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Written By: library

Planning is underway for the 2014 Conference.  Sessions will be posted here as speakers are confirmed.  Below are the topics from the 2013 Southwest Valley Writers Conference.


Click one of the links below to read more about that session.

Publishing Your Book: Day One
(Annette Rogers)

Stories captivate people, enriching lives from the time of ancient campfires to the Kindle. Writers today create stories that compete for attention in a crowded, rapidly changing marketplace. How can you make your story rise above the racket? Be different from other manuscripts? Grab readers and keep them turning pages to see what happens next?  What can you do to make editors, publishers, and readers care about what you have to say?

Crime Writing, Breaking into the Business
(Jenn McKinlay)

Jenn will discuss her own experiences with traditional publishing in crime fiction.  She will also discuss how to write a ten page outline to help structure your novel and to showcase your work-in-progress to publishers.

The Author’s Journey: From Finding an Agent to Promoting the Book
(Panel: Lynn Wiese, Ann Bolinger-McQuade & Clair Gurus)

 Writing may be a solo event, but publishing your written work is more often than not a team event. In this panel, author, agent and publicist come together to share their collective journey. Learn the key elements of how to build a platform and write a query letter and book proposal that will attract an agent’s attention. Discover the role the agent plays in selling the book proposal and negotiating a contract. Peek into the author’s writing and editing process while under contract. Finally, get an overview of the publicity process that begins before the book is released continues well past the release date.


You want to Write a Novel.  Now What?
(Jessica McCann)

 Setting goals, creating a process and maintaining your momentum.


(Celise Colston)

One of the biggest fears for writers is writer’s block–being stuck and unable to finish a story. Another big fear is lack of ideas. Based on an innovative card game created by acclaimed author Sue Viders, participants will be introduced to a new way of generating ideas. With 101 cards and six categories to choose from, participants will create a story on the spot in a group setting and then read their stories at the end. Stories will be posted on the Page One Literary Center website.

Learning objectivesBy the end of this workshop, participants will learn how to:

      • Generate story ideas in a new and fun way
      • Discover a new and fun way to combat writer’s block
      • Collaborate on a story with with more than one author



Successful Writing is Seven Steps Away
(Annette Rogers)

Ever wonder why only a few manuscripts succeed?  What attracts editors, publishers, and ultimately readers to some “lucky” books while others fail?  How can fiction and non-fiction writers improve their storytelling so that readers simply have to know what happens next?  Learn seven steps to make your writing an experience, not simply content, which captures imagination and brings your book to life.


Creating Believable Characters
(Ann Goldfarb)

Participants will learn how authors use character attributes to create believable ( if not, compelling ) characters, whether or not the character is human, fantasy or anthropomorphized. This is a “hands-on” workshop where attendees will be asked to collaborate, respond, and be actively involved.  A number of distinct activities will be presented along with samples from different genre.

Learning objectives:  Participants will understand how actions, dialogue, motivation, habits, rationalization and “backstory” are all used by authors to create and develop their characters. Writers will gain a better understand of how to use these components in their own writing.

7 Steps to a Successful Book Launch Q&Q
(Jen Rogers & Lynn Wiese)

In today’s market place successful authors do more than write a book.  If you want to build an audience for that outstanding manuscript you slaved over, you need to also publicize and market your work. In this session, seasoned publicists Jen Rogers and Lynn Wiese Sneyd will present the seven key steps for book marketing. You will learn when to begin marketing and how to use social media networks to assist in creating pre-sales. They will walk you through the steps of seeking endorsements, creating a media kit and writing a pitch that will attract the attention of producers, radio show hosts, editors and bloggers. Suggestions for book launches and signings will round out this presentation that will guide you to create a marketing plan for that soon-to-be or already published book.

The Keys to Conquering the Writing, Creating and Publishing Process
(Howard Falco)

In this discussion published author, international speaker and modern day spiritual teacher Howard Falco will offer insight into his journey from everyday guy, to published author of the spiritual, self-help book, “I AM: The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are.”  Falco will share how he let universal inspiration guide him in his writing, plus how he was able to engage a top literary agent, and have the honor to be published by one of the top houses in the industry.

Learning objectives

  • How to let endless creativity flow (Passion)
  • How to connect with your audience (Intention)
  • The key to being a great writer (Reader Focus)
  • Preparing for the editing and feedback process (Truth)
  • The process of querying an agent (More Truth)
  • Understanding publishers today (The Hard Truth)

The keys to making it as a writer/author (Persistence, Persistence, Persistence

The How, Where and Why for Writing Fan Fiction
(Dan Messer & Ashley Duncan)

Want to write the next Fifty Shades of Grey? Originating as Twilight fan fiction, E.L. James’ hugely popular series dominated the best seller list and reinforced the popularity of reading and writing fan fiction. Join this session, where attendees will learn more about writing fan fiction, where and how to publish it, options for review, and the legitimacy behind fan fiction. Participants will also learn about Amazon Worlds, a new fan fiction platform that allows writers to earn royalties by publishing sanctioned fan fiction.

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