Here’s a sneak peek at conference presenters with descriptions in their own words. We’ll be posting a teaser page each Monday. You still have time to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount.
Tessa Emily Hall – How to Sell Your Book to an Agent: What to Do and What to Avoid
You’ve spent months, if not years, writing and polishing your manuscript to perfection. It’s finally time to send it off to agents! You have no doubt they will spot your storytelling gift immediately and beg for you to send the manuscript their way.
After making a list of prospective agents, you write your query letter—and then off your submission goes into the publishing world.
But the responses don’t roll in like you had expected. In fact, days go by. Then a week.
Finally, an email pops into your inbox. An agent! You open the email, preparing for the glowing response . . . but it’s not the manuscript request that you had expected. Instead, it’s a rejection letter.
Does this sound familiar? It’s no secret: The submission process to a literary agent is often just as hard as writing the book itself. The competition is tough, and the slush piles are high. An agent could fall in love with your writing, storytelling ability, and still feel as though he/she would not be a good fit for you.
So how can you, an aspiring author, capture the attention of an agent? Is it possible to write a query letter in such a way that your email rises to the top of their submissions pile? And finally, is there a reason for all of these rejections—and what can you do to decrease your chances of receiving one?
In my workshop, How to Sell Your Book to an Agent: What to Do and What to Avoid, I will discuss the answers to all of these questions and share secrets on how you can stand out. You will learn how to properly submit to a literary agent in a way that has the agent begging for more.
That way, you will someday receive that manuscript request you have been waiting for.
Kim Peterson – Developing a Strong Supporting Cast of Secondary Characters
From the moment Anne of Green Gables smashes her slate over Gilbert Blythe’s head, their competition makes her stronger, faster, smarter and, eventually, a better person. Readers wouldn’t understand Anne half so well without Gilbert Blythe. That’s the purpose of memorable secondary characters: Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley give insight into Harry Potter, Hector Zeroni knows the truth behind Stanley Yelnats’ innocence long before Stanley does, and Dorothy wouldn’t have made it home without the rather-smart Scarecrow, the compassionate Tin Man, and the Lion who truly is the King of the Forest. Learn to craft compelling secondary characters that make your protagonist unforgettable, without stealing the show.
Vijaya Bodach’s Workshop – Writing Memoir for Kids (Part I): Techniques
Learn some basic techniques of writing memoir for kids. Think back to your childhood. Begin with: I remember…my favorite place, my best friend, my favorite game. Go. Give yourself 5 min for each. Now write: I don’t remember…Wait, you say, how can I write something I don’t remember? We often suppress difficult times, but you’ll be surprised how much you remember if you allow yourself to. I don’t remember…the kid who was mean to me; the time I lied to my parents about…; when my pet went missing…Go. Give yourself another 5 minutes for each. These and other exercises will develop your memoir techniques.
Lori Hatcher’s Workshop – Ten Ways to Charm an Editor
As a writer and a magazine editor, I’ve sat on both sides of the editorial desk. I’ve received rejections letters and I’ve sent them. Over the years I’ve identified six sure-fire ways to earn points with your editors and four mistakes to doom your submission to the shredder. I’ve also learned that editors are not God. It’s okay (and sometimes necessary) to disagree with them. We’ll talk about why and how to do this and still maintain a positive relationship. In this fast-paced workshop, I’ll give you a sneak peek into the mind of an editor and share proven tips to help your editors say YES to your next submission.
Attention Teens! – Brenda Covert – Poetry Workshop: Playing with Words
Question: What do an eraser, paint chips, and Africa have in common?
Answer: They are all inspiration for the poetry teens will write in the Playing with Words workshop!
Brenda Covert’s interactive poetry workshop will help teen poets refine their creative voice as they learn to write 3 different types of poems. Students will also have a chance to share their work in class. Whether a student has yet to write a poem or has written volumes, all are welcome to come have fun playing with words!
Are you making a list of the workshops you want to attend at the conference? Leave a comment about your favorites. Then subscribe to the Write2Ignite newsletter (link on the right side) and share this post on social media. You will earn one, two, or three chances to win Vijaya Bodach’s YA novel Bound. Bring your winning copy to the conference for Vijaya to sign. She will be presenting three fabulous workshops during the conference.
Contest ends August 17. The winner will be announced on next Monday’s teaser blog — so enter soon!