GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference Schedule – Saturday, March 25

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Conf Mem 7

7:00 a.m. Check-In table opens
Pick up registration materials at the check-in table

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Seminar Syllabus for Saturday, March 25

 

7:30 – 8:40     Continental Breakfast (Ballroom)
 8:50 – 9:40 a.m. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

Agent Pitch

 Kathryn Craft
Finding The Story in True Events: Creative Non-Fiction

In fiction, writers seek the truth in imagined story; in creative  nonfiction, writers seek the story in true events. In this session we  take a fresh look at story elements that can make your nonfiction read  like a novel, and how popular works of creative nonfiction hook the  reader with the same kind of entertaining, important­seeming, and  heart­warming material that makes all stories linger in the mind long  after the book is closed.

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Agent Panel
Moderated by Suzanne Mattaboni

Conf Mem 9 Agent Panel

Agents will share insights, guidelines, and ideas for writers. These agents will also meet with participants to hear pre-scheduled pitches throughout the day.

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Phil Giunta
Writing the Compelling Short Story

In their submission requirements, publishers often impose a word limit for short stories. As such, writers must make every word count. In this session, Phil will present actual (and anonymous) excerpts from three or four short stories in order to illustrate common pitfalls with opening scenes, story structure, dialogue, POV characters, and more. For each example, the audience will be engaged to provide suggestions for improving the story.

Jennifer Lader

The Fine Line: How to Turn Your Writing into a
Money-Making Business – Part 1 of 2

You’ll come away with specific actions that you can take to launch or invigorate your freelance career.

GOAL: Get into the mindset that you can make money as a freelancer.

OBJECTIVES:

1. Find out the number one way that you can easily promote your services, enable others to envision how you can help them, and melt away your competition (lesson 1);

2. Learn how to think like a business person (lessons 2-7); and

3. Make plans now to stake your claim in three easy steps (lessons 8-10).

 9:50 – 10:40 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

 Colleen Warmingham
Organize Your Writing Business

You’re in business… do you know where your receipts are? Learn to manage your back office like the self-employed pro you are. We’ll cover organizing your income and expense receipts, locating your marketing plans and materials, and some basic business planning. You’ll learn the tools to understand your business’s financial position and save time and money at tax time.

 

Anna Kashina

Spicing it up: Romance as a Genre Fiction Tool

Romance is by far the most popular genre in fiction, but what is it that makes it so attractive to the readers? And, can other genres effectively use romance elements to develop the characters and plot? And, how much romance can be used without overwhelming the rest of the story? I this workshop, we will talk about romance as a tool in genre fiction and its effective use for character development, as well as introducing the extra dimensions into the setting and story.

Therese Halscheid

Writing From the Inside Out

Using poems as a springboard for discussion, this workshop shares what happens within us when we write. We will discuss and practice ways to ignite the potent language of the interior self so that writing becomes a felt experience.

 

Jennifer Lader


The Fine Line: How to Turn Your Writing into a Money-Making Business –  Part 2 of 2

 

10:40 – 11:00

  Break

 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

Agent Pitch 3

 

Pattie Giordani
Feature This: Writing Articles

A feature article can be a short list, such as 10 Things to Do Before You Buy a House, or it can be a long piece on the latest type of architecture complete with research and multiple interviews with experts and those living and working in such structures. We will discuss how to develop ideas, find markets and pitch your ideas, article types and formats, how to conduct research and interview experts and others and how to put it all together in an interesting way.

Amy Deardon
What’s the Right Type of Publishing for My Book?

Congratulations on finishing your book! But as you start out, navigating the publishing field can be overwhelming. Should you get an agent? Should you publish yourself? Learn the pros and cons of different publishing methods and common pitfalls waiting for the uninformed so you can make the choices that will keep you a happy (published!) author.

 

Deborah Riley-Magnus
10 Tools for Author Marketing Success

Today’s authors, no matter how they’re published, are bombarded with baffling responsibilities for their own success. Everything from understanding social media to building powerful platforms and creating effective marketing strategies is now on their shoulders. It only takes 10 little tools to help you focus, stand apart from the noisy crowd of shouting authors, and become successful. This session helps structure your marketing activities so that you will be effective…AND have time to write, too.  

Victoria Selvaggio
Composing The Query Letter

As an Associate Agent, receiving hundreds of queries a week, not to mention the many authors and potential authors she encounters, Victoria A.Selvaggio has learned that the mention of writing a query letter is something that brings forth many different reactions.  Some love it…some dread it…some don’t understand it or its purpose.

While mastering the art of writing that well-polished manuscript takes time and skill, so does composing the query letter.

Join Victoria as she covers the essentials of a query, in which she’ll include a few do’s and don’ts..

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12:00 – 12:45

    Banquet (included in Saturday or full conference)

Michael-Hauge-Presenting-Story-Keynote-Large-Audience

12:50 – 1:30 

   Dessert – Keynote Speaker – Michael Hauge                          

“BECOMING THE HERO OF YOUR OWN STORY”

Stories that touch us deeply aren’t just entertainment – they reveal the ways we can face our own fears, accomplish our goals and find our destinies.  By revealing the ways movie heroes consistently find the courage to pursue whatever they long for, Michael will give you a new way to approach your personal and professional goals. Not just for writers and filmmakers, this fun and enlightening seminar will use examples from Hollywood’s most popular films to help you, or your clients, achieve success and fulfillment in any area of life.

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1:40 – 2:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

Agent Pitch 2

 

Pattie Giordani
Lets Get Personal: Writing Essays

Do you have something to say you feel will resonate with other people? But how will you write it, and who will publish it? Learn the basics of writing personal essays, including what differentiates an essay from an article. We will discuss markets, how to refine your ideas, your written voice, format and length, topics, markets, and how to ensure your essay is reader-friendly.

 

Deborah Riley-Magnus

Care and Feeding of Your Marketing Muse

We listen faithfully to our writing muse, but often ignore our marketing muse because most authors are unaware that marketing is a creative process. Just as your muse leads you through ideas and concepts for your writing, she whispers fantastic directions for your marketing. Learn new and exciting paths for your marketing efforts. Take your marketing to new venues with flare, and to those tired overused venues with a brand new punch. Learn the tricks for creating and keeping your marketing momentum alive. Trusting your marketing muse is the first step to finding true book sales success!

 

Kathryn Craft
Engaging Backstory Techniques

Backstory can be an important ally to a storyteller—or an obstacle that  tries a reader’s patience. We’ll talk about

  • When should you use backstory?
  • What should you include – and not?
  • Various ways to handle backstory.
  • Problems that can arise with backstory.

 

Anna Kashina
World Building in Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction is “special” when it comes to worldbuilding: it deals with a world readers are not familiar with. But how do we create a whole new world, complete with history geography, culture, ethnicity, and all the details that come with it – and then effectively convey this to the readers?
Learn how to create an immersive experience for the readers with a truly different world that comes completely from your imagination, yet feels hauntingly real on a page. We will discuss all the details you need to build a world – as well as the process of choosing what to put on the page to keep from overwhelming the reader.

 

2:40 – 3:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concurrent agent/editor appointments and marketing consults during this time.

 

Colleen Warmingham

Organize Your Writing Content

 Ideas, proposals, research, drafts… how do you keep track of it all? This session will focus on organizing the materials that support the product you sell, your writing. Learn techniques to prevent saying the dreaded “I know I have it here somewhere” while on the phone with your editor, and face the IRS with confidence.

 

Amy Deardon

Does My Book Have What it Takes?

We’ll talk about the three ingredients that determine whether your book will even be picked up and read. This will be a hand-on workshop—bring your title, logline (15-25 word description) and back cover copy (100-150 word summary) for critiquing and group opinion. You’ll learn first-hand what people pay attention to and how you can persuade potential readers that your book is exactly what they’ve been looking for.

 

Victoria Selvaggio

Writing on the Dark Side:
What I look for in an Edgy, Dark Novel

When writing on the Dark Side, having the ability to question and cross boundaries of acceptable behavior, while balancing/containing inappropriate con-tent, is  just as important as crafting all those elements of a plot.

 As an agent, I look for originality, characterization, reality, mystery, and so much more. An Edgy, Dark Novel should be just that—Edgy…Dark…compelling the reader to reflect further, long after the reading is done.

 

Therese Halscheid

The Artful Poem

In this poetry workshop, participants will explore elements of artful poems. They will practice ways to enhance imagery. They will learnthe difference between the daily eye and the writer’s eye and from that perspective call attention to life’s details turning the ordinary into something extraordinaire.

 

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Be sure to stick around after the seminars end.  Authors and Presenters will offer books for sale at the Book Fair. We’ll also be giving out door prizes and announcing contest winners from the Flash Fiction Contest.

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That’s our show for 2017 The Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group

“Write Stuff”™ Conference

On behalf of the Conference Chairman, Charles Kiernan, and the GLVWG Board of Directors, we hope everyone had a great time.  We hope to see you next year.

 

GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference Schedule – Friday, March 24

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Alissa Grosso Preso 3

7:00 a.m. Check-In table opens
Pick up registration materials at the check-in table

Conf Mem 8

 

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Seminar Syllabus for Friday, March 24

 8:30 – 12:00 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

“Story Closup” and “Writing Powerful Scenes”-

Michael Hauge

Michael will take a single film and use clips to show how it illustrates all the core principles of great storytelling for all forms of fiction. This is his most popular 2-hour lecture, and a great follow up to the full day seminar – though this one can stand alone for those who aren’t there Thursday. 

Good scenes are like great movies in miniature: they draw the reader into a unique reality; create empathy and identification with the characters; reveal compelling desires and insurmountable conflicts; contribute to character growth and theme; and elicit bigger-than-life emotions. Using examples from a variety of recent successful novels and films, this seminar will reveal the essential tools for writing scenes that will insure a positive response to your novel or screenplay.

 8:30 – 12:00 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Down the Author Marketing Rabbit Hole – 
Deborah Riley-Magnus

 

Take an adventurous magical tour through your own abilities to sell more books! At the bottom of the rabbit hole, you’ll learn the difference between selling and allowing people to buy. Uncover your book’s true
potential with both obvious audiences and potent secondary target audiences. Understand the power of Cross Marketing to broaden your fan base. Perfect the identification and location of YOUR book’s true target audiences with the SuperGenre© technique. Learn how
to tighten your message for impact and response. And develop your personalized Author Marketing Flow Chart.

 12:00 – 12:45

Lunch With The Experts

Included with full conference and Friday registrations

 1 – 4:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Maximizing the Emotional Potential of Your Novel
Kathryn Craft

A novel is, above all else, an emotional experience. From the safety of their armchairs, readers want the protagonist to take them along on a journey that will help them benefit from the process we humans fear most: change. The last thing you want is for your reader to slide your manuscript back across the desk and say, “Hmm. I remained curiously unmoved.” Part story structure, part narrative arcs, and part sentence-level examination, this three-hour class will explore craft that will help you create—within any genre—the kind of heart-thumping tension, heart-breaking consequence, and heart-warming resolution readers crave.

 1 – 4:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

 Insider Self-Publishing:

Tips that Separate the Amateurs from the Pros  
Amy Deardon

Hands-on workshop that walks you through the self-publishing process! Keep all rights and profits while you design and market your stunning new book… and keep your costs low. We’ll look at the publishing process and pieces involved: setting up your new business, finding your niche, writing, interior formatting, where to find a cover designer, why POD printing is best, understanding ISBNs, and how to list your e-book and print book on Amazon. Since selling is the idea, we’ll also review tips for marketing including SEO optimization, platform, and connections. You can do it!

 5 – 7 p.m.  Friday Dinner buffet (not included)
6:00 p.m. Check-In table opens
Pick up registration materials at the
 check-in table

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 6:30 – 8 p.m. Page Cuts Critique Sessions
Advance registration necessary: sessions fill quickly. 

Page Cuts critique sessions are optional and included in the FRIDAY, SATURDAY or FULL CONFERENCE price. Participants will be assigned to a room headed by a team of publishing professionals who have been asked to provide off-the-cuff feedback. Your work will be read aloud by a room moderator and commented upon by our panelists. No names will be used, all works are COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS. Opinions of workshop panelists are theirs alone and do not represent the opinions of GLVWG.

Limited to 36 readings. Participants who have been informed of their successful enrollment should bring to their session four copies of the first page of a longer work (fiction, creative nonfiction, or memoir) along with four copies of a 100-word overview of the entire work.

Copies must be formatted. Double-spaced, 12 pt. “Times” font, 1-inch margins, Title & Genre at top of page. No names please. Print to start at the top of the page.

Victoria Selvaggio 3 Edit

 7 – 8 p.m.

Victoria Selvaggio

Agent 101: An Insiders View of Getting an Agent

As an Associate Agent and Author, Victoria Selvaggio knows firsthand that finding representation can be as hard as or even harder than becoming published. But…having a good understanding of the agent’s role, as well as your own, as the author, is just as important as advocating further, for the right agent-author relationship.

Attendees will get a behind-the-desk look at what being an agent means for Victoria—from query letters to rejections to revision to requests to finally, representation and beyond—which will provide helpful tips on how to review your manuscript as if you were also an agent.

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8:30 – 10:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception (Open Seating)

Join us for hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, and the chance to network with agents, editors, presenters, and other conferees. Dress is business casual.

Guest presenter: Samuel Clemens

GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference Schedule – Thursday, March 23

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Michael-Hauge-Presenting-Story-Keynote-Large-Audience

Includes “Lunch with the Experts,” and Writers Café

Thursday Overview

 8:30
12:00

Full day Michael Hauge seminar
“Story Mastery”

 12-12:45

Lunch with the Experts (included)

1:00 – 
4:30 


Michael Hauge: Continuation of
“Story Mastery”

7:00
9:00
 Writers Cafe: Informal Read and Critique (Included with ALL registrations)

 

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Thursday’s Seminar Syllabus

Times

 Thursday Morning, March 23  
7:00 a.m. Check-In table opens
Pick up registration materials at the check-in table

 8:30 – 12:00 a.m.  

“Story Mastery”

Michael Hauge


During this special, full-day seminar, Michael will present his unique approach to creating compelling stories for film and fiction.

Drawing on his decades as a Hollywood script consultant, author and lecturer, he will show the most powerful methods for eliciting emotion in your readers and audiences through story concept, plot structure, character development and theme.

Michael will then reveal his proven method for getting the people in power to read your manuscript or screenplay.

  • The primary goal of all story
  • Turning plot structure from a complicated concept into a
    simple, powerful tool you can easily apply to every story.
  • The power of desire, need, longing and destiny
  • The essential conflict all characters must face
  • Novel structure vs. movie structure
  • The single key to creating character arc and theme
  • The secret to creating unique, believable and fulfilling love stories
  • The most effective process for adapting novels into film
  • The single biggest mistake writers while pitching their work
  • The key components of a powerful pitch

If you want to elevate your screenplays and novels to the highest possible level, this event is a must.

12:00 – 12:45  Lunch With The Experts (included)
 1 – 4:30 p.m  

“Story Mastery”

Michael Hauge

Part 2 – Continued from morning session.

  Dinner break  (dinner not included)

 7 – 9 p.m  

The Writers’ Cafe  Facilitated by Bart Palamaro

Get ready for Friday Night Page Cuts or Saturday Agent/Editor pitches by bringing your pitch or opening page and we will give you instant feedback!  Or just bring the first page of your manuscript for a critique. 

ALL registered Conference attendees are welcome to attend this Conference version of GLVWGs monthly read and critique meeting. 

It’s a fun time!

 

Conf Mem 7

 

The GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference – The Fun Starts Thursday, March 23

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Confrencees at Desk

It’s Here!

Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group –  Write Stuff™ Conference

Starts Thursday, March 23.

Here’s the lineup of seminars for three days of awesome writer knowledge. Come early to learn, stay late to rub elbows with the presenters, agents, authors, and fellow writers.

 

Thursday March 23 : 

michael-hauge-lecture

 

 8:30 AM – 12:00 Noon

Full day Michael Hauge Seminar
“Story Mastery”

 12-12:45 PM

Lunch with the Experts (included)

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM


Michael Hauge:

Continuation of“Story Mastery” seminar

7:00 PM – 9:00

 Writers Cafe: Informal Read and Critique (Included with ALL registrations)

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Friday, March 24
Half-Day Seminars: 

Michael-Hauge-Story-Mastery-Coaching

Thursday Writers Cafe plus all Friday evening activities including
Page Cuts Critique, Victoria Selvaggio workshop, and Reception.

 

Time Craft Marketing/Indie Publishing
8:30
12:00

Two Michael Hauge Workshops

“Story Closeup” and
“Writing Powerful Scenes”


Down the Author Marketing
Rabbit Hole

Deborah Riley Magnus

12-12:45 
 Lunch with the Experts (included)
                                
1:00
4:30
Maximizing the Emotional Potential
of Your Novel

Kathryn Craft

Insider Self-Publishing: Tips that Separate the Amateurs from the Pros 

Amy Deardon

6:30
8:30


Page Cuts Critique

3 sessions Anonymous read and critique
with industry pros.

(Page Cuts Included with Friday and/or Saturday Registration)

Limited to 36 participants

Sign up for Page Cuts when you register

7:00
8:00

Victoria Selvaggio

Agent 101: An Insiders View of Getting an Agent

(Included with Friday and/or Saturday

     Registration)  

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8:30
10:00

Reception/Social Gathering

Guest presenter: “Samuel Clemens”

Included with Friday and/or Saturday Registration

 

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Saturday, March 25:

Bookfair, Flash Literature writing contest, Door Prizes, Thursday Writers Cafe,

all Friday evening activities including Page Cuts Critique,

Victoria Selvaggio workshop, and Reception.

 

Time

Nonfiction Marketing/Special Craft Craft/Misc/Genre
7:30 – 8:40

 Check-in and

Continental

 Breakfast

 8:50 – 9:40

Finding Story in True Events

Kathryn Craft

Agent Panel

Moderator
Suzanne Mattaboni

Writing the Compelling Short Story

Phil Giunta

How to Turn Your Writing into a Money-Making Business

Jennifer Lader

 9:50 – 10:40 Organizing Your Writing Business

Colleen Warmingham

10 Tools for Author Marketing Success

Deb Riley-Magnus

 

Spicing it Up: Romance as a Genre Fiction Tool

Anna Kashina

How to Turn Your Writing into a Money-Making Business(continued)

Jennifer Lader

 10:40-11

 Break   Break   Break   Break
11:00 – 11:50

Feature This: Writing Articles

Pattie Giordani

What’s the Right Type of Publishing for My Book?

Amy Deardon

Writing From the Inside Out

Therese Halscheid

Writing the
Query Letter

Victoria Selvaggio

 12:00
1:30

Lunch and Keynote

 Michael Hauge

 “Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story”

 
 1:40 – 2:30 Let’s Get Personal:
Writing Essays

Pattie Giordani


Care & Feeding of Your Marketing Muse

Deb Riley-Magnus

Engaging Backstory Techniques

Kathryn Craft

World Building in Speculative Fiction

Anna Kashina

 2:40 – 3:30

Organizing Your Writing Content

Colleen Warmingham

Does My Book Have What it Takes?

Amy Deardon


Writing on the Dark Side

Victoria Selvaggio

The Artful Poem

Therese Halscheid

Conf Mem 17 Book Fair

Be sure to stick around Saturday Afternoon when the presentation part of the program closes.  Authors and Presenters will be participating in a Book Fair, and there’ll be door prizes.

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.  

Refreshments

·         Book Fair**

·         Contest Winners

·         Door Prizes

·         Conference closes

**All published GLVWG members are eligible to participate in the book fair. Please contact book fair coordinator Jerry Waxler   to reserve a space by March 6, 2017

 

Detailed instructions for selling your book(s) at the Book Fair are HERE

 

Don’t forget to register with our friendly volunteers when you come in and get the room location for each seminar .

 

See you at the conference. 

artcontest

 

 

 

Literary Agent – Mohamed Shalabi

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Mohamed Shalabi

Mohamed Shalabi, of the Talcott Notch Literary Agency, will be attending the GLVWG Write Stuff™ Conference on March 25, 2017. Mohamed took a few minutes to describe what he’ll be looking for during Saturday’s agent pitch sessions.

Interview by GLVWG’s Charles Kiernan.

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CK: Can you share with us a bit about your journey to all things literary?

MS: As a schoolteacher, my mother encouraged me to be inquisitive and curious all the time even if it meant I would be the annoying kid in class, which I was. She used to say in accented English that “There are millions of answers to a single question, and millions of questions to a single answer” and she was right.

After ten years in Palestine, I returned to the United States to start college. I earned my B.S. and M.S. from the University of Texas at Dallas and was on a Pre-med track before realizing that medicine was not my calling. So, I taught science for three years while interning at three fine literary agencies, Veritas, Folio, and Talcott Notch where I picked up the skills to become an efficient literary agent.

CK: As an agent, you work with writers, hopefully long-term, but who are strangers to you at first. Do you look at more than the work submitted to determine that relationship?

MS: Yes, of course. I’m still a junior agent at this point and my interactions with clients are still at a minimum. However, the moment I came on board, I was taught by Paula and Gina that being an agent didn’t only constitute finding clients and representing their work. I had to focus first and foremost on developing a relationship with the clients I wanted to represent. I would have to contact them to see how the dynamic would work between us, in terms of how susceptible they are to accepting feedback and making changes and rewrites and general edits. After all, I’m going to be dealing with these specific writers from start to finish and who knows how long that would take. So, it’s better to go on that journey alongside a friend who is open to feedback, both positive and negative, and forging that relationship plays a huge role in my book.

CK: Writers often say they became writers because they have to write. What drew you to becoming an agent?

MS: I became an agent because I also love to write, have written for a long time, and I also like to read. But I mostly love reading other people’s work because it encourages me to be a better writer and critic of my own work. It also gives me a glimpse on what goes on in the heads of these amazing writers and gives clues as to what their inspiration was. Sometimes, I come across manuscripts that have, at one point, been ideas I thought of myself, and my curiosity kicks in to see how that idea was fleshed out. Also, I love, love, love books and the publishing world intrigues me. But above all, I love dealing with authors and helping them achieve their goals in publishing.

CK: When you get a submission, how far into it do you get before you know this one is not for you?

MS: Naturally, I ask for 10 pages along with the query letter. If I’m engaged by the first 10 pages then I ask for 50 pages or the full manuscript. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if the submission is something that I might consider based on the first 10 pages only and if the idea (plot) strikes me as a really good one, and one that sells, then I usually ask to see a synopsis to get an idea on where the story might be headed. But if the story isn’t going anywhere from the start and the plot isn’t marketable then I usually pass.

CK: What trends in the publishing marketplace attract your attention? (Such as, what genres are hot? Where is electronic publishing going?)

MS: I’m very excited to see a rise in stories with diverse protagonists and I think this is where the market is headed now. I read a quote once that rang true to the nature of the book market and what people are looking for nowadays, “Sex doesn’t sell anymore. Activism does.” and I thought to myself that this was such a curious quote. It’s indicative of how the market is merely an extension of our reality, a reflection of the conditions that surround us that could range from peaceful and stable to tumultuous and politically charged. People like to read about the present and learn how other people are coping with the present, especially if those other people are somewhere else across the globe. I’m also seeing a rise in alternate realities (i.e. The Man in the High Castle), space travel (i.e. The Martian), and strangely, dystopian fiction again.  As for electronic publishing, I myself do own the latest Kindle device and I love it because it can hold a lot more books, but I still find myself gravitating towards the hard copy. It may sound like a cliché to say this, but I believe hard copy books will remain for a very long time. People have been talking about how books will be extinct ever since the first kindle came a decade ago, but the book market has only been getting stronger and stronger.

CK: What do you hope to find when you attend conferences like ours?

MS: I am very much looking forward to meeting the talented writers, make friends, and hopefully find some work that I can represent.

 

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Growing up in Palestine, Mohamed kept up with current events, sciences, conspiracy theories, and ancient myths that didn’t always ring true. In Arabic, Mohamed read the classics of Jules Verne, Victor Hugo, Astrid Lindgren, Daniel Defoe and others. He became hooked on Judy Blume’s Superfudge, and obsessed over J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

“I’m looking for projects with diverse characters such as myself. Stories that can teach about other cultures, think Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Girl At War by Sara Novic . Stories that are quirky but offer something new and real, think The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Man in the High Castle by PKD, The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. Stories that have a strong voice and can stir the emotions until I can’t put the book down, think In The Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.”

“Adult: up-market literary and commercial fiction, and psychological thrillers. Not looking for paranormal, memoir or romance. I would love to find a great urban fantasy or magical realism for adults.”

“Young Adult:  All subgenres except paranormal and romance. That includes realistic young adult, science fiction (alternate history, dystopian, some cyberpunk and time travel) and fantasy (magical realism and contemporary, urban, and retellings of fairy tales). In YA, I would love to find a book with diverse characters. Think in terms of ethnic, cultural, and sexual diversity.”

You can learn more about Mohamed Shalabi on his profile at Talcott Notch, and contact him at mshalabi@talcottnotch.net.

Interview with Amy Deardon – Award Winning Author and Publisher

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Amy Deardon 2

GLVWG’s Donna Sooy recently interviewed Amy Deardon, who will be at the GLVWG Write Stuff Conference™, Friday and Saturday, March 24 & 25, 2017.

On Friday, Amy will give conferees tips on Insider Self-Publishing: Separating the Amateurs from the Pros. Saturday, she’ll conduct two sessions, What’s the Right Type of Publishing for My Book?, and Does My Book Have What it Takes?

 

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DS:  I read you are an award-winning author, publisher, and budding online entrepreneur. Congratulations. What is a budding online entrepreneur? 

AD: Writing/Publishing is a wide-open field, with more options now for people to create and sell information than ever before. I am constantly looking for methods to deliver helpful products that will allow others to reach their goals… and hopefully allow me to help support our family in the process. A win-win!

DS: There are times when people relax at home, they read, crochet and color in the Mandela pattern books. What is your favorite pastime when relaxing?

AD: I tend toward the crafty side with sewing and needlework, although don’t do nearly as much as I used to. It seems I’m always working on a writing project and the computer is never too far away.

I’m fortunate enough to be able to do a lot of work from home, and since it’s not healthy to be too closed in I get out to exercise, or to meet with friends for coffee, or go to Bible study. Evenings are nice when my husband and kids and I cook dinner together as we talk.

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Meet Literary Agent – Megan Close Zavala

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Charles Kiernan spoke with Megan Close Zavala, literary agent at Keller Media. Megan will be at the the Write Stuff Conference™ on Saturday, March 25, to take pitches from conference attendees (advance registration is required).  Her passion lies not only in getting great books published, but in working closely with the authors who write them. Nothing is more exciting than a great new idea or story!

Megan is interested in working with both debut and previously published authors and enjoys forming long-lasting collaborations with them.

She looks forward to meeting talented writers who are offering something new and exciting and/or fresh takes on pre-existing subject matter.  While she represents books in all genres, she is currently most interested in the following genres: Self-Help, Relationships, Pop Culture, Pop Psychology, Parenting, Management, Career, Entrepreneurship, Business, Personal Finance, and Fiction (especially Crime, Mystery/Suspense, and Literary).

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CK: As an agent, you work with writers, hopefully long-term, but who are strangers to you at first. Do you look at more than the work submitted to determine that relationship?

MCZ:  Yes.  Obviously a great book projects gets us the most excited, but we want to be able to have positive working relationships with our authors as well.  Hopefully we will have gotten to know them a little via their query letters or book proposals, but it’s important that we work with people who are ready to do as much work for their book as we are.  If it seems that an author is not ready to go the extra mile with their book (be open to revisions, continue to grow their platform, etc.), that may make us reconsider whether or not we take them on as clients.  I think authors forget sometimes (or perhaps are not aware) that when we sell their books we are also selling them.  Just as agents want to have successful long-term relationships with the authors they represent, so do editors.

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Award Winning Poet – Therése Halscheid

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Once again, GLVWG’s intrepid Dawn Sooy took the time to interview award winning poet, writer, teacher, and photographer, Therése Halscheid, who will present Writing From The Inside Out, at The Write Stuff Conference™ on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

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DS –  It sounds like you have a busy schedule and have traveled extensively. Do you have a family? If so, what kind of reaction do you get when you are ready to leave home?”

Therése – I do not have a traditional family. My comings and goings reflect my writing process, which is to say that I am nomadic. I live on the road to write — largely by way of house-sitting or artist colonies or teaching opportunities. It is a contemplative lifestyle though I often feel those I house-sit for are my extended family. There is a sense of oneness when our lives join for periods of time. Over the years there have been occasions where a partner has joined me, which made the house-sit very enjoyable. It is a lifestyle that requires no home though, for me, home is wherever I am on Earth.

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Meet Author Phil Giunta

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Author Phil Giunta is a regular fixture at GLVWG, and will share his advice on Writing the Compelling Short Story at The Write Stuff Conference™, Saturday, March 25, 2017.  GLVWG’s Dawn Sooy does the honors by asking a few questions about Phil’s life as an author.

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DS – I recently saw a short story of yours (Tower Sixteen), won second place in the Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest. What was the inspiration to write this story?

Phil – I’ve always been fascinated with the WWII fire control towers (commonly known as observation towers) that were constructed along the Delaware coast. Currently, only one is open to the public near Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park and every time I go there, I climb the spiral steps 75 feet to stand at the top and look out upon the park, the ocean, and the Delaware Bay. It’s a gorgeous view.

Long before Cat and Mouse Press started their annual writing contest four years ago, I knew I wanted to write a short story about those towers, but the idea just hadn’t come to me. I was usually buried in several other writing and editing projects. Then in March 2016, a friend reminded me about the writing contest and I learned that the theme for that year was Beach Nights. That’s when it hit me immediately—a ghost story! Most of my paranormal tales have a lot of heart and emotion. I wanted this story to be no different, plus it had to honor our military and those who served at Fort Miles. I know “Tower Sixteen” accomplished all of the above. How do I know this? I was told the ending brought one of the contest judges to tears. Who can ask for anything more?

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Meet Author/Editor Patti Giordani

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GLVWG author, Mitzi Flye, took the time to interview Patti Giordani, one of our presenters at the The Write Stuff Writers Conference™ on Saturday, March 25, 2017.  Patti has been a long member of GLVWG, as well as a Copy Editor for the annual GLVWG Write Stuff Anthology.

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MF:  For some reason, the GLVWG Conference Committee thought I should interview Pattie Giordani. Maybe it’s because I’ve known her all of her life (and dumped her out of her baby carriage). Thank you for allowing me to interview you (she’s touching me!). I will be nicer to you than I was when you were 8 and I was 12.

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  MF: You have quite a varied background in editing, including being an editor of a nonprofit organization’s magazine and assistant features editor at The Express-Times daily newspaper. But you’re also a writer. Which do you find most rewarding?

PG:Thank you for doing this interview with me! (No one made me say that. LOL) As for editing vs. writing—I find both rewarding. As you know, I’m a Libra so I tend to look at both sides of a question. As an editor, I enjoy helping other writers shape and improve their work. And the most rewarding part is when an author says I made the work better. But I do think my scale is tipped toward writing, because I’m nosy! I’m interested in people, what they do, what they love, their backgrounds, their aspirations—you get the idea. I’m also interested in businesses, places, things, history, and many other topics. Researching and writing articles helps me delve into subjects I might never otherwise have the chance to learn about.

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