Conference Tracks

How to Write

How to Publish

Specific Topics

We have two distinct paths for attendees of this year’s Writers’ Institute – the first is a concentration on the craft of writing – HOW TO WRITE, and the second path explodes the many options a writer has to realize their publishing goals – HOW TO PUBLISH.

Additionally, we have a breakdown of the SPECIFIC TOPICS addressed throughout the entire conference. Please scroll down for all of these lists.


How to Write

  • Writing Masterful Scenes – Ann Garvin and Tim Storm, Thursday morning
  • First Draft to a Publishing Contract (with ten self-editing tips) – Nick Chiarkas, Thursday morning
  • The 3 Keys to Plotting Your Book – Ann Garvin MASTER CLASS, Thursday afternoon
  • Your First Five Pages: How to Hook Readers and Keep Them Turning Pages – Angela Rydell MASTER CLASS, Thursday afternoon
  • How to Get Tension on Every Page – Tim Storm MASTER CLASS, Thursday afternoon
  • Navigating Cross-Cultural Boundaries as a Writer – Coleman, Thursday afternoon
  • Editing vs Proofing – Christine Keleny, Thursday afternoon
  • A Journey in Small Steps: Applying Kaizen Techniques and Principles to the Work of Writing – Sarah Sadie, Thursday afternoon
  • The Dreaded Sag: Facelift Your Scenes with the Five Core Components of Scene Structure – r. r. Campbell, Thursday afternoon
  • A Literary Agent Reveals the Biggest Pitfalls Writers Miss in Revision – Steven Salpeter, Thursday evening
  • Jane Friedman Keynote, Friday morning
  • Writing Across Racial and Cultural Differences – Judith Adrian and Donna Hart-Tervalon, Friday morning
  • Mistakes Were Made – 5 Lessons Learned – Nick Chiarkas, Friday morning
  • “I don’t know what to do with my hands” – Touching Up Scenes for Characterization, Theme, and Backstory – r.r. Campbell, Friday morning
  • Building Suspense – Libby Fischer Hellmann MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • The Stoplight Strategy: A Three-Part Method for Revising A Full Rough Draft and Putting an End to the Overwhelm of Rewriting – Jennie Nash MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • Developing Your Voice: Going From Modern Biblical to Shakas and Surfing – Barbara Britton , Friday afternoon
  • Bring Back the Thrill! Making Your Creations Fun Again –  Silvia Acevedo, Friday afternoon
  • Worldbuilding: How to create rich worlds, edit the setting in your novel, and turn ideas into fiction – Joanna Hathaway, Friday evening
  • “Yes, and–” Improvisation and the Page – r.r. Campbell, Friday evening
  • Jennie Nash Keynote, Saturday morning
  • Elements of Creating Characters and Conflict: Inner Struggles and Outer Battles – Joanna Hathaway, Saturday morning
  • Writing Books In a Busy Life Panel – Heather Shumaker, Silvia Acevedo, Jim Papandrea, Saturday morning
  • Putting the Story in History: Researching and Writing Historical Fiction – Debra Brenegan, Saturday morning
  • Setting: Where Are We Anyway? Debra Brenegan, Saturday morning
  • How to Rock the Opening of Your Novel – Barbara Britton, Saturday morning
  • Add Wonderment to Your Prose – Jim Papandrea, Saturday morning
  • Make the Impossible Possible: How to Create a Fresh and Vivid World – Kat Falls, Saturday morning
  • Writing for Diversity – Heather Shumaker and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon
  • Cast Your Setting as a Character – Julie Holmes, Saturday afternoon
  • The Art of the Interview: How to Interview Subjects for your Nonfiction or Fiction Books – Shannon Henry Kleiber, Saturday afternoon
  • Conflict Scenes in Memoir Writing? Write Tough Memories in 3 Easy Steps – Sue Roupp, Saturday afternoon
  • Harness Your Inner Child and Handling the Taboo in Children’s Writing: Writing for the Young Adult and Middle Grade Markets – Kat Falls and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon
  • I See Your Point of View – Julie Holmes, Saturday afternoon
  • Outlining is for Everyone! – Jim Papandrea, Saturday afternoon
  • How to be Funny (Even if you think you’re not) – Kat Falls, Saturday afternoon
  • Keep Your Story Straight – Series Writing – Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon

 


How to Publish

  • The 1-hour Online Marketing Plan – 8 Steps to Reach Your Readers Online – Celeste Anton, Thursday morning
  • Podcasts as Portals: Platform, Publicity, and Passive Learning – r.r. Campbell, Thursday morning
  • Pitch Your Best Pitch Workshop – Jeff Kurz, Thursday afternoon
  • Create. Connect. Ignite: A Digital Brand Cheat Sheet – Rachel Werner, Thursday afternoon
  • Managing Book Production Services: What Questions Should Be Asked? – Lori Martinsek, Thursday afternoon
  • Writers and Bookstores: An Inside Look at How Writers Can Improve Their Sales – Joanne Berg, Thursday evening
  • Author Publishing: Teamwork in Action – Anne Davidson Keller, Jeanne Gomoll, Joy Shields, Friday morning
  • Jane Friedman Keynote, Friday morning
  • What Makes a Great Author Website – Celeste Anton, Friday morning
  • Agent and Editor Q & As – Various, Friday, Saturday
  • Agent and Editor Pitches – Various, Friday, Saturday
  • Practice Pitches – Jeff Kurz, Kristin Oakley, Nick Chiarkas, Sue Roupp
  • Different Ways to Publish Including Traditional and Self-Publishing – Libby Fischer Hellmann, Christine Keleny, Rex Owens, Friday morning
  • Getting Your Book Published – The Ins and Outs of Traditional Publishing and Indie Publishing – Jane Friedman MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • Mastering the Book Proposal – Heather Shumaker MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • Publishing Later in Life – Nick Chiarkas, Rex Owens, Sue Roupp, Friday afternoon
  • Meet Our Agents Panel – Various – Laurie Scheer Moderator, Friday afternoon
  • Jennie Nash Keynote, Saturday morning
  • The Art & Business of Author Platform: Building and Growing a Career-Long Relationship – Jane Friedman MASTER CLASS, Saturday morning
  • Celebrating Your Book: Festivals and Readings – Shannon Henry Kleiber, Kristin Oakley, Ann Garvin, Saturday afternoon
  • The 5 Effective Ways You Can Market Your Book Today –Shannon Ishizaki, Saturday afternoon
  • Getting Published in the Nonfiction Market – and Do it Without an Agent! – Jim Papandrea, Saturday afternoon
  • Publishing in the Current Marketplace – Paul Levine, Sunday morning

 


Specific Tops

Fiction

  • Ready. Fire, Aim – Coleman, Thursday morning
  • The 3 Keys to Plotting Your Book – Ann Garvin MASTER CLASS, Thursday afternoon
  • Your First Five Pages: How to Hook Readers and Keep Them Turning Pages – Angela Rydell MASTER CLASS, Thursday afternoon
  • How to Get Tension on Every Page – Tim Storm MASTER CLASS, Thursday afternoon
  • Navigating Cross-Cultural Boundaries as a Writer – Coleman, Thursday afternoon
  • A Journey in Small Steps: Applying Kaizen Techniques and Principles to the Work of Writing – Sarah Sadie, Thursday afternoon
  • The Dreaded Sag: Facelift Your Scenes with the Five Core Components of Scene Structure – r. r. Campbell, Thursday afternoon
  • A Literary Agent Reveals the Biggest Pitfalls Writers Miss in Revision – Steven Salpeter, Thursday evening
  • Jane Friedman Keynote, Friday morning
  • Writing Across Racial and Cultural Differences – Judith Adrian and Donna Hart-Tervalon, Friday morning
  • Mistakes Were Made – 5 Lessons Learned – Nick Chiarkas, Friday morning
  • “I don’t know what to do with my hands” – Touching Up Scenes for Characterization, Theme, and Backstory – r.r. Campbell, Friday morning
  • Mastering the Book Proposal – Heather Shumaker MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon (for fiction and nonfiction writers)
  • Building Suspense – Libby Fischer Hellmann MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • The Stoplight Strategy: A Three-Part Method for Revising A Full Rough Draft and Putting an End to the Overwhelm of Rewriting – Jennie Nash MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • Developing Your Voice: Going From Modern Biblical to Shakas and Surfing – Barbara Britton, Friday afternoon
  • Bring Back the Thrill! Making Your Creations Fun Again –  Silvia Acevedo, Friday afternoon
  • Worldbuilding: How to create rich worlds, edit the setting in your novel, and turn ideas into fiction – Joanna Hathaway, Friday evening
  • “Yes, and–” Improvisation and the Page – r.r. Campbell, Friday evening
  • Jennie Nash Keynote, Saturday morning
  • Elements of Creating Characters and Conflict: Inner Struggles and Outer Battles – Joanna Hathaway, Saturday morning
  • Putting the Story in History: Researching and Writing Historical Fiction – Debra Brenegan, Saturday morning
  • Setting: Where Are We Anyway? Debra Brenegan, Saturday morning
  • How to Rock the Opening of Your Novel – Barbara Britton, Saturday morning
  • Add Wonderment to Your Prose – Jim Papandrea, Saturday morning
  • Make the Impossible Possible: How to Create a Fresh and Vivid World – Kat Falls, Saturday morning
  • Writing for Diversity – Heather Shumaker and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon
  • Cast Your Setting as a Character – Julie Holmes, Saturday afternoon
  • The Art of the Interview: How to Interview Subjects for your Nonfiction or Fiction Books – Shannon Henry Kleiber, Saturday afternoon
  • Harness Your Inner Child and Handling the Taboo in Children’s Writing: Writing for the Young Adult and Middle Grade Markets – Kat Falls and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon
  • I See Your Point of View – Julie Holmes, Saturday afternoon
  • Outlining is for Everyone! – Jim Papandrea, Saturday afternoon
  • How to be Funny (Even if you think you’re not) – Kat Falls, Saturday afternoon
  • Keep Your Story Straight – Series Writing – Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon

 

Nonfiction

  • Ready. Fire, Aim – Coleman, Thursday morning
  • How to Get Tension on Every Page – Tim Storm MASTER CLASS, Thursday afternoon
  • Navigating Cross-Cultural Boundaries as a Writer – Coleman, Thursday afternoon
  • A Journey in Small Steps: Applying Kaizen Techniques and Principles to the Work of Writing – Sarah Sadie, Thursday afternoon
  • The Dreaded Sag: Facelift Your Scenes with the Five Core Components of Scene Structure – r. r. Campbell, Thursday afternoon
  • A Literary Agent Reveals the Biggest Pitfalls Writers Miss in Revision – Steven Salpeter, Thursday evening
  • Jane Friedman Keynote, Friday morning
  • Writing Across Racial and Cultural Differences – Judith Adrian and Donna Hart-Tervalon, Friday morning
  • Mistakes Were Made – 5 Lessons Learned – Nick Chiarkas, Friday morning
  • Mastering the Book Proposal – Heather Shumaker MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • The Stoplight Strategy: A Three-Part Method for Revising A Full Rough Draft and Putting an End to the Overwhelm of Rewriting – Jennie Nash MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • Bring Back the Thrill! Making Your Creations Fun Again –  Silvia Acevedo, Friday afternoon
  • Jennie Nash Keynote, Saturday morning
  • Setting: Where Are We Anyway? Debra Brenegan, Saturday morning
  • Add Wonderment to Your Prose – Jim Papandrea, Saturday morning
  • Writing for Diversity – Heather Shumaker and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon
  • Getting Published in the Nonfiction Market – and Do it Without an Agent! – Jim Papandrea, Saturday afternoon
  • The Art of the Interview: How to Interview Subjects for your Nonfiction or Fiction Books – Shannon Henry Kleiber, Saturday afternoon
  • Conflict Scenes in Memoir Writing? Write Tough Memories in 3 Easy Steps – Sue Roupp, Saturday afternoon
  • Harness Your Inner Child and Handling the Taboo in Children’s Writing: Writing for the Young Adult and Middle Grade Markets – Kat Falls and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon
  • Outlining is for Everyone! – Jim Papandrea, Saturday afternoon
  • How to be Funny (Even if you think you’re not) – Kat Falls, Saturday afternoon
  • Keep Your Story Straight – Series Writing – Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon

 

Writing Resources

  • What to Expect at a Writing Conference – Introduction to Writers’ Institute – Laurie Scheer, Thursday afternoon (mid-day and late afternoon)
  • Designing Your Personal Guardian of the Galaxy (or at least, the writing desk) – Sarah Sadie, Thursday morning
  • Right Here, Write Now 30-minute Meetings – Various instructors, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • The Writing Doctor 30-minute Meetings – Dr. Kevin Mullen, Friday, Saturday
  • Advanced Critique Sessions – Christine DeSmet, Julie Tallard Johnson, Angela Rydell, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • A Journey in Small Steps: Applying Kaizen Techniques and Principles to the Work of Writing – Sarah Sadie, Thursday afternoon
  • Writers and Bookstores: An Inside Look at How Writers Can Improve Their Sales – Joanne Berg, Thursday evening
  • Jane Friedman Keynote, Friday morning
  • Meditation and Yoga – Katie Michel, Friday, Saturday midday
  • Bring Back the Thrill! Making Your Creations Fun Again –  Silvia Acevedo, Friday afternoon
  • Success Panel – Various, Laurie Scheer Moderator, Friday afternoon
  • Writer’s Mixer – All are invited, Friday afternoon
  • “Yes, and–” Improvisation and the Page – r.r. Campbell, Friday evening
  • Writing Books In a Busy Life Panel – Heather Shumaker, Silvia Acevedo, Jim Papandrea, Saturday morning
  • Book Day Exhibits/Book Signing & Selling Event, Saturday lunch/midday
  • Live Lit Event – Various, Saturday evening
  • Pathway to Publication Success Panel/Introduction to 2019 Pathway to Publication Program – Various, Sunday morning

 

Publishing, Marketing, and Promotion

  • The 1-hour Online Marketing Plan – 8 Steps to Reach Your Readers Online – Celeste Anton, Thursday morning
  • Podcasts as Portals: Platform, Publicity, and Passive Learning – r.r. Campbell, Thursday morning
  • Pitch Your Best Pitch Workshop – Jeff Kurz, Thursday afternoon
  • Connect. Ignite: A Digital Brand Cheat Sheet – Rachel Werner, Thursday afternoon
  • Managing Book Production Services: What Questions Should Be Asked? – Lori Martinsek, Thursday afternoon
  • Writers and Bookstores: An Inside Look at How Writers Can Improve Their Sales – Joanne Berg, Thursday evening
  • Author Publishing: Teamwork in Action – Anne Davidson Keller, Jeanne Gomoll, Joy Shields, Friday morning
  • Jane Friedman Keynote, Friday morning
  • What Makes a Great Author Website – Celeste Anton, Friday morning
  • Different Ways to Publish Including Traditional and Self-Publishing – Libby Fischer Hellmann, Christine Keleny, Rex Owens, Friday morning
  • Getting Your Book Published – The Ins and Outs of Traditional Publishing and Indie Publishing – Jane Friedman MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon
  • Publishing Later in Life – Nick Chiarkas, Rex Owens, Sue Roupp, Friday afternoon
  • Jennie Nash Keynote, Saturday morning
  • The Art & Business of Author Platform: Building and Growing a Career-Long Relationship – Jane Friedman MASTER CLASS, Saturday morning
  • Celebrating Your Book: Festivals and Readings – Shannon Henry Kleiber, Kristin Oakley, Ann Garvin, Saturday afternoon
  • The 5 Effective Ways You Can Market Your Book Today –Shannon Ishizaki, Saturday afternoon
  • Getting Published in the Nonfiction Market – and Do it Without an Agent! – Jim Papandrea, Saturday afternoon
  • Publishing in the Current Marketplace – Paul Levine, Sunday morning

 

Genres

  • Writing for Diversity – Heather Shumaker and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon (Children’s, MG and YA)
  • Harness Your Inner Child and Handling the Taboo in Children’s Writing: Writing for the Young Adult and Middle Grade Markets – Kat Falls and Silvia Acevedo, Saturday afternoon
  • Building Suspense – Libby Fischer Hellmann MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon (Mystery)
  • Worldbuilding: How to create rich worlds, edit the setting in your novel, and turn ideas into fiction – Joanna Hathaway, Friday evening (Sci Fi, Fantasy)
  • Conflict Scenes in Memoir Writing? Write Tough Memories in 3 Easy Steps – Sue Roupp, Saturday afternoon

 

Editing and Revision

  • First Draft to a Publishing Contract (with ten self-editing tips) – Nick Chiarkas, Thursday morning
  • Editing vs Proofing – Christine Keleny, Thursday afternoon
  • A Literary Agent Reveals the Biggest Pitfalls Writers Miss in Revision – Steven Salpeter, Thursday evening
  • The Stoplight Strategy: A Three-Part Method for Revising A Full Rough Draft and Putting an End to the Overwhelm of Rewriting – Jennie Nash MASTER CLASS, Friday afternoon