Presentations for the October 5, 2013 Rochester Writers’ Conference will consist of Lectures (classroom style), Workshops (hands-on lecture) and Panel Discussions (Q&A). Click on the title for a detailed description.

Children’s Literature Panel: Three Paths to Publication with Ruth McNally Barshaw, Carol Grund, and Amy Huntley

Ruth McNally Barshaw, author of the Bloomsbury mid-grade series The Ellie McDoodle Diaries will communicate how her experiences sharing her art and writing on the internet led to the acquisition of an agent. Carol Grund, author of the Anna Mei mid-grade series, will explore how her work in the children’s magazine market brought her to the attention of an editor in a Catholic press, and young adult author of The Everafter, Amy Huntley, will share how participation in SCBWI helped her find an agent. PANEL DISCUSSION

Who’s on First by Kelly Fordon 

One of the first things to consider when crafting your story or novel is who is this story about?  Who is the narrator? Who is the protagonist? Is the narrator also the protagonist? If so, how does one negotiate the distance between them? During this lecture, we’ll discuss points of view and how various authors made the decision to utilize first, second or third person as well as discussing the implications these choices have on your own stories.  WORKSHOP

How to Do A Killer Reading From Your Book by Lev Raphael

Authors are often unprepared for one of the most important aspects of publicizing their work: public readings at bookstores, libraries, and other venues. Whether they’re shy or not, most authors don’t have experience in public speaking, but even if they do, they don’t realize one of the key elements of the event: it’s a performance. It’s never too early to plan, and never too late to begin. WORKSHOP

What is an Author’s Platform and How Do I Build One? by Alice Speilburg

This lecture, geared specifically toward non-fiction authors, will address strengthening your publishing platform, which shows a publisher that you are an acknowledged expert in the field your book covers. This information might be helpful to authors of fiction, but an author’s platform figures much more strongly in a publisher’s decision to publish books in non-fiction categories. LECTURE

Story Masters Class, Part 1 by Dr. Stan Williams

This workshop is a summary of his all day workshop (The Moral Premise: Harnessing
Virtue and Vice for Box Office Success)
 and in part will cover the 2 spines present in all good stories, the 2 realms of natural law that characters can never escape, the 8 steps of story development, the 5 ingredients of a great hook and log lines, the 4 parts of the moral premise statement, the 13 basic beats of all stories, the 1 moment of grace, and 9 contributors of story thrust. WORKSHOP

Story Masters Class, Part 2 by Dr. Stan Williams

In this well illustrated story workshop, you’ll learn the secrets of how characters transform, how goals are defined, how plots and subplots are created and how every character’s arc (regardless of their outer journey) are all related to a single internal moral premise that ties the story together around one core idea. We will reveal 3 paths to audience-character identification, the 3 poles of the Nicomachean Character value scale, 3 story-breaking (or beating) tools, and the 3 relationships of plot arcs, character goals, and dramatic irony. WORKSHOP

The End:  What Do I Say Now?  by Dawne M Prochilo

Writing Query Letters for Fiction: You have just spent the last year, or more, polishing off that novel. Endless hours editing and trying to find the correct representation, whether a publisher or an agent … but now what? You typed “The End” and your world comes to screeching halt. Learn the do’s and don’ts of what to put into a query letter. Don’t be afraid, it (the letter) won’t bite. No matter what genre you have written, this workshop can guide you and offer great advice on how to get your query noticed. WORKSHOP

Literary Agent Panel with Dawne Prochilo and Alice Speilburg

Dawne Prochilo is the Acquisitions Editor for Secret Cravings Publishing and Alice Speilburg founded Speilburg Literary Agency in 2012. Both women are based in Michigan. Finding an agent to represent you can be just as difficult as finding a publisher to take your book. This panel will discuss the steps to take to achieve publication with the best path for you and your novel. PANEL DISCUSSION

How to Avoid Wasting Time on Social Media by Joni Hubred-Golden

Connecting with your audience via social media can be a valuable and powerful experience, or an enormous waste of time. Launched with anecdotes taken from the presenter’s personal and professional experience, this discussion highlights the power of social media and points  fiction and nonfiction authors toward tools that will help them engage readers in conversation and promote their work. LECTURE

Using Photos with Social Media by Erin Rawlings

If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s probably worth 10,000 tweets!  As writers, it’s natural to focus on the use of words to express ideas and make connections with others.  However, in today’s digital world, it’s critically important to use photos to spread a story instantly via the social web.  Learn specific ways you can use social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter to make an impact for yourself and your work, all while helping drive traffic back to your website.  Get ready to write, snap, and share! LECTURE

Self-Publishing Panel with Joe Ponepinto and Dora Badger

This workshop will guide writers through the self-publishing process, from establishing goals, through print and ebook production, to marketing. Dora Badger and Joe Ponepinto are both writers who have been published traditionally, as well as through self-publishing. They are also part of a group of local writers who are working to establish a self-publishing service network, Woodward Press. PANEL DISCUSSION

How to Write Press Releases & Gain Freelance Work with Andrea Walker

This lecture will discuss the basics of writing a press release, developing a media list and finding online resources for promotion.  In today’s social world, there are many ways to spread your words. Another aspect of the lecture will be how to obtain freelance work. From newspaper features and stories to blogs and even writing press releases for businesses, your writing skill is valuable. LECTURE

View the Conference Schedule for the time each presenter goes on …