Writers Conference

The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village

Renaissance_Resort

All events take place at the The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. Discount room pricing for conference attendees is available at $155 per night. Please click here to reserve your room before January 20, 2020.

2020 Event Pricing

Thursday: $85.00 in advance ($90.00 at the door)

 

Friday: $125.00 in advance ($130.00 at the door)
Add Saturday: $110.00
Add Legend Reception: $60.00

 

Thursday/Friday Package: $200.00

Add Saturday: $110.00
Add Legend Reception: $60.00

 

Saturday: $125.00 in advance only

Thursday – February 20, 2020 – Presentations – Download Schedule

8:00 – 9:00 AM

Coffee and Registration

9:00 – 11:45 AM

Room 1

Kick Your Writing Up A Notch – Janice Hardy

It’s not uncommon for writers to hit a point where they know their writing is good, but it’s not where they want it (or need it) to be. They could use a little help to push their skills and story to the next level, but they’re not sure how to get that push or where to apply it in their manuscripts. In this workshop, you’ll learn ways to improve your writing and story developing skills to take your novel from nice to “Wow!” From macro-level structure techniques, to micro-level word choices, this full-day of exercises and tips will dig into your writing and polish the gems within. Bring your laptop or pages and be ready to write!

Room 2

E-Publishing – The Future Is Now! – Sharon Y. Cobb, et al (Panel Presentation)

12:00 – 1:15 PM

Lunch

1:30 – 4:00 PM

Room 1

Kick Your Writing Up A Notch – Janice Hardy

The 9 AM Session continues.

Room 2

Short Story Writing for Publication – Elizabeth Sims

The short story is not only the gateway to writing compelling longer fiction, it’s a legitimate and exciting literary form in itself. This workshop, taught by prizewinning author Elizabeth Sims, gets deep into the craft of story construction. Her goal is to help you approach the art and craft of writing short stories as a professional does, with ingenuity and verve. Moreover, you’ll learn how to become a better writer on your own, going forward. Emphasis will be on how to choose and write story elements—such as structure, character development, dialogue, image, and conflict—for maximum economy and impact, as the short story form requires. Together with Elizabeth, you’ll do a bit of analytical reading, then move into techniques to help you create new material freely and without anxiety. You’ll learn foolproof ways to map out a story, and you’ll get some writing done, with an eye to producing publishable work. Elizabeth will briefly discuss the habits of professional writers as well as the business of writing. Join her for this brisk, inspiring workshop!

Friday – February 21, 2020 – Presentations – Download Schedule

8:00 – 9:00 AM

Coffee and Registration

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Room 1

Story Starters- Memory, Sensory, Arbitrary – Steph Post

Using a variety of techniques including exploring memory, visual art, archetypes, artifacts and collaboration, students will engage in writing exercises and discussions designed to develop story ideas, flesh them out, and find their direction. This workshop is designed for all levels of writers with the purpose of generating material for both short and long forms of fiction. Come with a blank slate, leave with a head full of ideas and a notebook full of words!

Room 2

How to Turn True Crime into Fiction – Rich Wickliffe

Award-winning Florida author Richard Wickliffe explains the true stories and events that inspired his tropical crime thrillers, one of which was optioned by a major film studio. For aspiring authors, a great way to find inspiration within our own incredulous headlines. For readers, a peek behind the curtain, proving that truth can be as disturbing than fiction.

10:00 – 10:15 AM

Break

10:15 – 11:15 AM

Room 1

Diversity Schmersity – Rod Martinez

Diversity in writing has become a hot topic. From whether a person of one race can factually portray a protagonist of another, to dialect, to “isms” to dealing with cultures and sexual orientation. Diversity Schmersity flows through these subjects and more in a smooth, fun (non offensive) entertaining way while still keeping you on task.

Room 2

Florida Book Award Winners: Researching, Crafting, Submitting, and Promoting Award-Winning Fiction
Kimberly Lojewski, Tara Lynn Masih & Gale Massey

From historical fiction, to magical realism, to crime thrillers, these three award-winning authors will discuss their journeys from conception to publication, and beyond. Through discussions on genre and craft, and tips on finding an agent, surviving the submission process, and promoting, marketing, and submitting to contests, this panel will give you the tools to start or finish and publicize your own prose project.

11:15 – 11:30 AM

Break

11:30 – 12:30 PM

Room 1

Your Blog, Your Brand – Sharon Y. Cobb

To sell books today, you must optimize your online presence. Your author blog is the heart of your new media platform and must connect to your social media accounts. Your brand is the umbrella that covers everything about you as an author: your books, your blog, your social media, your podcasts and your platform. Join us to find out the easiest way to set up your own blog for free, what social media accounts you must use and how to create a brand that will help sell you and your books.

Room 2

Understanding the Scene: The Engine of Your Story – Janice Hardy

Scenes are the building blocks of a novel, but they don’t always unfold the way we want them to. In this workshop, you’ll learn the mechanics of scene and its troublesome partner, the sequel, and how to use this pairing to drive your story. You’ll also learn how to develop scenes and weave them together to build strong and focused plots, as well as what to do when you story grinds to a halt and you don’t know why.

12:30 – 1:30 PM

Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 PM

Room 1

Stomping Stage Fright – Rod Martinez

It is widely known that public speaking is one of the greatest fears among us all. It tops the score in almost every “What do you fear most” list next to dying, the IRS and having to eat broccoli at grandma’s house. When we began our quest in the literary world, several fantasies of fame were sure to follow. However, once we finished that masterpiece and knew how great it was, lo and behold those literary giants weren’t knocking on our doors. But maybe local notoriety happened. In either case, you as an author have to prepare for that dreaded fear – if you wrote a book, got it published, sooner or later you will stand in front of an audience of your peers, or readers or even students to promote it. We will cover this with different scenarios to help make you a literary rock star.

Room 2

Writing Mythology- From the Epic to the Personal – Steph Post

Some of the most popular fictional sagas of our time are founded on archetypes, classical narrative arcs, elements of comparative mythology, and fairy tale tropes. A story doesn’t have to be epic, however, to dive deep and make use of these motifs. By dissembling visual art, engaging in discussion, reading modern myths and working with non-traditional writing prompts and development activities, students will create several pieces of workable fiction exploring the narrative mythological tradition on both the large and small scale.

2:30 – 2:45 PM

Break

2:45 – 4:15 PM

Room 1

Elementary, Dear Watson: Panel discussion of the Anatomy of Popular Commercial Mysteries – Sisters in Crime

This moderated panel of five published authors is perfect for those exploring the option of writing mysteries, or those readers with questions about how they are designed. Members of the Sisters in Crime organization which specializes in advocacy and support of women crime-fiction writers, all the authors and the moderator are multi-published in at least one genre, but most in more than one, including mystery.

4:15 – 5:00 PM

Meet the Speakers, Book Sales and Signings

Friday, February 21, 2020 – 6-9p.m. – Literary Legend Reception

The Literary Legend Reception will honor the achievements of award-winning journalist and bestselling author, Craig Pittman.

More info on Pittman and the reception can be found here.

Saturday – February 22, 2020 – Writing Critiques

Individual writing critiques with three award-winning authors. These sessions will be by appointment only and there will be a limit of three pages of work submitted by January 31, 2020.

 

$125 in advance only.

Janice Hardy
Janice Hardy
Janice Hardy is the award-winning author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, including The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. She also writes the Grace Harper urban fantasy series for adults under the name, J.T. Hardy. When she's not writing fiction, she runs the popular writing site Fiction University, and has written eight books on writing, including her bestselling Understanding Show, Don't Tell (And Really Getting It), Plotting Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, and the Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft series.
Craig Pittman
Craig Pittman
CRAIG PITTMAN is a Florida native and an award-winning journalist at the Tampa Bay Times. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country as well as three other books. His newspaper work has won the Waldo Proffitt Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism in Florida four times. Twice he has won the top investigative reporting award from the Society of Environmental Journalists, a national organization. He has twice won the top reporting award, the Charlie, from the Florida Magazine Assocation for freelance stories for Sarasota magazine. His book Oh, Florida! won the gold medal for Florida non-fiction from the Florida Book Awards. His fifth book, Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther comes out in January. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children.
Sharon Cobb
Sharon Cobb
Sharon Y. Cobb is a professional screenwriter and member of Writers Guild of America west. She has written several feature films including June, Lighthouse Hill and On Hostile Ground. She has also penned many award-winning short films and a novel False Confessions of a True Hollywood Screenwriter. Sharon also wrote the book, Touched by an Angel, A Christmas Miracle. Sharon owned an advertising agency and shares her knowledge of marketing and e-publishing with writers.
Rod Martinez
Rod Martinez
Author of middle grade & young adult, Rod Martinez grew up on Marvel Comics and Twilight Zone, the inspiration was inevitable. Challenged by his son to write a story about him and his friends “like the Goonies’ but in Tampa”, his first novel “The Juniors” was picked up by a publisher – and the rest– is history. Rod was recipient of the 2017 Jerry Spinelli Scholarship and the 2018 Professional Development for Artists Grant in Tampa and speaks at schools, conferences and libraries promoting the love of the written word.
Rich Wickliffe
Rich Wickliffe
Richard Wickliffe’s crime-thriller “Storm Crashers” was awarded Best Popular Fiction at the Florida Book Awards, and was optioned by a major film studio. His first novel “Tropical Windfall,” set in Key West, was published as a result of an Amazon crime-writing competition and still remains a fan favorite. 2019 marked his first non-Florida “holiday” thriller, “Don’t Be Home For Christmas.”

Rich enjoys speaking about creative crimes, including the FBI’s InfraGard Counterterrorism conferences and on panels at seminars in Las Vegas dedicated to accuracy in crime writing. He is the recipient of the FBI’s Exceptional Service in the Public Interest Award.

Rich’s material usually borrows from the unique (scandalous, criminal or satirical) environments of South Florida where he resides with his wife and family.

Please “Like” Rich Wickliffe’s Author Page on Facebook or visit RichWickliffe.com to see more.

Steph Post
Steph Post
Steph Post is the author of the novels Miraculum, Lightwood, Walk in the Fire, Holding Smoke and A Tree Born Crooked. She graduated from Davidson College as a recipient of the Patricia Cornwell Scholarship and holds a Master’s degree in Graduate Liberal Studies from UNCW. Her work has most recently appeared in Garden & Gun, Saw Palm, and Stephen King’s Contemporary Classics. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a Rhysling Award and was a semi-finalist for The Big Moose Prize. She lives in Florida.
Kimberly Lojewski
Kimberly Lojewski
Kimberly Lojewski has an MA in English from Florida Gulf Coast University and an MFA in Fiction from UMASS Amherst's Poets and Writers Program. Her first story collection, Worm Fiddling Nocturne in the Key of a Broken Heart, won a Florida Book Award gold medal. Stories from the collection have also been nominated for three Pushcarts, won a Best of the Net, and were most recently included in Ellen Datlow's Best Horror Fiction of 2019. She lives and writes in Ocala, Florida.
Tara Lynn Masih
Tara Lynn Masih
Tara Lynn Masih is editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle (both ForeWord Books of the Year), author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories, and Founding Series Editor of The Best Small Fictions. My Real Name Is Hanna, her debut historical novel, won multiple book awards including a Florida Book Award gold medal. It was translated into Slovak in 2019. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida.
Gale Massey
Gale Massey
GALE MASSEY's debut novel, The Girl from Blind River, received a Florida Book Award and was a finalist for the Clara Johnson award for women's fiction. She has received fellowships at The Sewanee Writers Conference and Eckerd College’s Writers in Paradise. Her work has appeared in Lambda Literary, CutBank, CrimeReads, Sabal, the Tampa Bay Times, and the forthcoming Tampa Bay Noir, and Saw Palm. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize in both fiction and nonfiction. Massey, a Florida native, lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.
N. L. Quatrano
N. L. Quatrano
N. L. Quatrano (Nancy) is an award-winning fiction writer, a developmental editor, speaker, and columnist. She's presented workshops to readers, writer's, businesses, and women's groups, from New York to Florida. In addition to writing a mystery series and a women's fiction series, she writes a semi-monthly column for the St Augustine Record, and runs On-Target Words. Her mystery, STILL SHOT, won the Action category in the international 2019 Book Excellence Awards. For more information visit www.NLQuatrano.com
Nancy Haddock
Nancy Haddock
Is the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Silver Six Crafting Mysteries, Basket Case, Paint the Town Dead and A Crime of Poison. Previous titles are La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing, and Always the Vampire, a trilogy set in St. Augustine and the surrounding areas. She draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places and people for her books. She lives in St. Augustine near the beach with her rescue dog Baron and is working on three new humorous mysteries.
Flo Karsner
Flo Karsner
Florence is a 5th generation Floridian of Scottish heritage who grew up in a rural village in the Florida Panhandle near Tallahassee. (A rare bird: Native Floridian!) Several trips to Scotland inspired her first four novels, The Highland Healer Series. Her latest novel, We All Have Secrets, was a finalist in the Royal Palms Literary Awards recently. It is the first novel in The Dr. Molly McCormick Series, a mystery series that takes place in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis and is set on a fictitious island off the west coast of Florida. The second novel in the series is well underway.
Susan Slater
Susan Slater
Kansas native Susan Slater lived in New Mexico for thirty-nine years. Her Southwest mystery novels reflect her extensive knowledge of the tribes and pueblo culture in the area. As an educator she directed the Six Sandoval Teacher Education Program for the All Indian Pueblo Council through the University of New Mexico. Tony Hillerman wrote: “Take a great plot idea and Susan Slater’s skill with language, combine them with her understanding of the religion and culture of a proud and ancient people, and you have a gripping novel….”
Skye Taylor
Skye Taylor
Lives in the oldest city where she participates in historical reenactments, walks the beach and volunteers at the USO when she’s not writing. She’s a skydiver and sailor, camped on tropical Islands, climbed a volcano, ridden an elephant, rafted down rivers, snorkeled over coral reefs and explored cities and castles in 15 countries on 5 continents. She spent two years in the Peace Corps and is the author of the Camerons of Tide’s Way contemporary romance series, a time travel romance, and a mainstream political intrigue: The Candidate. Her newest project is the Jesse Quinn Mystery series: Bullseye due out in February.
Judy Weber
Judy Weber
Has written all her adult life. After a career in marketing and advertising, she was the publisher of the South Florida American Builder magazine. She’s published in flash and short fiction, too. A collaboration with another local writer led to the creation of the fictional author Amber Adams, and we published four mysteries, all taking place in St. Augustine. She also writes her own mystery series featuring a Real Estate agent in the fictional northeast Florida town of San Rafael. The second book in that series, No Good Deed, should be out later this year.
Elizabeth Sims
Elizabeth Sims
Elizabeth Sims is the author of the Rita Farmer Mysteries, the Lambda and GCLS Goldie Award-winning Lillian Byrd Crime Series, and other fiction, including the standalone novel Crimes in a Second Language, which won a Florida Book Awards silver medal. Her work has been published by a major press (Macmillan) as well as several smaller houses, and she’s written short stories and essays for numerous collections and magazines. She publishes independently under her personal imprint, Spruce Park Press. In addition, Elizabeth is an internationally recognized authority on writing. She’s written dozens of feature articles on the craft of writing for Writer's Digest magazine, where she’s a contributing editor. Her instructional title, You've Got a Book in You: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams (Writer's Digest Books) has been specially recognized by NaNoWriMo and hundreds of other web sites and bloggers. Elizabeth has also taught creative writing at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. Elizabeth earned degrees in English from Michigan State University and Wayne State University, where she won the Tompkins Award for graduate fiction. She's worked as a reporter, photographer, technical writer, bookseller, street busker, ranch hand, corporate executive, certified lifeguard, college writing instructor, and symphonic percussionist. She is represented by the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Elizabeth belongs to several literary societies as well as American Mensa.