Summer in Words

Writing Conference


Summer in Words 2014 Schedule


 Craft, Community & Connection

June 19-22, 2014

Thursday, June 19

7 p.m. Get acquainted reception

 Friday, June 20

8:30-9:00 Registration, Continental breakfast, Opening Remarks

9:15-10:45 Your Story Community, Jessica Morrell Any story requires a supporting cast or community if you will. We’ll cover the many reasons why a story must be well populated, but not overpopulated and the roles of sidekicks, secondary characters, and minor characters. We’ll also talk about the need for neighbors, in-laws, siblings, exes, foils, and why quirky characters and diversity matter.

 11:00 -12:30  Just Whose Story is This? Point of View,Tense &Voice, Randall Platt Point of view is probably the most important decision any writer of fiction has to make when facing Chapter One, Page One. Who is the best character to tell the story? Which character offers the best voice, the most possibilities? What about multiple points of view? Every story needs a strong storyteller. What characters, what tense can best tell your story and result in the best possible voice? We’ll dissect the opening of a novel – switch it all around, have fun with it, explore point of view, play with the tense and find the right voice.

12:30- 2:00 Free time

2:00- 3:30  Type and Stereotype – How To Etch A Character, Randall Platt So what if you can’t draw? You’re a writer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do all you can to etch the best character you can. Don’t let your characters fall into the pit of stereotype. With fun exercises, we first create stereotypes and frankly discuss why we think that way. How do we keep our own preconceived and maybe even biased opinions about certain types away from the characters we create? Can we, should we, create characters outside our own experience?  Finally, we will then re-create our stereotyped characters, making them real, unforgettable and unique. 

 2:00-3:30 WordPress for Writers, Lorelle VanFossen Want WordPress? Got WordPress? Now what? A website is not just a place to show off your work and promote your books or published writing. It is a home base on the social web. This workshop explores developing a site for writers on WordPress including speed blogging (so you can get back to your writing), using it as a tool for your craft, community building, and social media integration. The workshop is highly interactive as we problem-solve the issues facing writers on the web.

 3:45-5:15   Beginning Your Memoir, Matt Love Many people aspire to write a memoir but struggle with how to begin. This frustration often results in the story going untold. In this workshop, participants will experiment with different and innovative techniques for beginning a memoir and discover how the right opening can help unwrap the story and determine its heart. Workshop presenter Matt Love has written several memoirs and will share his ideas on how to get started telling your unique story.

 3:45-5:15  Understanding Google and the Modern Web, How it was, How it is, and Why it Matters, John Ellis The Internet is not anything like it was 15, 5, even 3 months ago. In 15 years, Google Search has evolved from a rudimentary database and algorithm to a semantic, contextual, historical, preferential, learning, voice commanded web platform. It serves 90% of our global daily search volume. The entire world uses Google and it’s vast array of mostly free services more than any other web platform, software, or product. Google is so big, it’s difficult to grasp all that it does for us.

This presentation will open your mind to the modern Google platform and all it has to offer. Find out why we all work for Google and all have the option to work with them, if we learn how to use the platform they’ve built with us and for us.


5:15-7:00   free time


7:00 Writers’ Circle Reception Catered by Culinary Capers

Keynote:A FEARLESS path to publishing! Karen Azinger Be FEARLESS, for never in the history of the world have authors had so many paths to publishing. One author’s journey from a mailbox full of rejections, to a five-figure deal from one of the Big Six publishing houses, to then taking her destiny into her own hands, forming her own publishing company, and gaining avid fans around the world. E-books combined with POD publishing, and marketing through the internet and Amazon, give authors the ability to publish their own books and reach readers around the world. So be FEARLESS and don’t be afraid to keep your book’s destiny in your own hands. Karen Azinger is the author of The Silk & Steel Saga, an epic medieval fantasy full of plots, battles, romance, and schemes that will never let you underestimate the ‘weaker’ sex again. The first five books of the saga, The Steel Queen, The Flame Priest, The Skeleton King, The Poison Priestess, and The Knight Marshal are published as print books and e-books and getting great reviews. 

Saturday, June 21

8:45 Continental breakfast served

9:00-10:15 Beats, Jessica Morrell Beat is a word that gets used in a lot of different ways in the writing process. Sometimes beat refers to a pause, as in a character wiping a brow during dialogue. We’ll sort out the various definitions and focus on beats as a unit of action; the parts used to build a scene so that the scene does its job and creates emotion in the reader. Beat sheets force a writer to think about the progression of action and emotion and take into account the physical/emotional setting in each scene. We’ll also try our hand at using a beat sheet as a guide for writing a scene.

 9:00-10:15 Personal Branding and Google Plus for Authors in 2014, John Ellis 2014 saw a paradigm shift in how the Google web functions for us, with us. Google has changed the focus from your site, to you, and what you do online daily. Those changes serve authors in ways the Internet didn’t, couldn’t, just two years ago. Authorship gives you full credit for your words, your brand, your work…if you know how to write, share, and engage on Google+. Join John for an in-depth primer on Google+, Authorship, and what they mean for you as a writer. You’ll learn how it works, why it’s mission critical for everyone in business, and how to build your personal brand to sell you and your books in 2014.

10:30-12 The Wonder of Worldbuilding, Karen Azinger World building is an art that sets fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction writers apart from all other genres. We long to create a world of wonder that will enchant and enthrall our readers, but how do we make these worlds believable, and how do we keep from drowning in the details? Explore the key elements of world building and then learn a unique method to determine which elements will best enhance your story and showcase your characters. Create an authentic world that works but also sparkles with wonder.

 10:30-12 What do Women Want? Cathy Lamb You may want to figure it out. 60% of adult fiction paperbacks are written for women. The romance industry alone had $1.438 billion (yes, billion) in sales in 2012 according to Romance Writers of America. NPR reports that the average woman reads nine books a year, men only read five.  Books for women is a $24 billion dollar industry. 

What do women readers want?  Well, what do YOU want?  What do you long for, wish for? What do you dread or regret? What makes you cry or laugh? To relate to women readers you need to be able to relate to yourself…and then turn that into a marketable story.  This workshop will explore ways to write stories that will sell to women.

 12: 15 Lunch, Keynote speaker Matt Love Creating an Independent Literary Life In 2002 Oregon Coast author Matt Love established Nestucca Spit Press (NSP), an independent press that publishes books exclusively about Oregon. Twelve years later, NSP has sold 20,000 books and several titles became statewide bestsellers and sold out their press runs.How did he do it? In his talk Love will share his unique story of leaving Portland, connecting to the ocean and a sense of rural place, discovering his literary passion, writing them up, turning them into books, and creating an independent literary life.

 1:30-3:00 Free Time

 3:00-4:30 Constructing a Personal Metaphor for Your Writing Life, Matt Love Creating a metaphor for your writing life can be a powerfully transforming experience and one that provides form and meaning for your literary aspirations. In this class, participants will construct a metaphor through a series of thinking and writing exercises. Workshop presenter has employed this exercise with writers of all ages and aspirations, journalists, teachers, administrators, inmates and marine science professionals with great success.

4:30-7 Free time

7:00 Out loud Join fellow writers for a reading

Happy Summer Solstice to all

  Sunday June 22

 8:45 Continental Breakfast

 9:00-10:30  Kelly Williams Brown Pitching to Editors & Agents You’ve spent a year or more working on a great novel or nonfiction book and now you believe it’s ready to be shared with the world. Naturally, the first step is to pitch literary agents and editors and find one who shares your passion for the work and is willing to sign you. This workshop will cover topics that will teach you how to present yourself and your manuscript. Kelly will cover:  her path to publication; various ways to attract an agent; the importance of an elevator pitch; and how to frame  yourself. Then the attendees will workshop the concepts, choosing their strongest selling points, practicing pitches and how to frame talking points so they don’t sound like talking points.

 10:45-12:15  Cathy Lamb Re – Discovering Your Love of Writing

 Sometimes, in the quest to get published, we lose the love we initially had of writing. How do you get that love and passion back, especially when the rejections come harsh and quick? Through a variety of group and individual activities, we’ll work on re-finding ourselves and our commitment to writing. We’ll talk about how to mentally kick the heck out of those stupid rejections and go forth and write another awesome, mind blowing book.

12:15 Wrap-up, Raffle Drawing


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s