Friday, October 9, 2020 

Morning Workshops 

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Friday Morning Kickoff! 

Kicking off the conference! A Word from Suzan Tisdale

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Visual Plotting: How to Craft Better Stories in Less time with Plottr

Want to discover how you can turbocharge your writing productivity and have more fun? In this special presentation with the team behind Plottr, recently named the Best Outlining App for Productivity by Kindpreneur, you’ll learn how visually outlining your books can help you craft better stories in less time.

Ryan Zee and Cameron Sutter

Writing Believable Military Characters

It’s not news to you that one of the biggest challenges in writing is creating authentic scenes, settings, and dialogue that make the story feel real. Sometimes, especially with the military, the obstacles are huge and when you’re dealing with very realistic scenes, settings, characters, and readers who are quite familiar with all of those, it becomes an even more daunting task. One of the toughest things to write is writing something you don’t know. 

Many service members are huge readers, and they know when you are ate up. So if you don’t want to get called out or get a scathing email then I think this presentation is for you. 

By Author Shannon Nemechek

Digging Deeper into Reader Connections

Make your readers connect with your characters on a deep level. Go beyond genre and even GMC to create characters who will lodge themselves in your reader's hearts and minds and make your story unforgettable. 

By Author Madeline Martin

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10 Trends Impacting the Future of Publishing

This presentation identifies the top trends influencing your future as publisher of indie ebooks.  You'll learn how to navigate these trends to build a more successful, more robust long-term career as an indie author or publisher. 

Jim with Smashwords

Maximizing Marketing Strategies

Whether you’re traditionally published, indie or hybrid, everyone can benefit from marketing their books, and themselves—YOU after all, are your brand. In this workshop, we’ll be discussing a wide range of marketing strategies that will enhance your career and hopefully increase your sales. Topics include: bolstering your brand; expanding your readership; techniques to boost discoverability on sales platforms; effective social media marketing; advertising/promotion; and creating a solid marketing plan for each book release.

Eliza Knight


Join the creators of Plottr for a Q & A Session presented by Cameron Sutter and Ryan Zee

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It's easier to self-publish an ebook than you might imagine. No technical expertise is necessary. In this introductory, jargon-free primer to ebook self-publishing, we'll cover the basics. To set the foundation and explore the ebook publishing opportunity, the workshop begins by covering the top trends impacting the future of publishing. Next, you'll discover the advantages of ebook self-publishing. The workshop concludes with an ebook publishing checklist covering everything you need to know to get started, such as ebook formatting, metadata, pricing, distribution and more.

An Author's Complete Guide to Understanding 
Great Villains and Antogonists

Evil” comes in more shapes and sizes than you might realize! Andy Peloquin dissects a list of all the classic villain and antagonists types to help inspire writers to craft thrilling new characters for their stories. Join this panel to learn how to make the enemies your heroes face truly memorable.

Andy Peloquin

Write True:A Romance Writer’s Guide to Craft, Career, and Staying True To Oneself

You can handle the truth. New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst teaches a surprising key to success in the romance industry: truth. Join Jennifer as she discuses handling fear, developing your craft, the importance of pivot in an ever-changing industry, and discovering your truth as a storyteller.

Where Would Sherlock Holmes Be Without Watson? How to create first-rate secondary characters

Well-developed characters give a novel depth. They allow the reader to be fully immersed in a story. Often authors focus most of their attention on the main characters, giving much less thought to their secondary characters. I will be discussing the importance of secondary characters and easy ways to breathe life into them.

Ceci Giltenan

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Catherine Bybee is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five books that have collectively sold more than eight million copies and have been translated into twelve languages.


Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms.


She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite series, the Weekday Brides series, and the Most Likely To series.

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Grab your lunch and join us for social hour!

Afternoon Workshops 

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The Book Launch: Ebook Preorders & Presale Strategies

Imagine if you could press a magic button that would make your next ebook release land higher in the sales charts. Imagine no more. The magic button is real, and it’s called the ebook preorder. In this webinar, you’ll learn how to use ebook preorders to make your next ebook launch more successful. In addition, you’ll also learn how to add ebook presales to your marketing toolbox. Presales allow early and immediate access to new ebooks before release to the general public, whereas preorders act as a product reservation system where the reader must wait until the book’s general release date. Presales help authors turbocharge newsletter subscription signups, build readership, and turn fans into superfans.

Staying Sane and Productive During Covid19

In this workshop, psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor Debra Holland, Ph.D will discuss ways to stay mentally and emotionally healthy as well as ways to (relatively) stay on track with your writing. Audience participation will be encouraged.

Debra Holland

Hallee Bridgeman

How to Write in Layers

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Dynamic Dialogue

Dynamic Dialogue

Sure, dialogue records conversation.  But it can do so much more--if you know how to wield it.  Dialogue can provide subtle backstory, vivid characterization, or shoot a plot forward at high speed.  Great dialogue is memorable and effective.  Bad dialogue is cumbersome and can turn your reader (or potential editor) off quickly.  Multipublished author Allie Pleiter leads you through all the ways you can use dialogue within your story to pack a far bigger punch than “she said.” 

Allie Pleiter

Tips to Getting Your Book on Your Local Library’s Shelf (or How to Make Your Local Librarian Like You.)

It is simple as cake to bring a free copy of your freshly published book to your local librarian and request that it be added to the library’s collection. After all, it’s a free book written by a member of the community, and libraries love free books. They give them out all the time. You go in with a smile and leave confounded. The librarian did not seem happy to see you and they may have told you something vague and inconclusive about adding your book to the library’s collection. You check the library catalog a week later and your book is not there. What went wrong?

Well, for anyone who bakes, you know that cake is not simple, and neither is adding a book to a library’s collection. There are nitty gritty things that must take place.


Libraries have collection development policies, limited shelf space, and other circumstances they must consider before adding new titles to their collections. Learn from a librarian what all we are looking at and for when it comes to adding new books. Eliminate “red flags” and “blackball” status during and after your interactions with your friendly neighborhood librarian.

E. Ardell

The "B" Word: Writing Your Blurb

USA and Amazon best selling author Rebecca Forster will show you how to conquer the most critical part of marketing your work:  writing a blurb that excites, intrigues, and motivates a reader to purchase your book.

Rebecca Forster

Click the icon to download a printable word doc for Rebecca's Workshop.

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Building a Science Fiction or Fantasy Brand

Left-handed. I like dragons, coffee, waffles, running, and giraffes; 
order unimportant. I write the Halfway Witchy, Messenger, and Shattered 
Skies series, with thirty-nine titles and counting. Trained as a 
Military Historian, I was a history professor for six years, and have 
taught in an MFA for Science Fiction and Fantasy writing since 2018.
  I don't sleep, but you probably guessed that already.

Terry Maggert


Familiar with Vellum but have questions? This is the place to ask!


This will be a Q & A Session with representative Brad West from Vellum. 

Draft 2 Digital

Familiar with Draft 2 Digital but have questions? This is the place to ask!


This will be a Q & A Session with representative Kevin Tumlinson from Vellum. 

The Right to Remain Silent: Writing Police Procedure

TV and movie writers and directors are working with time constraints, having the actors solve a crime in an hour or two, so they take liberties with how the police conduct arrests and investigations. However, as authors, we have all the time we need to get the scenes correct. We don't want to lose a reader because we didn't write the proper way to do something and they know it. In this class, you'll learn how to write believable and accurate arrest and police procedure scenes. The information may also help you plot ways for evidence to be thrown out and a suspect to go free.  

Samantha A. Cole

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World Building Fantasy Panel

Join Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors Terry Maggert, John Van Stry, Aaron Michael Ritchey, Jolanthe Alexander, and Andy Peloquin for an in-depth discussion on world building in the fantasy world! 

My Masterpiece is Finished. Now What?

You did it! Your book has been written, re-written, edited, formatted and is about to publish. So... what now? This class gives a step by step approach to the best ways of guaranteeing that masterpiece sells!  In a fun and informative way, we’ll discuss the areas that work best in promoting, why reviews are so important and how to use them for maximum benefit, as well as many other avenues that will put your story in the hands of readers specific for you. Come and join us as we plot your success together!

TJ Mackay