Fantastical Exercises to Strengthen Your Fiction (whether or not you write fantasy!) with Carolyn Turgeon- A Pennwriters Online Course

Is your writing flat? Is it dull? Does it fail to excite all five senses?

Writers often neglect the detailed emotional and sensory descriptions that keep their readers fully engaged. Submerging readers in palpable scenes populated with vivid characters requires skilled communication of evocative sensations. Without such detail, stories fade to black and white and leave readers feeling unmoved.

In Pennwriters’ February 2013 Online Course, Fantastical Exercises to Strengthen Your Fiction, students will immerse themselves in their imaginary worlds to sharpen their focus on attention-grabbing detail and share that detail with force.

Instructor Carolyn Turgeon will lead students through guided writing prompts that will help students build vivid, imaginative, descriptive, sensual and emotional environments and characters. Students will learn:

• Writing with all five senses.

• Making a setting so  real your readers will feel they’ve been there.

• Putting the reader in your characters heart and mind.

And as a free bonus, students will receive their own copies of Carolyn Turgeon’s book, Mermaid!

DATE: February 1 – February 28, 2013

Early Bird Fee: $79 ($89 non-Pennwriters members)

Regular Fee: $89 ($99 non-Pennwriters members)

Register over at Pennwriters.

About the Instructor

Carolyn Turgeon

Carolyn Turgeon is the author of Rain Village (Unbridled Books, 2006), Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (Crown, 2009), Mermaid (Crown 2011), The Next Full Moon (Downtown Bookworks, 2012), and upcoming The Fairest of Them All (Simon & Schuster, 2013). Carolyn’s books have also been published in the UK, Korea, China, Brazil, Portugal, and the Spanish-speaking world, and optioned for film by Focus Features, Gaumont Film Company, and Sony Pictures. She graduated from Penn State, has a Masters in Literature from UCLA, and is currently professor in the University of Alaska at Anchorage’s low-residency MFA program.

Workshops from The Word Studio

Real Writing, Real Writers
writers in workshop at The Word Studio

The Word Studio’s mission is to enrich writers’ works and lives. Our small workshops and private mentoring attract people who aim to grow as writers, to gain support and community, to complete projects, and to publish, whether via traditional means or by self-publishing. Opened by Janet Benton in fall 2010, The Word Studio is in a lovely second-story space at 86 Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, a short walk from the Chestnut Hill East and West train stations, with plenty of parking.
Query and Pitch Clinic
with Agent Marie Lamba
Are you working on a fiction or memoir manuscript that you’d like to sell? Spend four Marie Lamba hours with an agent who’s also a novelist, and get ready to present your work to agents at this year’s writers’ conferences!  Class limited to eight participants.
Class 1: How to write a query and create a pitch. The ins and outs, do’s and don’ts, based on Marie’s working knowledge of today’s market.

Class 2: Share your query letter with the group and get feedback. Deliver your pitch and query and get an immediate response from Marie and class members.

Dates: Sunday, April 7 and Sunday, April 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Fee is $225.

Marie Lamba is associate literary agent at the Jennifer DeChiara  Literary Agency in NYC (www.jdlit.com), where she represents young-adult and middle-grade fiction, along with general and women’s fiction and some memoir. Marie is also the author of the young adult novels What I Meant . . . (Random House, 2008), Over My Head, and Drawn. Her articles have appeared in over a hundred publications, including Writer’s Digest. See www.marielamba.com.

Navigating the Maze of Your Fiction
with Nomi Eve
 Writing novels or stories can be like entering a maze. Writers are often unsure of what paths to follow, and blind alleys and false corridors beckon. Whether you are a veteran writer or new at the craft, this short course will provide you with some highly effective “navigation” tools. This will be a skills-based, roll-up-your-sleeves experience. All writing will be done in class, and at each of our six sessions, we’ll explore an essential and often overlooked quality of good writing. Topics include these:

  • What the heck should I write about?
  • Sensory writing
  • Scenic writing
  • The stop-motion technique
  • The effective use of timelines

You’ll leave the course with concrete and effective tools to help you navigate your own creative maze. Class is limited to seven members.

DATES: Meets six Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. , on April 7, April 14, April 21, April 28, May 5, and May 12.

Fee is $300.

Nomi Eve is a graduate of Penn State University Nomi Eve photo and of Brown University’s MFA program. Her first novel, The Family Orchard (Random House, 2000), was a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection and an L. A. Times bestseller and has been translated into ten languages and published in twelve countries.  Her next novel, Henna, is forthcoming from Scribner’s in 2014. Her short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train and other journals. Nomi teaches creative writing and literature at Penn State Abington.

Writing from Life with Ilene Raymond Rush
This course will teach you how to shape your experiences into meaningful first-person essays and articles using the techniques of fiction writing. We’ll cover how to generate ideas, how to employ narrative techniques, and how to expand personal (and sometimes minor) experiences to achieve a more universal meaning that readers and editors can appreciate. We’ll look at some eIlene Raymond Rushxamples of published essays to see how they succeed. Students will write in-class and out-of-class writing assignments and will end up with one finished 750-word piece and ideas for five personal essays. Ilene’s intention is to help each writer create publishable work. To learn about Ilene, see column to left. Class is limited to seven members.Dates: Meets five consecutive Mondays, 7 to 9 p.m., January 28 and February 4, 11, 18, and 25.Fee is $250.
Writing Intensive with Janet Benton
Now in its 14th year! Looking for a supportive, engaging community of writers? This private workshop offers one, along with structure, feedback, guidance on craft and process, and concrete goals to enable you to make real headway. Of seven published area novelists profiled in a 2010 Inquirer article, two spent years in this workshop.At each meeting, we critique the work of two writers; Janet also leads a discussion of techniques related to those works and supplies writing prompts to sharpen skills and awareness. Each submission receives written critiques from Janet and members. Each writer can submit up to 20 pages of a novel, a short story, or a work of creative nonfiction (such as a memoir) twice. See info. on Janet to left. Class is limited to seven members

Dates: Meets eight times, every other Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. (but first class will be on a Wednesday). Wednesday, January 23, then February 7 and 21, March 7, April 4 and 18, and May 2 and 16.

Fee is $480.

Private Mentoring with
Janet Benton
Would you like someone to help carry your book? Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but working with an editor will ease the isolation and bring an invaluable outside perspective to your efforts. Whether you’re on your first book or your fifth, drafting the first chapter or holding a heavy manuscript in your hands, this work will sharpen your writing, your awareness, and your skills. Doing this work with someone you can trust will also increase your chances of publication. Here is some of what you’ll get from working privately with Janet:Due dates The writer’s best friendEncouragement What keeps writers going

Input Detailed, useful suggestions that will move the work along and fuel the fire

Technical know-how  Up-close information to help you become more aware of your methods and to increase quality and power

Meaningful and effective, this work gets books written and strengthens writers! Email janet.thewordstudio@gmail.com.

Upcoming Writing Workshops

There are many upcoming workshops in the Area and I thought it best to post about them here in more detail rather than only in emails and on the calendar. Permission to post granted but not an endorsement.

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Journaling Workshop with Kathleen Pooler & Susan G. Weidener

Have you always wanted to explore the light and the dark, the small and large moments of your life, but weren’t sure how to go about it? Have you felt the need to keep a written record of your thoughts, experiences, dreams and desires? One way to gain awareness and discover feelings is through the creative art of journaling. But what exactly is journaling and how does it transport us on a voyage of self-discovery? Start off the new year by taking this journey with a workshop that offers insight, discussion, techniques and writing time to begin your voyage of self-discovery through journaling.

Journaling: A Voyage of Self-Discovery
Co-Created by Kathleen Pooler and Susan G. Weidener
Saturday, February 23, 2013
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fairfield Inn, Exton, PA
For more information: http://www.susanweidener.com/2013/01/why-journal-workshop.html

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CREATIVE NONFICTION WORKSHOP with Minter Krotzer
“Truth is stranger than fiction.” – Mark Twain

In this workshop we will explore the exciting world of creative nonfiction including memoir, the personal essay, flash nonfiction, and the micro essay. We will focus on all phases of the writing process, from discovering and generating creative nonfiction material, to revising and shaping written work. Selected readings will be provided for discussion as well. Open to beginners and
to those who already have written creative nonfiction. The workshop includes a private writing consultation with Minter.

Saturday afternoons from 3-5pm, for 6 meetings, from January 26th-March 2nd or Tuesday evenings from 7-9pm, for 6 meetings, from January 29th-March 5th

Workshop Registration Details:

If you are interested in registering for a workshop, or if you have questions about them, please email Minter at minterk@gmail.com . A $50 deposit (or full payment) will be required to secure a spot and it is recommended that you register soon since space is limited. All workshops are $200. Electronic participation is also available for those who are unable to attend in person. Note: a minimum of five participants is required for workshops to run. Also, we are now offering a $10 discount for those who refer new participants.

About Minter: Minter Krotzer’s prose has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Many Mountains Moving, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Arkansas Review , Upstreet, Night Train , Before and After: Stories from New York ( WW Norton), Louisiana in Words (Pelican Press), God Stories (Random House), and Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Twenty-Five Words or Fewer (WW Norton). She has received creative writing fellowships at the New School, where she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, Bennington College, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, the Moulin à Nef in France and Ragdale. Click here to read a recent interview with Minter on Apiary literary magazine’s website. (www.minterkrotzer.com).

Big Blue Marble is an independent bookstore located in Mount Airy at 551 Carpenter Lane, Phila, PA 19119 (215) 844-1870 (www.bigbluemarblebooks.com)

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Poetry Workshop with Hal Sirowitz at Big Blue Marble Bookstore

“Hal Sirowitz is the bard of the deadpan delivery. His poems are like a mad combination of the haiku and the Borscht Belt – they make me laugh and smile with happiness at the pain of being alive.” -Jonathan Ames (Author and creator of the HBO series “Bored to Death”)

The poetry workshop you’ve been hearing about. Led by poet Hal Sirowitz (with Minter Krotzer’s accompaniment), we will mostly read and write poems in free verse although at times we will explore other forms. Selected poetry will also be read and discussed. The former Poet Laureate of Queens, NY, Hal has taught poetry across the country and abroad. The workshop concludes with a private writing consultation with Hal and Minter.

Wednesday evenings from 7:15-9:15pm, for six meetings, from February 6th-April 3rd (excluding February 27th, March 6th, and March 27th)

Workshop Registration Details:
If you are interested in registering for a workshop, or if you have questions about it, please email Minter at minterk@gmail.com . A $50 deposit (or full payment) will be required to secure a spot and it is recommended that you register soon since space is limited. All workshops are $200. Electronic participation is also available for those who are unable to attend in person. Note: a minimum of five participants is required for workshops to run. Also, we are now offering a $10
discount for those who refer new participants.

About Hal: Hal Sirowitz is the author of six books of poetry, Mother Said, My Therapist Said(Crown/Random House), Father Said , Before, During & After (Soft Skull Press), the newly released Stray Cat Blues (Backwaters Press) and a recent completed collection of prose poetry, A Hole in My Heart. His work has been translated into nine languages including Icelandic and Turkish. Garrison Keillor has read his work on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac and he has included Hal’s poems in his anthologies, Good Poems and Good Poems for Hard Times . Hal has performed and appeared on MTV’s “Spoken Word Unplugged,” PBS’s “Poetry Heaven,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” Awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, Hal is the former Poet Laureate of Queens, New York. Click here to read a recent interview with Hal on Garrison Keillor’s website. (www.halsirowitz.com)

About Minter:
Minter Krotzer’s prose has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Many Mountains Moving, The Saint Ann’s Review, The Arkansas Review , Upstreet, Night Train , Before and After: Stories from New York ( WW Norton 2002), Louisiana in Words (Pelican Press), God Stories (Random House 2008), and Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Twenty-Five Words or Fewer (WW Norton). She has received creative writing fellowships at the New School, where she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, Bennington College, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Squaw Valley Writers Conference, the Moulin à Nef in France and Ragdale. Click here to read a recent interview with Minter on Apiary literary magazine’s website. (www.minterkrotzer.com).

Big Blue Marble is an independent bookstore located in Mount Airy at 551 Carpenter Lane, Phila, PA 19119 (215) 844-1870 (www.bigbluemarblebooks.com)

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Philadelphia-based author/journalist Anndee Hochman is offering a local version of her popular Mexico writing workshop.

Heart & Craft: Write Out of Your Comfort Zone will take place on Sundays from 2-5 p.m. starting February 3, at Anndee’s home in Mt. Airy (Northwest section of Philadelphia).

Beginning and experienced writers of fiction, poetry and memoir will find inspiring readings & discussions, provocative prompts and thoughtful critique of ongoing work.

$200 for 10 weeks. Contact Anndee at aehoch@aol.com to register.

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Using Writing Contests to Improve One’s Game

Long before my first book was published, I was hard at work, putting the manuscript through some very vigorous paces.

Since it was my first book, I wanted a litmus test before I started flinging it at agents. I wanted to toe the waters of publishing before plunging in. I wanted to feel my way cautiously through the dark instead of bumbling through it.

Publishing had become my sport. Was I ready to query agents? Was my manuscript ready? I ‘d be going up against some pretty tough competition. I couldn’t go out on the field unprepared so I practiced…by competing.

Confused? Don’t be. What I mean to say is I entered my manuscripts into writing contests.

Entering contests helped me to do all that and more. Besides learning the rules of formatting and preparing submissions, besides the dubious joys of preparing several synopses, I received invaluable critique, peer-based feedback, and lessons in surviving rejection. These experiences helped me to grow from an amateur hobby writer into a more polished professional who had her eyes on the prize.

Once I had completed the first draft, I decided to spend a full year entering every competition that fit my manuscript. As a result, my synopsis and first chapters were submitted to perhaps a dozen different novel writing contests. Several contests—especially those offered by writers groups whose main objective is to help writers improve their craft and get their writing up to publishable standards—returned entries with heaps of comments on the pages as well as score sheets that provided me with the litmus test I wanted. (Houston Writers Guild and our very own Pennwriters are both excellent examples.) While other contests offered critique for a fee, I was able to avoid extra cost by simply choosing the right contests.

Contests also provided great feedback. Currently, my “betas” are readers, not writers or others in the publishing business. While reader feedback is very valuable, it lacks the aspect of knowledgeable constructive criticism. Back when I was a newbie writer, I had zero access to a writer’s critique group. When I began competing, the judges became my circle of well-meaning peers. Thanks to the feedback , I made some excellent revisions. (I also ignored a lot of personal opinion, just like in a real group.)

My favorite “feedback” example: I failed one contest quite miserably because my formatting stunk. While the formatting kept me on the sidelines, I got the opportunity to be evaluated by a third judge who spent a great amount of time commenting and suggesting ways to improve. She admitted the formatting mess was too great to ignore but said I was so close—I had a real chance with this book. That encouragement was my candle in the window.

Best of all, participation in writing competitions steeled my heart against the slings and arrows of rejection. I failed to place in many of the contests. Not seeing my name on some of the results letters was a little disappointing. However, actually seeing my name on a few of the results letters was a huge boost.

I started with honorable mentions. I made recommended changes and revisions and tweaked my synopses. I earned a second place, complete with a gorgeous ribbon and—gasp!—a check. Eventually, I won first place and grand prize overall in a contest I never dreamed of winning.

Grand prize. Say it out loud. I do, whenever I need one little victory to heal the sting of a rejection. Dealing with anonymous judges is far less personal than dealing one on one with agents. Writers new to the game may find it easier to hear a “no” from a contest before they hear one from their dream agent (mine rejected my query twice. I guess once wasn’t enough?)

Perspective. That’s how I would sum up my entire contest experience. In 2007 I had much to learn about writing, and thanks to the critiques, I knew what direction to follow. I needed peer review; many writers and editors gave me the feedback and encouragement I craved. I won some, I lost some, and I learned the rules of the rejection game. It made querying a lot less abrasive.

A writer who is unsure if that manuscript is ready for an agent would do well to take a chance at entering a contest or two. If you want to play the publishing game, you need to practice first—and a writing competition may just be the perfect scrimmage for your manuscript.

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction writer who resides in the heart of the Pennsylvania coal region, where she keeps the book jacket for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” in a frame over her desk. Visit Ash’s blog at www.ash-krafton.blogspot.com for news on her newly released urban fantasy “Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde” (Pink Narcissus Press 2012).

This article first appeared on the Query Tracker blog.

Headlines and Hooklines: Writing a Press Release

Yesterday morning I thought I’d do something nice for my book…so I sent out my press release to almost a dozen newspapers around my area, hoping someone will pick up my story and run with it.

I know this sounds a little intimidating to novice writers (and perhaps a few not-so-novice ones as well.) Press releases sound like terribly official and extremely elevated forms of publicity. Celebrities and experts and gala events get press releases…not us.

But did you ever try writing one? It’s really not that bad—and it can do your book a world of good.

A press release is free publicity.

Reporters for media outlets love them because they provide content. You, as a writer, should love press releases because they tell the audience exactly what you want them to know.

Even if you don’t need a press release yet, it’s a good writing exercise. We’ve practiced writing log lines and queries and elevator pitches. With that practice came ease and familiarity with simmering our 90k word masterpiece into pure concentrated glory. Use this as another writing exercise so, when the time comes to finally make an announcement, you can rip out a press release and send it to your editor so fast her head will spin.

Exercises like these often help writers find new focus in their manuscripts, as well. Writing a press release provides a sort of goal for the work-in-progress—how you want your book to be viewed once it’s released into the world.

A Press Release is NOT an Advertisement.

The key to writing an effective press release is to keep in mind who your target is: the journalist.

Weird, right? It’s not necessarily the publication’s audience. Just as a query letter is designed to snare the agent, a press release is meant to snare the journalist and get him to explore your story further. A press release is a huge billboard that says THERE’S A GREAT STORY HERE! and it lures all the news-hungry journalists over to see what’s going on.

Advertisements are for customers, not for journalists. Journalists aren’t looking to shop—they are looking to write articles for their publication.

Never exaggerate or hard-sell your book. Write the press release as if you are an objective reporter who found a news-worthy topic. Share an overview of the book and a general bit about the author. Keep it clean, keep it short, and keep it sharp. Don’t give a journalist the excuse to skim or, worse, pass on it.

Anatomy of a Press Release

Traditionally, a press release has a few main sections: the headline, the lead paragraph, the body, the boilerplate, and the close.

Headline: the title of your press release. This is the eye-catcher, the sparkling summary, the hook. Write it as you would a hook sentence. Inspire curiosity and an intense need to read further. You can also add a subhead, which is in smaller type below the headline. It’s another sentence or two providing more information—and more hooks. They aren’t always included but since this is an exercise for some of you, go the distance for extra credit. Make those hooks sharp.

Lead Paragraph: This should be informative, nothing more. This is the spot for the who-what-where-when of the press release. If you’re promoting fiction, you have a little wiggle room. Make it interesting but make it tight.

Body: Use this paragraph to elaborate and support your news. Provide examples and author quotes and remember: you are still trying to sell this story to a journalist so write like one. Keep it clean of adjectives and sales pitches and puffed-up claims.

Boilerplate: otherwise known as the biographical section. Write a bio for yourself, much the same way you’d write in an agent query letter. Say good things about yourself, your accomplishments, or your relevant qualifications. Direct the audience to a website or point to other resources that might elaborate on the subject of your book. Again, keep it short (but make it sweet.)

Close: Your contact information. That way a reporter knows who to call to get his next story.

Additional Essential Elements

The press release also has two more details to include in order to maintain proper structure. I’ll list the parts we already discussed and slip in the missing lines in bold face.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Headline

Subhead

Lead

Body

Biography

# # #

Close

Release Information: generally written as “for immediate release” but can also be altered to fit your needs by writing, for instance, “for release after XXX date”.

# # #: Tells the reporter this is where the printable text ends.
That’s all there is to it, folks. Use this template to plug in your information and away you go. You and your book are newsworthy!

Helpful Tips

There’s a few extra nuggets of wisdom to remember.
• Use your headline as your email’s subject line.
• Keep it to one page– 400 to 500 words is the sweet spot.
• Write it in third person.
• Research your target publications and tailor the release to keep it audience-specific.
• Keep it factual. You sell yourself by giving the facts and making them interesting. No one wants fluff unless they are shopping for pillows.
• Cast a wide net—approach newspapers, online news publications, and radio stations. Can you think of other places that might promote you by reporting about your book?

That’s really all it takes to write a successful press release. It’s a unique writing exercise that gives us the opportunity to create another effective marketing tool for our books. There is a world full of free press out there—and now you know how to grab some of it.

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction writer who resides in the heart of the Pennsylvania coal region, where she keeps the book jacket for “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” in a frame over her desk. Visit Ash’s blog at www.ash-krafton.blogspot.com for news on her newly released urban fantasy “Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde” (Pink Narcissus Press 2012).

This article first appeared on the Query Tracker blog.

Writing Events Hosted by Kelly Writers House

The Writers House is proud to host a number of ongoing writing and reading groups. For more information about joining the following groups, contact the
group organizers listed below.

F-Word
A journal of feminism, gender,  and sexuality. For more information contact fwordinfo@gmail.com.

Jabberwocky: Writing for Children
Interested in writing for kids — stories, poetry, picture books?

Jabberwocky will bring together all those interested in writing,
illustrating, or otherwise being involved in the world of literature for  children. If you’ve ever considered writing for kids, come check out  Jabberwocky! For more
information please contact both Tracy Byford at tbyford@sas.upenn.eduand Kermit Oswald III at chaosthethird@gmail.com.

Lacanians
A Lacan discussion group. For more info contact Patricia Gherovici at pgherovici@aol.com.

Penn Appetit
A journal of food and food writing. For more information contact
pennappetit@gmail.com.

Penn and Pencil Club
A creative writing workshop for Penn employees. For more information, contact
Luellen Fletcher at luellen@upenn.edu.

Pennomicon is a writing group for those who create worlds of fantasy,
science fiction and horror. Whether your medium is short story, novel, or screenplay, bring an idea to discuss, pages to read, or a writer’s block to smash, in the company of like minded visionaries. Please contact Matthew Spizuco (pennomicon@comcast.net) for details.

Penn Review is the premier mainstream magazine devoted to the literary
and visual arts on Penn’s campus. The magazine accepts literary and visual arts
submissions for annual publication. For more information, contact pennreview@gmail.com.

The Plays’ The Thing
An open-ended monthly play reading and thinking group, designed to get people together to study the genre of writing for theater and to share
and discuss their work. For more info contact Amy Freeman at plays.philadelphia@gmail.com.

Writers Workshop
For writers, published or working in that direction, interested in sharing their stories while giving and receiving feedback. This is a mixed genre group —
fiction writers, memoirists, creative nonfiction writers and essayists.
Writing is submitted via the Internet, but critiqued in person using a
traditional writers workshop format with scheduled meetings. For more
information, please contact Martha Turner (m-turner@verizon.net).

Suppose An Eyes
A  poetry workshop where poets can come to share and discuss their work. For
more information contact Pat Green at patricia78@aol.com.

34th Street Poets
Meets weekly to workshop poems that range from experimental forms to carefully crafted sonnets.

Virginia Woolf Discussion Group
For Virginia Woolf, the politics is in the writing. With this in mind, our
discussions will focus on Woolf’s language and how it functions in her
texts. For more information, contact Judith Allen at woolfgroup@mindspring.com.

Write On!
Is a group for Penn students working with middle school students on expository and creative writing projects. For more information contact wh@writing.upenn.edu.

Push to Publish 2012: Strategies and Techniques to Get Your Work in Print and Online

Start:  10/13/2012 9:00 am
End: 10/13/2012 5:00 pm

Where: Rosemont College, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont, PA 19010.

“This was the best conference of any type I have ever attended. I found both encouragement and very practical advice.” — from a 2011 survey of PTP attendees

Whether you are an established writer or just getting started, this one-day workshop will provide valuable resources you can use to get your work in print and online. Highlights include:

  • Speed date with the editors and agents: Meet editors and agents who will review and offer feedback on your work (bring up to 5 pages of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction to review and dicuss).
  • Learn how to increase your chances of getting published.
  • Discuss the new writing trends with professionals in the community
  • Get great marketing and networking tips to break into the competitive world of publishing.

Kevin McIlvoyKevin McIlvoyKeynote Speaker: Kevin McIlvoy has published four novels (A Waltz, The Fifth Station, Little Peg, Hyssop) and, most recently, a short story collection, The Complete History of New Mexico (Graywolf Press).  He has taught in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program in Creative Writing and the New Mexico State University MFA Program in Creative Writing.

 Click here to read our interview with Mr. McIlvoy.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE – Click HERE for a list of participating agents, editors and panelist bios.

SCHEDULE
 9:00     Registration and Breakfast: Kistler Memorial Library (Building #5 on campus map)

10:00   Keynote Speaker: Kevin McIlvoy: McShain Auditorium, Brown Hall (Building #2 on campus map)

11:15   Speed Dating with Editors & agents: Kistler Memorial Library

. Editors and agents include representatives from: Don Congdon Associates, Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency, Pen & Ink Agency, Sheree Bykofsky Agency, Full Circle Agency, Creative Nonfiction, Wild River Review, Baltimore Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Philadelphia Poets, Philadelphia Stories, Apiary, Hidden River Press, and writing coaches.

12:30     Lunch & Networking: Kistler Memorial Library

1:15-2:15 Breakout Session I – McShain/Dorothy McKenna Brown Science Center (Building #2 on campus map)

A: SELLING YOUR GENRE FICTION Panelists: Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Dennis Tafoya, Alison DeLuca

B. MARKETING: GETTING STARTED Panelists: Marie Lamba, Don Lafferty, Nora Zelevansky

C: SELLING YOUR MEMOIR 
& CREATIVE NONFICTION Panelists: Lise Funderburg, Jerry Waxler, Hattie Fletcher, Kathye Petrie

2:30-3:30  Breakout Session II – McShain/Dorothy McKenna Brown Science Center

A: MARKETING FOR PUBLISHED AUTHORS Panelists: Katie Grimm, Anne Dubuisson, Don Lafferty, Debra Leigh Scott, Curtis Smith

B: WRITING FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS 

 Panelists: Beth Kephart, Nancy Viau, Catherine Stine, Karen Toz, Alison DeLuca

C: THE INS AND OUTS OF E-PUBLISHING Panelists: Miral Sattar (BiblioCrunch.com), Thomas Hartman (Rosemont professor), more to come

3:45-5 Breakout Session III – McShain/Dorothy McKenna Brown Science Center

MEET THE AGENTS & EDITORS (McShain Auditorium)
 Agents and editors share their tips for finding the right agent and selling your work (from novels to short stories to poems). This interactive panel will include plenty of time for Q&A so you can get an insider’s persepectives on the publishing market today.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY! Fee: $75 (Students, Seniors $65) includes Breakfast, Lunch, and one
Speed-date Pass. Additional Speed-date passes can be purchased for $5
each. (No more than 3 total recommended.) [50% off for Rosemont
students, faculty, and alumni — must provide valid proof of affiliation
at registration]

Any questions, please email christine@philadelphiastories.org

PRE-CONFERENCE EVENTS, Friday, October 12

Back by popular demand: Spend a Day with a Literary Agent
 Workshop with Sheree Bykofsky.  Cost: $75 (includes lunch). Click HERE for details.

New this year: Master class with Kevin McIlvoy. Cost: $75 (includes lunch).
 Description: THE STANCE OF WONDER IN FIRST-PERSON NARRATION In third-person narration the saying-singing shapes the reader’s experience of wonder and completeness. In first-person narration the singing-saying shapes the experience of wonder and fullness by naturally inviting many destabilizing moments. Our workshop will focus on some of the strategies for achieving wonder and fullness in writing in the first person. We will do a brief (optional) writing exercise, so please bring paper and pen. *Email christine@philadelphiastories.org  for an application. Space is limited!