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Each event on Friday is priced individually.

9:00 - 10:00 AM

Why Every Novel Needs a Story World and

How It Makes Your Novel Better

Meg Leader


This workshop presents these key messages:

  • Every novel, from sweet contemporary romance to epic fantasy to LitRPG requires a well-defined story world to engage the reader and keep the story grounded

  • That story world can help your story in multiple ways

  • Help define characters and character arcs

  • Act as a character itself

  • Advance the plot

  • Support and help define story structure

  • Unify the spine of the story

  • Reflect and strengthen the story theme

The workshop provides a brief overview of how your story world can be a powerhouse to deepen your reader’s engagement in your writing and enhance the readers’ experience with your story.


10:00 - 11:00 AM

Ask the Agent

Cherry Weiner Literary Agency

Cherry will answer your questions about the craft and business of writing including how agents work with authors, the current state of the publishing industry, timelines, creative control, and whatever else you want to ask. 


9:00 - 11:00 AM

Thriller Essentials

Sharon Marchisello and Liz Lazarus


The objective of this two-hour lesson plan is to introduce participants to the essential elements of writing thriller novels, focusing on creating suspense, developing engaging characters, and crafting a compelling plot with twists.



Dr.s Bob Covel, Cecilia Lee and Eleanor Hoomes



Dr. Bob Covel

Participants will learn about haiku and other arts in the context of Zen meditation and mindfulness, followed by writing their own haiku.


Dr. Cecilia Lee

Ekphrasis is a Greek word that means description. An ekphrastic poem is a verbal response to a work of art, painting, sculpture, or any visual image. Participants will create their own ekphrastic poems.  Participants are encouraged to bring paintings, photos, or other visual images for inspiration. Additional images will be provided.


Dr. Eleanor Hoomes

A chapbook is a small booklet containing approximately 15-30 poems connected by theme, storyline, content, structure, and/or voice. Participants will learn how to develop their own chapbooks. Methods of publication will be discussed.


1:00 - 3:00 PM

Cherry Weiner of Cherry Weiner Literary Agency will be available to hear your pitches. Each participant will get ten minutes to pitch their story. Space will be limited so make sure you register early. Cherry will review your query letter prior to your session. The query letter does the hard work of introducing your manuscript concept and yourself to the agent. The cost of a pitch is $50.00 which is non-refundable. Submit your Query letter in advance by March 31st to After receipt you will be given your pitch time. When the session fills up you may put your name on a waitlist by emailing your information to: Please enter book pitch in the subject line.

1:30 - 3:30 PM

Crossing the Line: The Role of Thresholds in Successful Stories

Susan Beckham Zurenda


Why does the position of the threshold in literature exert such a compelling hold on our imaginative lives? Why is it a resonant space? Why is it imperative that we create thresholds for our characters?

Threshold scenes allow for transformation not only in characters but often in the structure of the narrative as well. “In between” spaces (whether literal, figurative, or both) act as triggers to catapult a character into a place he or she has never been, from which there is no return.

In this workshop, award-winning author Susan Beckham Zurenda will examine how elements such as atmosphere (setting and tone), pacing, detail, rhythm, imagery, and actions help to create meaningful crossings in stories. Before responding to a writing prompt, participants will examine illustrations for analysis, including a significant threshold scene for each of the three main characters in Susan’s novel The Girl From the Red Rose Motel.


Self-Revision Fundamentals

Tenesha Curtis

Self-Revision Fundamentals: Having completed the first draft of their piece, many writers don’t understand the next steps in the book development process. Engaging in self-revisions is a critical component of book production and happens well before any literary professional is involved. The workshop will include:

  • Why self-revisions are important

  • How self-revisions benefit the writer, the future editor, and the reader.

  • The steps to doing self-revisions:

    • Rest

    • Review

    • Revise

  • How many rounds of self-revisions to do

  • How to get help with self-revisions

  • Audience-guided discussion / Q & A


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