Here are some of the Workshops to be Given at the Fiction Writing in the Digital Age Conference!

Check Back Often for the Latest Updates!

Creating Characters – presented by Shelly Coriell

Putting Personality on the Page – presented by Tami Cowden

  • While much is written on ways to discover the nature of your character’s … well … character, we don’t seem to hear too much about how the writer can convey personality to the reader. This hands-on workshop focuses on sure-fire ways to help the reader “get” your characters.

Don’t Tell Your Story, Show It! –  presented by Maxwell Alexander Drake

  • Ever wonder how the really good books suck a reader in and hold their attention page after page. It’s not the characters, nor the plot of the book. It is the way in which the author writes that separates their story from the pack. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he presents his class “Don’t Tell Your Story, Show It!” During this class, you will gain insight into how to put your story together in a compelling way that will have your readers turning page after page to see what happens next.

Settings, Strange and Otherwise – Dave Farland

  •  Dave will talk about the importance of transport in story, why we should begin our tales by creating our world, and the approaches that we can take toward world building depending upon the time and place that the story is set–from historical settings, to contemporary, to futuristic and fantastic.

Publishing Options - presented by Jo Wilkins

  • It’s a whole new world out there. Learn the basic concepts underlying traditional print and epublishing and the options for Indie publishing.

The Ten Most Common Mistakes First Novelists Make – presented by Toni Lopopolo

  • Increase your chances to secure that dream book deal by learning to avoid the 10 most common mistakes first novelists make when submitting their manuscripts to an agent or publisher. Don’t miss how you can improve your writing instantly.

Author Promote Thyself, presented by Kate Sexton

  • To sell books in today’s market authors must establish an online persona and do most of the work by themselves. Even with a publishing deal from one of the big legacy houses, new authors must promote, promote, promote to gain sales and recognition.This workshop will cover the basics from websites to social media, what is working today and how authors are selling books. Learn how to get publicity for free and where you should spend money to maximize sales. Why blogging draws followers and the truth behind Facebook.

He said, She said - presented by Mariah Densley and Eric James Miller

  • Tips, tricks, and techniques to help give your characters an authentic voice. Increase your powers of observation, learn from gender research, analyze examples for effectiveness, and know when to defy stereotypes with your characters.

Dream, Dare, Do! A Writer’s Guide to Business Planning – Presented by Shelley Coriell

  • Discover proven strategies to create or fine tune a business plan designed to keep you on course and on fire about your writing. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll draft a complete business plan, featuring a mission, vision, action elements, and affirmations.

More than Wham, Bam, Thank-You M’am – Wooing the Female Reader - presented by Jeffe Kennedy

  • Over and over, statistics show that more women are reading fiction than men, particularly on e-Readers. With the overwhelming success of works like Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight, it bears examining just what female readers are looking for – and what they’re buying. This workshop will examine how romance can be used to both attract readers and illuminate characterization. Sexual attraction can both entice and ratchet up the overall tension of any plot. Jeffe Kennedy, award-winning author of numerous series of erotic romance and fantasy, will walk participants through examples from literature and movies, to illustrate what women really want from a story.

You’ve Written an eBook – Now What? - presented by Peggy Richardson

  • Learn from “The Wizard of E-b00ks” and be ready to put your work out there in an effective and rewarding manner.

Write a Winning Pitch – Presented by Toni Lopopolo

  • Bring a 10 to 15 word description and/or short pitch, your first line, your first page of your novel. . Learn how to grab the attention of an agent, the publishing editor, the browser in a bookstore, with your first line, your first page. Avoid the common beginning most fiction writers send.

Polishing Your Manuscript to Put Your Best Foot Forward – presented by Gail Delaney

  • Whether you are self-publishing and preparing your manuscript for review by a freelance editor, or you are preparing your manuscript for submission to an editor or agent, these ten self-editing tips will help you polish your work and present a professional manuscript. Avoid some of the ‘red flag’ signs that scream amateur to those with the power to accept or reject your work.

Setting, Theme and Style (or How to Make Your Writing Awesome and Avoid Nigerian Scams) – presented by Mason Ian Bundschuh

  • 1) Setting as the interactive backdrop for plot and characters. Importance to believability and suspension of disbelief.2) Themes as the anchor of your novel’s crisis.3) Style as the WAY the story is told. Discussion of voice and imagery and vocabulary (word choice)

Everything You Wanted to Know about Publishing* (*Now’s Your Time to Ask) – presented by Peter Senftleben

  • With websites and social media, the process of publishing—getting an agent, signing a book deal, cover reveals, blog tours, marketing—has become more public, but it’s still a big mystery to a lot of writers and readers. What does an editor even do? In this Q&A-focused workshop, I’ll briefly outline the process I go through from submission to shelf, my daily routine, and address any and all questions related to the book business. There are no stupid questions, nothing too basic, so ask me anything. Come prepared with a healthy curiosity and something you’ve always wanted to know. But please refrain from asking about your specific project; this isn’t a pitch session.

The Hook, The Book and The Cook – Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

  • How to perfect a query agents can’t resist!

 How to Plot Anything – presented by John Hill

  • Former Hollywood TV and screenwriter for 25+ years, John Hill, who has probably plotted out over 1,000 stories in his life, will how you how, specifically step by step, to plot out a long-form story. This applies to novels, screenplays, stage plays, operas or rodeos. It is a step-by-step plan, a scene outline for any long-form story (or short stories.) In 50, he will walk you through every step so you’ll leave his talk being able to confidently make plots outline with correct story structure. He will also deal with characters, themes, dialogue, and writing in a way that communicates the most with the fewest words. This talk is for “Planners”, who want to plan better, and “Pantsers” who set out to write a long form story by the seat of their pants but run out of steam on p. 61; there may be some de-pantsing happening during this talk. Learn how to plot anything.

Kamikaze cold Reads – presented by Kerri Buckley

  • Bring the first two pages of your manuscript, your nerves of steel and your sense of humor, then listen as I provide insight into live reviewing this mock “slush” pile. You’ll hear why agents and editors stop reading, what they’re looking for in a submission, and some of the common mistakes they see as they go through their slush pile. Come to listen or come to get critiqued, but join in as we discuss and review the slush pile you provide.

Prepping Your Manuscript for Submissions and Building that Author/Editor Relationship – Johanna Melaragno

  • You’ve written your manuscript and are ready to send it out. What do you need to do to make sure it is spit shined and catches the attention of an editor? Through the review process, and subsequent contract and edits, your interaction with your editor can shape your publishing experience. Join me to find out how to feel the rush and avoid the crush of a sour Author/Editor relationship.

Marketing - presented by Morgan St. James

  • Marketing and promotion are closely tied to each other. Promotion is basically an offer to stimulate sales. Marketing is the vehicle to bring that promotion and other information to the target audience. As internet possibilities  escalate so do the effective marketing and promotion opportunities. Some of the old things still work, and some don’t.

Two Heads: How to Co-Write a Book Without Going Crazy - presented by Jennifer AIlee

  • Writing is usually a solitary activity, so how do you make it work when there are two of you? Using her own experience and the experiences of others, Jennifer AlLee takes a look at the blessings and curses of co-writing, how to stay organized, and the art of partnering.

First Line, First Page, First Five Pages - presented by Toni Lopopolo

  • Your first line, your first page MUST grab the agent’s and/or publishing editor’s attention:. Hear it! See it! Feel it! The first page of your manuscript must seize the reader visually and emotionally to make them ask for more. Bring your first page work-in-progress and a first page already published you hope to emulate. Discover the elements needed on the first page to compel the reader to read the second page.

Character: The Heart of Good Story - presented by Shelley Coreill

  • Good stories need great characters. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll analyze what makes a great character and explore three INSANELY simple writing exercises that will help you develop highly motivated, unique, and memorable heroes and heroines.

Dialogue, it is not just people talking! - presented by Maxwell Alexander Drake

  • Dialogue – that is, well written dialogue in fiction – is one of the hardest things to master. That’s because dialogue in fiction is not really people talking to each other. It is conversation with drama that also needs to move the plot of the story while giving the reader insight into the inner workings of your characters. Sounds like a lot? It is. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he gives you some insights on how to craft dialogue that will not only sound realistic, but be relevant to your story.


Plus panels of editors, agents, indie authors, and more!