Tuesday, February 28, 2012

LDStorymakers Conference

On May 4-5, 2012, I will be attending the 9th Annual 2012 LDStorymakers Conference  at the Provo Marriott Hotel, 101 West 100 North, Provo, Utah, USA. Last year's writing conference was way too much fun and held an enormous amount of great information for writers of all levels. I highly recommend it for any aspiring writer.

Here is the detailed schedule of their awesome classes:

2012 Workshop Descriptions                                  
Tracks: craft basics, advanced craft, genre, marketing/career development
**workshop is repeated

FRIDAY, MAY 4 


8:00 a.m. Check-In opens

9:40 a.m.

Pitch Perfect (marketing/career dev.) Lisa Mangum
You have 30 seconds to sell your book—Go! What do you say? How do you say it? This class will
help you navigate the pitfalls of a pitching to an editor or an agent and help you hone your skills
so that your next pitch is perfect.

Plot-storming from Character (craft basics) Paul Genesse 
In some cases the plot of a book drives the characters. However, characters that instead drive
the plot can make for a much more compelling story. We’ll focus on how to grow the plot from
your main character, which will make your story unforgettable to the reader.

Build-a-Blog Workshop – Creating Your Blog Doesn’t Have to Be a Bear (marketing/career dev.)
Tristi Pinkston
Bring your laptop and follow along as Tristi shows you, step-by-step, how to create your blog
from the ground up.  You will learn how to set up your blog account and bring it live, how to
choose your template and color theme, and which elements to incorporate to make your blog
more appealing to readers. If you don’t have a laptop, you’re welcome to attend and take notes.

**How to Practice: An Exercise in Rendering Talent Irrelevant (advanced craft) Howard Tayler
Your passion for a given pursuit is far more important than whatever talent you may or may not
have. I’ll show why this is the case, and how to use this information to excel as writers (or in any
other field, for that matter).

**Chemistry 101—Turning up the Heat in Romance without Crossing into the Fire Zone (genre)
Michele Holmes
Boy meets girl. Sparks fly. Readers blush . . . or not! Good romance isn’t about body parts, but
about emotional connection with characters and a story readers won’t soon forget.

These Is My Words*: How to Acquire Permission to Use Copyrighted Materials (genre)
Danyelle Ferguson 
Writing non-fiction often requires the use of copyrighted material. Knowing the what, when,
where and how of copyrights is enough to make any writer want to overdose on Tylenol. Avoid
the stress and come to this class to learn all the ins & outs of successful copyright permissions.
*Title from These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine by Nancy E. Turner

Beat out Your Novel (master class) Elana Johnson
Reserved Seating
For those who jump into writing with blank pages and nimble fingers, this is a quasi-outlining
class that will give you direction without making you suffer through the actual pain of outlining.
Blake Snyder’s “beats” will be used from his bestselling screenwriting novel Save the Cat to give
you a clear direction in the novel you haven’t written and an idea of where the holes are in the
novels you have.

10:40 a.m.

Hands-On “Fix the Easy” Workshop (advanced craft) Weronika Janczuk
In this “Fix the Easy” hands-on workshop, I’ll draw from both my writing and editorial
backgrounds as well as published and critically acclaimed novels to critique writers’ pieces and
demonstrate the step-by-step process of fixing problems on the sentence, paragraph, and scene
levels—questions of characterization, detail, world-building, dialog, sentimentality, voice, and
more.

Mechanics of POV (craft basics) Clint Johnson 
This class details all three components to point of view: person, tense, and
perspective/character.  Learn the options within each facet as well as their strengths and
limitations, when and why to use a narrator--or not to, and point of view trends in the current
publishing climate.  This comprehensive overview of both function and style will help any writer
master the nuance of written point of view.

**Creating an Awesome Author Website (marketing/career dev.)
Abel Keogh & Marion Jensen
The tools exist that any author can build an awesome website in less than 30 minutes with little
or no out-of-pocket cost. You’ll also learn what content should and shouldn’t be on an author’s
website. It you want an awesome web presence, this is the class to attend!  

Preheating the Oven: Warm up your story before you bake (craft basics) Karen Hoover 
Writing a novel isn’t just about sitting down and blasting out the word count—at least not for
most people. It requires thought and understanding of your characters and their actions before
they do them. This class will teach you how to put together more than just a character bible
(sorry Jeff). It will teach you how to expand on your world and characters, understand their goals,
motivations, and conflicts, and get your entire book plotted out all in one act (with several steps.)
It is a fun and visual way to put your story together—one I can pretty much guarantee you will
love.

**Writing young adult novels that kids want to read (genre) Janette Rallison
YA is a great market to write for, but to get an agent or editor’s notice, your book has to stand
out. Come listen to experienced YA author, Janette Rallison, talk about the elements your novel
must have to succeed.  She’ll talk plot must-haves, conflict, characterization, and voice.

It’s Beta with a Friend: How to find and develop good Beta Readers (advanced craft)
Crystal Liechty & Tiffany Pyper
Put simply, a Beta Reader is a person (generally an avid reader who is not a professional writer)
who reads your completed work and gives you feedback on it. This class will cover what a Beta
Reader is, how to find and train one, how to cultivate relationships with Beta Readers so they
continue to be a fruitful resource and why Beta Readers are essential to the novel writing
process.

Beat out Your Novel Cont. (master class) Elana Johnson 
Reserved Seating

11:40 a.m. Lunch


12:50 p.m.

It Came From the Slush: Crafting a Query That Will Get You Noticed (advanced craft)
Holly Root
Every agent has slush-pile success stories. The first step to becoming one yourself is writing a
killer query. In this hands-on workshop, audience-submitted queries will be reworked into their
best versions, and you'll get the inside scoop on what really makes a letter stand out.

The Hero’s Journey: It’s not Just for Fantasy Anymore (advanced craft) Annette Lyon 
First we’ll go over the character archetypes and the major steps in the classic Hero’s Journey,
then we’ll cover how to apply them to your work so you come away with the tools to draft faster
while producing a more powerful novel—whether you write YA, dystopian, women’s fiction,
historical fiction, science fiction, or any other genre.

Finances for Creative People: setting up your finances to support your dreams
(marketing/career dev.)  Sandra Tayler
Quitting your day job to write becomes far more possible with some simple financial organization
techniques. Even if you don’t want to live off a writing income, managing your money will help
you be able to afford the things you want and stop paying as much for the things you don’t.
We’ll cover organization, budgeting, and how to transition into a creative business. If time allows
we’ll also discuss taxes and incorporation for writers.

**Culture, Motivation, Flaws, and a Cat: Four Things Every Great Character Needs (craft basics)
Don Carey 
Tired of flat, boring characters that never seem to do what you want? Learn to write likeable,
well-rounded, obedient characters by understanding and applying these four basic principles.

**Creating Page-Turners with the Elements of Suspense (advanced craft)  Rachelle Christensen 
This class will teach writers to look at their novel and identify places where they might be at risk
of having the reader put their book down. Rachelle will teach you how to implement the
elements of suspense in every genre type and in every situation in your novel.

Non-fiction Sells Best – Fiction is Fun to Write: Why Not Do Both? (genre) Jerry Borrowman
Many authors love to write fiction because of the creative freedom it offers. But readers love
true-life stories. Books like Three Against Hitler and A Distant Prayer have inspired hundreds of
thousands of readers around the world. Learn why it may increase both your reach and personal
sense of satisfaction to write both fiction and non-fiction stories and how to get started.

Self-publishing in the New Age (master class)  Dave Wolverton/David Farland
Reserved Seating
Approaches to publishing electronic books, enhanced novels, print-on-demand books, and
getting a foothold as we transition from paper-based books to electronic books.  

1:50 p.m.

Beginnings (craft basics)            
Description forthcoming.

Writing a Series (advanced craft)                  
Description forthcoming.

Warning: Contents May Be Hilarious (genre) Sarah Eden
Being funny is hard. Writing funny is even harder. In this devastatingly amazing class on writing
humor, we’ll discuss the mechanics of humor, how to incorporate humor into your writing, how
to up your funny quotient, and a bunch of other stuff Sarah will probably have to throw in to fill
up the time allotment. Come laugh, cry, be amazed (and possibly bored) and learn the ins and
outs of humor in writing.

One Author, One Month, One Book—How to make NANOWRIMO work for you
(advanced craft) Julie Wright 
How to prepare for NANOWRIMO, how to accomplish NANOWRIMO, and how to recover from
NANOWRIMO—an intensive class that teaches how to make and set goals for your writing, and
how to improve on that book you wrote in 30 days.

**50 Creative Ways to Sell More Books and Market Your Brand (marketing/career dev.)
Trina Boice 
Selling books by the truckload is all about personal branding, JV partners, and creative marketing.
Learn how to better promote yourself, get sponsors to give you prizes to pass out and look like a
hero at live events, and think outside the box with your marketing strategies.

**Five Essentials of the Middle Grade Novel (genre) Jennifer Nielson
Finding the middle grade voice is a combination of five essential elements. This class will teach
participants how to get the most from each element, especially within a middle grade novel.

Self-publishing in the New Age, Cont. (master class) Dave Wolverton/David Farland 
Reserved Seating

2:50 p.m.

Agents! And Authors! And Bears! Oh My!!! (marketing/career dev.)
Michelle Wolfson & Kiersten White
Just kidding, there aren’t really any bears in the agent-author relationship, but sometimes there
might be surprises along the way. Hopefully, we can help you learn what to expect from the
agent-author relationship, and what to look out for before you sign with an agent, so that all
your surprises are pleasant ones instead of nasty ones.

Problem: The Core of Story (craft basics)  John Brown 
Problem is the core of a story’s premise. It’s the core driver for each story’s individual structure,
plot, and scenes. In this workshop you’ll learn the 3 main types of story problems, how to take
your story’s central problem and generate a specific structure and plot, and how to use a number
of trouble techniques to develop and complicate your story.

World building: Wrapping your head around a world, so you can wrap that world around your
story (genre) Howard Tayler 
Readers of genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, steampunk, etc.) expect stories to be set
in fantastic worlds at once familiar and strange. We’ll talk about how to create these worlds, how
to take the right elements into consideration for your story, and how to keep all the pieces
straight.

Synopsis is not a Four Letter Word: Learn to Write one Without Rage (advanced craft)
Josi Kilpack 
Writing a synopsis is often seen as a necessary evil, but when properly executed, the task can
become a learning exercise, honing your craft and representing your story in its very best light. In
this class we will discuss why you should write one and then how to do it without feeling as
though the process is taking years off your life.

Historical Fiction: One Genre That’s Here to Stay (genre) Heather B. Moore 
Historical novelist, Heather Moore, will discuss why you can’t go wrong with writing historical
fiction as long as it’s done right. Topics include choosing time periods, world building, dialog
choice, avoiding info dumps, characterizing historical figures, expanding historical facts into plot
arcs, finding the right conflict to focus on, why you don’t have to be an expert or spend ten years
in research, how to use your non-fiction platform to sell your novel, and the unmentionables
(bibliographies, chapter notes, maps, endorsements from the “experts”).

**Finding Your Voice (craft basics) Jeff Savage 
Voice—agents ask for it, good authors are said to have it, you may even have been rejected for
not having enough of it. But what really is voice? What makes one voice unique over another?
And how do you find yours? This class will examine what voice is, the difference between YA,
MG, and adult voice, and how to make yours stand out from the rest.

Skeletons in the Spotlight: Five Different Ways to Write Your Family History (genre)  Liz Adair
Liz Adair will introduce five new ways to think about writing personal and family history. Perhaps
one of them will be the spark that gets you started on the story no one else can write.

3:40 p.m. Snack Break


4:00 p.m. Keynote Address: Kevin J. Anderson
 
SATURDAY, MAY 7 


8:00 a.m. Check-In opens

9:30 a.m. Kevin’s Eleven: 11 Tips to Increase Your Writing Productivity (advanced craft)
Kevin J. Anderson
Prolific author Kevin J. Anderson shares specific techniques on how to use every minute and get
more words written...and he practices what he preaches, author of over 100 novels, 50 of which
have been national or international bestsellers.

Writing the Children’s Picture Book (genre) Rick Walton
We will discuss what makes a good picture book, how to get ideas for picture books, and some
key things to remember when writing your picture book.

**Finding Your Voice (craft basics) Jeff Savage
Voice—agents ask for it, good authors are said to have it, you may even have been rejected for
not having enough of it. But what really is voice? What makes one voice unique over another?
And how do you find yours? This class will examine what voice is, the difference between YA,
MG, and adult voice, and how to make yours stand out from the rest.

Co-Authoring: Heaven or Hell? (advanced craft)
Heather Moore, Annette Lyon, Julie Wright and Josi Kilpack, co-authors of The Newport Ladies 
Book Club series, will discuss the various co-authoring styles used by this series and other coauthored books: when you should co-author (and when you shouldn't), outlining with a shared
focus, creating characters that complement each other, setting up drafting deadlines, staying
professional while maintaining friendships among your co-authors, blending different creative
minds, organizing writing time, working with publishers, and developing joint-marketing plans.

**50 Creative Ways to Sell More Books and Market Your Brand (marketing/career dev.)
Trina Boice 
Selling books by the truckload is all about personal branding, JV partners, and creative marketing.
Learn how to better promote yourself, get sponsors to give you prizes to pass out and look like a
hero at live events, and think outside the box with your marketing strategies.

The Ruthless Red Pen (master class) Tristi Pinkston 
Reserved Seating
This two-hour master class will focus on the deeper aspects of self-editing.  Nuances, tone,
clarity, flavor, rhythm, the way the words sound together as well as their meaning–all these
issues will be covered and more.  This is not your mama’s punctuation class–this is for authors
who want to dig deeper into their manuscripts and make them bleed for mercy. Bring plenty of
note paper and twenty pages of your own manuscript to work on in class.

10:30 a.m.

Self-publishing Panel (marketing/career dev.)
Self-Publishing doesn’t have quite the stigma it once had. Many authors are hiring artists and
professional editors to create books that are on a par with those produced by traditional
publishers. If you have questions of have entertained the idea of publishing independently, this is
the panel for you. There will be a Q&A of anything you want to know, and the authors will talk
about everything  from the steps in how to do it yourself, to formatting for e-books, to marketing
your work. A variety of presenters, from brand new authors jumping into the market, to those
who have spent years publishing independently will answer questions and talk to you about the
steps on how to publish for yourself.

Nobody Wants a Winnebago: Plotting Like a Sports Car (Or at Least a Sensible Hybrid)
(craft basics) Kiersten White 
Tips on how to streamline your writing to create an effortlessly paced, unputdownable novel.
From macro issues like how to analyze each scene in relation to the whole, seamless
worldbuilding, and inserting backstory without losing steam, to micro problems like fixing
technical mistakes that are slowing you down, we’ll go point-by-point with easy and broadly
applicable pacing fixes. Also I promise a minimum of bad car analogies.

Crafting a Killer Query (advanced craft) Jen R. Johansson, Kasie West, Natalie Whipple
This class will explain from the basics up through more advanced techniques of a good query and
pitch and go through how to craft a great hook, introduce character/conflict, explain what’s at
stake, and lay out the consequences in any given story. We will provide and walk through handson examples and craft/edit samples from the class and explain how to take a query and turn it
into a 2-3 line elevator pitch.

**Five Essentials of the Middle Grade Novel (genre) Jennifer Nielson
Finding the middle grade voice is a combination of five essential elements. This class will teach
participants how to get the most from each element, especially within a middle grade novel.

Finding My Inner Matryoshka: Am I Ready for a Critique Group? (craft basics) Liz Adair 
Liz Adair discusses the stages a writer goes through, from closet scribbler to publishable author.
She describes the anatomy of a critique group, shows how it can leverage your growth as a
writer, and gives tips on how to get a critique group started.

The Ruthless Red Pen, Cont. (master class) Tristi Pinkston
Reserved Seating

11:30 a.m. 

Social Media and Self Promotion (marketing/career dev.)  
Description forthcoming

Writing Science Fiction (genre)  Dave Wolverton/David Farland
What readers want from a satisfying science fiction novel.  Learn to analyze the global audience
and meet our readers’ needs.

There is No Try, only Do (craft basics) Nichole Giles 
The only way to truly find success as a writer is to finish what we start, believe in ourselves, our
abilities, and our work, and to never, ever give up. In this industry, the path of persistence and
perseverance is the only one that ends in publication. In the words of Master Yoda, “There is no
try, only do, or do not.”

**Chemistry 101—Turning up the Heat in Romance without Crossing into the Fire Zone (genre)
Michele Holmes 
Boy meets girl. Sparks fly. Readers blush . . . or not! Good romance isn’t about body parts, but
about emotional connection with characters and a story readers won’t soon forget.

**Creating Page-Turners with the Elements of Suspense (advanced craft) Rachelle Christensen 
This class will teach writers to look at their novel and identify places where they might be at risk
of having the reader put their book down. Rachelle will teach you how to implement the
elements of suspense in every genre type and in every situation in your novel.

Creating a Podcast from Scratch (marketing/career dev.) Jeff Savage
Always wanted to do a podcast but thought it sounded too hard? Podcasts are a great tool to
market yourself and your books. This class will take you step-by-step through planning,
recording, editing, and posting a professional quality podcast. Subject matter will include
everything from equipment to free software, and various hosting and tracking services including
getting your podcasts on iTunes.

People DO Judge Books by Their Covers: Understanding how covers work and how to design
one for the self-publishing market (master class) Crystal Liechty and Sandra Tayler 
Reserved seating
The first hour of this two-hour master class will focus on principals of good covers whether
commercially or self published. We’ll discuss good and bad covers, talk about the necessary
marketing decisions publishers make when designing covers, and introduce and explain the
necessary components of good graphic design.In the second hour we’ll use the information
we’ve learned to discuss how to create good covers. We’ll walk through the book-cover design
process using an actual author looking to self-publish her book (we will take students from our
initial meeting with her up until the final cover), look at how to design a cover yourself – and
when to know you’re in over your head, and go over how to work with graphic artists and
publishers/how to understand why they made the decisions they made.

12:30 p.m. Lunch and Chapter Contest Winners Awards Ceremony

2:00 p.m.

Setting Workshop: Standing in Place (and Time)—Setting at the Heart of Story (craft basics)
Molly O’Neill 
If writers are shaped by the places and times they live in, then surely characters and stories are,
too. This workshop will explore the myriad ways that a carefully-considered use of setting can
enhance every element of storytelling, from voice to plot to themes.

Lessons on Story from “The Hunger Games” (advanced craft) John Brown 
In this presentation you’ll learn 10 lessons on writing stories THE HUNGER GAMES has to teach
us, including why “been done” means squat, how Collins generates sympathy, rooting, and
suspense, what plot turns are and how to use them, and much more. Spoilers galore! It’s best if
you come having read the book first.

Sparking Creativity: Easy Ideas and Practical Solutions for Finding Your Next Story (craft basics)
Melanie Jacobson
After holding hands and singing Kumbayah (not really), students will knuckle down to the nitty
gritty of finding and developing plots and characters. This includes a range of strategies with
special focus on plotstorming. Participants will have the opportunity to join a plotstorming
session as the class works hands-on to flesh out one lucky class member's plot idea.

Leaping the Hurdles: Getting over the reasons you can’t write (marketing/career dev.)
Becca Wilhite 
You want to write, right? So what stands in your way? Finding time? Getting ideas? Writers’
block? Editing? Revisions? Come polish your track-star skills so you can leap over all those
hurdles and write, write, write.

The Price of Magic (genre) Amber Argyl 
Learn the difference between “soft magic” and “hard magic,” and which type best serves specific
kinds of stories. Also learn how to incorporate magic into your world building and tips on
creating and maintaining a believable magical systems (avoiding the dreaded Due Es Machina
magic).

People DO Judge Books by Their Covers: Understanding how covers work and how to design
one for the self-publishing market, Cont. (master class) Crystal Liechty and Sandra Tayler 
Reserved seating

3:00 p.m.

“Simulating the Slush Pile” Panel  Guest Agents/Editors
Do you wonder what exactly agents/editors are looking for in the slush pile? What makes a
submission stand out? What mistakes will doom a submission to slush pile obscurity? How do
they decide whether to keep reading or not? Our guest agents/editors will listen to moderators
read attendee submissions of their first manuscript pages (with no prior read-though), then give
detailed feedback on what works, what could be improved to work better, and share their
expertise on how to rise above the slush pile.

**How to Practice: An Exercise in Rendering Talent Irrelevant (advanced craft) Howard Tayler 
Your passion for a given pursuit is far more important than whatever talent you may or may not
have. I’ll show why this is the case, and how to use this information to excel as writers (or in any
other field, for that matter).

**Creating an Awesome Author Website (marketing/career dev.)
Abel Keogh & Marion Jensen
The tools exist that any author can build an awesome website in less than 30 minutes with little
or no out-of-pocket cost. You’ll also learn what content should and shouldn’t be on an author’s
website. It you want an awesome web presence, this is the class to attend!

Know What You Write: Research tips for fiction writers (craft basics) Sarah Eden 
Few words strike as much fear into a fiction writer’s heart as “research.” Every genre, from
historical to thriller requires some research. Where does an author start? Are some sources
better than others? How essential is research anyway? Sarah M. Eden shares tips of the trade
and advice on making research as painless, productive and accurate as possible.

**Writing young adult novels that kids want to read (genre) Janette Rallison 
YA is a great market to write for, but to get an agent or editor’s notice, your book has to stand
out. Come listen to experienced YA author, Janette Rallison, talk about the elements your novel
must have to succeed.  She’ll talk plot must-haves, conflict, characterization, and voice.

**Culture, Motivation, Flaws, and a Cat: Four Things Every Great Character Needs (craft basics)
 Don Carey
Tired of flat, boring characters that never seem to do what you want? Learn to write likeable,
well-rounded, obedient characters by understanding and applying these four basic principles.

Voice and Style (master class) Clint Johnson 
Reserved Seating
What are voice and style? How does one get them? Can they even be gotten? This 2-hour
workshop by Clint Johnson answers these questions. Clint defines and differentiates voice and
style, outlining how to develop and mature these attributes every writer naturally possesses.
Come prepared to learn dozens of approaches and exercises to develop voice and sharpen style.
Learn to analyze a variety of texts by successful authors with the goal of understanding yourself
as a writer.

4:00 p.m.

National Agent/Editor panel
Attend this panel of our national agents/editor to get answers to your questions.

Blog Like a Pro (marketing/career dev.) Elana Johnson
For those who already have a blog, know what blogging is, and are ready to take their web
presence to the next level using their blog.

Writing Effective Dialogue (craft basics) Jenn R. Johansson, Kasie West, Natalie Whipple 
This class will discuss/demonstrate how to effectively use dialogue to move the story forward,
when to use narration instead of dialogue, and how to avoid stilted dialogue and common
dialogue mistakes.

Writing Fantasy (genre)
Description forthcoming

Creating White-knuckle Thrills and Bone-chilling Suspense (genre) Gregg Luke 
We will discuss the basic elements of suspense/thriller writing, including characterization, pacing,
anticipation, detailing, and prose.

From Dry to Delicious: Creating Non-Fiction with Bite (genre) Danyelle Ferguson 
Learn how to interject personality, humor, and emotion into typically dry non-fiction topics and
turn them into projects agents and editors will love.

Voice and Style, Cont. (master class) Clint Johnson 
Reserved Seating

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