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Friday, June 1

Get Two Full Days of Writing Workshops at the SCBWI Florida Mid-Year Workshop: From A-Z


A head's up for you teen, tween, and kidlit writers out there. There's still time to register for SCBWI Florida Mid-Year Workshop: From A-Z in Orlando on June 15-16.

This conference has a different format from what I've done before, with an interesting and in-depth focus on the markets and genres chosen. Instead of multiple workshops every hour, attendees get to choose full-day workshops and intensives (though honestly they're both "intensive" since they're all day), with multiple sessions and presenters each day. 

You sign up for say, my novel intensive and you get five sessions on writing and publishing a novel in the kidlit market with three co-presenters. So you get a well-rounded view with different opinions and experiences, from authors and editors. It's pretty cool and looks like it'll be a lot of fun.

It's a SCBWI conference, but you don't have to be a member to attend. The Friday intensives are capped at 25, so if you're interested, register fast before those last slots are gone.

WHEN: Friday, June 15, 9 am - 5 p.m. (Intensives)
Saturday, June 16, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Workshops)

WHERE: Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Visit their website for the full breakdown of all the workshops, but here are the two that I'm doing:

Friday: Novel Intensive with Janice Hardy, Lisa Yee, and Kait Feldmann 


Plotting and Outlining
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 writers focused, whether they prefer to outline every scene or pick a story direction and write toward it. Here, you will learn tools to make the writing process easier — from beginning, middle and end. Plus, 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 story in a way that will make it easier to write and be more marketable to agents, editors, and readers.

Character and POV
Creating a compelling protagonist . . . and antagonist. The success of your novel centers around the main character and their journey. Once we hone in on your protagonist we’ll focus on their conflict, whether it is a person, place or thing. Then, let’s explore how to you pick your POV to insure it’s the strongest one for the story you are telling.

Bringing Your Novel to Life
Great novels create characters readers love, settings they want to live in, and compelling stories they can’t put down. Learn how to tap into the emotions of the characters and use those emotions to drive the plot, deepen the story, and find what’s unique and fresh in your story to keep it from being predictable.

 Kill Your Darlings: A DIY Guide to Editing Your Own Novel
Good writing is in the revising. We’ll take a look at how to revisit your manuscript with fresh eyes towards aspects like pacing and plot, character and dialogue, accuracy and authenticity.

The Business of Writing
We’re in this industry for our love of books, reading, craft . . . but at the end of the day making books is a job and that means there are some not-so glamorous parts of it, too. Blargh! But not to worry, we’ve got you covered on query letters, working with an editor, plus practical tips on juggling your busy life with your writing life.

Saturday: Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop with Janice Hardy and Michael Stearns 


Your Manuscript and the Market: How MG & Teen Fantasy and Science Fiction Differ from “Adult”
Michael and Janice discuss the F&SF market and help writers understand the different genre signposts in different readership brackets. They’ll also share what a writer can expect from her audience, as well as explore other genre market conundrums.

Using F&SF Theme and Metaphor to Make Difficult Subjects More Accessible
Difficult subject matter requires a deft hand to avoid triggers and hot buttons, and F&SF has unique tools to discuss emotional subjects in a safe story environment. In this session, Janice and Michael show how to use genre like a spoonful of sugar to help writers tackle the toughest of subjects.

Reverse Engineer Your Story with an Outline
Some writers fear outlines kill their story, but they don’t need to be. In fact, understanding how the shape of a book’s outline dictates events can help you fill out your story and figure out what happens when. Michael shows you how to outline your idea to its full potential.

Avoiding the Infodump in Created Worlds
Every workshop about F&SF talks about world building—but getting from the theory to the concrete can be a challenge. In this session, Janice shows how to tailor your prose to reveal the world without dumping in description and exposition or writing with a heavy hand. (Includes writing exercise.) 

Prologues, Tired Tropes, and Sub-Genres: Pitfalls Particular to F&SF Stories
There is nothing new under the sun! But sometimes F&SF can give a new sheen to shopworn ideas. In this freewheeling session, Janice and Michael run through a rich menu of possibilities and pitfalls that writing in genre present.

Hope to see you there!

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