9:00 – 10:30
Shedding Light on Your Characters
This session is designed to help writers of fiction (all genres) and nonfiction dig deeply into character development. We’ll talk about why character is the most important element of writing—no matter what genre you work in—ways to reveal character on the page; and how to get to know your characters both before you start working and as your stories develop. The session will include exercises using both assigned characters that you will flesh out, and your own creations that you’d like to get to know better. Writers will have the opportunity to share what they create in session with the group, and get feedback. You’ll leave the session with tools you can apply to any project.
KRIS FAATZ’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including CRAFT, Baltimore Review, and Streetlight Magazine. Her first novel, To Love A Stranger (Blue Moon Publishers, 2017), was a finalist for the 2016 Schaffner Press Music in Literature Award. Her second novel, Fourteen Stones, is forthcoming in 2022 from The Patchwork Raven (Wellington, NZ). Kris teaches creative writing for the Community College of Baltimore County and for the Baltimore County public library system. She is also a performing pianist.
10:45 – 12:15
Plan a Series with Ease
Nothing like starting what you feel is a stand-alone title, only to find out there are at least three, maybe even six more books to be written connected to the first one. Writing a series is hot business these days. Readers love to visit with all the iterations of a single-family saga, glimpses of characters they have fallen in love with, siblings who made cameo appearances, extended family, and friends, all who add to multi book-length problems. Even prequels are just more fodder of “where it all began” and excellent to explore as well. Avoid the headache of not correctly documenting vital components of your books, avoid naming issues and redundancy, plotting disasters, and an entire list of other potential pitfalls to help participants gear their series from the get-go.
TRACEE LYDIA GARNER is a 20-year veteran author and publisher of more than 14 titles. She is both traditionally and self-published in fiction and is a person of color with a disability who uses a wheelchair. Tracee loves helping other aspiring writers finish and publish their books. She has coached more than 15 writers who have worked with her to complete their projects and held their hand through the maze of publishing and marketing options until their book is available for sale on Amazon and other bookseller sites. Tracee resides in the Northern Virginia area with her family while pounding her keys in only pockets of time committed to her craft, all while maintaining an almost fifteen-year career as a case manager for a DC-based nonprofit organization.
1:45 – 3:15
Flash Flash Stories
We’ve heard of flash fiction, a story told in less than 1000 words. Flash Flash is a way to create a story by focusing on specific moments, the way you flip through a box of photographs. We’ll try our hand at writing stories that are not based on chronological order, with playfulness, imagery, and imagination. You can use either fiction or memories as the raw material for this process of priceless is more. We’ll shake up the usual ways of following a story line in order to bring aha! moments into focus.
WENDY BROWN-BAEZ is the creator of Writing Circles for Healing and author of the writers’ guide Heart on the Page: A Portable Writing Workshop, a novel Catch a Dream and a poetry collection Ceremonies of the Spirit. Her poetry and prose appear widely in literary journals and anthologies, including Mizna, Wising Up Press, Poets & Writers, Talking Writing, Water~Stone Review, Peregrine, Duende, and Tiferet. Wendy leads creative writing classes in community spaces such as healing centers, prisons, libraries, and churches. She is a member of Mn Prison Writing Workshop, Writing to Wholeness Collective, and The Loft Literary Center.
3:30 – 5:00
Lights, Camera, Action: Bringing Your Story to Life with Captivating Scenes
The building blocks of fiction are scenes, and this interactive workshop will share how to write scenes so vivid, your readers will picture them as though they’re playing out on the big screen. Discover how to incorporate—and ensure a proper balance—of the four essential elements of the scene:
This workshop will take you through guided writing exercises to help you develop the first draft of an effective scene.
- Internal Dialogue
LINDA BUDZINSKI is the author of four young adult novels, including EM & EM, which has been optioned for development as a TV series and was named a “Must Read for Teens” by Your Teen Magazine, as well as THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER, winner of the Romance Writers of America YA Chapter’s Rosemary Award. Her short story The Merrifield Affair appears in the BEACH SECRETS anthology published in November 2021 by Cat & Mouse Press. When she’s not writing, Linda works in nonprofit communications and outreach.