Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Writing Workshops & Events from Janice Hardy in 2018

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

On the event and workshop front, 2018 might be my busiest year to-date. I’ve already gone to two (the Orlando Writers Conference and the Coast Magic Convention) and there are more to come. It’s been so busy that I realized yesterday I hadn’t had time to tell everyone about everything yet! Let's fix that right now.

I don’t anticipate any more events after August, but if one happens, I’ll let everyone know.

Here’s where I’ll be in 2018:

March 9-11: Birmingham, AL

SCBWI Southern Breeze Writing & Illustrating for Kids (wik) Conference

This is a wonderful conference for anyone writing for children and teens. I believe registration is still open, so you still have time to join the fun in a few weeks. There’s a full day packed with workshops, followed by multiple half-day intensives for those wanting some additional focus on a topic.

I’m presenting two workshops here:

Creating Stronger Conflicts in Your Novel

At the heart of every story is conflict. It's so central to good storytelling, that without it, you have no story. But despite its importance, it's not always easy to find the conflict in an idea. In this workshop, you'll examine what "conflict" really means and how to find the right conflict for your story. You'll learn to identify the different types of conflict, how to use internal and external conflicts to plot, and how to tell if you need a character arc or not. You'll also explore the most common reason for missing or weak conflict in a story, and hear tips on how to fix them.

Half-Day Intensive: Bringing Your Novel to Life

Great novels blend skilled writing with compelling storytelling, using a multitude of techniques to draw readers in and make them love the book. These techniques work together to build immersive story worlds, creating characters readers love, settings they want to live in, and stories they can’t put down.

In this workshop, you’ll learn techniques to bring your novel to life for your readers. Use point of view to show, not tell, and draw readers in without infodumping; find the best ways to describe the setting and build a world; tap into the emotions of the characters and use those emotions to drive the plot and deepen the story; and how all these techniques work together to build a novel. With hands-on exercises, you’ll practice these techniques in class, and then put them to work in your own novel. Bring your laptop or pages!


April 14: St. Augustine, FL

Florida Heritage Book Festival Novel Workshop: How to Turn Your Idea Into a Novel

This day-long workshop is hosted by the Florida Heritage Book Festival folks. I don’t think the details for this are on their website just yet, but they should have all that posted before too long.

Ideas hit us all the time, but we don't always know how to turn those ideas into a novel, or what's the best way for us to develop those ideas. In this workshop, you'll learn multiple ways to break down your idea and turn it into a solid plan for your novel. You'll work on exercises designed to help you:
  • Brainstorm your idea
  • Find your protagonist and antagonist
  • Create compelling characters
  • Find your core conflicts and use them to build your plot
  • Develop your setting
  • Determine the key turning points of the plot
  • Discover your theme
  • Find the right structure for your writing process
This hands-on workshop will guide you through the novel-planning process and help you find the plot and story within your idea. By the end of the day, you'll have a solid outline (or guide for those who don't like to outline) to your story.


June 14-15: Orlando, FL

SCBWI Florida Mid-Year Workshop: From A-Z

Another great conference for those writing for children and teens. I’ll have more information about this event when all the details are worked out, but here are the basics for now.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Panel with Michael Stearns

Novel Intensive with Lisa Yee and Kait Feldmann


August 9-11: Cincinnati, OH

10 Minute Novelists Conference

This is the inaugural conference of the popular Facebook writing group with over 10,000 members. I’ll be joined by writing and publishing gurus James Scott Bell and agent Donald Maass.

I’m also presenting two workshops here:

Planning Your Novel in Ten Easy Steps

Writing a novel can be a daunting process, but a little planning can go a long way to making that process easier. Even determining a few key turning points in the story can keep you focused, whether you prefer to outline every scene or pick a story direction and write toward it. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to create the critical elements of a novel’s plot, how to use goals, conflicts, and stakes to build a story and develop characters, and how to approach a novel in a way that will make it easier to write and be more marketable to agents, editors, and readers.

Revision Readiness: How to Revise

Revision is part of writing, but sometimes knowing where to start can be overwhelming. It can be even harder if you need to trim down a large manuscript or change a major storyline. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to approach your revision with a plan, focusing on macro, medium, and micro issues to tighten you novel on a layer by layer basis. You’ll also learn how to mentally approach revisions, and how to strengthen your story from the top down.

Lots of fun stuff coming up, and I hope to see some of you there!

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