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13th Writers' Day

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spend the day soaking up talks on fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young adult writing and publishing as a host of professionals share their formulas for success and provide tips for your own writing.

Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m. in D'Amour Hall

Coffee will be served in the morning, bring a lunch or visit a nearby restaurant. 


Session One: 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
So You’re Looking For An Agent? 

This is the talk for writers wondering what an agent does and how to best search for one. We will hear from Manhattan literary agent Elise Erickson of the Harold Ober Agency about her work and world, what she hopes for in a story and an author, and how things proceed from there to and through publication. In addition, long-time Writers’ Day participant, Christina Cooper, will weigh in on how she found her own agent for her middle-grade children’s book. A limited number of free mini one-on-one sessions with Elise Erickson and your pre-submitted pages will be offered to registrants. For full information on how to secure a space and how to submit your work, write

Session Two: 11:05 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Image Gold Rush: Mining Photographs for Narratives

We have all been fixed at some point in our lives inside photographs that deliver stories—our own, our family's, our friends’, and those of total strangers. Some photos hand over the truth of a precise shutter moment on a particular day, while others seem to represent the distillation of an entire childhood. With Bunny Goodjohn you will dig deep into photographs to discover their poetic seams. You will consider--and assay--their role as both prompt and entry point, and emerge with nuggets, flakes, grains, and dust of your own. Bring a favorite photo of your own: this workshop will provide an opportunity for writing.


Audiobooks with ACX: Sounds Fantastic! 

People’s lives get busier every day, which means less and less free time to read. I got hooked on audiobooks three years ago, turning my commute every day into precious reading time.

Producing audiobooks has never been easier than with ACX, an Amazon company. This step-by-step presentation will take you from start to finish on how to turn your book into a recorded masterpiece, and all at NO up-front cost to the author. Taught by a multi-published author, Frances Brown, who’s done it multiple times.

Session Three: 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Novel 101

What makes a novel irresistible? Why do some novels keep us up all night and some books stay on our nightstands for months? There is nothing basic about writing a novel, yet all writers must accomplish the same basic goals to create and complete one. Bestselling novelist Jacqueline Sheehan will take a look at some essential elements, including pacing, outlining, taking chances, and creating characters that readers care about.

Session Four: 2:35 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
"Why YA?" or "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 

Young Adult literature is some of the most challenging, most thought-provoking and most rewarding writing out there today, which makes it both hard to resist and hard to do well. It’s not enough that your main character is sixteen anymore, they have to have an emotional roller-coaster that resonates as personal and true as they grow throughout the narrative from child to adult. Competition is fierce and expectations are high—so come get an edge, take a deep breath and dive in! Join Dawn Metcalf as she explores the world of YA lit with concrete examples of why some of the bestselling stories strike home for young and old readers alike. Particular focus will be on how to craft authentic voices, avoid stereotypes or tropes and how to include technology in this fast-paced world.


Liars, Criminals, and Lovers: The World of the Story/Fiction 101 

It is the character first that taps a reader on the shoulder. Writers shape characters by adding habits, gestures, and obstacles. Lisa C. Taylor teaches students of all ages, helping them to take that first good idea to a completed work. In an atmosphere of respect and humor, you will learn to put a character through necessary paces so that he or she reveals both flaws and humanity. The world of the story is the world of the imagination. Some characters will find themselves paralyzed by the obstacles you create for them and others will see an opening that is not initially obvious. It is in that opening that stories—and the writers behind them—can flourish. You will have an opportunity for questions and for sharing.


  • One workshop is $45
  • two workshops, $85
  • three workshops, $115
  • four workshops, $145

Payment must be received in advance. Please note that admissions are non-refundable unless a speaker cancels.


D’Amour Hall for Business, Communications and Technology, Rooms 5 & 6.

 A limited number of copies of the authors' books will be available for purchase and signing.