During this special, all-day seminar (9 a.m. until 4 p.m.), Michael Hauge 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.
You will learn:
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 single biggest mistake writers when pitching their work
The key components of a powerful pitch
If you want to elevate your novels to the highest possible level, this event is a must.
The entrance fee for this event is tiered.
For Tucson RWA members: $100
For RWA members (not Tucson chapter): $125
All other guests: $150
Indie vs. Traditional Publishing, Why I Adore One but Stay with Both
Kristen will give a brief history of her experience as a hybrid writer, starting out independently published, then taking on traditional contracts with Grand Central Publishing and St. Martin’s along with her self-published work. She’ll share what she feels are the pros and cons of each and what the future might bring. She’ll also invite attendees to share their own experiences, opinions and advice and ask questions.
Luck and Work, You Need Both
After writing for fifteen years and being rejected (or ignored) by every publishing house and agent she submitted to, Kristen will explain how she continued to write, submit, and lay the foundation of what would become a career where she (so far) has sold over two million books. At the end of the presentation, Kristen would be delighted to take questions about her journey.
About Kristen Ashley
risten Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least), but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched). Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
Romance readers are voracious consumers so how do you match your romance novel with a business strategy to make money in romance publishing? Agent Sara will discuss profitable business strategy by evaluating formats, distribution and subsidiary rights. What role does social media play in profit and how do authors capitalize on that? How should each writer evaluate what’s best for their career based on their personality, how quickly they write, in what sub-genre they write and their backlist? How does an agent strategize for an author’s profit?
Query Letter Cold Reads
Those who follow Sara on Twitter know that she can quickly and succinctly provide her expert opinion on query letters. Saguaro Romance Writers will take advantage of that skill by having Sara provide feedback on cold reads of several query letters from SRW members and other event attendees as time allows.
Sara Megibow is a Literary Agent at kt literary with over 10 years experience in publishing. She represents New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance authors including Roni Loren, Ashlyn Macnamara, Tiffany Reisz, Maggie Wells and Jane Kindred. As an agent, Sara specializes in representing debut authors who write in these genres: middle grade, young adult, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. Within the romance genre specifically, she represents absolutely all sub-genres of work, including (but not limited to!) contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, historical, erotica, new adult, young adult, and steampunk.
I’m going to share a little secret with you… Editors typically consider the mechanics of your writing only if they’re truly horrible, but that’s only after they decide if they can sell your story, if they love your voice. In the history of publishing, I don’t think anyone has ever lost a book deal due to a missing comma or over-usage of adverbs. If you can write a story that a reader can’t put down, even despite grammatical errors… Now that’s a bestseller.
With that in mind, during this workshop we’re going to focus on both the big picture and line edits, but we’ll be focusing on concepts that will help you craft a bestseller: How to review your book through the standard three pass editing structure used by professionals, how to evaluate character growth arcs and story structure, how to peel away those bad writing habits to reveal your voice, and how to refine your writing style so a fluid and engaging story emerges. By the end of the day, I hope everyone will have the tools they’ll need to “Edit a Bestseller Like a Pro.”
Query Letter Cold Reads
Liz will bring her bestseller editor skills to practical application as she reviews query letters from Saguaro Romance Writers. These cold reads will be open to other event attendees as time allows.
About Liz Pelletier
Liz Pelletier co-founded Entangled Publishing in 2011. Over the past 4 years, Entangled has gone from a small start-up to a bestselling romance publisher, with more than 17 NY Times bestsellers and 39 USA Today bestsellers. Her out-of the-box approach to everything from pricing strategies to marketing to editorial allows Entangled to be both disruptive and agile within a dynamic publishing landscape. Liz continues to disrupt the publishing business with her launching of Entangled Music in 2015, where stories come to life through the extension of music. You can find her on Twitter at@Liz_Pelletier.
The Saguaro Romance Writers are excited to welcome Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency to our October Special Event. She’ll provide an “in the trenches” look at all things query letters. Join us for tips, tricks and an inside look at the elements of a query letter and what makes a good one. Then she’ll put that advice into action with cold reads of several query letters from SRW members and other event attendees as time allows.
About Jessica Watterson
Jessica is an agent at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in sociocultural anthropology and English. Jessica has made books a serious part of her life for many years. During college, she started an indie review blog that has featured author interviews and has reviewed several self-published books that eventually ended up on the New York Times Best Seller list. Jessica is actively building her list and is most interested in all genres of romance, especially historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, and paranormal. She greatly enjoys romance novels with strong characters that jump right off the page and a plot that stays with the reader long after the book has finished.
Viscount Hotel 4855 East Broadway, Tucson 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Special Event Meeting fee of $30 for members $45 for guests and walk-ins includes a single-entree buffet lunch.
Perfecting the Pitch
Part of your job is overcoming the fear most writers feel when it comes to selling themselves and their work. (If we were the naturally outgoing type, we wouldn’t BE writers!) So this session begins with a look at the seven fear-fighting techniques. Next comes the pitch itself, with hands-on work to prepare what you’ll tell the agent or editor during a formal appointment or an elevator meeting. Finally, we’ll cover the tricks for improving your presentation…and following up for the best chances of success. If you’re not planning to pitch anytime soon, you’ll get to choose an editor / agent’s role and play it for all it’s worth!
Letting “Mad Men” Write Your Synopsis
Whether or not you’ve met the editor / agent face-to-face, at some point they’ll need a synopsis to convince their superiors “we want this book.” So you’ll need to put on your Dan Draper hat and use some proven techniques from Madison Avenue that get people wanting to buy a particular product. We won’t get your entire synopsis written during this session, but you’ll learn every step you need for creating a synopsis that makes people eager to see your book.
About Laurie Schnebly Campbell
Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves speaking to writers about issues that draw on her background as an advertising copywriter, a counseling therapist and a romance novelist who beat out Nora Roberts for Best Special Edition of the Year. Along with romance and how-to books for writers, Laurie writes scripts for videos and commercials (some of which feature her voice) at a Phoenix ad agency. She also enjoys teaching a catechism class, narrating at Talking Books, playing with her husband and son in Sedona (the red-rock town named for her grandpa’s mom), and teaching online classes every month except July & December. “People ask how I find time to do all that,” Laurie says, “and I tell them it’s easy. I never clean my house!”
September 26th, SRW welcomes bestselling author Brenda Novak for our full day Special Event
This special event takes place at the Visount Hotel (4855 East Broadway) from 9:30 am-2:30 pm. Cost is $30 members, $45 nonmembers and includes a deli buffet.
Come and learn from New York Time and USA Today Best Selling Author Brenda Novak with her full day special event. Recharge Your Creative Battery
Learn Brenda’s secrets for Enhancing Creativity, how to bring more creativity in your life, to enrich your writing and your characters, and help overcome writers block.
Emotion = Reader Participation
In Brenda’s second session Emotion: The Heart of the Novel learn tips to add emotion to your novel’s plots, to enhance your characters relationships and authenticity, and to weave your way into your readers hearts.
Be prepared to take notes, share ideas, laugh, and learn.
It was a shocking experience that jump started Brenda Novak’s author career. “I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then I decided that I needed to do something from home.
Many of Brenda’s books have been designated an RT Book Review Magazine “Top Pick” and have gone on to place in contests such as the Romance Writers of America RITA™ Award, the National Readers’ Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Write Touch Readers’ Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best.
Brenda has given writing workshops at various RWA events, RT Book Review Magazine conventions, California Fiction Writer meetings, women’s groups and library events. She’s also
done television and radio, including GOOD MORNING AMERICA, YOUNG ICONS, a nationally syndicated show she did with her son, Thad, Fox 40 News, News 10, KCRA, GOOD
DAY SACRAMENTO, GOOD DAY ARIZONA, Booklover TV and KFBK News Talk Radio.
Publishers Weekly says Brenda’s novels are “richly dramatic.” According to Library Journal,
“Her work will appeal to those who like their romances with a “sophisticated touch.” In addition,
RT Book Review Magazine says, “Brenda Novak skillfully blends richly developed characters
and emotionally intense issues to create a powerful romance. This is an author destined for
For more about Brenda, visit www.brendanovak.com, where you can find excerpts of her work, prize drawings and information about her online auctions for diabetes research, which she holds most years in the month of May in honor of her son and the many others who face this terrible disease.
This event takes place at the Viscount Hotel (4855 East Broadway). from 9:30 am-2:30 pm. There will be no chapter meeting, and there is no restriction on guest attendance. Special Event fee of $30 members, $45 guests and walk-ins includes a sandwich buffet lunch. SPACE MAY BE LIMITED. Walk-ins are welcome, but whenever possible, please guarantee your spot by reserving on our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the event.
Structuring Your Novel: Discover the Proven Blueprint for Creating Stories That Sell
Why do some stories work and others don’t? Is there some unspoken secret for success that famous authors are aware of and you’re not? If you’ve struggled to write consistently solid novels, only to repeatedly realize something isn’t working, then you’re ready to discover story structure.
An understanding of proper story structure will help you to perfectly time your story’s major events and give you an unerring standard to use in evaluating your novel’s pacing and progression. Structure allows authors to create timeless stories that resonate with readers. More than that, structure provides authors with valuable guidance in understanding how story theory works and in planning novels, chapter by chapter.
In this presentation, you will discover the universal underpinnings that guarantee powerful plots, learn how to create solid plot points, and gain an understanding of how proper structure guarantees a solid foundation for your stories.
What you’ll learn:
How to implement a strong three-act structure, using ten important plot elements.
How to time your acts and your plot points.
How to determine the best methods for unleashing your unique and personal vision for your story.
How to identify common structural weaknesses and flip them around into stunning strengths.
How to eliminate saggy middles by discovering your “centerpiece.”
Outlining Your Novel: Create a Roadmap to Storytelling Success
Writers often look upon outlines with fear and trembling. Won’t outlines limit your creativity and rob the joy of discovery from your first draft? Why spend all that time preparing for a story when you could be writing it?
But when properly understood and correctly wielded, the outline is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal. K.M. Weiland, author of Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success, will help you learn how to choose the right type of outline for you, brainstorm plot ideas, and discover your characters.
Outlines ensure cohesion and balance in the finished story. They prevent wasted time pursuing dead-end ideas, allow you to craft resonant foreshadowing, and, most importantly of all, provide you a foundation of confidence and motivation.
What you’ll learn:
How to choose the right type of outline for you
How to brainstorm plot ideas
How to discover your characters
How to organize your scenes
How to format your finished outline
How to put your outline to use
About the Instructor
K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success and Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys to Writing an Outstanding Story, as well as three novels. She mentors other authors through her award-winning blog HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com. She makes her home in western Nebraska.
Who Should Attend?
Writers needing help writing or finishing solid first drafts
Writers who know how to create fabulous characters but who struggle with plot.
Writers who want to learn how to create the unique, personally structured writing process that will best for them.
Writers who want to take full advantage of their stories’ premises.
Writers who want to learn the secret to creating consistently good stories.
Writers who want to spot and fix story problems before they start writing the first draft.
This event takes place at the Viscount Hotel (4855 East Broadway). from 9:30 am-2:30 pm. There will be no chapter meeting, and there is no restriction on guest attendance.
Special Event fee of $30 members, $45 guests and walk-ins includes taco-bar lunch. SPACE MAY BE LIMITED. Walk-ins are welcome, but whenever possible, please guarantee your spot by reserving on our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8 am Wednesday before the event.
Do most of your stories start with a bang and end with a whimper? Do you have drafts with squishy middles and no “The End” in sight? Nancy Ellen Dodd is here to help with her workshop, The Five Keys to Finishing Your Story.
This interactive workshop will explain the basic concepts of story mapping and how to take your work to the next level. It will help you recognize:
Where you are in the story development,
Which voice to write in,
How to punch up your characters,
How to know where your story should begin,
What you need to finish your story.
Nancy will talk to writers in-depth on story writing elements and how to apply them more effectively to their individual work.
What You Will Learn:
Two individuals will be chosen to bring up to three (3) basic story problems they need to solve in order to finish their novel, short story, or screenplay.
Nancy will talk about ways to answer story problems. She will also give the two individuals feedback on their pages in a way that will enable the whole class to learn from the process.
About The Writers Compass:
Ms. Dodd teaches advanced screenwriting at Pepperdine University, and wrote “The Writer’s Compass: From Storymap to Finished Draft in 7 Stages.” This workshop includes material not in her book.
Instructor: Nancy Ellen Dodd
Nancy Ellen Dodd is a writer, a university instructor, and an editor. She received her master’s in Professional Writing from the University of So. California with a concentration in dramatic writing/screenwriting and her MFA in playwriting at USC’s School of Theatre. Having studied writing for more than 25 years, Dodd currently teaches screenwriting at Pepperdine University for undergraduate and graduate students.
She also studied writing with several successful, award-winning writers: Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Paul Zindel; playwrights Velina Hasu-Houston, Oliver Mayer, David Milton, and Lee Wochner; screen and television writer Sy Gomberg; and international poet James Ragan.
Dodd has received numerous awards for her writing, which include screenplays, plays, short stories, short films, and novel-length works, as well as inspirational writing. She has also published more than 130 articles in local and national publications including interviews with celebrities and business leaders.
* * *
Please note that this is a special event and will not take place in our usual venue. This workshop is at the Viscount Hotel (4855 East Broadway) and there is no Chapter meeting this month.
Meeting fee of $45 members, $55 guests and walk-ins includes a sandwich-bar lunch. SPACE MAY BE LIMITED. Walk-ins are welcome, but whenever possible, please guarantee your spot by reserving on our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8am Wednesday before the meeting.
Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves speaking to writers about issues that draw on her background as a therapist and in advertising. Having published half a dozen award-winning novels plus non-fiction, she teaches classes on creating plots & characters, and marketing books.
On November 1, Laurie will present a special workshop open to both RWA members and anyone else who wants to improve their understanding of characterization.
How to Create Compelling Characters Will Cover
Shaping a character’s journey
Choosing their psychological type
Making conflict come naturally
Blending plausible personalities
Finding (and fixing) the fatal flaw
Along with the presentation there will be some hands-on exercises as well as extensive handouts, and — for every 25 people who attend — a door-prize gift of free registration to one of Laurie’s online classes.
Date: Saturday, November 1, 2014
Place: Viscount Hotel: 4855 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ
Time: 9am to 3pm. Includes lunch
Price: $45 – RWA members (any chapter), $55 nonmembers. (includes a deli lunch buffet with salad, cookies, coffee, and tea)
Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves giving workshops for writer groups about “Psychology for Creating Characters,” “Making Rejection WORK For You,” “Building A Happy Relationship For Your Characters (And Yourself)” and other issues that draw on her background as a counseling therapist and romance writer.
In fact, she chose her website (www.BookLaurie.com) so people would find it easy to Book Laurie for programs.
But giving workshops — for students from London and Los Angeles to New Zealand and New York — is just one of her interests. During weekdays, she writes and produces videos, brochures and commercials (some of which feature her voice) for a Phoenix advertising agency. For several years she would turn off her computer every day at five o’clock, wait thirty seconds, turn it on again and start writing romance.
It finally paid off. Her first novel was nominated by Romantic Times as the year’s “Best First Series Romance,” and her second beat out Nora Roberts for “Best Special Edition of the Year.” But between those two successes came a three-year dry spell, during which Laurie discovered that selling a first book doesn’t guarantee ongoing success.
“What got me through that period,” she says, “was realizing that the real fun of writing a romance is the actual writing. Selling is wonderful, sure, but nothing compares to the absolute, primal joy of sitting at the computer and making a scene unfold and thinking ‘Wow! Yes! This is great!'”
After six books for Special Edition, she turned her attention to writing non-fiction — using her research into the nine personality types to help writers create plausible, likable people with realistic flaws. Her other favorite activities include playing with her husband and son, recording for the blind, counseling at a mental health center, traveling to Sedona (the Arizona red-rock town named for her great-grandmother, Sedona Schnebly) and working with other writers.
“People ask how I find time to do all that,” Laurie says, “and I tell them it’s easy. I never clean my house!”