing.
Workshop #4-B Hollywood Know-How
Presenter: Maura Weiler
Description: So you’ve finished your screenplay or your novel would make a great movie – now what? Query letters are one way to go, but in Hollywood it’s all who you know. Learn tips on how to build your film industry network without living in Los Angeles or New York. Objective: Create a concrete plan for finding your dream film agent or producer. For beginner to intermediate writers. MauraWeiler.com.
Bio: Maura Weiler is a former columnist for The Connecticut Post and a trash artist whose work has been featured on NBC Television and in galleries and shows across the country. As director of development at Blue Tulip Productions, she helped develop the screenplays for such films as Speed, Twister, The Paperboy and Minority Report. Library Journal dubbed her bestselling first novel, Contrition (Infinite Words/Simon & Schuster, 4/21/15), “Fast moving yet philosophical… [A] fascinating debut.” For more information or book club queries, visit MauraWeiler.com.
Workshop #4-C Writing the Fiction Synopsis
Presenter: Pam McCutcheon
Description: Most writers hate writing synopses, and no wonder. After you’ve agonized over several hundred pages to make your prose absolutely perfect, how could you possibly distill that down to a measly ten or twenty pages? Or worse yet, one or two? By the time you’ve written the book, everything seems important, and it’s difficult to know what to put in and what to leave out. To help with that problem, Pam came up with a method that she details in her book, Writing the Fiction Synopsis, A Step by Step Approach. She’ll share her process to help you put together a selling synopsis and write a back cover blurb. PamMc.com; ParkerBlue.net.
Bio: Pam McCutcheon is the author of romance novels and how-to books for writers under her own name, and the Demon Underground YA urban fantasy series under the name Parker Blue. Pam’s latest releases are an updated e-book version of her popular Writing the Fiction Synopsis, as well as e-book versions of her romance backlist. Parker’s sixth Demon Underground book, Catch Me, came out in April 2015 from Bell Bridge Books. Pam/Parker recently quit her day job and is now working full-time as a writer, editor, and speaker. She can be found at pammc.com or parkerblue.net.
Workshop #4-D The Art of Storytelling Presenter: Kona Morris
Description: Dive into the craft of composing powerful stories, by examining the most engaging approaches for successful beginnings, discussing important tips for maintaining control of a story’s momentum, and studying the most effective ways to create memorable endings. You will compose original work, hone your skills for identifying and emphasizing a story’s purpose, and gain insight that can be applied to all lengths of writing—from flash fiction to novels. Participants will leave this workshop inspired with a new understanding of how to effectively engage readers and write compelling original stories, as well as with an abundance of writing prompts. Open to all experience levels. KonaMorris.com
BIO: Kona Morris is a fiction writer, editor, publisher, and professor. She was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Fast Forward Press, an award-winning Denver-based publishing company devoted to condensed forms of literature. She received the Redwood Empire Mensa Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and she has been the Featured Artist for Connotation Press, Rocky Mountain Revival, and Grant Faulkner’s 100 Word Story literary journal. Kona has presented nationwide, including at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference. Her stories, prose poems, and creative non-fiction essays have appeared in a variety of publications. Kona helps to run the F-Bomb monthly flash fiction reading series at the Mercury Café in Denver. www.KonaMorris.com .
3:30 to 3:45 p.m.
3:45 to 4:30 p.m.
AUTHOR SIGNINGS / BOOK STORE
CONFERENCE 2015 AGENTS & EDITORS
Terry Whalin, acquisitions editor Morgan James Publishing, NY
W. Terry Whalin understands both sides of the editorial desk. A former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 books for traditional publishers including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and several of Terry’s books have sold over 100,000 copies. He is looking for clean fiction of 100,000 words or less, non-fiction (including memoir and self-help), Christian fiction (30%), historical romance, thrillers, young adult work, and some children’s work (picture books, chapter books, and 8-12 books). Morgan James asks their writers to invest in buying some of their own books for promotional purposes.
Helen Hardt, managing editor with Waterhouse Press & freelance editor with Lyrical Press/Kensington, CO
Helen Hardt has been a professional editor of fiction since 2008. She counts among her clients New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors, RITA winners and finalists, and EPIC winners and finalists. She freelance edits for Lyrical Press/Kensington. Helen is also an awarding-winning author. Waterhouse started as a publisher of Romance writers in 2014, and has now expanded. Waterhouse stands apart as a publisher that appreciates a strong and memorable story, but one that focuses on creating powerful, lasting brands for each of its authors.
Becky LeJeune, assistant editor at Sandra Bond Agency, CO
Becky LeJeune is the first reader and assistant at Bond Literary Agency, a Denver-based agency run by Sandra Bond. Before working with Sandra, Becky was a commissioning editor for The History Press and a freelance cookbook editor. She is a Denver Publishing Institute alum with a bookseller background. Bond Literary Agency is accepting queries for fiction and non-fiction, but does not represent romance, poetry, or children’s picture books.
Sydney Rogers, assistant editor at Sourcebooks, IL & NY (SKYPE)
Sydney, an Ohio State grad and University of Denver Publishing Institute alum, started last year with Sourcebooks. She is looking for character-driven books and literary adult fiction for Sourcebooks Landmark, their adult fiction imprint. She is drawn to well-written, approachable fiction in which ordinary people encounter extraordinary circumstances. She needs a complete manuscript. For the children’s imprints, Sourcebooks Fire and Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, she seeks exciting middle grade and contemporary YA with completed manuscripts.
One-on-One Critique Sessions
Anita Mumm, editor with Anita Mumm Editing & Critque Services, CO
For each critique, Anita will give feedback on 10 pages, plus a two-page synopsis or a one-paragraph blurb.
Anita Mumm is a freelance novel editor and writing teacher. Her home base is Denver, but she sometimes gets carried away to India and other magical realms. Previously, she worked in submissions & foreign rights at Nelson Literary Agency. You can read more about her work at www.anitamumm.com and on her blog Word Café, where she shares advice on writing and publishing. SOLD OUT
Helen Hardt, editor with Waterhouse Press & freelance editor with Lyrical Publishing/Kensington , CO
For the critiques, Helen will give feedback on five pages plus a two-page synopsis or a one-page blurb.
Helen Hardt has been a professional editor of fiction since 2008. She counts among her clients New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors, RITA winners and finalists, and EPIC winners and finalists. She freelance edits for Lyrical Press/Kensington. Helen is also an awarding-winning author. Waterhouse started as a publisher of Romance writers in 2014, and has now expanded. Waterhouse stands apart as a publisher that appreciates a strong and memorable story, but one that focuses on creating powerful, lasting brands for each of its authors. NOTE: For sign-ups after October 15, Helen will provide a written critique via email after the conference. Same price.
Becky LeJeune, assistant editor at Sandra Bond Agency, CO
For the critiques, Becky will give feedback on five pages plus a two-page synopsis or a one-page overview.
Becky LeJeune is the first reader and literary assistant at Bond Literary Agency, a Denver-based agency run by Sandra Bond. Before working with Sandra, Becky was a commissioning editor for The History Press and a freelance cookbook editor. She is also a Denver Publishing Institute alum with a bookseller background. Bond Literary Agency is accepting queries for fiction and non-fiction, but the agency does not represent romance, adult fantasy, science fiction, poetry, or children’s picture books. Note: Becky will take critique sign-ups until November 1st.