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2013 Conference Workshops
Registration NOW OPEN!
to go to our Registration page to sign up for the highlight of your writing year!
Get ready for a full slate of engaging and empowering workshops and sessions
at the 2013 Write On The River Conference May 17, 18 and 19 in Wenatchee, WA.
We will be hosting a distinguished faculty of writers, teachers and agents who will offer something for everyone at the only writing conference in North Central Washington. Whether you are novice or experienced, write memoir or thrillers, hail from Spokane, Wenatchee, Seattle, Moses Lake, Tri-Cities or anywhere in between, the Write On The River writing conference will move you further in your craft and passion.
Our 2013 writing conference will feature a full day of workshops on Saturday, a special Friday evening Keynote Address by best-selling novelist J.A. Jance, one-on-one agent and editor pitch appointments, and an additional three-hour intensive workshop on Sunday. We’ll also be offering book signings, new “Ask a Pro” opportunities throughout the day, and new “Brown Bag Lunch” offerings during the lunch break. You can see bios of our 2013 presenters …
Friday Evening – Keynote Address, J.A. Jance
The Writing Life
It is our privilege and pleasure to bring prolific and esteemed New York Times Bestselling author J.A. Jance to Wenatchee to deliver our Keynote Address this year. The doors will open at 6:30 for drinks and socializing, followed by the Keynote Address at 7:00 and then a book signing afterward. Conference attendees will all be welcome to attend, and tickets will be available as well for the general public or guests of attendees. Don’t miss your chance for an evening with a true rock star in the writing world! To accomodate the public’s interest, our special Keynote Address will be held at the Wenatchee Community Center 504 South Chelan Ave.
Saturday – Session 1
Crafting a Killer First Page – Ray Rhamey (special double session)
The first page of a manuscript is the most critical page in a submission to an agent or an editor. It has to truly compel the reader to turn the page. Many rejections happen after the first paragraph because the first page foreshadows the craftsmanship and storytelling in the rest of the book, and the pros know it.
This workshop is “immersion” training in seeing the shortcomings that cripple a manuscript’s first page—you learn by critiquing writing submitted by fellow workshoppers. The first page is the first 16-17 lines, double-spaced, 1” margins; standard formatting calls for chapters to begin about 1/3 of the way down a page. Ray contacts those who have signed up for the workshop to solicit submissions and also sends a free instructional excerpt from Flogging the Quill, Crafting a Novel that Sells.
The workshop opens with a discussion of how publishing pros assess submissions and these 6 vital story ingredients: story questions; tension (in the reader); voice; clarity; scene setting; and character.
Workshoppers submit their opening pages prior to the workshop. Ray extracts the first pages, strips away names, and hands the pages out to the workshop. The class reads a page, then votes on whether or not they were compelled to turn the page. Ray leads the class in discussing why they did or did not turn a page and adds his own notes. With the discussion of why or why not turn the page, workshoppers gain insights on what they can do to craft their own killer first pages. After the workshop, Ray provides those who submitted their work with his notes on their pages. This special double workshop will fill both Sessions 1 and 2.
The Writer Entrepeneur – Jason Brick
The trouble with writing professionally is that most writers don’t want to be professional. If we were happy with the detail-oriented grind of business ownership, we’d be happy working 9-to-5. This workshop teaches entrepreneurship basics and business practices you can apply to your freelance writing. From general observations to actionable, step-by-step instruction, you will leave with the tools you need to make it as a freelance writer — whether you define “make it” as bringing in some extra beer money, or earning six figures a year just by writing. Beginners will learn how to find paying markets and sell work routinely. Experienced pros will learn to streamline and organize to maximize earnings.
Marketing for Indie Authors – Steven W. White
You’ve uploaded your work electronically and it’s available to the world – but you have no agent, no publisher, and no platform. How do you market your writing and let potential readers know you exist? Does blogging really work? What about Facebook and Twitter? Should you spend money on advertising? What is the Single Greatest Marketing Technique for authors? Learn about the universe of strategies, from online forums to Goodreads pay-per-click, and see how a simple deal with another published author, or a single well-placed hyperlink in your novel, can work more magic than elaborate marketing plans. Indie author Steven W. White will share his successes and failures, so you can skip the unnecessary and do the essential.
Saturday – Session 2
(Those taking Ray Rhamey’s double session, “Crafting a Killer First Page,” will continue in that workshop during this second session)
Compressing Time in Creative Nonfiction – Jennifer Lauck
Writing a memoir or a creative nonfiction essay can be very overwhelming. There is so much that has happened in our lives and once we start writing, we become quite overwhelmed. What details really matter and why? As Voltaire writes: “The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.” This creative nonfiction workshop helps writers—beginning and intermediate—learn the truth of how they do not need to tell their entire life story in their essay or a memoir length project. In this workshop, we will discuss and practice effective methods for compressing time to include three classic story telling motifs: The Hero’s Journey, The Cinderella Method and The Accident Victim Plot line. Writers will leave this workshop with a strong sense of the structure options available to the creative nonfiction writer. In addition, writers will understand more about the age-old tradition of storytelling and discover that to write a great memoir, it’s important to study great stories that have gone before.
Writing to Sell Without Selling Out – Tom Miller Juvik
The writer’s first job is always to tell the story as truly as it can be told. Figuring out how to put a good piece of work in front of the readers it deserves is the natural fruition of the writing process. To succeed on both levels, writers must combine self-motivating reward systems with a rock-solid writing philosophy. Establishing this foundation will guide the writer toward a satisfying, holistic approach to finding the right publication for any story that possesses genuine worth.
Workshop participants will learn to:
1.Develop an intrinsic reward system and a set of priorities that will make them tenacious enough to write from the heart over the long term;
2.Analyze the literary marketplace in order to develop effective strategies for getting stories off the coffee table and into respected magazines without sacrificing integrity;
3.Apply practical approaches to handling rejection that will help them gain positive results from otherwise discouraging situations.
Saturday – LUNCH Options
There’s no reason not to keep fueling your mind and passion while fueling your body! The 2013 Write On The River Conference is offering several exciting options during the lunch break.
Session 1 & 2 Presenters’ Book Signing - Ray Rhamey, Jason Brick, Steven W. White, Tom Miller Juvik
Brown Bag Session: “Nonfiction Roundtable” – with Gary Luke, Publisher & Editor
Brown Bag Session: “Your Letter to the World: Why We Publish Our Poems and Where” – Derek Sheffield
Saturday – Session 3
Playing God: Creating Memorable Characters - Robert Dugoni
What is it about certain books that when we finish the final page the characters stay with us for days? What is it about those characters that has made them so memorable? Using examples of his own and other writers, Bob will teach techniques to make your characters well-rounded individuals that will keep readers wondering about them long after they have finished your book.
Bob’s class will cover specific topics such as the hero’s inner journey, the hero’s belief about himself, as well as fears, identity and essence. He’ll touch on practical tips to bring your characters to life such as physical appearance, behavior, dress and dialogue.
Vivid Scenes in Seven Steps – Jennifer Lauck
Fiction, memoir and creative nonfiction writers–beginning and intermediate—will learn how to write scenes that readers appreciate and expect. We are told to “show” vs. “tell,” but what does this mean? Jennifer will teach that writers need to learn how to compose scenes which are cinematic, active and reveal what is happening in the story as the action unfolds. She will teach that scene writing draws the reader into the experience the writer seeks to share, whereas expository writing (where the writer only exposes their thinking process) actually distances the reader from the final product. Writers will learn the definition of scene and the specific ingredients that go into writing a compelling scene to include location, character, dialogue, detail immersion and sensory infusion. Writers will leave with a copy of the “Scene Recipe Card,” a seven point worksheet which breaks scenes into manageable sections in order that they can immediately apply the teachings to their own manuscripts.
Ready to be an Indie Author? – Steven W. White
You don’t need an agent or a publishing house to make your novel available to readers electronically. You can be the next indie author. Let’s walk through the steps of uploading to the Kindle (via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing) and other electronic readers from the Nook to the iPhone (via Smashwords and others). Learn strategies for formatting and file conversion – it’s easier than it sounds, once you know the basics and a few time-saving tricks.
We will also explore the effects of price and presentation. How much should you charge? Should you hire a cover artist? Is “product description” the same as jacket copy? What about reader reviews? And what in the world are also-boughts? Indie author Steven W. White will pass on what he’s learned through trial and error, so you’ll know what works and what doesn’t.
Literary Agent Group Pitch Session – Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
This session will bring together a small group of writers to share their novel or nonfiction book concept with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg in a group setting. If you have a concept and perhaps a start on writing your novel or nonfiction book, but do not have a completed draft, you may sign up for this session. This sesson is not for screenplays, poetry, essays or short stories. In the session, the attendees will each give a 3-4 line summary of the manuscript, including:
- Whether fiction or nonficiton
- For fiction: specify commercial fiction, literary fiction or, if genre, which one. Please know your genre.
- A very brief summary pitch telling the story concept.
Ms. van Hylckama Vlieg will hear all the pitches and then make comments about each of them. This is a unique opportunity to hear specific professional feedback on both your project and your pitch from a literary agent, and is designed for those whose manuscripts are not quite ready for a one-on-one agent pitch. To read more about our literary agent and how to choose between this session or a one-on-one pitch appointment, click here.
Session Three Book Signing in Lobby – Robert Dugoni, Jennifer Lauck, Derek Sheffield
Saturday – Session 4
Writing the Hidden Story (YA Writing) – Katherine Grace Bond
Your YA novel characters live and breathe because of a hidden story—one you must go deep within to find. Discover the story you didn’t know you were writing and see how it can transform you—and your reader.
This workshop will focus on “mining your life”—both as an adult and as an adolescent–to find the connection point between you and your story. We’ll look at the work of several contemporary YA authors and learn how their own feelings and experiences informed specific aspects of their books. You’ll reflect on ideas and life events that hold “story power” for you, and discover techniques for bringing deeper authenticity to your characters, while still allowing them to be their own unique and separate selves.
Let’s Get Digital (the Marketplace) – Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
A look into today’s fiction market with the big six publishers and new digital first publishers. Our visiting agent will cover what’s going on in adult and kid-lit fields, including traditional as well as e-publishing. She will also share her perspective on what the Random/Penguin merger means for writers.
The Perfect Proposal (Nonfiction Book) – Karen Fisher-Alaniz
We’ve all heard people say that writing the book was a piece of cake compared to writing the book proposal. There’s so much information out there about how to write one that it’s no wonder writers either drag through every word they write, or they give up before they even start. It doesn’t have to be that way. Writing a book proposal is really quite simple, and dare I say…fun…when framed the right way. A book proposal is much like a marriage proposal; you want to have everything lined up just so, so you have the highest probability that the guy or gal of your dreams will answer with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” In the hands-on portion of the workshop, you will learn and practice the six elements you need to include in your proposal, and you’ll learn about the six things you should never, ever do. Writing a book proposal doesn’t have to be drudgery. In fact, it’s empowering. After all, it’s the final step to getting your book into the hands of an agent or editor who will love it as much as you do.
Book Signing in the Lobby with Snacks following Session Four – Katherine Grace Bond, Karen Fisher-Alaniz
Special Saturday Session:
Young Adult Writers: A Special Fiction Workshop (for grades 9-12 only)
Creating Fiction Using Ingredients You Already Have in Your Own Brain – Katherine Grace Bond
Is your cat really an alien collecting information to beam back to his ship? Are you actually famous, but you’re living in disguise so you can defeat the enemy before she destroys the planet? You may be a writer.
Take heart, you are not alone! Some people even get paid to do this. In this workshop, we’ll use hands-on exercises–like creating an ideas-web and participating in a character interview–to capture stories before they get away. You’ll learn basic storytelling techniques, finding ways to gather plot ideas, create unique and believable characters, and find hidden details that will bring your scenes to life. You’ll create scenes based on what you’ve learned and (if you like) share your work.
Special Note: All entrants in our High School Writers’ Competition can automatically attend this special Youth Session!
Sunday – Intensive 3-Hour Workshop
Creating Plots for Page Turners – Robert Dugoni
From your initial query letter to your published novel, the writer must convey that she understands classic story structure. Bob will teach the fundamental relationship between good stories and journeys and use in-class exercises and assignments to help students better understand story structure so they can evaluate their novel’s plot. Students will also be better equipped to make educated choices on such things as the opening chapter, to make critical judgments about the middle of their book, and to ensure that the ending brings into collision the forces the writer has set in motion to deliver an emotionally satisfying conclusion.
Join us for this in-depth exploration of the traditional structure of the novel from New York Times best selling author, Robert Dugoni.
Comprehensive Conference Events Schedule:
|FRIDAY6:30 p.m.||Keynote and Book Signing – J.A. Jance Wenatchee Community Center 504 South Chelan Ave|
|8 – 9:00 a.m.||Registration – Wenatchi Hall|
|9 – 9:20||Awards Ceremony – Campus theater|
|Session One9:30-10:45||Crafting a Killer First Page- Ray Rhamey||The Writer Entrepreneur- Jason Brick||Marketing for Indie Authors- Steven White||High School Workshop(9:30-11:30)- Katherine Grace Bond|
|Session Two11:00- 12:15||Compressing Time in Nonfiction- Jennifer Lauck||Writing to Sell without Selling Out- Tom Miller Juvik|
|12:15 – 1:45||LUNCH – Van Tassell Cafeteria Brown Bag Sessions:
Nonfiction Roundtable – Gary Luke
Why We Publish Our Poems and Where – Derek Sheffield
Signings in lunch room: Ray Rhamey, Jennifer Lauck
|Session Three1:45 – 3:00||Playing God: Creating Memorable Characters- Robert Dugoni||Vivid Scenes in Seven Steps (nonfiction)- Jennifer Lauck||Ready to be an Indie Author?- Steven White||Agent Group Session- Pam van Hycklama Vlieg|
|Session Four3:15 – 4:30||Writing the Hidden Story (YA writing)- Katherine Grace Bond||Let’s Get Digital (the marketplace)- Pam van Hycklama Vlieg||The Perfect Proposal (nonfiction book)- Karen Fisher-Alaniz|
|4:30 – 5:15||Reception with snacks + Session Four book signing in lobby: Sheffield, Bond, Fisher-Alaniz, Dugoni|
|9 a.m. – 12:15||INTENSIVE WORKSHOP: Creating Plot for Page Turners- Robert Dugoni|