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beginning Fiction Sessions 2020

The Essence of Dialogue: Its Ultimate Nature - Judy Kelly

To find what is needed in dialogue, to serve a purpose and have meaning, we will delve deeply into examples to discover the composition regarding purpose, importance and meaning.  We will see how dialogue gives depth and quality to character, plot, and setting.  We discover the various types of dialogue and determine when and how to use them.

Judy Kelly is an award winning author.  Her latest novel, Blessings and Curses, was in the top ten most popular novels at the Frankfurt, Sharjah and Guadalajara International Book Fairs, 2018.  Her first novel, That Ever Died So Young, was a finalist in the Somerset Literary and Contemporary Fiction Award, 2014.  She has given presentations on dialogue; empathy; conflict and tension; and suspense at conferences, libraries, and meetings.  Kelly is a member of Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA), Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Independent Book Publishers Assoc. (IBPA), The Writing Center in Bethesda, and Maryland Writers' Association. She teaches fiction writing at Montgomery College and Frederick Community College in the Lifelong Learning Institute.  She serves as a beta reader and a reader for the prestigious Eric Hoffer Awards. 

"Five for Ten" Writing - Kenton Kilgore  

As a new writer, you may wonder how to make your work the best it can be.  Join author  Kenton Kilgore as he presents 5 overall principles and 10 focused rules that will immediately improve your writing skills no matter your genre or subject matter.      

Kenton Kilgore is the current ESWA President. He is the author of the young adult sci-fi/fantasy novels This Wasted Land, Lost Dogs, and Dragontamer's Daughter, as well as the children's book Our Wild Place, and the non-fiction book for writers, Handselling Books: Making Money and Winning Fans. He and his family live on Kent Island, MD.

 Pudgy in the Middle - Suzanne Supplee

You’ve written 200-plus pages. The beginning of your novel has the hook you were hoping for. The ending leaves the reader feeling satisfied. Your beta readers raved about the voice and personality and heart. Oh, boy, but that middle part . . . well, it’s pudgy. It drags. It needs a few laps around the track. You’ve read the thing over a thousand times, but fear cutting some of the middle will leave the manuscript malnourished. In this workshop we’ll delve into what’s really holding your work-in-progress back. We’ll focus on the pudginess in the middle. No sit-ups involved!

Suzanne Supplee is the author of three young adult novels: When Irish Guys Are Smiling (Speak/Penguin), Artichoke's Heart (Dutton/Penguin), and Somebody Everybody Listens To (Dutton/Penguin). Suzanne earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and a master’s in creative writing from Towson University. Her books have been honored on various state lists, including a 2011 Golden Sower Honor and the Louisiana Teen Choice Award. Somebody received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and was named a 2011 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. Other works have been published by various literary magazines and online.  Suzanne taught creative writing for a number of years at a magnet high school in Maryland. She was recognized as an Alliance for Young Artists and Writers Gold Medal Portfolio Educator in 2015 and a Silver Medal with Distinction Educator in 2014 and 2015. Recently, she was named a University of Chicago Outstanding educator. 

The Marathon Method of Plotting - Christie Wright Wild

This workshop shares the similarities of running a marathon with writing a novel.  It covers the five main plot points necessary to begin (or revise) your novel.  Lots of examples are included.  Includes time to workshop a portion of attendee manuscripts and help identify plot points.

Christie Wright Wild is a writer of children's books and a runner of races.  She writes picture books and middle grade novels (both fiction and nonfiction). She has participated in two marathons, two half marathons and numerous 5k and 10k races.  She is represented by Stacey Graham of Red Sofa Literary.  When not writing or running, Christie tries to avoid doing housework.  You will likely find her playing word games, such as Bananagrams, Upwords, or Boggle.

Characterization from the Actor's Perspective - Gail Priest

How do actors come to understand the characters they are playing?  They look to the script for what motivates their character.  Just as an actor portrays a character on stage or on screen, authors need to understand what motivates their characters.  Participants will have an opportunity to practice objectives, obstacles, and tactics, as actors using improvisation and then as writers approaching their own characters.  The participants will come away with a deeper insight into how to develop characterization.  They will also experience a unique way of experiencing their character . . . as an actor does.

Gail Priest is the author of the Annie Crow Knoll trilogy.  The final novel was a Kindle Book Awards 2017 semi-finalist.  Eastern Shore Shorts, her collection of short stories set in various Eastern Shore towns, was a 2019 International Book Awards finalist in the Fiction: Short Story category. Her play Eva's Piano was produced at the Dayton Playhouse in their New Play Festival.  The Church Hill Theatre in Church Hill, Maryland staged a reading of her play A Thing with Feathers. Gail is a member of Eastern Shore Writers’ Association, Women's Fiction Writers Association, Artist Network Conference, and South Jersey Writers’ Group, where she was named Writer of the Year for 2016. Gail’s career in theater as a college professor, actor, director, and playwright, along with her degree in and experiences as a counselor, significantly influence her writing.  


Craft & Nonfiction -- Beginning Fiction

Advanced Fiction -- Poetry


Conference Overview





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