9:00 - 9:50 AM
Interview with Rick Bragg
Edward R. Murrow award winning broadcaster, Matt Jolley interviews Rick Bragg about his illustrious writing career. Join us for this casual and entertaining conversation.
10:00 - 10:50 AM
A Midlife Journey to Publication
Put on a comfortable pair of walking shoes and take a stroll with Southern novelist, Robert Gwaltney, as he takes you down the path leading him to the publication of his debut novel, THE CICADA TREE. He will discuss finding his voice as a writer, a literary community, and the audacity to tell stories. Along the way, he will share his ongoing struggle with imposter syndrome, but mostly, he will share the glory of being in the middle of life and at the start of something new.
How Hard Times Shape Characters in Southern Fiction
Susan Beckham Zurenda and Terah Shelton Harris
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin in Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin by A.A. Milne
Hardship doesn’t have to defeat us. It can be an opportunity to direct us, lead us to a place of empathy for others, and ultimately bring about positive change. Characters in Southern fiction often face seemingly insurmountable challenges, and their healing and survival are driven by remarkable resilience and strength. Southern writers Terah Harris and Susan Zurenda discuss their new novels One Summer in Savannah and The Girl From the Red Rose Motel and how the difficult circumstances in their characters’ lives lead to new beginnings.
From Table to Fable: The Delicious Intersection of
Southern Food and Storytelling
Chef, storyteller, Southern gentleman, and critically acclaimed author Johnathon Scott Barrett discusses the proclivity of how Southerners love to dine and enjoy their bounteous culinary traditions - and then relates those meals and dishes to one another, both in oral tales as well as the written word.
11:00 - 11:50 AM
Developing a Podcast to Gain Confidence
Gaby Anderson, Kim Conrey, Kathy Nichols,
and Lizbeth Jones.
Learn to use a podcast to become comfortable speaking about your project and to further your writing career. The Wild Women Who Write discuss developing a podcast using the 5 W approach: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. The discussion includes how using this approach can also help develop both fiction and nonfiction.
Keeping You in Suspense – How They Do It!
Hank Phillippi Ryan and Deborah Goodrich Royce
What are the secrets of sustaining suspense? Cultivate reader empathy for the characters…then create concern and doubt. Hook them with hints of impending danger…then escalate the tension. But how? And why does it work? Learn how the masterful, award-winning authors of intrigue, Hank Phillippi Ryan (The House Guest) and Deborah Goodrich Royce (Reef Road), keep readers on the edge of their seats, turning every page and coming back for more.
Setting: Space-Time and The Heat Death Of The Universe
In this interactive craft talk, participants will discuss setting in prose fiction, including its importance in establishing “place,” its integration into scene and its support of characterization and theme. References will be made to Willa Cather’s short story “Paul’s Case” and other short fiction.
1:30 - 2:20 PM
Divas, Debaters, and Dilettantes: How to Tick Off Your Editor and Make the Revision Process Miserable for All (or Not!)
Wondering which questions to ask your editor? Are you afraid of appearing “difficult” even though you have some legitimate concerns about your manuscript? Get the inside scoop on who really strums an editor’s nerves (spoiler alert: you probably won’t), and learn how to forge a productive working relationship with the person who can make your manuscript shine.
Conversation with John Pruitt
Join John Pruitt, Legendary anchor man and reporter turned author, as he becomes the interviewee. In conversation with award-winning broadcaster, Matt Jolley, John will share his amazing journey through an illustrious career and the trail that led him to pen his new book, Tell It True.
The Cozy Mystery
Cathy Tully, Debra Goldstein, S. C. Merritt,
and Kathy Manos Penn
What sets a cozy mystery apart from other mystery subgenres? What do cozy readers expect when they pick up a book indicating it’s a cozy mystery? Tips on how to satisfy that reader’s expectations.
2:30 - 3:20 PM
How to Add Humor to Your Writing
Attendees of this presentation will learn about creating humor through dialogue and through visual cues. Situational humor will be explored, including how to distinguish between what is fair game and what is not. Attendees will also learn to differentiate between a character and a caricature, why one is funny and one is not, and to laugh with rather than laugh at. Word choice will be explored, and the power of understatement will be revealed. And finally, they will learn that sometimes, trying to be funny is the worst thing that writers can do.
3:30 - 4:20 PM
From Shiloh to Sapelo: The Challenges and Rewards of Writing Historical Novels.
Why write historical fiction? Is there a difference between historical fiction and historical novels? The three keys to writing a successful historical novel: credibility, plausibility, and believability. Research builds familiarity with your characters, settings, and events, and beware of taking shortcuts. Your fan base will test your knowledge as they read your story. What does it mean to seek original sources? Original voices? Eyewitness accounts? Can’t an author just search the internet to write stories today? What about using AI? In the med, HISTORY MATTERS.
2:30 - 4:20 PM
Conquering The Muddle in The Middle
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Your fingers are poised over the keyboard. You have a rocking first act to your novel, and you even have an idea of how to end your story with a twist and a bang and a shot at certain bestsellerdom. But now what? You've hit 36,000 words–how are you going to get from that great beginning to the kickass ending? You've hit the muddle in the middle. Raymond Chandler once advised "when in doubt, bring in a man with a gun." What did he really mean by that? And how can it work for you?
USA Today best-selling author Hank Phillippi Ryan will show you how these central pages can be crafted to intrigue, surprise and delight your readers–and have them turning the pages as fast as they can. Never fear–with practical advice and specific tips, Hank will show you the way to the magic in the middle.
Paths to Publication
Author of eight novels, executive director of the Atlanta Writers Club, and the Atlanta Writers Conference director for the last 16 years will discuss the ins and outs of the three paths to publication: traditional publishing, self-publishing, and hybrid publishing. He will offer a realistic preview of the challenges that each path poses and the tiers (and tears) within each category as well as the rewards that can be earned by overcoming those obstacles, with plenty of time for Q&A.
4:30 - 6:30 PM
Time with the Authors: Opportunity to chat with the authors, purchase books and have them signed!
6:30 - 7:30 PM
Rick Bragg - Featured Author
The highlight of the day will be a presentation by celebrated journalist and author, Rick Bragg.
Tickets will go on sale January 15 through the Carrollton Center for the Arts. https://carrolltonarts.com
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