Delilah S Dawson: The advice would I give myself if I could go back in time…

Delilah S Dawson: The advice would I give myself if I could go back in time…

We tasked the awesome and cool Delilah S. Dawson with applying her ample imagination to this question: If you could go back in time to the very start of your writing career, what advice would you give yourself? Considering how far this Pocket/Simon & Schuster published author of “Wicked as They Come” and associated editor for CoolMomPicks.com has come, we thought it was a perfect question to have her answer. When you come to the conference, you’ll be treated to more of Delilah’s insight (she may or may not wave a cupcake). Specifically, she’s going to speak on being “shipwrecked” as a writer and what to do with yourself while you’re waiting on your writing ship to come. Until then… enjoy!...
“Everything happens for a reason”: interview with Bernice McFadden

“Everything happens for a reason”: interview with Bernice McFadden

LEARN MORE FROM BERNICE MCFADDEN AT THE CROSSROADS WRITERS CONFERENCE “Everything Happens for A Reason”: an interview with author Bernice McFadden by  Sherry L. Moore-Williamson Sherry: I have to be honest, I have yet to read one of your novels however, sooo many people rave about them. Knowing this, what book should I read first? Bernice:  I believe in always starting at the beginning. I would read “Sugar” first. S: That’s funny you suggest “Sugar.”  I read and heard that it was one of Alicia Key’s favorite books and she had mentioned it in an interview now on Youtube. B: Yes, a girlfriend told me about the interview and what Alicia said. I didn’t even know. S: I also listened to Academy Award-nominated actress Alfre Woodard, who is one of my faves, read an excerpt from Glorious, another novel you wrote. She commented on why she too loved this book.  “It’s so full that I immediately wanted to pick it back up and rifle through the pages again… They are historical people…who seem alive and real to you….” B: I received a lot of literary awards for “Glorious.” S: And “Glorious” was mentioned in O Magazine, May of 2011.  What affects did that have? B: Well, it was good for publicity since it was compared to “The Help,” which was out at the same time. It took “Sugar” about nine years to finally get published by a commercial publisher.  It was a good ride until I got dropped after my sixth novel. I was told I was a “done as a writer.” S: Wow! How did that feel and how...
Tony Grooms: “The Role of Luck”

Tony Grooms: “The Role of Luck”

Unfortunately, Tony Grooms can’t join us this year so, as we share the good news that novelist Ravi Howard will come down for the weekend, we’re kicking off the first of our audio clips from Crossroads 2011 with Tony disabusing the room of this myth:  If you work hard enough, publishing will happen. “It isn’t true. I think a lot of people work very hard, are very good writers, who have tremendous things to say to our society, and yet are ignored through conventional publishing. So in some ways, I am grateful for the Internet because, finally, it isn’t so much about making money–not for literary writers, at least– as it is about having readers.” REGISTER FOR MORE OF THIS KIND OF DELICIOUS WRITING GOODNESS The lesson here? There are several perhaps, but again, we find ourselves fixated on THE JOURNEY of writing instead of the destination, which is out of our control. Tony also speaks a little about the role of luck, re-emphasizing the fact that we are not in absolute control of our destiny or destination. But what a writer can control is their focus and dedication to the journey, the craft, the art–whatever you want to call it. That’s one reason we call Crossroads a conference for creative people. Sure, we want our registrants to go on to major book deals but what we want more is for you all to lose yourself in the work, to embrace being a writer, to create more and better work. Check out the rest of what Tony has to say in this...
Interview with editor Annabelle Carr

Interview with editor Annabelle Carr

What do you enjoy most about writing? I love the moment when I finally know what I’m writing about—the heart of the story—and I get this huge surge of energy. It’s almost worth the sensory depravation required to sit down and write in the first place. The sooner I “see” the story, the better. Sometimes I have to write the whole story or article first and I finally“get it” on the last line. Then I know I’m in for a big edit. So I’ve developed tools for “getting it” sooner, because magazine deadlines are unforgiving. In order to edit, the same thing has to happen. You have to see the heart of the piece. It’s like striking a vein of gold. Once you find it, you can follow it and do good, honest work. What do you look for most when hiring staff writers and freelancers? I look for people who can put me, the reader, right into the story. It’s all about engaging the senses and bringing the page to life. Once I find someone who can do that, I look for structure and organization. I need someone who can build a story arc quickly and find the meaning in things that other people can’t see. But what really makes a writer is his or her ear. Good prose sings. It has pitch, timbre and rhythm. TO LEARN MORE FROM ANNABELLE CARR REGISTER FOR THE FREELANCERS SUMMIT What’s the best way to pitch a story, and what’s the most common mistake freelancers make? Don’t pitch a story. Pitch four. Dedicate a couple of lines to each idea, and...