Schedule and synopses of Conference presentations – September 3, 2016.

Talya Tate Boerner: Marketing, Media & More

8:45 a.m. In today’s competitive market, a well-written book is not always enough to attract a publisher or readers. Talya will discuss not only her personal journey to writing and finding a publisher, but also the top five essential tasks every writer should spend time on while writing that first book. If you’re new to social media, Talya will help you wade through the many choices and provide specific ways to grow your potential audience. Talya’s marketing ideas are fresh, creative, and simple for anyone to implement.

Garry Craig Powell: Write What You Know?

10:15 a.m. After “Show, Don’t Tell”, the most common advice given to writers is “Write what you know”. On the other hand, there are plenty of eminent writers who counsel exactly the opposite: “Write what you don’t know.” So which is best? Could it be that both are over-simplifications?

In this presentation I maintain that the best fiction writers, at any rate, usually write what they know about what they don’t know. That is, they use their personal experience in imaginative ways to explore themes and issues they have not yet made up their minds about. This enables them to maintain a sense of discovery, which makes the writing thrilling for them, and thus for the reader too.

I will give examples from literature, as well as from my own writing, and will include some short writing exercises. Bring and pen and paper!

Cara Brookins: #RaiseMyRoof

1:00 p.m. Cara’s #RaiseMyRoof motivational tour is designed to turn dreamers into doers. Forget everything you’ve heard about taking small steps and playing it safe. If you want big results in your writing career then you’d better take big action. A simple shift in the way you approach writing challenges can change the way you see yourself and your future. Take a leap. Let’s lift the roof off your goals!

Garry Craig Powell:  Reading Like a Writer

2:45 p.m. More and more writers go to college to study writing, and a whole industry has grown to fulfill the demand. However, until very recently in history, no writers studied creative writing.

So how did they learn? The answer, of course, is by writing—and by reading. In this segment I argue that the single greatest impediment to writers progressing in their craft is that they haven’t read enough, and they haven’t read in the right way.

I will give you tips on whom you should read, and perhaps more importantly, on how you should read. You can learn just as much by doing this—and far more cheaply—than by doing a Master of Fine Arts at a university. (I know because I teach on one of these programs!) We’ll examine at least one extract from a short story, and read it closely, to see what we can learn from it.

If you become a better reader, you will become a better writer