2017 Master Classes

On Friday, October 13, 2017, we will offer six pre-conference Master Classes. Each two-hour Master Class, taught by one of our conference guest speakers, takes an in-depth look at a particular topic of interest to writers and published authors.

Each class is $45 for members and $65 for non-members. When you register for the conference, you will have the opportunity to add up to three Master Classes.  Classes are offered from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

If space is still available after October 1, people who have not registered for the conference will be allowed to register for Master Classes.

This year, we will be offering:

9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

People. Time. Place: A hands-on workshop on crafting characters that are vivid and real to their world

Taught by Meg Medina

Join Meg Medina, long listed for the National Book Award, as she unlocks strategies for creating characters that are natural and believable to their time and place. How do we create layered characters who are strong and interesting enough to carry a novel? We’ll study strategies and try our hand at creating villains who are sympathetic, heroes who are flawed, and secondary characters that remind us of the people who’ve shaped us for better or worse.


Mat and Page: A workshop for yogis and writers of all levels

Taught by Gigi Amateau and Dana Walters

Yoga is a vehicle for many things, including innovation and creativity. Take a journey through the practice of asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), and dharana (meditation). Learn how these three “limbs” of the Eight Limb path of yoga can help you connect mat and page, tap into the flow of your creative mind, and find that place inside that is always wild and free! Workshop is open to teachers, yogis, and writers of all ages and is appropriate for all levels.



11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

Dispelling the Myths, Good and Bad, of the Publishing Experience: How editors work, how marketing money gets spent, etc.

Taught by Carrie Thornton

“Editors don’t really edit anymore.” “Publishers only market the “big” titles.” “Publicity is only focused on celebrity books.” These are but some of the myths that are out there about how big publishers work today. In this Master Class, these and other prevailing myths will be dispelled by a publishing professional with more than twenty years of experience in the industry.


Accelerate YOUR brand with Social Media

Taught by: Sharvette Mitchell

Social Media has become the great equalizer. Readers are no longer exposed to just the New York Times best sellers, but every author has the opportunity to connect with readers interested in their writing and stories. Readers are looking for new books and authors, and they often go to social media for that next read. In addition, readers expect to interact with and follow authors on social media. Guess what, that means you need to be on social media and be active.

This session will discuss the power of social media sites such as
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
We will discuss key trends in online marketing strategies and tips that authors and writers can use to build their brand, meet and interact with readers, and sell more books! This intermediate/advanced session is geared toward writes/authors that have not published a book yet, authors with a new book release, and authors with several published books.


2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Cash & Creativity: How cleaning up your finances can spark new creative success

Taught by: Angele McQuade

Wish you could earn more from your writing? Ever felt like you’re stuck in creative quicksand? The problem might not be your creativity, but how you deal with money. Uncertainty or fear about your finances—regardless of your net worth—can shut down your creativity in unexpected ways. This two-hour workshop will teach you strategies for uncovering the truth about your finances, tying up energy-draining financial loose ends, and learning simple, more effective ways to organize and manage your money. You’ll also learn similar strategies for tying up your creative loose ends and prioritizing your projects, as well as dreaming big dreams and then crafting a step-by-step plan to turn those dreams into reality. Be prepared to leave the workshop inspired to take enthusiastic, deliberate action toward both your creative and financial goals.


Follow What Moves You

Taught by Beth Macy

Life is filled with stories that entice and intrigue a writer. The attention to detail can make or break the story you tell. Award-winning author Beth Macy will share how to find and research nonfiction stories that will have both heft and heart.