Saturday, February 15, 2014


By now, you have seen the title of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s keynote speech for The Write Stuff 2014: It’s all about the Story. She told Tammy Burke in her recent interview:

 It’s all about telling a story, right? Whether you’re making it up or not. I am well aware, as a TV reporter, that if a viewer isn’t interested, entertained, informed, and riveted, they can simply zap me away with the click of a remote. So I have learned, over all these years, to tell a good story.  
Happily, I get to use the same skills in crime fiction. I know if you don’t love the characters, and the plot, if you’re not riveted to turning the pages, you’re going to close the cover and find another book. I do my best not to let that happen! And that’s all about the story.
That’s all Hank is telling us about Saturday’s keynote speech—a hint of things to come. But let me point out to you how that same theme of creating a compelling story runs through our conference offerings this year. When Scott Nicholson, top-selling and award-winning horror writer, takes the mike at his Thursday pre-conference session, he will instruct us to take our story written in one genre and turn it into a powerful piece of a different ilk. And then on Friday, he shows us how to develop and execute a plot that stays and ends strong.

Kathryn Craft comes Thursday to train us in finding that life-changing moment in our character’s story. Appearing on Friday, Sally Apokedek will waltz us through the process of Mak[ing] Your Plodding Prose Prance and Your Plot Dance. Again, the story! Also on Thursday, we are extremely fortunate to feature Don Lafferty, veteran writer in many genres, teaching us, in detail, how to market our stories in this millennium’s mode—online. Mary Shafer’s Indie Publishing session on Friday will complement Don’s instruction.

On Saturday, we’re packed with short and strong sessions. We’ve got Jessica Dimuzio, DMV using her experience as a SCBWI*-award-winning author, to teach us how to write not fiction, but nonfiction, as compelling story that children will not push away.  In the Young Adult lit world, Jennifer Hubbard shows us how to match tone to the story we are telling, as we develop voice and character that want to be devoured by readers.

Back to the grown-up world,  Mary Shafer, author of two big selling and enduring nonfiction books, informs us about the impact that story has made in the world of creative nonfiction.  Karen E. Quinones Miller will walk us through Showing Versus Telling while Scott Nicholson gives us the key to a gripping horror story. Phil Giunta will discuss how to take that longer, well-padded story we have in mind for a novel, and shape it into a forceful short. Kathryn Craft and Scott Nicholson illustrate the best in story beginnings and endings, and we finish strong Saturday with Kathryn showing us how to build our stories from deep within ourselves, and Hank teaching how to transfer journalistic skills to a captivating fiction piece.

It’s all about the story!! Check it out!

*SCBWI: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

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