Writers Conference brings workshops on humor, flash fiction, poetry, and publishing

Posted on September 12, 2017 at 6:00 am


Saturday, October 14, 10am–5:30pm

Meet authors and other writers interested in learning the craft. At this one-day conference, you can explore your poetic voice, find your funny bone in children’s lit, hone your interviewing techniques, stamp out writer’s block, drive your stories to new heights, and unravel the mysteries of sending your finished manuscript to agents and publishers.

This year our annual conference is on Indie Author Day. We have information about self-publishing and independent publishing, including sharing your work with library members using SELF-e.

Planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November? Learn more about NaNoWriMo and how to connect with local coordinators and other writers taking on the challenge. You may just find a potential NaNoWriMo buddy in the seat right next to you!


Saturday, October 14

Please register for each workshop you plan to attend.

Keep It Short: Flash Fiction for Any Writer
Flash fiction, a.k.a. microfiction, has the ability to tell an entire story in under 1,000 words. After reading various examples from a six-word story to a 50-word story, you will try your hand at a few with hot writing exercises to help you. This workshop challenges writers to tell a full tale with only a few words. Presentation slides

Presenter: Darcy McMurtery

Session 1A, 10–11:30am

REGISTER FOR: Keep It Short: Flash Fiction for Any Writer

Make ‘em Laugh: Putting Humor into Children’s Books
We’ll look at and discuss the use of humor in children’s books and how to work it into your writing to develop characters, drive plot, create dramatic tension, and discuss difficult issues in a gentle fashion. Presentation slides

Presenter: John Bladek

Session 1B, 10–11:30am

REGISTER FOR: Make ‘em Laugh: Putting Humor into Children’s Books

Bring Your Writing Out of the Bag
Dive into a thought-provoking discussion on different kinds of writing strategies, write a piece of short fiction and have it workshopped in a group, and leave with strategies to combat writer’s block.

Presenter: Rachel Hasbrouk

Session 2A, 12–1:30pm

REGISTER FOR: Bring Your Writing Out of the Bag

Interviews: For Now and Later
When you interview the right way, you secure the facts you need now and a lifelong contact for future projects. Kelly Milner Halls shows you how a well-crafted interview is money in the bank and how not being prepared could kill your career.

Presenter: Kelly Milner Halls

Session 2B, 12–1:30pm

REGISTER FOR: Interviews: For Now and Later

Poetry for Imperfect People
How does poetry convey meaning to the reader? This discussion will focus on the speaker’s role in a poem and how the writer influences the speaker’s message. After the discussion, you’ll write your own poem. You may share it with the group and receive feedback from the group, as well as give feedback to others.

Presenter: Rachel Hasbrouk

Session 3A, 2–3:30pm

REGISTER FOR: Poetry for Imperfect People

My Manuscript’s Done… Now What?
Discuss the journey to traditional publication from writing an excellent query to searching for agents, working with editors, seeking movie connections, and understanding what the current market wants.

Presenters: Maureen McQuerry, Stephen Wallenfels, and Mary Cronk Farrell

Session 3B, 2–3:30pm

REGISTER FOR: My Manuscript’s Done… Now What?

Intention & Obstacles
Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing, writer of the film Steve Jobs, and more) calls “intention and obstacles” the drive shaft of any story. How do you create both for your characters and use them to power your story? And how do they differ depending on genre? We’ll discuss intention and obstacles to find ways to drive your stories. Presentation slides

Presenters: Maureen McQuerry and Stephen Wallenfels

Session 4A, 4–5:30pm

REGISTER FOR: Intention & Obstacles

Finding an Agent 101: Query Letters, Twitter Contests & R&Rs

From a killer hook to an outstanding bio, discover the fundamentals of drafting a query letter. Get tips for interacting with agents on Twitter and information about the contests agents are watching. Develop a system for the submission process, and understand the different paths to finding an agent, including R&R (revise and resubmit). You are invited to submit a query letter in advance for critique during the workshop. (Note: all queries may not get a chance to be reviewed in the workshop.) Presentation slides

Presenter: Christine Cohen, YA writer*

Session 4B, 4–5:30pm

*Corrected: Previously we mistakenly stated that Ms. Cohen was a literary agent.

REGISTER FOR: Finding an Agent 101: Query Letters, Twitter Contests & R&Rs


You can share your writing with libraries by submitting your eBook to SELF-e, to be featured in BiblioBoard’s curated collection, Indie Washington: Discover Local Authors.

Discover this great way to gain readers and fans through SELF-e, powered by Library Journal.

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