WestCoast Writers Conference Production Logo The Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference Logo
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The Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference includes workshops for Aspiring, Active and Accomplished writers of books and screenplays. Each topic offers an educational and inspirational experience in a stream of learning that progresses all weekend. This methodology allows you to participate and learn at a comfortable level and speed with peers of similar interests and disciplines.Register Now!

2020 Enhanced Schedule: Rather than a typical multi-track event with workshops concurrently opposite each other, in a unique first, this virtual event will present the program in a consecutive manner. Instead of being limited to attend only of 1/4 of the event, you will be able to attend virtually
everything from August 07-08-09-10-11-12-13-14-15.

This means More New Topics • More Speakers • More Agents and Publishers!
Friday August 7th
6:00
(PDT)
How to Use Technology for the Virtual Conference

Live tutorial to help you enjoy the conference more. Learn how to personalize Zoom for the event, and ask questions.

Nic Nelson
(Expert presentation)


Click to Link to Event
7:00 pm Welcome and Opening Remarks

Is this the New Normal? And how you can thrive and benefit from this event.

Tony N Todaro,
Executive Director

Click to Link to Event
7:30 7 Things Every Writer Needs to Become an Author
About 200 million people in the US have an idea for a book, yet most never become an author. In this helpful webinar, Keith Ogorek shares seven key things he has learned from working with hundreds of writers and authors so that you don’t end up with an idea and unfinished manuscript instead a copy of your book. He will share:  
  • the most important thing every writer needs to do
  • the keys to turning your idea into a compelling fiction or non-fiction book
  • how to create a plan to get to your goal
  • the importance of constructive feedback and the risks of unqualified opinions
  • So if you are still working to get to your goal, or know someone who is, you don’t want to miss this webinar.

Keith Ogorek
President of The
Author Learning Center

 

 

Click to Link to Event
Saturday August 8th
8:00 am
(PDT)

Writers Digital Coffee Klatch

A very popular event at our conferences is the opportunity to gather with popular author / editor / educator / screenwriter Art Holcomb for a round-table discussion + Q&A on the craft of writing. Even though we are meeting virtually, attendees can still participate in this popular event, updated into a coffee klatch. Just click up the link (to be provided to attendees) and have a leisurely coffee and networking discussion with Art. We will even include coffee packs in the swag bags we are sending by mail in advance of the event)  

Art Holcomb

 

 

Click to Link to Event
9:30 Saturday Orientation and update

Tony N Todaro &
Event Officials

Click to Link to Event

10:00 

How To Pitch an Agent or Publisher
 You've spent a year or more working on a great novel and now you feel it's ready to be shared with the world. Naturally, the first step is to pitch literary agents and find one who shares your passion for the work and is willing to sign you. While many authors submit countless query letters and emails -- without result, a few wise souls know that agents often look to conferences as a source for new talented writers. It is a unique window to have your work considered firsthand. But what do you say? How do you present yourself and your manuscript in order to have them ask for more?

This panel of agents, editors, and publishers du jour will discuss what they expect and answer your questions. This is an opportunity to hear what each agent needs in order to make a decision. Listen well, then rehearse before scheduling a pitch session with any or all of them later any day at the conference.

Paul S. Levine
Steven Hutson
Courtney Miller-Callihan
Ken Sherman

Tony N Todaro (M)

 

 

Click to Link to Event
11:30

Stimulating Your Muse
Where do Great Ideas Come From?

How do you get that great idea from a few words jotted down in a notebook (or at the top of a document on your screen) into a fleshed out plot development, story line, outline, or dialogue.

The panelists will share their muse goosing tricks with you. How to expand your ideas - from creating a framework to including details, from the physical to the emotional. Including senses, sounds, smells, sights. Learn simple and effective tools to complete your project, any project—on time and in joy!

 

Helga Schier
W. Craig Reed
Paul D. Marks
Debra Eckerling
Sara Anne Fox

Nic Nelson-(M)

 

 

Click to Link to Event
12:45 pm Getting Ghosted

What does a ghostwriter really do? Does your manuscript need a ghostwriter or an editor? Does it need both? Explore the ins and outs of ghostwriting and find out if this level of book development is right for you. This intimate conversation will answer your questions and help you determine if you need a ghostwriter, an editor, or more.

Jennifer Thomas,
and Bill Hayes
Desiree Duffy (M),
Founder of
Black Château Enterprises

 

Click to Link to Event
2:00

From Cliffhangers to the Art of the Crawl:
Increase Your Novel’s Impact on Your Readers

It’s a sense of urgency that drives all fiction. A common misconception has it that urgency is unique to thrillers and always a function of a fast pace, when in fact, sometimes slowing things down rather than speeding things up will have your readers sit at the edge of their seatsin any genre. This session will explore tips that help you create the forward momentum that makes readers turn the pages of your thriller, romance, literary novel and even your memoir.

Join editor Helga Schier for a talk about cliffhangers, cutting to the chase, masking and unmasking clues, about slowing things down during pivotal moments, and about pacing and racing to the end.

Helga Schier, PhD

 

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
3:15

Bringing the World of Your Novel Alive as a Character (World-building)

When you hear the term “worldbuilding,” what comes to mind?

According to The Writer Life, it might be George Lucas’ classic Star Wars universe; for others, perhaps it’s the sprawling, gritty world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the not-so-distant future of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, or the richly detailed Middle-earth of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

An author creating his story’s world has the power to develop it in every way. What will the world look like? How different is it from our own? What new and interesting creatures will inhabit it? What will the people be like? What about the cities and landscape?

Considering these elements is crucial to creating an interesting, engaging and believable world — in any genre, not just fantasy or science fiction.

W. Craig Reed
Andy Peloquin
Chrome Oxide
A.E. Wasserman
Dennis Cherry (M)

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
4:30 Are You a Plotter or a Pants-er? What works and Why?

To outline or not to outline…that is the (much-debated) question. As a writer you may feel like you’re on team outliner (or plotter) or on team “pantser.” Maybe you haven’t decided which side to join. If you haven’t decided which side you’re on or aren’t sure how to make the best use of either tool, let this panel of professionals share their methods, to help discover what will work best for you!

Paul D. Marks
Debra Eckerling
Deanna Brady
Dennis Cherry
Sara Anne Fox - (M)

 

Click to Link to Event

5:45 Character Arcs – The Lifeblood of Your Story

How can strong character arcs shape your story? In this workshop,  we’ll discuss how your characters’ transitions, setbacks, and overall growth can make your story dynamic and keep the reader engaged.  An in-depth examination of your characters’ story journey will help ignite your creativity. Models from literature, film, and television will be used to illustrate best practices in character development.

Please prepare a short description of one of your character’s arcs to the workshop in order to initiate meaningful discussion.

John Henry Davis

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
7:00 - ?

Read and Critique Workshop - Fiction

Would you like feedback on your work additional to the quick pitch meeting? What is it like to work with a critique group of good, focused writers?

This is an opportunity for registered attendees to participate in a live editing of their work-in-progress. Fuel up on caffeine, drink and words, and join us for Renegade Late Night Read & Critique.  It is an amazing creative experience — not to be missed.


Have 3 to 5 pages of your manuscript to read and share, and enjoy the feedback exchange!

Marco Subias

 

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
  1 on-1 Pitch Meets with Agents, Scouts, Editors, and Publishers

Aug. 7-15
Subject to
individuals
availability

Meet editors, agents and/or publishers for a personal consultation to pitch, discuss and improve pre-submitted pages of your manuscript. Schedule an appointment at the Registration Desk. Some editors may take new submissions on site. A separate fee applies to ProCritque and Masters ProCritique consultations. Some agents do not read or edit material in advance. Consult the wcwriters.com website for details.

We recommend you attend the "How to Pitch" sessions in order to help identify the best professionals for your individual genre and work.

Reserve a calendar appointment
by calling the
"1-on-1 Desk"
at 310.379.2650

Meetings are held online
in confidence

Sunday August 9, 2020
10:00

How To Pitch an Agent or Publisher

 You've spent a year or more working on a great novel and now you feel it's ready to be shared with the world. Naturally, the first step is to pitch literary agents and find one who shares your passion for the work and is willing to sign you. While many authors submit countless query letters and emails -- without result, a few wise souls know that agents often look to conferences as a source for new talented writers. It is a unique window to have your work considered firsthand. But what do you say? How do you present yourself and your manuscript in order to have them ask for more?

This panel of agents, editors, and publishers du jour will discuss what they expect and answer your questions. This is an opportunity to hear what each agent needs in order to make a decision. Listen well, then rehearse before scheduling a pitch session with any or all of them later any day at the conference.

Sue Arroyo
Publisher,
Cam-Cat Publishing

Andy Zhang
Publisher,
Aberdeen Bay

Toni Robino
Agent Scout, Editor

Tony N Todaro (M)

 

Click to Link to Event

11:15   Your Story as a Whole – the Helicopter View

In an overhead shot in a film, you can see the whole terrain under you. In the same way, we’re going to look at the overall shape of your story, by focusing on the elements of point of view, themes, tone, and structure.  Some questions we’ll ask include the following: What are you trying to say? How does your story succeed in communicating its themes? What elements of plot and character can help you tell your particular tale? Does your ending have a strong relationship to your beginning?

Please bring an elevator pitch of your story to the workshop to help us focus on your complete narrative.


John Henry Davis

Click to Link to Event
12:45 pm The Art & Science of Writing a Novel-Based Series
All novelists -  as well as all publishers  - dream of a successful series that can build a profitable and dedicated audience.  But most aspiring writers fail at this because they do not understand how a series is radically different from a stand alone novel.  In this session, Story Expert Art Holcomb will show you:
  • Why your world is the most important character in your series
  • How understanding Fractal Storytelling is the key to a vibrant series
  • How to craft a Central Question that gives life to each individual book
  • What your reader demand from a series - that they cannot get from any standalone novel
  • How to tell whether your idea is good enough to build a series around

Art Holcomb

 

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
2:00 How to Self-Edit and When to Hire a Pro
One of the first things writers learn is the vital importance of hiring a professional editor to copyedit and proofread your work before submitting it to a contest, an agent, or an acquisitions editor. But then you notice that many seasoned writers edit their own manuscripts... 
How do you approach editing your own work? When should you hire a pro? Veteran editor and owner of Wordsmith Writing Coaches will show you the best paths to success.

 

Nic Nelson

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
3:15 Creating Compelling Characters

What does it take for a book to capture the public’s imagination?  In addition to a good (really, a compelling) high concept story, it takes an interesting and believable plot, and it takes characters – good and bad – whom the reader sees as real people – not stick-figure caricatures.  Based on the compelling weight of evidence in reviews and especially in reader’s comments (more on that in a moment) Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor met that mark.

Learn to master this essential skill from two NY Times Best-selling Authors

New York Times
Best-selling Authors


George Galdorisi
 

W. Craig Reed

Click to Link to Event
4:30 Writing the Perfect Query Letter

You've spent six months to a year developing your new book. Now it's time to find a literary agent or publisher who will deliver it to the public. However, the first item that potential acquisitions professionals want is a query letter. But how do you condense a year's work into three paragraphs on one sheet of paper? This need not be a daunting document. In this workshop, you will learn how to craft a query letter that sells you and your work. This workshop is intended primarily for authors of fiction, but all paid attendees are welcome to participate.

Plus, selected members of the audience will have a chance to read theirs out loud and have them critiqued on the spot.


Steven Huston,
Wordwise Literary

Click to Link to Event
5:45

Read and Critique Workshop - Nonfiction

Would you like feedback on your work additional to the quick pitch meeting? What is it like to work with a critique group of good, focused writers?

This is an opportunity for registered attendees to participate in a live editing of their work-in-progress. Fuel up on caffeine, drink and words, and join us for Renegade Late Night Read & Critique.  It is an amazing creative experience — not to be missed.


Prepare 3 to 5 pages of your manuscript to read and share, and enjoy the feedback exchange!

Marco Subias (M)

 

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event

Monday August 10

New York Times
Best-selling Authors

5:00 pm
(PDT)

The Science of Storytelling

Join #1 New York Times bestselling author James Rollins and New York Times bestselling author and neuroscience expert, W. Craig Reed, for an entertaining and exciting look at how stories affect your readers at a primal level and how to harness that power for your own writing. You will learn how the latest research on brain science can help you create characters that leap off the page and build plots that sizzle. You will also learn how to use neuroscience profiling to create sympathetic characters, riveting plots, engaging dialog, visual settings, and spine-tingling tension. Also learn how to use this science to appeal to specific target markets.

William Craig Reed is the author of the non-fiction books The Seven Secrets of Neuron-Leadership: What Military Commanders, Neuroscientists, and the Ancient Greeks Teach Us About Inspiring Teams (Wiley, 2017) and the critically acclaimed Red November: Inside the Secret U.S. – Soviet Submarine War (HarperCollins, 2010). Also, the novel The Eagle and the Snake: A SEAL Team Six Interactive Thriller (Diversion, 2012). He is the co-author of Tarzan, My Father (ECW Press, 2002) with the late Johnny Weissmuller, Jr. Reed served as a U.S. Navy qualified submariner, SpecOp photographer, and submarine diver.* He earned commendations for completing secret missions during the Cold War and is one of only a few authors invited by the U.S. Navy to observe Ice Exercise (ICEX) submarine operations in the Arctic and submerge beneath the ice. Reed is an alumnus or member of numerous military, veteran, and technology associations, allowing him to reach an audience of millions.

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author James Rollins is the author of the bestselling Sigma Force series Sandstorm, Map of Bones, Black Order, The Judas Strain, The Last Oracle, The Doomsday Key, The Devil Colony, Bloodline, The Eye of God, The 6th Extinction, The Seventh Plague, and The Demon Crown; six individual adventure thrillers; the blockbuster movie novelization, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; the Tucker Wayne Series; the Order of the Sanguines Series; and the Jake Ransom middle grade series.


James Rollins

 
W. Craig Reed

 

Click to Link to Event
   
6:15
(PDT)

Writing Your Script for Maximum Sales Potential

Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Shane Stanley the practicalities of writing the script that will get jump start your career. Whether it is for finding an agent; getting a studio deal; or starting your independent career, Shane goes through the steps needed to write your project based on your career objective. We will, however, focus primarily on indie films because that is an area of the business that is ready for a renaissance.

If time permits, Shane will listen to your idea and give you some suggestions on how you might best address some of your challenges.

Shane Stanley
Dan Watanabe

 

 

Click to Link to Event

7:30 Can You Hear Me Now?
Developing the Writer’s Voice for Screenwriters and Novelists

A writer with “a voice” is one of the most sought after qualities by industry professionals because we know it means they are on the path to a successful career.  A developed voice is distinctive, evocative, specific, intentional, confident, and expresses the writer’s point of view.  Discover the qualities that define a writer’s voice and use them to elevate your writing.  Uncover your Personal Thematic and how to use it to drive your story, inspire your writing and draw audiences.  Learn to focus and develop your voice and elevate your work to the next level.

Benefits:

  • Grasp the Seven Qualities of a Writers Voice
  • Identify Your Writing Strengths
  • Discover your Personal Thematic
  • Turn up the volume on your writing to make the pros eager to meet you, work with you, and learn what you’re writing next.  Become a writer we want to know.

Barri Evins
Barri Evins

 

Click to Link to Event
8:45

Making the Deal

After many meetings, networking groups, and conversations, you have finally gotten The Phone Call (or The E-Mail) that says, “yes, we want to make a deal for your project.” What do you do next? What are some of the things you should know before entering into negotiations? What are things you need to retain? What should you be willing to give up? How do you behave “in the room?” What kind of representation should you bring to the table? Independent filmmaker Shane Stanley along with more two industry veterans goes over the process of negotiation and gives you useful hints to make sure you maximize your upside… without causing the other side to leave the table.

Shane Stanley
Dan Watanabe
Jonathan Arnold, Esq.

 

 

Click to Link to Event

Tuesday August 11
5:00 pm
(PDT)

The Top 5 Things a Successful Author Must Do
Based on our years of history working with over 70 published authors, we will lead the discussion of how successful authors are able to stay connected with readers, inspire others, while making a great impact.

Attendees and active authors are welcome to ask questions during this session and one of our published authors will discuss her work.

Andy Zhang,
Publisher, Aberdeen Bay
plus his panel

 

Click to Link to Event
6:15

The Business of Writing

This panel of attorneys and industry experts will discuss everything from copyrights, trademarks, to ISBN numbers, and print on demand contracts.

Paul S. Levine,
Jonathan Arnold, Esq.
Greg Victoroff

Tony N Todaro (M)

Click to Link to Event
7:30

How to Fund a Book with Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a cruel mistress. On one hand, it's given creatives the ability to launch products directly to their audience. On the other, the competition is fierce and launching a successful project gets harder each and every day.

Even worse, every minute you waste is a minute you fall further behind your peers.  Luckily, there's a ton of information on how to succeed on Kickstarter. Join USA Today bestselling Author Russell Nohelty, who has raised over $180,000 for publishing projects on Kickstarter, as he goes through the ins and outs on how to crush it on Kickstarter. 

Russell Nohelty

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
Wednesday August 12
5:00 pm
(PDT)

How to Conceptualize a Highly Marketable Nonfiction Book

Learn the essential steps to conceptualize and plan a nonfiction book that agents want to represent and publishers want to buy.

W. Craig Reed
Toni Robino
Paul S. Levine

Nic Nelson (M)

Click to Link to Event
6:15

Legal Issues and Clearances for Memoirs and Biographies

"It's my story, why can't I tell it the way I want?"

Telling your own story is one thing; telling stories about other actual living people is quite another, especially when you are not a journalist.

Learn how to navigate the legal minefield of memoir and biography so that you can indeed tell your story—in a way that is publishable. Time permitting, questions will be answered.

Paul S. Levine

 

 

Click to Link to Event

7:30 How to Write A Memoir that People Besides Your Family Want Read

What makes “Eat, Pray, Love,” “The Liar’s Club” or “Angela’s Ashes” garner dazzling reviews or make readers weep or howl with laughter? How do you impose order on a thousand memories? Why is it important to resist the temptation to summarize your life?

In this workshop, we’ll identify what makes great memoirs unforgettable, as well as identify moments from your own life: the lowest ebb, the most unusual, shattering, funny or triumphant incidents that reveal your character and move readers. We will also discuss how to write a memoir/autobiography for a friend or client/celebrity.

Judith Fein,
Sherry Glaser,
Thomas Allbaugh

Marlan Warren (M)

 

Click to Link to Event

8:45  

Writing in the Age of a Reckoning with Race and Racism in America

Amid a reckoning with race, racism, unconscious bias, and other issues that challenge notions of equality and justice, America is looking for more content on these issues. The demand is not limited to writers of color. Everyone is part of or should be part of these difficult conversations about race.

Dr. Raye Mitchell, Esq.

 

Sorry, postponed. Will reschedule another time
Thursday August 13
5:00 pm
(PDT)

Why Social Networking And Book Publicity
is More Important Than Ever!

These days, it isn’t enough for an author to have a website for a book – a digital storefront extends to social media markets like Facebook and Twitter, and it’s time to start capitalizing on you as a brand in the marketplace. If you don't have social media accounts, it’s time to get with the program and bring yourself up to speed with this important marketing tool and strategy. A panel of authors and social media experts will explain the "why's" and "how's" that lead to a solid platform as an author, and success selling of your books.

Sara Anne Fox
Debra Eckerling
Amy Reiley

Darice Fisher (M)

 

Click to Link to Event

6:15 

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon

Amazon is a great place to sell books, but most authors (and publishers) under utilize the free systems Amazon offers. Metadata, keywords, and Amazon’s back end systems are also something that are often misunderstood, and underused. This deep dive class will dig into all of the pieces that Amazon has to help you sell more books.

Penny C. Sansevieri

 

Click to Link to Event
7:30

How to Build An Audience (of Readers) from Scratch

Are you a writer who's sick of agonizing to make enough money? Have you spent years banging your head against a brick wall, trying to make it work with little success to show for it? Are you struggling to connect with a fan base of excited readers? Join this USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR as he teaches you how to grow a rabid audience hungry to buy your products without feeling gross about it!

Russell Nohelty

 

 

Click to Link to Event
Friday August 14
5:00 pm
(PDT)

The Risks and Rewards of Fan Fiction

The fan fiction universe offers writers opportunities to apply their skills to popular books, adapting existing characters, plots and settings, to create new stories and books. But the legal lines between infringement and homage are not bright and depend on the particular book, author, publisher, studio and country of publication. Some authors and film studios encourage fan fiction; others sue over it.

Copyright and intellectual property lawyer Greg Victoroff, www.victoroff-law.com, will discuss the risks and rewards of this exciting channel of transformative expression, helping writers safely navigate the minefield of copyright, trademark and other legal issues in an interactive presentation including audience questions and answers.

Greg Victoroff, Esq.

Copyright and Intellectual Property Lawyer

 

Click to Link to Event
6:15

Your Brain on Speculative Fiction
Why Do People Read and Write This Stuff?

An exploration of the psychology and allure of speculative fiction. Why do we want to read about future worlds gone awry? Why do we enjoy getting lost in techno thrillers, fantasy, science fiction and more?This conversation with several writers will delve into the reasons speculative fiction stimulates our minds and morality.

Scott Brody
Edgar Scott
Ryan Southwick
Dr. Raye Mitchell, Esq.
Lon Vanadore
Desireé Duffy (M)

 

Click to Link to Event
7:30

Defining New Horizons - Is Speculative Fiction a Saturated Genre?

What is the future of Science Fiction and Fantasy? Are the genres fading? Are writers running out of ideas? Have audiences grown tired of the same old thing? This panel of award winning and best selling authors will discuss and hopefully shed new light for all fans and readers.

All-Star & Bestsellers

Sheila Finch
Laurel Anne Hill
Barbara Hambly

Marco Subias (M)

Click to Link to Event

Program Note:

Don't miss: Star Wars Memories: My Time In The (Death Star) Trenches with Craig Miller
moved to Saturday Aug 15, 2020 11:15 am pacific time!

  1 on-1 Pitch Meets with Agents, Scouts, Editors, and Publishers
Aug. 7-15
Subject to individuals availability

Meet editors, agents and/or publishers for a personal consultation to pitch, discuss and improve pre-submitted pages of your manuscript. Schedule an appointment at the Registration Desk. Some editors may take new submissions on site. A separate fee applies to ProCritque and Masters ProCritique consultations. Some agents do not read or edit material in advance. Consult the wcwriters.com website for details.

We recommend you attend the "How to Pitch" sessions in order to help identify the best professionals for your individual genre and work.

Reserve a calendar appointment
by calling the
"1-on-1 Desk"
at 310.379.2650

Meetings are held online
in confidence

Saturday August 15th
8:00 am
(PDT)

Writers Digital Coffee Klatch

A very popular event at our conferences is the opportunity to gather with popular author / editor / educator / screenwriter Art Holcomb for a round-table discussion + Q&A on the craft of writing. Even though we are meeting virtually, attendees can still participate in this popular event, updated into a coffee klatch. Just click up the link (to be provided to attendees) and have a leisurely coffee and networking discussion with Art. We will even include coffee packs in the swag bags in advance of the event)

Art Holcomb

 

 

Click to Link to Event
10:00  Self and Indie-Publishing: Is NOW the Time for You to Shine?

The ever-changing landscape of the publishing world may be changing again. This time, it's not due to big publishers merging, a redirection of what books are selling, or even trendy consumer tastes. The worldwide pandemic has caused millions of people to shelter in place with little to do except reach out for new resources of education and entertainment.

And if you are a writer ready to publish, you may be in a quandary about what is the best way to get your story to the greatest number of readers, and perhaps show you a profit in return. And why are more authors shunning the New York mega-publishers for a more personal and possibly more profitable return on their work through Indie or Self-Publishing? This panel of agents, publishers, and industry experts will try to offer clarity to the marketplace and suggestions on possibly the best path for your success as an author.

Sarah Adams
Andy Peloquin
Mandy Jackson-Beverly
Claire McKinney
Angela Marie-Hutchinson
Desiree Duffy (M)

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
11:15 am

Star Wars Memories: My Time In The (Death Star) Trenches

Craig Miller was the original Director of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm, working on "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back". He was a publicist, a writer, an editor, and a producer who wrote press material and articles, created and ran the Official Star Wars Fan Club, oversaw a staff who opened and responded to the seeming tons of fan mail the films received, worked with licensees, created a telephone publicity stunt that accidentally shut down the state of Illinois’ phone system, operated R2-D2, and spent weeks hanging out on the set of "The Empire Strikes Back".

In “Star Wars Memories” he will talk about all of that and more, including Mark Hamill barbecuing him a burger in London, having lunch in a Sunset Strip restaurant with Harrison Ford while he rolled and smoked a joint, and watching Carrie Fisher introduce "The Empire Strikes Back"’s British production crew to tacos. In the words of Gary Kurtz, producer of "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back", “’Star Wars Memories’ gives a look at the original Star Wars films and Lucasfilm from Craig Miller’s unique perspective. His book consists of stories you haven’t heard before; an insider’s look from someone who, himself, is a fan and found the whole experience joyful and exciting. These stories are told in a way that brings you in and makes you feel like you were there.”


Craig Miller
(Solo Spotlight)

 

Click to Link to Event
12:30

Traditional or Self-Publishing: Which is the best option for you?

In this helpful session, Keith will share:

  • The 4 Paths to Publishing available to you today
  • The key differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing
  • What traditional publishers typically look for in books they acquire.
  • How to decide which path is best for you and your book

    Time permitting, he will answer your questions

Keith Ogorek
President of The
Author Learning Center

Click to Link to Event
1:45 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Submitting Your Manuscript:
An Editor’s View of Slush Pile Snafus

If you think you don’t need to worry about submitting your manuscript to agents and publishers until you are done writing it, you are missing great opportunities to improve your work and make it shine. The earlier you know what distinguishes a publishable manuscript, the better your chance of success.

This presentation will look at the 12 questions that guide the acquisitions process in a publishing house, questions you should ask yourself long before you submit.

Helga Schier will briefly touch upon what goes on behind the scenes of a publishing house and discuss how an awareness of submissions procedures can help you write a better manuscript. Fundamentals of the submissions process such as genre or page count or theme or even punctuation are not arbitrary; they are among the elements steering an acquisition editor’s decision – for good reasons we will explore. Knowing how acquisitions editors make their decisions will help you determine if your manuscript develops naturally, if your plot is paced well, if your characters are relatable, and – most importantly – if your work is creative, unique and hence, marketable.

Helga Schier
Helga Schier

 

Click to Link to Event
3:00 Catch a Publisher's Attention & Get Published ! 
During this highly informative and interactive session, we will discuss how our current publishing landscape requires aspiring author to approach a publisher with a very different mindset and strategy than in the past. We first cover a few common mistakes some authors make and how to avoid them from your submission package. Then, we will have one of our published authors providing some valuable insights based on her publishing experience. Don't miss this session if you are interested to get your work published.

Andy Zhang, Publisher

 

Click to Link to Event
4:15

The Path to Publication

The path to publication can seem like a hopeless maze of demands and decisions, all supposedly leading to the same destination, “being published.” But authors often misunderstand the destination—not to mention their platforms, their products, and the tools at their disposal, and how they all interact. We often have trouble picking our way toward publication as every steppingstone shifts underfoot, and we don’t know the criteria that should guide us on this journey.

The perils are real: Losing your rights to your book. Losing creative control over your storyworld. Being derailed by earnest frugality; being sunk by overwhelming costs. Publishing your book into a pit of obscurity, never to be discovered by readers. Or to be found by the wrong readers and bludgeoned with nasty reviews, its bloodied corpse sprawled in the gutter and given a wide berth by all who might scroll by.

This workshop will dispel common myths about author platform, an author’s product (it’s not just your book), and the dreaded word “marketing.” We’ll even take a fresh look at “distribution,” the final step of publishing that is too often ignored altogether. Best of all, you’ll see how all these things fit together into an organic whole, and your own personal path to publication will become much more clear. And if you can’t see all the way from where you are now to where you want to go, you’ll see exactly where the path branches. And you’ll be confident that when you reach that point, you’ll choose wisely.

Nicholas Nelson
Nicholas Nelson

 

 

 

 

Click to Link to Event
5:30
Closing Remarks, Drawing for Prizes Click to Link to Event
6:00
(PDT)
Best wishes for continued success
with your writing!