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BP Energy & Conference Center


Check-in Opens for Optional Morning Intensives (All Friday options must be registered for in addition to Main Saturday Conference)

 9:00 - 11:00
Submissions 101: synopses to pitches and everything in between with authors Dante Medema & Brooke Hartman
 9:00 - 12:00 Moving Characters with author Damon Suede
 9:00 - 12:00Revision Without Tears with Bestselling Author Laurie Halse-Anderson
 9:00 - 12:00 Illustrator Intensive:  "Let's Lay it Out," Comic and Kidlit Page Design with Lucas Elliott 
 12:00pm  Check-in Opens for Optional Roundtable Critiques
 12:30 - 2:30 First Pages Roundtable Critiques with Agents Eddie Gamarra, Rachel Orr, Katie Grimm, and editor Kat Brzozowski
  2:30pm  Check-in Opens for Optional Afternoon Intensives
  3:00 - 6:00  Breaking Into the Indie Market with Kimberly Killion, Tamsin Ley & Boone Brux
  3:00 - 6:00  Plotting with author Damon Suede
  3:00 - 6:00 Your Crash Course in Screenwriting with Film Writer Douglass Bourne
  3:00 - 6:00Picture Book Intensive: "Bad Writing" with Literary Agent Rachel Orr


BP Energy & Conference Center

Check-In & Coffee in BP Energy Center Foyer
 8:20 - 8:40Birch Room: Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Awards
8:40 - 9:20

Birch Room: Opening Keynote  with Bestselling Author Laurie Halse-Anderson: 

"Creativity is a Wild Mind and a Disciplined Eye"

 9:20 - 9:30Break


 9:30 - 10:30  

Eddie Gamarra: Adapting Your Book to a Screenplay. This session will be dedicated to guiding those interested in the art and craft and business of screenwriting broadly, as well as those interested in adapting their own work. We will discuss practical and personal pros and cons for each type of writing process. 

Lynn Lovegreen: Nuts and Bolts for KidLit Newbies! Maybe you want to write a book, or you have one started. But questions are swirling in your mind. Can this idea really be a whole book? What sort of book is it? Picture Book? Middle Grade? YA?? What about finding a critique group? Where do I even start?? You're not alone--we've all been there at one point. With the help of this session, hopefully you'll gain the tools you need to guide you in the right direction.
Geoff Symon

Scene of the Crime, perpetrating & investigating your fictional felonies. This course gives you the basic tools to investigate your own fictional scenes through law, evidence concepts and real life people who process crime scenes. We'll visit the most common forensic flubs and fallacies while discussing true primary forensic methods and fundamental terminology to breathe life into the scene of your crime.

Katie Grimm: Agent 101. To sell your book to a major publishing house, you need an agent. But what goes on in their officeAgent 101 is a nitty gritty survey of the of the agent's role, from being on the receiving end of query letters to submission lists and deals. Write down your burning questions for an anonymous Q&A!

 10:30 - 10:40Break             

 10:40 - 11:40         

Laurie Halse-Anderson: Historical Fiction; Blood, Bones, and History. A fast-paced, fact-heavy look at the special demands of researching and writing historical fiction. Bring your questions and the log jams holding back your research!

Rachel Orr: Picture Books; Get on the Write Page! (for authors and illustrators) Look at your story through the eyes of an agent and editor by learning to how to pace your story, or illustrations, with page turns. We will study the art of pagination by making dummies of our works-in-progress. 

Douglass Bourne: Plot Your Novel Like a Movie. This talk will discuss how to use the techniques of screenwriting to hone the craft of writing, from short stories to novels and memoirs. We'll study the qualities of a dynamic scene, including good dialogue and action, employing these techniques to strengthen your prose.

Damon Suede: Game Face; Build a Winning Author Platform. As an author you're your own best advertisement for your work. In this session we’ll take a look at your professional presence and platform, as well as ways to attract allies, shape your message, expand your audience, and find the fun in your promo process to earn the right kinds of attention on- and offline.  

 11:40  Lunch Available in Foyer
 12:00 - 12:30

Diversity Author Panel: Writing for, by, to, and about gender and LGBTQ+ with authors Kellie Doherty, Kristen Ritter, Lindsay Pierce, Mercy Zephyr, Damon Suede, and Geoff Symon 

 12:30 - 12:40  Break

 12:40 - 1:40
Eddie Gamarra: Book-to-Screen: The Roller Coaster of Film Adaptations. In this session, we will examine a variety of examples of book adaptations for screens big and small, and discuss creative, financial, legal, marketing, and other considerations involved in the process.  Lucas Elliott: Ink and Snow, Being a KidLit Illustrator in AlaskaWhether you’re creating your first picture book dummy or scripting your first graphic novel, determining how your story flows from one page to another is important. With this intensive, we’ll go through the anatomy of what it takes to develop a strong sense of story through panel design, composition, and framing.
    Eric Mertz: Monsters Are Needy. This class takes a deep dive into the “monster” character in genre fiction, a vital part of science fiction, horror, thriller and fantasy. We'll discuss the core concept of the monster character, understanding how they fit into those genres and how to effectively deploy them in your fiction. Students will come away with an understanding of why their monsters command a lot of screen and page time and how to give them what they need without robbing the rest of your story. 

      AKRWA Panel with Authors Mercy Zephyr, Cheryl Burghart, D.R. Slaten, Elizabeth Allyn-Dean, and Karen Kiely: Diversity in Romance and BeyondAKRWA members discuss how diversity enhances your romance novel--or any novel. We'll talk about recent trends, and point out common stereotypes and errors to avoid in writing ethnicity and gender. Then we'll give examples of #ownvoices and inclusive authors, and how to write diversity in our own work.

       1:40 - 1:50   Break                                                                                                                                        

       1:50 - 2:50

      Kim Killion: What Really Happens at a Romance Cover Shoot? Ever wondered what really happens at a Romance Novel Cover Photoshoot? Is it candles and soft music? Do those models really kiss? Is he naked under that kilt?!   Have all these questions (and more) answered in this workshop with special guests Damon and Geoff Suede. We will have a live mock photoshoot plus time for Q&A too about what elements make a great cover design. 

      Kat Shepherd: Writing a Series for Authors of Middle Grade and Young Adult. While landing a series might feel like the ultimate goal for some authors, creating one offers a unique set of challenges to consider. This session discusses both the drawbacks and the payoffs of the format. We'll look at novel structure vs. series structure, pacing, character arcs, and world-building, as well as differences in marketing and building an audience.

      Don Rearden: Rethinking Revision. Roll up your sleeves in this hands-on session that goes beyond revision with Don Rearden, who the Washington Post Calls "A master of cliffhangers." Spoiler alert: some writing may be involved!

      Lizbeth Meredith: Keep the Promotion Buzz Going on a Budget (long after your book is launched!) With over a million books being published a year, how do we give our book every opportunity to stand out while we're writing new books and minding our budgets? Attendees will learn how to keep the buzz alive by creating an author's ecosystem including social media, Help A Reporter Out (HARO), content marketing, and continuing to stay abreast of the publishing world. 

       2:50 - 3:00 Break
      3:00 - 3:40 Closing Keynote, Eddie Gamarra & Kat Shepard: "Mind Your Business, How Authors can Transform Publishing from the Inside Out." 
       3:40 - 4:00 Wrap-Up and Illustrator Awards
       4:00 - 4:30 Faculty Author Book Signing in Foyer. Bookstore and Silent Auction Close.
      BP Energy Center Closes

      * Times, speakers and topics subject to change

      For more information on our annual writers conference, click HERE to email the conference chair



      Alaska Writer's Guild

      PO Box 670014

      Chugiak, AK 99567

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