Steven James is the critically-acclaimed author of seventeen novels. He has served as a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest Magazine and is the author of the groundbreaking book Story Trumps Structure as well as the guidebook used by thousands of novelists, Troubleshooting Your Novel, both from Writer’s Digest Books. Publishers Weekly calls him “[a] master storyteller at the peak of his game.” When he’s not working on his next novel, Steven teaches Novel Writing Intensive retreats across the country with New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni.
In his podcast “The Story Blender,” he interviews leading storytellers in film, print, and web. Listen now to any of the dozens of archived podcasts for free by visiting his website www.thestoryblender.com.
- Keynote: The Untouched Moment
- Workshop: Pulling The Rug Out: How To Craft Twists Your Readers Will Never See Coming
Pitching an Agent 101
These are things that will be covered.
- Learn: The tricks of brevity and breath and how to confidently pitch to any agent.
- Practice: Get time to practice your pitch with hands on instruction and help.
- Pitch: Take this opportunity to pitch an agent with the help of a class critique.
PUBLISHING A TO Z
- Preparing a manuscript and query for submission
- How to find an agent and the submission process
- What comes next – negotiations, contracts, copy-editing and the general steps toward publication.
THE INS AND OUTS OF
Choosing to work with another author is a brave choice. We are storytellers and people who speak of our characters as if they are friends. Or enemies depending on the character. To complete a novel or a short story or novella with another such person can be a rewarding experience, but just like any business relationship, proceed with caution—and choose with care.
- Ways a coauthor can help
- Selecting a coauthor
- How to share responsibilities
- What to do when conflict arises
BUILD ENGAGING CHARACTERS
This workshop will show you step by step (in groups) how to build a convincing character that will help develop your story.
- Creating the character from the outside in
- We cover everything including the physical and minute ministrations and mannerisms that go into creating a believable and flawed character
- Teaches you how to avoid certain tropes that have been done before
NEWSLETTERS AND BUILDING YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM
We’ll discuss the components of an attention grabbing newsletter and why it’s your most important promotional piece. In this interactive workshop, we’ll discuss ways to create a newsletter people actually read. Topics include
- Reader “Capture”
- Captivate, Capture, Cultivate, Control – The 4 Cs of newsletter sales
- Building an effective newsletter
- How often is too often
- Ways to ensure that email gets opened
HEATHER’S SECOND WORKSHOP
WRITING THE HIGH CONCEPT NOVEL: HOW TO CAPTURE THE ATTENTION OF HOLLYWOOD
Would you love to see you book as a feature film? The one thing Hollywood looks for in a potential project is a high concept idea. This workshop dives deep into what is a true high concept novel and how to take your writing from midlist to bestseller.
- What is a high concept novel?
- Tips and tricks for finding high concept ideas to launch your story above the competition.
- Understand why high concept is so important in today’s crowded market.
- Tips and tricks for one liners that can grab the attention of Hollywood.
- Get ready. You’re about to take your novel to the next level!
INDIE AUTHOR MARKETING 101
Learn to market yourself and make real money. (presentation will be done twice for your convenience)
- Developing an online presence
- Gathering followers
- Quit wasting time with promotions and ads that don’t work
- Amazon and Bookbub paid ads
- An Author’s best asset for promoting and marketing (yourself).
GOING AUDIO: THE RISE OF THE AUDIOBOOK FOR INDIE AUTHORS
- Key Benefits Of Publishing Audiobooks For Indie Authors
- Publishing trends for Indie Authors
- Audiobook Trends
- How to get your book to Audible.com
- Audiobooks from the Narrators Perspective (Paul)
- 90 plus titles to his credit
- The Narrator – Author connection
- It should be a performance, not a reading.
- How to get the Audiobook Industry’s Ear (Nikki)
- Adding a Creative Edge To Your Audiobook
- Marketing Strategies in the Video Age
EDITING & INDIE-PUBLISHING
While the indie world has paved the way for many successful authors, many readers and authors still view self-publishing as the writer’s last resort. If you ask around, the most common reason a reader will cite for avoiding self-published authors is quality. Quality books demand quality editing. Topics include:
- You wrote The End! Now what?
- Different Types of Editing
- Finding the Right Editor
- Show Me the Money
- Expectations vs. Reality
MAKE MONEY WRITING MEMOIRS
Memoir-author and former radio and television news reporter dishing up the tips on how to get into the memoir business.
- How to get clients.
- What to include in the narrative.
- What to charge.
- Sample written agreement.
FROM THE BIG FIVE TO DO IT YOURSELF, BE INFORMED
Find out what publishing avenue could be the best for you when we explore:
• Big Traditional Publishers
• Small Traditional Publishers
• Vanity Presses
• Self-Publishing Service Providers
• Do it Yourself
We’ll cover all the bases.
SHARON’S SECOND WORKSHOP
THE ELEMENTS OF ROMANCE
The formula for writing a romance novel is different than any other genre. We’ll discuss:
- Romance Driven Plot
- Lovable Characters
- Emotional Tension
- Sexual Tension
- Optimistic Ending