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BEGINNING Fiction
ZOOM: Delaware Bay Breakout Room

9:15 AMThe Intersection of  Story & Settings
Ariele Sieling

Although setting is one of the least discussed elements of story, it can still make or break a narrative. Writing elegant description can be fun, but it's not always necessary. Similarly, it can be easy to focus on the dialogue and plot, and only bring in setting when you have no other option. So where is the balance and how do we find it? In this workshop, join Ariele Sieling in exploring strategies for crafting a setting with depth and purpose that serves not only as a backdrop for your conflict, but also as an important driver of plot in any genre.

Ariele Sieling is a Baltimore-based writer who enjoys books, cats, and trees. Her first love, however, is science fiction and she has three series in the genre: post-apocalyptic monsters in Land of Szornyek; soft science fiction with The Sagittan Chronicles; and scifi fairy-tale retellings in Rove City. She has also had numerous short stories published in a variety of anthologies and magazines and is the author of the children's books series Rutherford the Unicorn Sheep. She lives in Baltimore with her husband, a dog, and two cats. Visit www.arielesieling.com for more information. 

10:30 AM
How to Write Your First Page
Wilnona and Jade
 

How do you write a solid first page? Join Wilnona and Jade for this session designed to inspire the best first page of your novel, including tips on creating characters, addressing the setting, and creating visuals for the reader. Walk out of the session with your fantastic finalized first page already in hand. 


Wilnona Marie and Jade Dee  are a dynamic writing duo who have written 16 books between them, including works of short fiction and poetry. Masters of multimedia, Wilnona and Jade also publish a magazine titled "The 25 Hottest Indie Authors, Artists & Advocates;" produce a popular podcast called "And I Thought;" and facilitate the "Thoughtful Book Festival." Listed in the "20 Iconic Authors" by the Every Writer's Resource website, Wilnona and Jade have been named consecutive Poets of the Year in 2019 and 2020 by the Indie Author Legacy Awards. They also organize the Inspirational Women in Literature Awards.  Website: http://www.andwethought.com


11:45 AM
How to Connect Your Readers
to Your Characters
Ted Webber

Characters are an important part of creative fictional storytelling--often the most important. It is through the protagonist(s) that the reader connects to the story. In this interactive presentation, we will discuss character arcs, how to tie them into the plot, and how to flesh out characters so they feel real and engaging. Please bring a fictional character you are working on (or create a new one) to this session.

Ted Webber has pursued writing since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics.  His first published novel was a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt (See Sharp Press). The first book of a trilogy, it was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook award for best first science fiction, fantasy, or horror novel. The sequels, The Wrath of Leviathan and Zero-Day Rising, are also out, and he has other books on the way. Webber is a member of the Maryland Writers Association and Poets and Writers. Website: https://www.tcweber.com

2:15 PM
Quarantined at the Keyboard
Fran Severn

As writers, we depend on outside stimulation to keep ourselves alert and to generate new ideas. We crave human interaction and contact. We require visual and sensory experiences to keep us from falling into a stifling pattern of inaction and dull familiarity. A year ago, being isolated at home with no outside demands interfering with your writing sounded like a dream. Now, after a year of staying at home, your creative drive has vanished like your plans to visit Europe this summer. And you miss the dynamic energy of being around other writers. This workshop attempts to recharge your creative energies. In this interactive workshop, we will share the techniques we’re using to keep our enthusiasm high and what projects we’ve started, finished, or are planning. We’ll talk about dealing with isolation and depression. We’ll also have some fun with several real-time short writing prompts to send us back to the keyboard with fresh inspiration.

Fran Severn is a past president and current board member of ESWA. She has over 200 credits in regional, national, and international publications, writing about everything from PEEPS (yes, the little yellow marshmallow birds) to the ethics of in utero surgery. An avid horsewoman, she contributes to several equine-centric magazines. Her book, Riders of a Certain Age: A Guide for Older Women who Love Horses, is scheduled for release in 2022. Hanging over her desk in her home office in Salisbury is a picture of Severus Snape asking, “Shouldn’t you be writing right now?” You can view her writing at:  www.severnwriter.com

3: 30 PM
How Would You Describe That?
Pat Valdata

Fiction and nonfiction writers always have a clear mental picture of our characters and their actions as we write, but it's easy overlook those images when we're focused on plot or trying to get that first draft finished. This session will offer tips for integrating description into a narrative to help our readers see what we do, without going overboard into purple prose--and without bogging down the action. This session is aimed at beginners, but writers at every experience level are welcome.

Pat Valdata  is a fiction writer and poet. Her new novel, Eve's Daughters, was published by Moonshine Cove in November 2020. Her other novels are Crosswind and The Other Sister, which won a gold medal from the Arpad Academy of the Hungarian Association. Her poetry book about women aviation pioneers, Where No Man Can Touch, won the 2015 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. Her other poetry titles are Inherent Vice and Looking for Bivalve. A native of New Jersey, Pat has been a Marylander since 1990. She and her husband Bob Schreiber live in Crisfield. Website: www.patvaldata.com.



SESSION SUMMARIES by TRACK 

 Beginning Fiction Advanced Fiction

Poetry Publishing/Marketing

Craft  Memoir & Nonfiction

Conference Overview



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