Friday Morning Master Classes
Advance registration required for these classes.
- Author’s Guide to Social Media #rmfwsocial
- Copyediting for Fun and Profit #rmfwcopyediting
- Formatting and Distributing to the Big Three: Amazon, B&N, and iBooks #rmfwbigthree
- The Only Character Class You’ll Ever Need #rmfwcharacter
- Scene Craft #rmfwscene
Coaching, Critique, and Q&A Sessions
Advance registration required for these sessions.
- One-on-One Pitch Coaching with Susan Spann
- One-on-One Critiques Margaret George
- One-on-One Critiques Rob Thurman
- Ask Me Almost Anything Eddie Schneider
- Where Am I Going and What Is This Handbasket? A Q&A for Published Authors Eddie Schneider
- Agent Panel
- Agent/Editor Panel
- Dystopias and Post-Apocalyptic Futures #rmfwdystopias
- Editor Panel
- First-Sale Panel
- Mystery Writers of America Panel #rmfwmwa
- The New Age of Noir and Pulp #rmfwnoir
- Sequels, Trilogies, and Series #rmfwseries
- Thrills and Chills: The Elements of Great Horror Fiction #rmfwhorror
- Visiting Author Panel #rmfwvisiting
- Writer of the Year Panel #rmfwwoty
Open Programming Workshops
- 10 Common Mistakes Fiction Writers Make About the Law #rmfwlaw
- 25 Things To Do Before Your Big Break #rmfwtwentyfive
- An Agent Reads the Slush Pile #rmfwslush
- Anatomy of a Turning Point #rmfwturningpoint
- Arrows, Swords, and Pointy Sticks: The Realities of Medieval Warfare #rmfwmedieval
- The Artist’s Way: Still Fresh #rmfwartistsway
- Become a Clue-Master: How To Plant Clues #rmfwclues
- Book to Script #rmfwscript
- The Care and Feeding of Online Critique Groups #rmfwonline
- Chinese Ghost Lore #rmfwghost
- Constructing Your Own e-Book #rmfwebook
- Cover Copy for the Indie Author: Getting Your Hooks in Deep #rmfwhooks
- Critique: Harm or Harmony? #rmfwcritique
- Fantasy Fundamentals #rmfwfantasy
- Feminine Mystique: Feminism in YA Fiction #rmfwfem
- Getting Out of That Mushy Middle #rmfwmushy
- Grab the Trailer by the Tail #rmfwtrailer
- Heroes, Henchmen, and Sidekicks: The Characters-First Approach to Plot #rmfwfirstapproach
- Hook ‘em In: Making Your Submission Stand Out #rmfwstandout
- How To Art Direct Your Book’s Cover Design #rmfwcover
- The Hybrid Author #rmfwhybrid
- I, You, Them: How Perspective Powers Your Story #rmfwperspective
- In the Middle: Pluses and Minuses of Small-Press Publishing #rmfwsmallpress
- Is Crowdsourcing the Next Wave of Publishing? #rmfwcrowdsource
- It Starts with Writing a Good Book: Elements of a Winning Novel #rmfwelements
- Joy of Writing Great Sex #rmfwsex
- Making a Living in a Wide-Open Market #rmfwwideopen
- Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent: Using Truth in Fiction #rmfwtruth
- New Career Directions: What Do You Want To Know About Self Publishing? #rmfwselfpublish
- The Ninja’s Autopsy: Forensics in Historical Mystery #rmfwninja
- Novel Structure University #rmfwstructure
- Plot, Structure, and Pushing Your Characters #rmfwpushing
- Plotting Your Novel Using a Dynamic Grid #rmfwgrid
- The Point of No Return: Crossing the Threshold from Traditionally Published to Self-Published #rmfwnoreturn
- Poisons! #rmfwpoisons
- Published Writer Realities #rmfwrealities
- Publishing 101: Basic Information You Need To Know As a Beginner in the Industry #rmfwbasicinfo
- Reading Aloud: Public Speaking for Writers #rmfwaloud
- The Road Map to a Successful E-Pub Career Shift #rmfwroadmap
- Romance for Any Genre #rmfwromance
- Romance, Myth, and the Divine Goddess #rmfwgoddess
- Scene and Sequel: The Connected Links of Drama #rmfwconnected
- Seven Deadly Sins of Dialogue in Young-Adult Fiction #rmfwsins
- Snapping Pictures with Words: The Art of Description #rmfwdescription
- Stealing from the Best: A Sample of Different Writing Methods to Find the Best Method for You #rmfwstealing
- Taking the Mystery out of Writing Mystery #rmfwmystery
- Transforming Writers Block #rmfwblock
- Vivid Writing: Making your Story Real and Immediate #rmfwvivid
- What Would You Never Do? Interviewing Your Characters #rmfwnever
- Who Says You Can’t Go Back? Making Settings Come Alive #rmfwsettings
- Who’s Your Narrator? #rmfwnarrator
- Why Facebook and Twitter Matter in the E-Publishing Game and How To Use Them #rmfwfacebook
- Why Would Librarians Buy Your Book—or Not? #rmfwlibrarians
- Words, Words, Words #rmfwwords
- Writing Action and Fight Scenes! #rmfwaction
- Writing Characters with Psychological Disorders #rmfwdisorders
- Writing Fast and Writing Better #rmfwfast
- Writing is Rewriting: The Art and Science of Revising Your Work #rmfwrewriting
- Writing Sex for the YA Market #rmfwyasex
- You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Why the Author/Agent Relationship is Nothing Like Toy Story #rmfwfriend
Advance registration required for these sessions.
10 Common Mistakes Fiction Writers Make About the Law Leslie Budewitz | Saturday 10:00-11:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwlaw | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout This workshop will help fiction writers in all genres avoid common mistakes and misconceptions many people have about the law—or make them on purpose to increase the stakes and add tension to their stories. The presenter is a practicing lawyer with nearly thirty years of experience. Her short fiction has been published in national magazines, and her two mystery series will debut in 2013 and 2014. She is also the author of Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Linden/Quill Driver), which won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction.
25 Things To Do Before Your Big Break J. A. Kazimer | Friday 4:00-5:50 Telluride | #rmfwtwentyfive | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout We will discuss what writers need to know and do before and after their first book deal, including a look at the dreaded author questionnaire; networking for introverts and writers; how to obtain reviews/blurbs; and how bestseller lists work. We will also explore how to request a booksigning and what to do once you have one; and the need for social media and what types work best for your book. At the end of the workshop, writers will leave with at least 25 ways to increase their visibility and marketability.
An Agent Reads the Slush Pile Kristin Nelson | Saturday 1:30-3:20 Ballroom A | #rmfwslush | Open Programming Workshop Have you ever wondered how an agent reads the fiction submission slush pile? What an agent is thinking during the first opening pages? What makes an agent stop and what makes an agent read on? If you have ever wished to be a fly on the wall during that process, this workshop is your chance to get the inside scoop without metamorphosing. Literary Agent Kristin Nelson will read the “slush pile” and give honest feedback as to why she would or would not read on for the sample pages in front of her. Note: Bring two (2) prined copies of the first two (2) pages of your novel.
Agent/Editor Critique Workshops Friday 8:00-12:00 Second Floor with David Pomerico, Sarah Joy Freese, Hannah Bowman, Kerri-Leigh Grady, Kathleen Rushall, Sally Harding Friday 1:00-4:00 Second Floor with Sandra Bond, Eddie Schneider, Natalie Lakosil, Kristin Nelson, Karyn Marcus, Mackenzie Fraser-Bub Agent/Editor Critique Workshop Pre-conference Registration Required If you register as a participant, you submitted the first ten pages of your manuscript, plus a one-page overview of your story, to be critiqued by the agent/editor of your choice as well as by the other participants. If you register as an auditor, you will observe the participants.
Anatomy of a Turning Point Karen Duvall | Sunday 11:00-11:50 Telluride | #rmfwturningpoint | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Explore the anatomy of a turning point and how it’s used to build a story from the ground up. This comprehensive workshop will cover where to place turning points for the greatest effect; how to use plot reversals to lift a sagging middle; how to avoid predictability in your plot with believable plot impacting events; and how to avoid the pitfalls of episodic writing by creating smooth transitions between plot events.
Arrows, Swords, and Pointy Sticks: The Realities of Medieval Warfare Mollie Madden | Friday 3:00-3:50 Platte River | #rmfwmedieval | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Do you need to know the difference between a longbow and a crossbow, a destrier and a palfrey? What is a chevauchée? If you need—or want—to know how fast an army moved, how large a medieval army was, or how that army was called up in pre-modern Europe, this is the workshop for you. We’ll cover Vikings, Crusaders, routiers, knights, sieges, and fortifications.
The Artist’s Way: Still Fresh Robin D. Owens | Saturday 8:00-8:50 Telluride | #rmfwartistsway | Open Programming Workshop This workshop will provide an overview of Julia Cameron’s twelve-week course as presented in her book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. It will lead attendees through the basics, including morning pages, artist’s dates, tasks, useful ideas, and essential pages.
Ask Me Almost Anything Eddie Schneider | Saturday 3:30-4:20 Durango Coaching, Critique, and Q&A Sessions Pre-conference Registration Required You’ve got questions about the process of getting an agent/getting published, and you’re not entirely sure these fit into tidy packages. This is the session for you! Eddie will answer your questions in an informal, roundtable discussion. Please be respectful of your fellow attendees’ time; most people will have many questions they’d like to address, but your colleagues will often have similar questions.
Author’s Guide to Social Media Bree Ervin | Friday 8:00-11:50 Telluride | #rmfwsocial | Friday Morning Master Class Come to this master class and learn how to master the social media space. In this course we will learn about social media best practices, social media do’s and don’ts, how not to feed the trolls, and, more importantly, how not to be a troll. This master course will cover tools for making social media management easier, tips for getting yourself out there, and methods for being effective. It is recommended that all participants set up Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail accounts and a blog (even if they have never actually used any of the above) prior to coming to class.
Become a Clue-Master: How To Plant Clues Kris Neri | Saturday 2:30-3:20 Big Thompson | #rmfwclues | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Whether you’re writing crime novels or cross-genre works, some level of mystery is often present. Award-winning mystery author Kris Neri will share the techniques needed for you to become a clue master, including how to maintain the proper balance between playing fair and providing a good puzzle. She’ll also show you the most effective methods for hiding clues, techniques for distracting readers from planted clues, and an organizational method for managing clues so you don’t lose them during revisions or leave in clues that no longer point to your mystery.
Book to Script Karen Lin | Sunday 10:00-11:50 Ballroom A | #rmfwscript | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Novelists often dream of adapting and selling a screenplay to Hollywood. Delve into this different approach to storytelling and learn about the unique challenges you must overcome to break in.
The Care and Feeding of Online Critique Groups Susan Spann & Heather Webb | Sunday 8:00-8:50 Telluride | #rmfwonline | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Curious about online critique? A great critique group challenges you to become a better and more efficient writer, while also inspiring you to learn and grow. Learn how to find—or create—a dynamic, successful online critique group that jives with your personal needs and style.
Chinese Ghost Lore M. H. Boroson | Saturday 8:00-9:50 Ballroom A | #rmfwghost | Open Programming Workshop This presentation focuses on the cultural understandings that give context to Chinese ghost stories, Chinese superstition, and the supernatural. We’ll learn about Hell Month and the Ghost Festival, spirit weddings, Daoist exorcism, paper talismans, peachwood swords, shapeshifting foxes, and the mysterious hopping corpses of Xiangxi. This workshop will be of interest not only to writers of horror and fantasy, but also to writers of mystery, historical, and mainstream fiction who want to incorporate cross-cultural details into their books.
Constructing Your Own e-Book Jeff Shelby | Saturday 9:00-9:50 Ballroom B | #rmfwebook | Open Programming Workshop How to be your own publisher. Learn how to do everything you never thought you’d need to know: formatting, publishing, pricing, and cover design. And learn how to do it in a way that won’t cost you a small fortune.
Copyediting for Fun and Profit Angie Hodapp | Friday 8:00-11:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwcopyediting | Friday Morning Master Class Copyediting is tough. It takes years of professional practice just to become proficient. Whether you’re interested in learning to copyedit for yourself or for others, this intensive, hands-on master class will set you on the right path. How do you mark up a manuscript? Why are there so many style manuals, and which one is best for copyediting fiction? Is it better to copyedit on paper or on screen? What’s the difference between copyediting and proofreading? Is editing fiction different from editing nonfiction? How do you find clients, and what should you charge? Come find out!
Cover Copy for the Indie Author: Getting Your Hooks in Deep Jeff Seymour | Saturday 10:00-10:50 Durango | #rmfwhooks | Open Programming Workshop | Worshop Handout Indie author and Carina Press freelance editor Jeff Seymour has written cover copy for numerous books—including his own—over the course of his career. He’ll discuss how to break down a synopsis to find its sharpest hooks and how to fit them into a short, sweet package that will entice readers to open a book. Topics will include basic structures, hook identification, working under a strict character count, and making judicious use of your hard-earned writing skills. Bring your synopsis! We’ll work together to create the cover copy for an attendee’s book over the course of the workshop.
Critique: Harm or Harmony? Karen Lin | Saturday 4:30-5:20 Telluride | #rmfwcritique | Open Programming Workshop Workshop Handout Offering critique is an art form, but so is receiving it. This workshop explores various types of critique groups, support groups, beta readers, and partners in feedback. We’ll look at how to get the most out of critique—how to effectively offer it, receive it, and benefit fully from the strengths of others without having the voice combed out of your work.
Fantasy Fundamentals Carol Berg | Saturday 3:30-5:20 Platte River | #rmfwfantasy | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Workshop Handout What decisions do you have to make when you set out to write traditional or urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal romance, or other not-quite-this-world fiction? We’ll consider societal structure, technology (or lack thereof), metaphysics, terminology—everything from gods to stew.
Feminine Mystique: Feminism in YA Fiction Bree Ervin | Sunday 8:00-8:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwfem | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout This lecture is a study of the female role in current YA fiction, from dystopian futures to fallen angels, contemporary fiction to vampires and werewolves, damsels in distress to anti-heroes. We’ll take a look at the messages today’s YA books send young women about their roles in society and feminine ideals of beauty, gentleness, compassion, sympathy, and sensitivity; we’ll also explore the feminist ideals of strength, bravery, intelligence, outspokenness, and an adventurous spirit and answer the question, is feminism alive and well in YA fiction or is it dead on arrival? As writers, the next question is, what message will you give your readers?
Formatting and Distributing to the Big Three: Amazon, B&N, and iBooks Jessica France | Friday 8:00-11:50 Ballroom A | #rmfwbigthree | Friday Morning Master Class Join author and publishing consultant Jessica France for a step-by-step workshop on how to take your manuscript from a single Word or Pages document to clean, compliant e-book formats for the top three digital markets. At the end of the workshop, you’ll leave with knowledge of a reliable conversion process based on freely available software that will quickly get your book exported to files for the Amazon KDP, Barnes & Noble, PubIt, and Apple iTunes marketplaces. Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops with a finished manuscript, although it is not required. Bonus instructions will include how to further create a clean file for Smashwords submission.
Getting Out of That Mushy Middle Linda Berry| Sunday 10:00-10:50 Durango | #rmfwmushy | Open Programming Workshop You know the beginning of your story; you know how it ends. But you’ve written both those parts and you still need another 100 pages. What do you do? We’ll find ways to add quality story material to that mushy middle.
Grab the Trailer by the Tail Merrie P. Wycoff | Friday 1:00-2:50 Ballroom B | #rmfwtrailer | Open Programming Workshop Book trailers are an essential PR tool for the published author. Merrie will show you how to create a professional Animoto book trailer and launch it on your own YouTube channel. Adding a book trailer to your website adds value and helps increase your book sales. Learn how fast and easy it is to edit a book trailer. Best of all, it’s free!
Heroes, Henchmen, and Sidekicks: The Characters-First Approach to Plot Angie Hodapp | Saturday 8:00-8:50 Durango | #rmfwfirstapproach | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Come to this fun one-hour workshop with a blank slate—no ideas for a novel, no notions about a situation, premise, or plot—and leave with a cast of characters so vibrant they’ll be begging you to write their stories.
Hook ‘em In: Making Your Submission Stand Out Natalie Lakosil | Saturday 3:30-4:20 Ballroom B | #rmfwstandout | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout A presentation for fiction writers on how to write the perfect one-sentence hook or elevator pitch, and tips and guidelines for making your submission stand out in the slush pile.
How To Art Direct Your Book’s Cover Design Karen Duvall | Saturday 10:00-10:50 Ballroom A | #rmfwcover | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Art directing a cover takes a practiced eye, but there are tips that can help authors ensure their cover has the best chance for success.
The Hybrid Author Karyn Marcus & Kristin Nelson | Saturday 4:30-5:20 Ballroom B | #rmfwhybrid | Open Programming Workshop Indie writers are having a lot of success self-publishing but many of them are also partnering with traditional publishers in a hybrid publishing model. Simon & Schuster editor Karyn Marcus and literary agent Kristin Nelson discuss this new phenomenon and how it works from both sides of the publishing fence based on the client they share: author Hugh Howey and his debut novel Wool.
I, You, Them: How Perspective Powers Your Story Trai Cartwright | Sunday 9:00-9:50 Ballroom A | #rmfwperspective | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Have you ever had the feeling that there’s a better perspective for your book than the one you chose? Have you ever wondered why you always seem to write in the same POV? This workshop explores perspective in detail, explaining the differences and functionality of each POV and, most importantly, how to decide which is right for your story. We’ll cover first, second, third close, third dramatic, third omni (with and without a narrator), and multiple, as well as other POV aspects, such as how interiority works. This is an MFA-level craft class that starts with the basics so everyone can play.
In the Middle: Pluses and Minuses of Small-Press Publishing Katriena Knights | Friday 5:00-5:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwsmallpress | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Much of the conversation about publishing these days seems to center around “big-six” New York publishers vs. self-publishing. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Come find out about small traditional publishers that offer tremendous opportunity and flexibility for the flexible author.
Is Crowdsourcing the Next Wave of Publishing? Travis Heermann | Sunday 9:00-9:50 Telluride | #rmfwcrowdsource | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Crowd-funding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have opened a new avenue for creative people, writers among them, not only for funding independent publishing projects, but also for spreading the word. With the slow evolution and growing acceptance of independent publishing, is this the way to go for writers? Will this be the new way to publish in five years?
It Starts with Writing a Good Book: Elements of a Winning Novel Mario Acevedo, Warren Hammond, Jeanne C. Stein | Saturday 8:00-8:50 Ballroom B | #rmfwelements | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Everyone tells you to write a good book. You’ve done that but it’s time to make it better. In this workshop we’ll discuss reader expectations and how to emphasize the dramatic points of your story, add lyricism to your prose, deepen character development, and put snap in your dialog. In other words, we’ll discuss how to write a winning novel.
Joy of Writing Great Sex Andrea Catalano | Sunday 9:00-9:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwsex | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout You know you want it, you love to read it, but you cringe at the thought of writing it. Keep it real and join a frank discussion of what works and what doesn’t when writing sex/love scenes in your novel. Check your Victorian sensibilities at the door—this discussion will be brutally honest and informative.
Making a Living in a Wide-Open Market Jeff Shelby | Friday 1:00-1:50 Telluride | #rmfwwideopen | Open Programming Workshop Learn which genres seem to perform better in the e-publishing market and learn which ones have yet to gain a foothold. Find out who is buying e-books and what they are looking for.
Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent: Using Truth in Fiction Janet Lane, Cindi Myers, Pamela Nowak | Sunday 9:00-9:50 Platte River | #rmfwtruth | Open Programming Workshop Using real people and events in historical fiction can add layers of texture to your story, but doing so can present pitfalls if you’re not careful. Three experts will guide you through the benefits and complications involved.
New Career Directions: What Do You Want To Know About Self Publishing? Jeff Shelby | Sunday 9:00-9:50 Durango | #rmfwselfpublish | Open Programming Workshop Will you get rich? How much can you realistically expect to make? How much are people really making? Is it worth the effort? Can you really create a career publishing on your own? Now’s the time to ask your questions that haven’t been answered.
The Ninja’s Autopsy: Forensics in Historical Mystery Susan Spann | Sunday 10:00-10:50 Telluride | #rmfwninja | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout How do you examine a body without a scalpel? Vivid forensic details give life to a crime scene, but historical inaccuracies will surely murder your mystery. Learn how to paint forensic truths in the colors of your novel’s time and place.
Novel Structure University Kris Neri | Saturday 10:00-11:50 Telluride | #rmfwstructure | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Writing instructor and award-winning author Kris Neri will take you through a variety exercises and provide feedback that will help you zero in on your novel’s essential conflicts, highest drama, and strongest aspects. More advanced discussion will deal with your hidden stories and help you identify the elements that will build structural integrity into your novels. We’ll talk about the three-act structure for all genres, along with the many uses of the W plotline.
One-on-One Critique Margaret George | Saturday 1:30-3:20 Durango Coaching, Critique, and Q&A Sessions Pre-conference Registration Required Have up to fifteen pages of your manuscript critiqued by acclaimed author and 2013 Colorado Gold special guest Margaret George in a special one-on-one appointment.
One-on-One Critique Rob Thurman Saturday 1:30-3:20 Steamboat Coaching, Critique, and Q&A Sessions Pre-conference Registration Required Have up to fifteen pages of your manuscript critiqued by acclaimed author and 2013 Colorado Gold special guest Rob Thurman in a special one-on-one appointment.
One-on-One Pitch Coaching Susan Spann | Friday 1:00-5:50 Steamboat Coaching, Critique, and Q&A Sessions Pre-conference Registration Required Many authors have written great work, but they don’t know how to convey their concept in a short, intriguing pitch, and/or they lack personal confidence about approaching an editor or agent. Literary attorney and author Susan Spann will provide individualized, personally tailored pitch coaching. Your twenty-minute session will help you tighten and pump up your pitch for your pitch appointment with acquiring agents and editors. Appointments will be on Friday afternoon, and you will receive your appointment time when you arrive at the conference.
The Only Character Class You’ll Ever Need Trai Cartwright | Friday 8:00-11:50 Platte River | #rmfwcharacter | Friday Morning Master class From your hero to your villain to your comedic relief, characters are what every story is all about. Learn the key questions to ask yourself when you start creating the people that populate your fiction, how to develop them in a dynamic, dramatic way, and of course, what to do with them once you’ve got them. We’ll discuss arcs, motivation, functionality, and why you never ever give your character what they want. Then we’ll move from a conceptual perspective to a craft one by breaking down ten techniques for making your characters come to life.
Pitch Appointments Various Agents & Editors | Saturday & Sunday 9:00-11:30 | Second Floor Pitch Appointments Every attendee may register for one free ten-minute pitch appointment. We will do our best to accommodate your choice of agent or editor. You will receive your pitch appointment in your registration materials when you arrive at the conference.
Plot, Structure, and Pushing Your Characters Hannah Bowman | Saturday 1:30-2:20 Big Thompson | #rmfwpushing | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout What elements go into a satisfying plot? We’ll discuss how to structure the events in your novel to best hold the reader’s interest, both on the small-scale (scenes and cliffhangers) and the large (overarching structure, internal and external conflicts, deriving conflict from your characters’ flaws).
Plotting Your Novel Using a Dynamic Grid Christine Jorgensen | Saturday 9:00-9:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwgrid | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Understand your genre, construct a theme, and plot your novel. Learn to maintain the pacing that fits the story, whether it’s plot driven or character driven. Using a grid model, you can control both the pacing and the characters to make sure they arrive together at the end of a satisfying story. Need to have a character arc? Need to balance different points of view? It’s easy using a dynamic grid.
The Point of No Return: Crossing the Threshold from Traditionally Published to Self-Published Jeff Shelby | Saturday 11:00-11:50 Ballroom A | #rmfwnoreturn | Open Programming Workshop Why you should be looking at making the jump to self-publishing to supplement your traditional contracts by publishing your own books. Learn how the market has changed and why it’s going to continue evolving in a way that favors self-publishers. Hard facts and hard numbers.
Poisons! Martha Husain | Sunday 10:00-11:50 Ballroom B | #rmfwpoisons | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Lethal wallpaper, killer trees, zombie powder, bath salts, fatal flowers, and a plate of mushrooms that changed the course of history. Find out how these and other poisons work, what makes them popular with poisoners, where a character might obtain them, and how to use them in creative but realistic ways in your writing. Each hour of this two-hour workshop can be enjoyed without the other. In the first hour, I will cover poisons that have been around for centuries: arsenic, antimony, cyanide, strychnine, and ricin. In the second hour, I will give an overview of chemical warfare, biologicals, poisons derived from plants and animals, and medications.
Published Writer Realities Vella Munn | Saturday 8:00-8:50 Platte River | #rmfwrealities | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout I’m published! The words sound wonderful, the culmination of so many dreams and so much work. What does it mean to be a career writer? What constitutes success and failure? What rewards and what leads to scars? Vella Munn, who has had more than sixty books and novellas published, will reveal all. Listen. Learn. Ask questions. Leave your rose-colored glasses behind. Go forth educated.
Publishing 101: Basic Information You Need To Know As a Beginner in the Industry Sandra Bond | Saturday 1:30-3:20 Ballroom B | #rmfwbasicinfo | Open Programming Workshop The publishing industry is a complex industry, becoming more and more complex every day, and this session will give you a solid foundation of information as you begin your journey in becoming a published author. How does the industry work? How is fiction sold? How is nonfiction sold? What do agents do, do I need one, how do I find one? What do editors/publishers do? How long will it take for my book to sell to a publisher? How long before it comes out as a published book once it’s sold? What’s an advance? When do I receive royalties. Does selfpublishing help me to get a traditional publisher? What can I do to help sell my book? Publishing 101 truly is for those who know very little about the publishing industry, those of you just beginning to pursue becoming a published author.
Reading Aloud: Public Speaking for Writers Chris Devlin & Aaron Michael Ritchey | Saturday 2:30-3:20 Platte River | #rmfwaloud | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Writers are asked to do more and more of their own promotion these days, and sometimes that involves the number-one phobia—public speaking. In this interactive, hour-long workshop, the presenters will cover every aspect of public speaking for writers, from bookstore readings to casual conversation. You’ll learn techniques for overcoming the jitters, assessing acoustics, and projecting your voice. Bring your writing, and we’ll help you present it in its best light. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to overcome your fear and become comfortable sharing your writing in any situation.
The Road Map to a Successful E-Pub Career Shift Cate Rowan | Sunday 8:00-8:50 Ballroom A | #rmfwroadmap | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Do you have a great manuscript that’s spinning its wheels or a returned-rights book that’s idling? Award-winning author Cate Rowan will help you navigate the modern self-publishing landscape through tips on cover design, formatting options, marketing, and costs so you can zoom into making more money from your words.
Romance for Any Genre Kerri-Leigh Grady | Saturday 1:30-3:20 Telluride | #rmfwromance | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Romance sells, and it sells big. However, romance readers buy more than just romance novels. By offering cross-genre appeal to one of the biggest reader markets, you can expand your audience. You won’t be successful if you throw in a random kiss and declaration of love, though. Build the romance believably, or you won’t have reader buy-in. In this workshop, we’ll learn the progression of romance, the progression of intimacy within a romance, and how to weave these into your plot with believable sexual tension. Whether you write romance, another popular fiction genre, or literary/mainstream fiction with more than one character, we’ll address the narrative elements necessary to draw the reader into your story’s romantic relationship. Bring your synopsis or outline, and be prepared to rework your story.
Romance, Myth, and the Divine Goddess Sharon Mignerey | Friday 3:00-4:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwgoddess | Open Programming Workshop If the media and traditional feminists had it right, the romance genre should have died more than twenty years ago. Instead, the romance genre far outsells all other genres, and in 2011, it generated $1.37 billion in sales. As women have become more empowered in society, the genre has increased in popularity. Why? I believe the answer lies in the connection of the romance genre to myth, most especially to mythic traditions related to the divine feminine, whose roots go back to ancient times.
Scene Craft Sharon Mignerey | Friday 8:00-11:50 Ballroom B | #rmfwscene | Friday Morning Master class Scenes are a basic building block of storytelling, but what makes for effective scenes? Robert McKee, author of Story, says “A scene is a story in miniature.” Writers know scenes propel the plot forward, or reveal character, or create suspense, or preferably all three. Just as one size rarely fits all, a one-scene technique rarely fits all. Stories are made up of some combination of the opening scene, suspense-building scenes, dramatic scenes, action scenes, dialogue scenes, climactic scenes, epiphany scenes, flashback scenes, and the final-resolution scene. Each of these has a different function in a story. The more a writer understands about scene craft, the more control he or she has over the story.
Scene and Sequel: The Connected Links of Drama Mario Acevedo, Warren Hammond, Jeanne C. Stein | Saturday 10:00-11:50 Ballroom B | #rmfwconnected | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Drama in a novel is a series of interlocked plot twists with rising stakes and heightened conflicts. But how is that done? Through Scene and Sequel. We’ll discuss proven techniques that address how to articulate a goal, conflict, and obstacles, and how to guide your characters through a dramatic reaction that amps the tensions and sets up the action for higher stakes and greater conflict.
Seven Deadly Sins of Dialogue in Young-Adult Fiction Bill Konigsberg | Friday 3:00-3:50 Telluride | #rmfwsins | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout In this workshop, we’ll discuss the seven biggest mistakes writers of young-adult fiction make: Overuse of Slang, Movie Speak, Backstorying, On Topicide, Oldstering, Like-Ness, and Plotishness. I’ll explain each of these (silly) terms and give examples. I’ll discuss more virtuous paths for dialogue and offer exercises for participants to do on their own to improve their dialogue writing.
Snapping Pictures with Words: The Art of Description Angie Hodapp & Jeanne C. Stein | Friday 4:00-5:50 Platte River | #rmfwdescription | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Learn to craft descriptive passages so evocative that the images leap right off the page and into the reader’s imagination. With plenty of writing time, we’ll cover (a) the role of description in fiction, (b) the differences between active and passive description, and concrete and abstract description, and (c) the importance of choosing what to describe and when.
Stealing from the Best: A Sample of Different Writing Methods to Find the Best Method for You Rebecca Bates & Lesley L. Smith | Saturday 8:00-8:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwstealing | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout There is no right or wrong way, only different ways to write. The presenters have worked with a wide range of professional and bestselling writers, from plotters to pansters and shades in between. We’ll share samples of writing methods learned from the best. And each one works!
Taking the Mystery out of Writing Mystery Linda Hull | Sunday 8:00-8:50 Durango | #rmfwmystery | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Have a good mystery idea or hoping to think one up? Join Linda Joffe Hull, author of The Big Bang and Eternally 21, the first book in the Mrs. Frugalicious mystery series, to discuss the nuts and bolts of crime fiction.
Transforming Writers Block Lynda Hilburn | Saturday 11:00-11:50 Platte River | #rmfwblock | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Most writers experience the dreaded block once in a while. Like a monster hiding the closet, it can appear unexpectedly, kick you in the head, then drag you off to the Land of the Blank Page. What causes it? How do we wrestle it? Are we doomed? Never fear. In this session, we’ll discuss common triggers and ways to break free.
Vivid Writing: Making your Story Real and Immediate Carol Berg | Friday 3:00-4:50 Durango | #rmfwvivid | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Why do some good stories leave you feeling as if you’re a distant observer, while others leave you feeling as if you’ve experienced every breeze and every bruise along with the characters? Explore the techniques of vivid writing in descriptive details, narrative, dialogue, and scene choice. Come ready to discuss and write.
What Would You Never Do? Interviewing Your Characters Robin D. Owens | Friday 1:00-1:50 Durango | #rmfwnever | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout The key to good storytelling is writing complex, well-developed characters. How do you write believable, multi-dimensional characters, with pasts and futures? How can you allow them to express a wide range of development through your unfolding story? In this session, we’ll discuss ways you can get to know and express your characters better.
Who Says You Can’t Go Back? Making Settings Come Alive Pamela Nowak | Friday 1:00-2:50 Platte River | #rmfwsettings | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Explore how time, place, and cultural details can make settings both past and present authentic enough to convince your readers they are actually there.
Who’s Your Narrator? Ronald Malfi | Saturday 3:30-4:20 Big Thompson | #rmfwnarrator | Open Programming Workshop Understanding who your characters are is a good thing; utilizing their personalities to set the atmosphere, tone, and feel of your scenes is sublime. How well do you know the characters who are telling your stories? Do you typically use the same style/narrative voice no matter what story you’re trying to tell? The same scene can be described in a million different ways depending on who is doing the describing…yet which type of character is best suited for this task? This workshop will help writers see more clearly through the eyes of their characters, which in turn will help sharpen the overall tone of their work. Every story should be written in its own voice–are you using the right one?
Why Facebook and Twitter Matter in the E-Publishing Game and How To Use Them Jeff Shelby | Friday 2:00-2:50 Telluride | #rmfwfacebook | Open Programming Workshop You’ve e-published your book. Now how do you get people to find and buy it? Learn how to effectively use social media in your marketing plan to grow your readership and increase your sales.
Why Would Librarians Buy Your Book—or Not? Mary Gillgannon, Alice Kober, Jordana Vincent | Saturday 9:00-9:50 Telluride | #rmfwlibrarians | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout We are librarians who buy hundreds of novels every year. What can make yours stand out? Which reviews do we read? Which self-published books do we buy? How important are the title, cover art, and blurbs? Do you really need a blog and a social-media presence? How important are previous sales and circulation? Join us as we share insights about how we buy—and learn how libraries can help readers discover your work.
Where Am I Going and What Is This Handbasket? A Q&A for Published Authors Eddie Schneider | Saturday 4:30-5:20 Durango Coaching, Critique, and Q&A Sessions Pre-conference Registration Required So, you’ve had a book or two out, or they’re in the works, and you’ve got some unanswered questions about the process. Here’s a session for you! Eddie will happily serve as sounding board and take your questions on more involved topics (e.g., details of a publishing contract) so that your questions on minutiae that would be inappropriate for most other sessions can be answered.
Words, Words, Words Carol Berg & Susan Mackay Smith | Sunday 8:00-9:50 Ballroom B | #rmfwwords | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Choosing vivid, precise words can instill energy and originality in your prose, create a believable fictional setting, and bring flat characters to life. But how do you pick the right ones? This workshop will address how to find and select nuanced words, as well as how to avoid those that sap prose of energy and drive readers crazy.
Writing Action and Fight Scenes Quincy Allen, M. H. Boroson, Travis Heermann | Friday 1:00-2:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwaction | Open Programming Workshop The class will present key concepts about writing action scenes, including weapons and hand-to-hand combat terminology. It will go over the granular to general components of a fight scene and proper sequencing of events. We will also cover the “style” of writing action sequences versus standard prose—how to change tone to increase the pace of a scene and make it more exciting.
Writing Characters with Psychological Disorders Lynda Hilburn | Saturday 9:00-10:50 Platte River | #rmfwdisorders| Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Is there a Dexter in your manuscript? A Hannibal Lecter? Or maybe a hoarder? In this workshop we’ll discuss the fine-points of several common—and some uncommon—diagnoses and talk about ways to write about them.
Writing Fast and Writing Better Cindi Myers | Saturday 3:30-4:20 Telluride | #rmfwfast | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout If you want to be a more productive writer, this workshop offers tips and techniques for making the most of your writing time and writing more, while also producing higher quality work.
Writing is Rewriting: The Art and Science of Revising Your Work Cindi Myers | Sunday 10:00-11:50 Big Thompson | #rmfwrewriting | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Your job as a writer is only beginning once you’ve completed your manuscript. Learn the ins and outs of revising and polishing your work from the author of more than fifty published novels.
Writing Sex for the YA Market Bree Ervin | Saturday 4:30-5:20 Big Thompson | #rmfwyasex | Open Programming Workshop | Workshop Handout Sex in young-adult novels is a touchy subject. (Pun intended.) How much is too much? When does it become gratuitous? When do your teen readers start calling you a prude? How do you get past the gatekeepers? How do you avoid having your book banned? What’s the line between writing realistic sex and writing porn or erotica? In this workshop we will hear examples from a range of YA novels and see how their authors handled the topic of sex. Then we’re going to try our hands at this delicate task. Don’t panic—no one has to read aloud.
You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Why the Author/Agent Relationship is Nothing Like Toy Story Sarah Joy Freese | Saturday 1:30-2:20 Platte River | #rmfwfriend | Open Programming Workshop In order for a book to be published, an author has to have an agent. But once an author gets an agent, what does that relationship look like? What happens when an author panics over edits? Is he/she allowed to call her agent at 2:00 am? Is she allowed to call her agent from Macy’s ready to max out her credit card due to stress from a bad review? Are agents and authors friends? This workshop will explore these questions and more in a workshop presented by an author and her agent.