WANACon – Session Details

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Click to View our Lineup & Schedule – Oct 3rd-5th


WANACON Oct. 2013 Workshops

Best-Selling Dystopian Author Piper Bayard

Carving out Your Social Media Niche

So you have your blog, your Facebook page, and your Twitter account—now what? Even New York Times Best Selling Authors ask this question. This class will cover how the elements of social media play together to boost your author brand and carve out your social media niche. It covers how to blog to keep readers coming back, how to start conversations that connect, how to find mentors and readers, how to avoid the Circle Stroke Death Trap, and how to promote your work without having people unfriend you in droves for acting like a spambot. The result is a viable and supportive author social media platform that can eventually translate into sales.


New York Times Best-Selling Author Allison Brennan


Christopher Vogler says that the villain is the hero of his own journey. In fact, the villain is as important—or more important—than your hero. Learn how to craft a villain worthy of your hero—and a hero worthy of your villain.


Green E-Books C.E.O. Jason Chatraw

Nine Ways to Make Your eBook Pop!

Learn how to set your eBook apart from traditionally published eBooks by utilizing the power digital books offers authors in the new age of publishing.


Award-Winning Crime Fiction Writer David Corbett

KEYNOTE: Writing Problems Are Personal Problems – Correcting One Improves the Other

It’s often tempting to hide behind our stories, to think of our writing as a shield or mask, allowing us to project out into the world a more perfect self than we in fact possess. But writing requires  a deeper, more generous kind of honesty than that. And on inspection, we often find that the difficulties we have in our writing result directly from an unwillingness to embrace that deep, unflinching honesty.

THE OUTER LIMITS OF INNER LIFE: Bringing Characters to Life by Looking Within

Join award-winning author David Corbett in this workshop on creating characters with depth. You will learn how to build an intuitive connection with your characters through an informed understanding of your own past, and how to use that bridge to create compelling backstories that bring your tale to life. You will also discover the deep reservoirs of material even a seemingly uneventful life avails. David will discuss the crucial role of both helplessness and willfulness in exploring character, and how these seemingly contradictory inclinations are crucial in creating complex and engaging characters. He will also explore ways to heighten conflict in your story through a better understanding of the emotional stakes. By the end of the class, you’ll walk away with a healthy start on your next novel and a deeper understanding of your characters, your story—and yourself.


Award-Winning Author and Legendary Writing Teacher Les Edgerton

Hooked: Fiction That Grabs Readers and Never Lets Go

The road to rejection is paved with bad beginnings. Agents and editors agree: Improper story beginnings are the single biggest barrier to publication. Why? If a novel or short story has a bad beginning, then no one will keep reading. It’s just that simple!

You’ll find:

  • Detailed instruction on how to develop your inciting incident—where it all starts.
  • Keys for creating a cohesive story-worthy problem
  • Tips on how to avoid common opening gaffes like overusing backstory/setup.
  • A rundown on basics such as the two building blocks of fiction—scenes and sequels.
  • A comprehensive analysis of how to use the principles of a great opening to create a page-turner throughout the entire novel.
  • With this presentation you’ll have all the information you need to craft a compelling beginning that lays the foundation for an irresistible story!
  • And start getting acceptances instead of rejections!


Former Doubleday Editor now Author J.E. Fishman

Eight Ways Nonfiction Colors Fiction

In this session we’ll talk about the different ways that nonfiction elements affect the power of a fictional narrative and how much research the novelist should do in relation to the various impacts she or he seeks to have through her work.


Writer, Reporter Rachel Funk Heller

Master Worksheets: Tools to Fix Your Plot & Polish Your Prose

Whether we are new writers or old hacks, we all  want short cuts, we all want that magic wand that we can wave over our books that will untangle our subplots and make our words sing arias. Well, I’m no sorceress, just a writer who needed to get organized for the long haul revision.

I created these sheets to help with the following chores:

1. Master Scene Profile to track plot actions and to keep track of timelines, characters, and clues.
2. I created the Master Style Sheet to go tighten up word choices, sentence styles and edit out crappy nouns and dull verbs.

In this class I’ll show you how to add these valuable tools to your war chest, and help make that next revision less of a chore.


Author, Blogger, Digital Wonder Woman Jami Gold

Beat Sheet Basics: Know Your Story’s Structure

Beat sheets, long used by movie scriptwriters, can also help us create strong stories for our novels. Don’t know what beat sheets are or how to use them? Do you write by the seat of your pants and don’t want to plan your story in advance?

Never fear—learn the terminology, uses, and ways to adapt beat sheets to our writing methods. At the end of this class, students will have an overview of story structure and beat sheets:

  • Introduction to story arcs
  • Introduction to beats and terminology
  • Digging deeper to avoid formulaic clichés
  • Using beat sheets to find unnecessary scenes and pacing issues
  • How those who write by the seat of their pants can use beat sheets too


Best-Selling Romance Author Candace Havens

Moving Your Story Forward with the SMexy

Love scenes are hard (pun intended). There are the words that you use, that EVERYONE uses. And what is the purpose of the a love scene? Well, it isn’t just about the smexy. Love scenes should move the story forward and reveal character. Candace will discuss the elements you need to write sexy but meaningful scenes.


Facebook Expert Lisa Hall-Wilson

Using Facebook to Build Author Platform

Learn 15 essential principles for using Facebook to build author/writer platform and promote your writing no matter what changes Zuck dreams up. Get the tools to answer where Facebook fits into your marketing funnel, how news feed works, best practices, page vs profile, and more.

Many authors are sabotaging their platform in several good-intentioned ways by turning into spam bots, risking Facebook jail, and playing Facebook roulette. Learn to avoid the pitfalls and make Facebook work for you!


Business Journalist and Non-Fiction Author Caitlin Kelly

Learn to Think Like a Reporter—Essentials for the Non-Fiction Writer

Reporters know how to find, develop, report and write stories efficiently and accurately .  In this sesssion, you’ll learn what makes a story and how can you recognize it when you see it. You’ll learn the basic structure of every non-fiction piece, and how to find sources. Only with reliable, accurate information can  you write smart, timely, detailed stories. This session will teach you some of the essential strategies every skilled reporter relies on, no matter what the subject material or length and type of story.


Twitter Expert Marcy Kennedy

Google+ – A Good Alternative to Facebook and Twitter?

If Facebook and Twitter had a secret love child, it would be Google+. Because of its similarities to both sites, many writers don’t see its unique potential. This class will show you how Google+ is different from Facebook and Twitter, explain the advantages of Google+ over its social media parents, and walk you through how to best use Google+ to build your author platform, including circles, hangouts, and communities. At the end of the class, you’ll know whether Google+ is a good fit for you or not, and you’ll walk away with the knowledge you need to get started on Google+ or to make the most of your time there if you already have an account.


Head of Amazon’s CreateSpace Team Thom Kephart

Amazon CreateSpace: Publishing, Distributing and Selling Your Book with Amazon

Join us for an overview about how to effectively use CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and other Amazon services, to independently publish.


#1 Best-Selling Author and Social Media Expert Kristen Lamb

Many Roads to Rome—Choosing a Publishing Path

There are a lot of ways to become a “published author” and this is a BIG decision. Go indie? Self-publish? Hold out for a traditional deal? This class will help you marry the right publishing path to your personality and work so whatever decision you make is an informed one.

Killing Little Darlings with Ruthless Efficiency

It’s easy to get attached to our writing, to characters, to dialogue, but maybe some of it isn’t working. This class will teach you how to minimize creating “Little Darlings” to begin with, but if some do creep in, how to know when to dispatch them.

NaNoWriMo Bootcamp

Countless writers vow to complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) then hit a wall and never finish. Or, if they finish, they have a mess that can’t be repaired. This session will help you understand the basics of how to craft a novel and some tips to keep pressing to the end so your time is used wisely. Learn how to not only FINISH NaNo, but also how to finish with something that can be shaped into a “real” novel.


Acclaimed Horror Author Kevin Lucia

What Stories Do Horror Editors Want?

Kevin Lucia will be discussing the types of stories editors at horror publications are looking for, avoiding tropes and cliches.

What Kind of Horror Story Are You Writing?

Kevin Lucia will be discussing the different types of horror plots, and what “discovery themes” are central.


Best-Selling Thriller Author Boyd Morrison

Ask a Thriller Author Q&A

Boyd has had a wide variety of experiences publishing his books. He is both traditionally published and self-published, his books have been published in countries around the world, and he has presented on the writing craft at conferences such as the Surrey International Writing Conference and Writer’s Digest West. This is a great opportunity to ask him questions about the details of the publishing process and the craft of writing page-turning thrillers, and he will be happy to answer anything from the general to the specific.


Creator of DIY-MFA (Do It Yourself MFA) Gabriela Pereira

How to DIY Your MFA in Writing

An MFA in writing is a big investment, not just in terms of money and time. The good news is you don’t need an writing degree to get published and you can get most of the benefits of an MFA by doing it yourself. Join Gabriela Pereira, from DIY MFA, as she guides you through the key steps so you can get that MFA knowledge without the college.

7 Steps to a Stronger Story

This workshop walks you through seven techniques that will help you jump-start your story. Whether you’re stuck in the middle of revisions, you’ve hit a rut partway through your first draft, or you’re just getting started, these techniques will help give your story that necessary boost so you can go from frazzled to finished.


Technology and Web Expert Laird Sapir

How to Make Your Website Work for You

How to have a killer author website on any budget.

  • How to make your website reflect your brand
  • Organizing your site for the best visitor experience
  • Keep your readers coming back for more (Subscriptions & Mailing List solutions)
  • Your website as a jumping off point for your Social Media Presence (Follow Links & Plugins)
  • Self-hosted sites vs. WordPress.com (Pros and Cons)
  • What to look for in a WordPress theme (features, stability, and “future-proofyness”)
  • Avoid getting your site hacked (basic security & handling updates)
  • SEO tips (getting Google to love you, and what Analytics can tell you about your visitors)


Best-Selling Author and Media Personality Amy Shojai

Just the Facts: Create Winning Non-Fiction Proposals

Nonfiction Book Proposals is a 90-minute PowerPoint class designed to help beginning to experienced writers interested in submitting nonfiction books for publication to agents and/or “traditional” publishers. Unlike fiction projects that should be completed before submission, nonfiction books typically are sold based on a proposal along with samples. Although much of publishing remains in flux, the sales tool–the nonfiction proposal–remains a mainstay for “selling” both agent and editor on your idea. This session also includes (SQUEE!) CUTE PET PICTURES and shows you how to choose saleable topics, build an impressive bio, query (or not), and craft the proposal. There are many kinds of nonfiction, from memoir and biography to prescriptive advice and “creative nonfiction” stories. You’ll learn what components make up the proposal and how to compose them, how to format the proposal, and create your competition/market survey. You’ll also learn tips for finding expert sources, building your ‘brand’ and leveraging your platform.


Publishing Attorney and Bestselling Author Susan Spann

10 Publishing Contract Pitfalls – and How to Avoid Them

What’s the difference between “world rights,” and “all rights”? Exactly what does a publisher mean by “derivatives” and “subsidiary rights”? How can you tell if your royalyies are calculated on gross or net, and how will you know if your book goes out of print? Reading a publishing contract may seem scary, but losing your rights is scarier still. Come learn about the most common contract traps – and how to avoid them – with publishing attorney and author Susan Spann.


Award-Winning Author and Journalist Reavis Z. Wortham

In the Footsteps of Giants (Voice, Action and Dialogue)

One of the most difficult concepts for new authors to grasp is the creation of their own Voice. In this session, we’ll discuss the right voice for you, so that your work can stand out above the thousands of other writers out there who are vying for readers’ attention, but…action and pacing are also essential to keep a reader interested. Today it’s too easy to drop a book after boredom sets in, because there are so many other works out there. Action keeps the blood flowing, so we’ll make sure to keep the story moving so we can read good……dialogue which seems to be difficult for some to write. We’ll cut away the fat with a number of tricks that help move the story along, while maintaining the pacing  and action we discussed earlier.


Click for our current schedule and session times.


Friday Saturday
J.E. Fishman Lisa Hall-Wilson
Laird Sapir Jason Chotraw
Thom Kephart Laird Sapir
Susan Spann Marcy Kennedy
David Corbett* David Corbett*
Boyd Morrison Kristen Lamb
Les Edgerton Amy Shojai
Reavis Z. Wortham Gabriela Pereira
Allison Brennan Rachel Funk Heller
Kristen Lamb Candace Havens
Caitlin Kelly Gabriela Pereira
Kevin Lucia Kevin Lucia
Jami Gold Piper Bayard

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