Thursday, July 4, 2013

Midwest Writers Conference - Breakout Sessions Revealed!



2013 Workshop Descriptions
*Please note: These are the breakout sessions that will be offered.
The official schedule will be emailed 2 weeks before the conference.

Tracks: craft, genre, professional


Saturday, September 21st

            Breakout  #1

                                    How I See It: Writing in 1st Person (Craft)
                                    Regina Sirois
Perspective can change everything, especially in a book. It is a unique experience to immerse yourself in a character so thoroughly that you peer out at the world through his/her eyes. Regina Sirois, who has won national competitions and book deals writing in first person, will review methods and tips that will make your first person story come alive. Open discussion will include what we love/hate about first person and how to avoid common mistakes.

Middle Grade Mojo: How to get inside the head of your middle grade readers (Genre)                                   
Matt Peterson
Writing for the junior high crowd seems intimidating. It's been awhile since most of us were in those hallways, after all. In this class we will go through some exercises and techniques that will put you inside their little heads. Scary, I know. But you'll leave with a better understanding of what works and what doesn't for this fun (yet sometimes frustrating) age group. We'll talk about ""writing up"" as far as vocabulary, achieving the right mixture of mayhem and lesson learning, and maybe even a little about what a budding junior high romance looks like from a pre-teen's point of view. Come relive the past and rewrite your future in the middle grade market.

                                    The-Seat-of-Your-Pants Synopsis Workshop (Professional)                   
Tamara Hart Heiner
There are many smart, proper ways to write a synopsis. They usually involve careful outlining, thinking about your main characters, your main plot points, and putting it down in a nice, concise manner. Then there's the "I need a synopsis and I need it now" way. Bring your manuscript to class and leave with a completed (well, mostly) synopsis.


            Breakout  #2

                                    Writing Different Cultures (Craft)                                                
Don Carey    
There’s a literary term for stories where the characters are all the same: Boring. Learn important tips for increasing the cultural diversity in your writing while avoiding the potential pitfalls, and see how this can increase both your readership and the quality of your work.

Because Romance is Everywhere: How to weave romantic elements through any genre. (Genre)
Traci Hunter Abramson
We all love to love, even if we don't want to admit it. Discover how romantic elements can deepen and enhance your characters, add to their motivations, and tug on the heartstrings of your readers. Whether you want to blend the word "romantic" with your genre, or subtly use romance as an undercurrent in your writing, join us to discover the possibilities that can come through the heart.

                                    Editing Tips from the Editing Chick (Professional)
                                    Danyelle Ferguson
Editing is an essential part of creating your best work. We will discuss various types of editors (friends, freelance, and publisher staff), content vs. line edits, and tips to be sure your manuscript is polished for submission.



            Breakout  #3

                                    Is That My Voice? Finding your character’s personality through strong dialogue (Craft)
                                    Rebecca Belliston
Creating unique voices for your characters can be a challenge. Every character has personality, experiences, and little quirks that affect their speech – or at least they should. If your teens sound like your grannies, something’s wrong. We’ll explore how to add depth to your characters through strong, personality-driven dialogue, allowing you to show -- rather than tell -- us who they are.

                                    Creating White-Knuckle Thrills and Bone Chilling Suspense (Genre)  
Gregg Luke
This class will reveal the key elements to writing scenes that enthrall and terrify your readers, including: why characterization is vital, how to tighten pacing, and the crucial principles of anticipation, detailing, and prose. Q&A to follow.

                                    Creating Engaging Characters (Craft)                              
                                    Heather Justesen
Learn many ways to add interesting details to your characters lives so they'll becomes people your readers will love.

           


            Breakout  #4

                                    Writing a Series: What to do when the end is really just the beginning (Craft)
                                    Traci Hunter Abramson
Is your story idea ready to expand beyond a single novel? Are your characters reluctant to live happily ever after even though the last page has been turned? Or do you already have a series plotted out in your mind? This class will delve into the different types of series, explore the challenges of marketing a multi-volume work, and discuss how to make sure your readers are anxiously awaiting the next volume.

                                    Hidden Jewels (Genre)                                            
                                    Lynn Parsons
You are an expert in many areas. Shine up your knowledge into nonfiction books. Learn to discover your gems of wisdom, cut them into shape, and polish them into perfection. 

                                    Just Give Me the Numbers! (Professional)                                    
Regina Sirois
In a quickly morphing publishing world, writers struggle with the question of how to get their stories to readers. Is traditional publishing still the only legitimate way to go? Has self publishing gained enough market share to overcome former prejudices against vanity presses? Regina Sirois is in a unique position to discuss the pros and cons of each. Her novel, On Little Wings, was self-published first before being picked up by a major publisher. She will talk you through what she did, what worked for her book and what did not.
            Breakout  #5

                                    “Who Said That?” Finding your manuscript’s point of view (Craft)
Tamara Hart Heiner
Learn about different points-of-view, how to use them, how to alternate between them, and try on a couple to see what works best for your work-in-progress.

                                    The 50K Rush: Prepping for NaNoWriMo (Craft)                                 
                                    John Waverly & Danyelle Ferguson
November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal: To write 50K in 30 days. If you just broke out in sweat and your blood pressure spiked, then this class is for you! Join the husband-wife duo as they discuss strategies to prep for the challenge, pump up your word count, and mostly importantly, turn your family into fans cheering you on from the sidelines.

                                   
Be In the Know: A novel approach to researching your novel (Craft)   
                                    Gregg Luke
Proper research is fundamental to every novel. Every writer should do research on every novel. But research can be cumbersome and time-consuming. The key is narrowing what you need to material vital to your story. This course will help you streamline researching to focus on three vital elements: Content, Period, and Genre.


            Breakout  #6

                                    Finding Your Story: How to find a captivating fiction story in everyday life (Craft)                           
Matt Peterson           
They say you should "write what you know." That's great if you're writing a non-fiction how-to book, but what about a nice fiction piece? And what if you only know about paper airplanes or how to starch a white shirt? No worries (but chances are you know about more than that). In this class we will discuss how you can take the things you are good at and infuse them into a real-life fiction story. We'll cover everything from what to do when you wake up to how technology can help you find your story...and everything in between. You'll be surprised what kind of story is waiting inside you--let's coax it out in this fun workshop-style class. You'll leave with a whole slew of ideas to keep you up late writing well into the spring.

                                    Plotting Without Plodding (Craft)                                      
Janette Rallison
Your plot is the backbone of your novel. If it doesn't work all the great description, dialogue, and characterization won't be able to save your manuscript. Come to Janette's class and learn the six elements of plot you should know before you sit down to write your story. Janette will discuss do's and don'ts that will save you time in revisions.

                                    Social Media for the Antisocial Author (Professional)                            
                                    Rebecca Belliston
For the anti-social writer, using social media can be overwhelming. Is it really necessary? This class will delve into the different areas of social media including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Pinterest. We’ll discuss how to use social media to get the word out about your books without annoying people, which social platform reaches which groups of people, and how to maximize your presence while minimizing your time/pain. Who knows? You just might become a social (media) butterfly.


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