Tag Archives: writing conference

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This is why you registered for Crossroads

You come for the classes and the comraderie. If you’re a returning Crossroader, you already expect to have a good time, learn a bunch and leave inspired to write more. Well, here’s a run-down with (almost all) our workshops coming up this weekend.

We dare you not to be excited!

 

 

List of 2013 Crossroads Workshops

 

delilah_slider25 Steps to Being A Traditionally Published Author, Even Lazier Edition

Delilah Dawson

Instead of reading my 7,000-word guide to getting a traditional publishing deal, come listen to me talk about it–and answer the questions you’re afraid to ask. From finishing your first draft to getting an agent to what happens after your book is on the shelf, it’s possible to sell a book without having an MFA, a friend in publishing, or a reality TV show. Hint: it involves a lot of hard work.

 

IMG_1454Anatomy of a Book

Emilie P. Bush

Whether you plan to self publish or enter a deal with a commercial publisher, knowing your gutter from your half title page is important. Topics include publishing terms, an up-close and personal look at what a book interior SHOULD look like and the basic “rules” of layout.

 

Digital Storytelling

Tim Regan-Porter

Should you write differently for digital media? If so, how? What tools are best for telling a compelling story? This panel will address a variety of issues in writing for the web, tablets, and mobile.

 

Fiction Writing Tips

Cate Noble

Deconstructing story: the elements of compelling fiction, with tips for nurturing your writer’s soul.

 

Freelancing is Out; Entrepreurism is In

Kristin Luna

At one point in time (think: way back pre-2010), a writer could simply survive off of freelance assignments. But in 2013, the market has drastically changed and freelancers are forced to evolve with the times. Now, publications expect writers to be a one-stop shop: from the crafting of a story to the photography and right down to publicity and social media promotion. In order to rise to the top of a diluted market, there’s one thing you have to be: an entrepreneur.

 

CarrieHowlandGetting Past The Gatekeeper: How to get your work noticed by an agent

Carrie Howland

Getting an agent is a tricky business, and can seem overwhelming. How do you write the perfect pitch? How do you find the right agent in the first place? How do you stay out of the dreaded slush pile?! Agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson, Inc. will answer these questions and more to help you on your way to finding, and building a lasting relationship with, an agent.

 

How to Build Your Story

Margaret South

Learn the secret of telling a great story. Master your use of turning points to heighten meaning. Give yourself the opportunity to get the story right the first time.

 

If Writing Is Easy, You Ain’t Doing It Right

Joe Kovac Jr.

Tons of pointers, tips, advice and other random nonsense you may or may not need to survive the writing process. (Lesson One: It is anything but a process.) But if you sign up for this session, we’ll discuss the oft-maddening act of turning out page-turning stories, and how to know if you’re pushing yourself enough to do it.

 

Shawn DurhamI Wrote an Awesome Book … and You Can Too

J. Shawn Durham

So you’ve finally written that awesome, super duper, kickass best selling tome, eh? But now that you’ve penned that awesomeness, how are you gonna let the world know about it? Welcome to 21st century authorship, where it’s not just enough to be Next Faulkner, Ellison or Morrisson. You also have to get your I-net game up. You ready?

 

Making History Live (in Fiction)

Anthony Grooms

You’ve researched the historical facts, but how do you blend them into lively fictional scenes? The speaker will discuss strategies for scene writing for historical fiction.

 

Making The Most Out of Murder and Mayhem

Barry Reese

The heyday of the bloody pulps might have been the Thirties and Forties but the movement has gained new legs in recent years with the rise of New Pulp. What is it and why might it be the salvation for small press writers? Award-winning New Pulp author Barry Reese will take you through the ins and outs of the New Pulp world, including where and how you can become a part of it.

 

Never Say No: Building A Portfolio In The Gig Economy

John Rhett Thomas

With expertise in website development, social media, publishing, and project management in the comics industry – both as a writer and an editor – John Rhett Thomas will field questions on a variety of discussion points, including how to get and keep a freelance writing job, operating within the “gig” economy, and working for – and as – an editor. He will also highlight the importance of “never saying no” (with a few caveats) when you start your freelance writing career. And, oh yeah, comic books.

 

Novel Writing 101

Sarah Domet

Have a great idea for a novel, but you can’t seem to get started? Or, have you found yourself halfway through your novel, but stuck and stumped? In this session we’ll explore novel writing basics, from character development to story arc. We’ll take a look at what drives a novel, and we’ll examine techniques and exercises to keep you focused, creative, and working toward the completion of your first draft.

 

Kat+ZhangPlanning the YA Trilogy

Kat Zhang

The three-book structure is getting endemic. But looking at all the cases of “second-book syndrome” and complaints about overstretched plots, do all stories fit neatly in 3 books? And how does one go about selling a trilogy anyway?

 

Poems from Oblique Lexicon

Judson Mitcham

My ongoing project is a collection of poems called Oblique Lexicon. Emily Dickinson said, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant,” and that is the guiding principle of these poems. My session will involve a reading from the collection.

 

David Iserson 210Putting Words in Other People’s Mouths

David Iserson

I wrote a funny young adult novel and my day job is writing for film and television. I’ll discuss how to get started in those various kinds of writing, balancing different projects at once, and if I can get it on the plane, I’ll try to bring candy.

 

Story Telling in a Digital Age

Erick Erickson

The attention span of the average person has shortened considerably in the digital age. Instant on, instant off, and instant change affect the experience of connecting through words. This session will focus on capturing and keeping attention in a digital age.

 

The Author/Editor Collaboration

Marc Jolley

Mercer University Press Editor Marc Jolley will discuss the role of an editor and the ways authors and editors collaborate to make a better book

 

The Not-so Gentler Sex: How to Write Women. And Sex.

Delilah Dawson

Whether you’re trying to help your female lead leap off the page or make sure your hero’s love interest isn’t just a cardboard cut-out, there’s an art to writing women. Which leads us right into romance, sizzling chemistry, and the bedroom. Things might get bawdy, but they’ll stay honest, and this once prudish Southern girl is more than happy to answer all your questions about the inside and outside workings of women in fiction.

 

The Seven Questions That Will Revolutionize Your Writing

Lauretta Hannon

Go straight to the heart of the matter as we explore the most critical lessons and solutions for your project. Expect to be energized and inspired by this lively, thought-provoking session.

 

Submit To Your Editrix: The Pleasure of Dominating Text

Annabelle Carr

The relationship between a writer and her editor can be intense to say the least—yet it can yield transcendent results. As both a consumer nonfiction editor and a literary fiction writer, I’ve put considerable thought into that delicate balance between dominance and submission. In this session, we’ll explore the twisted psyche of the magazine editrix and learn from some of literature’s greatest copyslingers. Think of it as text therapy for your freelance career.

 

BerniceMcFaddenTrusting the Voice: The Art of Listening, Writing and Living

Bernice L. McFadden

It’s easier to trust the creative process when you also trust that a greater force is guiding that process. Bernice L. McFadden discusses her personal journey from aspiring writer to published author by moving beyond fear by believing that a greater force was guiding her creative process.

 

Writer VS. Studio

Adam Torchia

The process of screenplay development in the contemporary movie studio. This will include both the studio and writer’s perspective, the art of navigating the fine line between art and business.

 

Andrew-Hartley-02_-300x214Writing in Multiple Genres

A.J. Hartley

Most successful writers work in only genre, and trying to do otherwise can be dangerous for both your craft and your career. But only writing one kind of book has perils of its own–not least of which is boredom for the author and his or her readers. This session will explore the issues and possible solutions for writers trying to navigate writing and publishing in more than one category.

 

Writing Poems That Get Published

Kelly Whiddon

Want to write poems for a bigger audience than your mom and your cat? This session will tell you how to construct poems that sing off the page and have editors take notice.

 

IMG_1435Writing Stories That Will Sell

Nathan Edmondson

Want to write like it’s your job? Or have a job writing? All you need to do is throw some sex and gunplay into the plot, maybe blow a car or two up, and you’re halfway there. Or is there more to it?

 

 

 

CW_Billboard

Scholarship Sponsors, Radio Spots and Billboards, Oh My!

GPB Radio Macon LogoThanks to a huge boost of support from the local community, this has been a stellar week in Crossroadsland!

WMUM, Macon’s GPB station, is running a new promo for the 5th annual Crossroads Writers Conference. Click here to listen to the Crossroads Stereo Promo.

CW-DIGThe next day, Lamar Advertising gave the conference space on one of its digital billboards overlooking Watson Boulevard so our buddies in Warner Robins will know what’s up.

And in great news for writers-in-need, we picked up two more scholarship sponsors from story-loving organizations and businesses.

The first comes from Historic Macon, whose hard work has preserved the gorgeous historic housing stock that makes our city so unique. Their crown jewel is the Sidney Lanier Cottage, where Macon’s famed poet was born and where you’ll now find the Lanier Center for Literary Arts. So it’s only appropriate that they want to sponsor a budding poet with a Storyteller Deluxe scholarship in honor of ol’ Sidney Lanier.

We’re also able to give away another Pen & Paper scholarship thanks to the generosity of the Law Office of J. Michael Cranford, Lanier Logowho is also helping support Authors’ Avenue on Friday, October 4 in downtown Macon. This one goes to a writer-in-need, doesn’t matter where you live or whether you’re a student. And if you’ve already applied for a scholarship, you’ll be considered for this one too. No need to reapply.

To apply for either scholarship, you need to go to this form and answer all of our unreasonable questions! Click here.

Now, you’re probably wondering about those other scholarships. Who won those?

Well, our anonymous donor has picked two first-time Crossroaders for the Storyteller Deluxe packages and those winners have been notified. We’ll share the good news with you as soon as we confirm with them. Same goes for the two Pen & Paper scholarships in the Middle Georgia State College giveaway.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with something our anonymous donor said about reading about the passion each of the scholarship applicants have for writing.

“It was a great reminder to ME that I’m not alone in my writing journey.”

And if there’s anything we can guarantee about your experience at Crossroads, it’s that you can find others so you won’t feel alone in your writing journeys either.

 

MGSC Ad cropped

Last weekend for the Pen & Paper giveaway, sponsored by MGSC

MGSC.lgo.rev.box.lft.267Time is running out but the entries keep pouring in. If you want a shot at one of two Pen & Paper registrations, generously sponsored by Middle Georgia State College, you should click here now to enter.

In addition to sending 10 of its students to the 2013 Crossroads Writers Conference, Middle Georgia State College has sponsored these two non-student registrations too.

Increase your chances by entering daily and sharing with your friends. The giveaway ends Monday, September 16, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.

Learn more about tickets for the 2013 Crossroads Writers Conference here.

Check out the schedule for the 2013 Crossroads Writers Conference here.

Stay tuned for more news about Crossroads, including the special Sunday sessions for Storyteller Deluxe ticket holders and this year’s new T-shirt designs!

Why go to Crossroads? Because Meaghan says so!

Check out Meaghan's blog at MWGerard.com!

Check out Meaghan’s blog at MWGerard.com!

Our friend Meaghan Walsh Gerard is a writer. When we met her, she was working and living the nonprofit life, which is about as lucrative as being a writer. That’s to say not much. And though she didn’t get one of our full scholarships, she did get a partial scholarship, funded largely by our awesome community of writers, because we knew we needed her to join us last year.

What a great decision on our part! When you meet her at this year’s conference, you’ll know exactly why too! She has a ton of fire and a bunch of talent. Best yet, she has that follow-through we adore at Crossroads, which is to say she’s a good influence on a few of us slackers (ahem, Chris).

Here’s an except about what she had to say about her experience, meeting Crossroads organizers and mingling with our all-star lineup of professional writers — and why she thinks you should join us this year. Meaghan, thank you! (To read the whole dang thing and to check out more of her work, go to MWGerard.com.)

The act of writing is solitary but I never knew writing could be so friendly. There is no competitive jealousy at Crossroads. Everyone I met and talked to wanted to better their own process and was genuinely interested in each other’s projects. And for the first time ever, I won NaNoWriMo that November. …If you like writing, GO… …It’s a celebration of the written word. It’s the annual reminder for those of us who need the encouragement to keep writing during those subway commutes and while the dinner is cooking. It’s Thanksgiving, that once a year reunion, we gather around the table, tell stories, eat* too much, and promise to keep in touch (which we do!).

WritingIsHarder

Marathons are hard. Writing is harder.

A couple weeks ago, I started running again because I’ve signed up for a 10K and two half-marathons. Yesterday, as I finished up my route, this occurred to me: writing is harder than running.

I’ve run a marathon–26.2 miles–without stopping. I’ve run dozens of 5Ks, and a few 10ks and half-marathons. I’ve logged hundreds of miles in races and in training for them. And I’ve done this despite being, for a runner, fat and slow, and coming to running after a decade of smoking two packs a day.

By contrast, though I’ve had hundreds of thousands of words published as a journalist, I have written zero books. I want to write books. Something about writing is just harder for me than running.

I think I know what it is.

Though I typically blame my busy schedule for not writing more, time isn’t the problem. (Time management maybe.) Running takes about an hour–sometimes two–out of my day. Good writers, I hear, dedicate at least an hour a day to writing.

My problem (and maybe yours) is that I need to lower my standards.

Running is easier than writing, for me, because my standard for writing is much higher than my standard for running. In a race, I just want to finish …and to beat at least one of the people dressed like Batman. But when I write, I want each page to be masterful, eloquent, world-changing. I need to lower my standards.

In our forthcoming interview with writer Kevin Maurer, he said, “You have to be willing to write badly.” (He has a lot of great insight on developing the discipline to write.)

Somewhere along the way, I embraced the fact that I’m a fat and slow runner who probably looks dumb doing it, but I have kept at it because it keeps me relatively healthy: both mentally and physically. In fact, I’d recommend running to any writer because when you’re running, there’s little better for your brain to do but chase storylines and develop characters. Otherwise you’re just watching for dog poo and distracted drivers.

So I need to embrace the fact that, as a writer, I’m fat and slow and probably look dumb doing it. I need to forgive myself for not spinning reams of gorgeous prose and just bang away at the keys. Why? Because I love the payoff. When I’m done writing, just as when I’m done with a run, I feel better.

That’s a lot like something else Kevin said in our interview. Clearly, he said some things that have resonated with me, but I’m going to make you wait to see it all.

Lastly, I know this to be true: Running has gotten easier the more I’ve done it, and so has writing. When I first started running–because I was still trying to quit smoking–I coughed and wheezed and hacked up a lung and on more than one occasion, barfed. These days, I can lay off running for a week and still knock out three or four miles and feel pretty good.

Now… if I can only get past the part where my writing makes me barf…

Chris Horne is a co-founder of the Crossroads Writers Conference.