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VWC Symposium Panel and Workshop Information

WORKSHOPS

$80 - Early Bird Registration opens for MEMBERS ONLY - May 1, 2017

$90 - General Registration opens June 1, 2017

REGISTRATION FORM

 

The Art & Business of Author Platform – Jane Friedman

The Art & Business of Author Platform Writers are often baffled by platform because it’s seen as a marketing and promotion mindset—antithetical to the artist mindset. However, there is a way to approach platform that isn’t about selling, but rather understanding human behavior (including your own!). Learn how to evaluate your platform by paying attention to 6 key components.

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She's the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential publishing industry newsletter for authors, and is the former publisher of Writer's Digest. She has been interviewed and featured by NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, the National Press Club and many other outlets.

In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com (200,000 visits per month). She's delivered keynotes on the digital era of authorship at the San Francisco Writers Conference, The Muse & The Marketplace, and Willamette Writers Conference, among many others. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo America and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund.

Her essays have been published in anthologies by the University of Chicago Press, Seal Press, Milkweed Editions, and McPherson & Co. She has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

 

Traditional and Self-Publishing Avenues for Poets – Judy Light Ayyildiz,  Caroline Brae

Searching for the best route to publication for your poetry book or chapbook? Are you hoping for a book deal or seeking full control over book design and content? Judy and Caroline will discuss both sides of that coin: traditional publishing and self-publishing from their respective experiences in each area. Overview and explorations of these two options will include the basics of the craft, preparing your manuscript for publication, planning your exposure, building professional credits, and reaching your audience. There will be an ample Q&A period so participants can discuss specific concerns. 

Judy Light Ayyildiz

Graduate of the Hollins Writing Program, and the Marshall University School of Music Education, Judy has taught creative workshops to all education levels, is a member of Author's Guild and many organizations. She has 11 books in 5 genres: Poetry, Memoir, Novel, Text, and Children. Internationally published and translated, she was an editor of Artemis for 13 years, a Blue Ridge Writers Conference founder, President of the Medical Auxiliary and founder/director of the RAMA Chorus. Works appeared in such as, New York Quarterly, Mickle Street Review, the new renaissance, Sow's Ear, Pig Iron Press, Hawaii Pacific Review, Black Water Review, Northeast Journal, Kalliope, and The McGuffin. She is featured in the books, Nazim Hikmet Festival Chapbook, Women in Dialogue, an international anthology, Outstanding Persons Come and Gone in Kirklareli, Turkey by historian Nazif Karacam, as well as in articles in periodicals and Internet. Honors include nomination of Intervals, Appalachia to Istanbul for Library of Virginia Literary Award in Poetry, YWCA Women of Achievement award in Education, VCA grants, Great Expectations Class Act teaching award, poetry and short story prizes, Daughters of Ataturk award, Turkish Forum award, College Bookstores Best Book nominee, Gusto Poet Discovery Winner, VCCA Fellow, JXP International Literary Novel 1st Place, and VCA Artists in Schools list. Judy is completing a creative non-fiction book from which chapters appear in 2015 Chatter House Press Biting the Bullet, Women Speak of Courage book anthology contest, and publications in Fjords, Artemis, and Six Hens. http://www.judylightayyildiz.com

Caroline Brae

Caroline Brae has always called Virginia home. Born in a two-room clinic, raised in a small Shenandoah Valley town, and educated in the tradition of a state university, she feels fortunate to have lived and worked in central Virginia with all of its historic and cultural richness. A former high school teacher who embraced the challenges of students with emotional and learning disabilities, she spent the last fifteen of her twenty-five year career in a public high school. Caroline has since ventured on a creative and artistic ten-year odyssey in the performing arts as a choreographer, dancer, singer/songwriter, and pianist. Little Grey Bird is her first poetic endeavor in a long journey to find her voice and to honor the passing of her father. Currently, Caroline enjoys pairing her original photography and poetry on https://www.instagram.com/carolinebraebird/

 

Beating the Self-Publishing Stigma – Liz Long

Full control over your edits, covers, and marketing. The ability to publish right at your fingertips. A supportive community that eagerly helps you learn and grow. Sound good? Then perhaps you should consider self-publishing as a viable option for your next novel. If you have the passion and patience, there is always plenty to learn in making your book the next bestseller - all on your own!

Liz Long is an independently published author of 9 books, including the Donovan Circus series and Heroes of Arcania trilogy. She is the associate editor for a regional magazine publisher, Director of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference and Director of Roanoke Author Invasion. She speaks to writers of all ages in writing and/or marketing classes around Roanoke, has been on Amazon and B&N bestseller lists and is passionate about writers exploring their publishing options and opportunities. 

 

Love, Passion, and Happily Ever After: How to Write a Romance Novel – Jenna Harte

Romance is the number 1 selling genre in mass-market fiction with more than a billion dollars in sales each year. Many people read a romance and think, "I can do that!" only to discover that penning emotionally charged novels with a compelling plot is difficult. Would-be romance authors will discover about the romance genre and learn how to write a romance that has readers swooning, including understanding the romance genre, it's sub-genres, tropes, rules, and basic romance story arc, how to plot a romance and develop characters readers love, how to write the snap, crackle and pop of an emotionally (and physically) charged romance, how to get your romance published, and more!

Jenna Harte is a die-hard romantic who likes to write about characters who are passionate about and committed to each other, and frequently getting into trouble. She is the author of the sexy cozy Valentine Mysteries, the first of which, Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013. She is also the author of the Southern Heat contemporary romance series, and recently turned in the first of a new traditional cozy mystery series to her agent. Get free romantic mystery novellas and more at Jenna’s website at http://www.JennaHarte.com

 

Writing the Dreaded Query Letter Alan Orloff

You've spent months (or years) of your life"”not to mention copious amounts of blood, sweat, and tears"”writing a dynamite novel. Don't simply spend five minutes slapping together a weak query letter; you owe it to yourself to write a great one that will break through the slush-clutter at top literary agencies. In this workshop, you'll learn how to entice your dream agent into reading your masterpiece by writing a tight query that really sings (while avoiding those pitfalls that will land your query in the trash). I'll also outline my "A-B-C" submission strategy while highlighting some valuable targeting resources.  Note: primarily intended for novel writers.

Alan Orloff's debut mystery, Diamonds for the Dead, was an Agatha Award finalist (Best First Novel). His seventh novel, Running From the Past (Kindle Press), was a winner in Amazon's Kindle Scout program.

His short fiction has appeared in Jewish Noir, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning, Mystery Weekly, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Windward: Best New England Crime Stories 2016.

He lives in Northern Virginia and teaches fiction-writing at The Writer's Center in Bethesda, MD, and he loves cake and arugula, but not together. www.alanorloff.com

 

Instagram for Authors Audrey Knapp

Social media is a fun and effective way to market your book, but many authors struggle on how to best use it. In this workshop, you’ll learn authors can use Instagram to build a high-quality, relevant audience and sell more copies of their books without spending any money on advertising.

Audrey Knapp spent 14 years learning, teaching, writing, and leading in the US Army, before launching her own business as a freelance copywriter, social media manager, and digital marketing consultant in July of 2015. In February 2016, she founded The Write Services Social Media Management, LLC and began conducting market research and building courses and programs for published and soon-to-be-published authors. Combining her natural knack for analyzing metrics with military discipline and "writerly" inspiration, she's now launched an authorship community designed to consistently deliver the training, systems, guest experts, and live support that authors have repeatedly asked for.

When she's not writing about herself in third person, you can find her participating in NaNoWriMo and its camps, working on her paranormal adventure novel, submitting her short stories to competitions and magazines, leading a free writing group on Facebook called Sprints and Spirits, hosting complimentary workshops on social media as it applies to authors, growing her following on Instagram (@thewriteservices) and finding exciting new ways to enrich the minds of her two adorable toddlers.

 

PANELS

Poetic Expression Off the Page

Three distinct poets will share their styles of honing voice and breath to entice and engage listeners of spoken poetry. This diverse panel will explore inner city rhythms to lyrical southern hauntings to precise Japanese forms. 

Moderator: Caroline Brae

Caroline Brae has always called Virginia home. Born in a two-room clinic, raised in a small Shenandoah Valley town, and educated in the tradition of a state university, she feels fortunate to have lived and worked in central Virginia with all of its historic and cultural richness. A former high school teacher who embraced the challenges of students with emotional and learning disabilities, she spent the last fifteen of her twenty-five year career in a public high school. Caroline has since ventured on a creative and artistic ten-year odyssey in the performing arts as a choreographer, dancer, singer/songwriter, and pianist. Little Grey Bird is her first poetic endeavor in a long journey to find her voice and to honor the passing of her father. Currently, Caroline enjoys pairing her original photography and poetry on https://www.instagram.com/carolinebraebird/

Panelists:

Angela Carter

Angela M. Carter is an author, poet, novelist, motivational speaker, spoken word performer, visual artist and an advocate/activist. Memory Chose a Woman's Body (unbound CONTENT, 2014) is a poetry memoir, which spotlights the effects of the silences endured after abuse, neglect and depression. Angela is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, nominee for the 2015 Virginia Library Literary Award (poetry), and has been featured in a multitude of venues, including The KGB Club in Manhattan and Busboys and Poets. Her publications include Silver Birch Press, Deep Water Literary Journal, Whurk, Vox Poetica, Premiere Generation Ink, City Lit Rag, The Word Ocean, Worst Week Ever, Our Stories Untold, Gutsy Living, and several anthology publications. She is an advocate of the healing ability of the arts and has many upcoming speaking engagements relating to abuse and depression awareness. www.angelacarterpoetry.com

Patsy Asuncion

Patsy Asuncion of Charlottesville, VA published, Cut on the Bias, Laughing Fire Press, 2016, her debut poetry collection, depicting her world from the slant of a bi-racial child raised by an immigrant father and WWII vet in the inner-city. She's featured in the New York Times, Prevention Magazine, Cutthroat Journal, Snapdragon, Loyola's The Truth About the Fact, Reckless Writing, Armadillo, a Miami stage production, Lip Service, and more. The only local female emcee, Patsy promotes diversity through her open mic (6800+ YouTube views) and local initiatives, e.g., Women of Color, International Mother Language Day and International Women's Day events. http://patasuncion.wix.com/patsy-asuncion

 

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a linguist, writer, poet, and editor who taught in North Carolina community colleges for more than a decade. Her academic work has been published by Edwin Mellen Press and the Association for Computing Machinery; her reviews have appeared in Ninnau and the Moravian.

She writes in a variety of traditional poetic forms that focus on the beauty of landscapes and their inhabitants. Her bardic verse in the Celtic style has been published by the Lyric, Quarterday Review, and the Society of Classical Poets Journal. Her short verse and tanka have appeared in the Bamboo Hut, Skylark, Halcyon Days, Atlas Poetica, Page & Spine, and Peacock Journal. Her chapbook "Shades and Shadows" is scheduled for publication by Quarterday Press in late fall 2017.

An avid swimmer and an enthusiastic fiber artist, she lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

For updates on publications, please visit her website:  www.authorsden.com/elizabethspragins

 

Writing and Marketing Short Fiction

Panelists will discuss topics such as deciding if an idea will work as a short story, developing satisfying plots and convincing characters in a limited space, finding practical solutions for getting short works published in magazines and journals, and deciding whether or not to transition from short fiction to long fiction.

 

Moderator: Phyllis Duncan

Phyllis A. Duncan is a retired bureaucrat but one with an overactive imagination—at least that’s what everyone has told her since she first started making up stories in elementary school prompted by her weekly list of spelling words.

A commercial pilot and former FAA safety official, she lives and writes in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. A graduate of Madison College (now James Madison University), she has degrees in history and political science. Politics and history manage to work their way into her writing.

Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies and has placed or won several contests, including the 2016 Golden Nib Award. When not writing, reading, reviewing books, singing in a UU choir, watching the Yankees, or cheering on Dale Earnhardt, Jr., she delights in spoiling her grandchildren.

She is president of the Virginia Writers Club.

https://unexpectedpaths.com/

Panelists

Zach Powers

 Zach Powers lives and writes in Fairfax, Virginia. His debut story collection, Gravity Changes, won the BOA Short Fiction Prize, and will be published in May 2017. His work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, PANK, Caketrain, Tin House online, and elsewhere. He is the co-founder of the literary arts nonprofit Seersucker Live (SeersuckerLive.com). He led the writers' workshop at the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home for eight years. His writing for television won an Emmy, and he is a columnist for Savannah Morning News. Get to know him at ZachPowers.com.


 

B.K. Stevens

B.K. (Bonnie) Stevens has published over fifty short stories, most of them in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. She has also published stories in magazines such as Woman's World and Family Circle, as well as in several anthologies. Her stories have been nominated for major mystery awards such as the Agatha (three nominations), the Macavity (two nominations), and the Derringer (two nominations, one award). Also, one of her stories won first prize in a national suspense-writing contest judged by Mary Higgins Clark. Eleven of her stories are included in her 2016 collection, Her Infinite Variety: Tales of Women and Crime (Wildside Press). She has also published two novels, Interpretation of Murder (Black Opal Books) and Fighting Chance (Poisoned Pen Press; Agatha and Anthony nominations for Best Young Adult Novel). B.K. has also published an e-novella with Untreed Reads, articles in The Writer and The Third Degree, two college textbooks with Holt/Harcourt Brace, and a book on Jewish education with Behrman House. She has a Ph.D. in English, was a college professor for over thirty years, and often taught classes in writing, including creative writing. She and her husband live in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia. http://www.bkstevensmysteries.com

Cliff Garstang

Clifford Garstang is the author of What the Zhang Boys Know, winner of the 2013 Library of Virginia Award for Fiction, and the short story collection In an Uncharted Country. He is also the editor of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volumes I and II, anthologies of stories set around the world. His work has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Blackbird, Cream City Review, Los Angeles Review, Shenandoah, Tampa Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere, and has received Distinguished Mention in the Best American Series. In 2015 he received the Indiana Emerging Author Award from the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and international lawyer, Garstang earned an MFA in Fiction from Queens University of Charlotte. He lives near Staunton, Virginia. http://cliffordgarstang.com


Bringing New Worlds to Life: Essential Elements in Speculative Fiction

Enter the creative realm of world building, including how you can use dialogue to enrich your work, creating heroes and villains, and more.

Moderator: J. Elizabeth Vincent

Janell E. Robisch (a.k.a. J. Elizabeth Vincent) is a fiction and nonfiction writer and editor. Many years ago, Janell served as the co-editor of a small literary magazine called The Unknown Writer. Her nonfiction includes many articles on birth, breastfeeding, parenting, and homeschooling and the book To Three and Beyond: Stories of Breastfed Children and the Mothers Who Love Them (Praeclarus Press, 2014). In 2016, she finished the first draft of an urban fantasy novel. She also participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2016 and completed 52,359 words of a fantasy novel in 30 days. The complete first draft was finished in January 2017. Janell's award-winning short story "Transgression" appears with many other prize-winning authors in the Skyline 2017 anthology. http://jelizabethvincent.com

 

Natalina Reis

Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.

After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She lived in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master's degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.

Natalina doesn't believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.

**Creating characters and settings that reflect human diversity and the healing power of love.**

https://catarinadeobidos.wordpress.com/

James and John Gaines

Jim and John Gaines write the Forlani Saga series of science fiction books, including Life Sentence, Spy Station (launch will coincide with the Symposium) and Earth Regained (currently in production), as well as other poetry and fiction.  Our blog contains many posts on the art of sci-fi and John has done extensive on-line work on monster fiction and film.  We propose to work with Greg Miller, currently working on his second fantasy book, and an author specializing in ghost fiction, such as the Ghosts of Roanoke series. http://Gainesscifi.blogspot.com

Greg Smith

Greg Smith founded Agile Writers in 2011 with the mission of utilizing a new approach to helping beginning writers complete a first-draft in 6 months. The Agile Writer Method is based upon the writings of experts in mythology, screenwriting, and psychology. He also co-authored the Reel Heroes series; books on heroes in the movies.

His seminars on the Agile Writer Method have informed and delighted hundreds of writers, scholars, and university students. Since 2011, Agile Writer authors have completed dozens of first draft novels, 8 published stories, and two members have been nominated for the coveted James River Writer Best Unpublished Novel Contest. http://AgileWriters.com

 

NaNoWriMo: It only feels like a death march!

Fiction writers and NaNoWriMo survivors discuss why they take the month long, 50,000 word challenge, as well as share what they get out of it, and tips to succeeding at it.

Moderator: Betsy Ashton

Born in Washington, DC, Betsy Ashton was raised in Southern California where she ran wild with coyotes in the hills above Malibu. She earned her undergraduate degree at UCLA, her first MA at Keio University, Tokyo, and her second MA and doctorate USC.

Her first mystery, Mad Max Unintended Consequences, was published in February 2013. The second in the series, Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, came out in April 2015. Her third in the series, Unsafe Haven, is due out later in 2017 She is the past president of The Virginia Writers Club. http://betsy-ashton.com/

Panelists:

Phyllis Duncan

Phyllis A. Duncan is a retired bureaucrat but one with an overactive imagination—at least that’s what everyone has told her since she first started making up stories in elementary school prompted by her weekly list of spelling words.

A commercial pilot and former FAA safety official, she lives and writes in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. A graduate of Madison College (now James Madison University), she has degrees in history and political science. Politics and history manage to work their way into her writing.

Her fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies and has placed or won several contests, including the 2016 Golden Nib Award. When not writing, reading, reviewing books, singing in a UU choir, watching the Yankees, or cheering on Dale Earnhardt, Jr., she delights in spoiling her grandchildren.

She is president of the Virginia Writers Club.

https://unexpectedpaths.com/

J. Elizabeth Vincent

Janell E. Robisch (a.k.a. J. Elizabeth Vincent) is a fiction and nonfiction writer and editor. Many years ago, Janell served as the co-editor of a small literary magazine called The Unknown Writer. Her nonfiction includes many articles on birth, breastfeeding, parenting, and homeschooling and the book To Three and Beyond: Stories of Breastfed Children and the Mothers Who Love Them (Praeclarus Press, 2014). In 2016, she finished the first draft of an urban fantasy novel. She also participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time in 2016 and completed 52,359 words of a fantasy novel in 30 days. The complete first draft was finished in January 2017. Janell's award-winning short story "Transgression" appears with many other prize-winning authors in the Skyline 2017 anthology. http://jelizabethvincent.com

 

Jenna Harte

Jenna Harte likes to write about characters who are passionate about and committed to each other, and frequently getting into trouble. She is the author of the sexy cozy Valentine Mysteries, the first of which, Deadly Valentine, reached the quarter-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in 2013. She is also the author of the Southern Heat contemporary romance series, and recently turned in the first of a new traditional cozy mystery series to her agent. Get free romantic mystery novellas and more at Jenna’s website at http://www.JennaHarte.com


Preparing Your Book for Publishing: Editing, Formatting and Cover Design for the Indie Author

Indie-authors discuss their ideas and tips from taking your finished novel and preparing it for publishing.

Moderator: Liz Long

Liz Long is an independently published author of 9 books, including the Donovan Circus series and Heroes of Arcania trilogy. She is the associate editor for a regional magazine publisher, Director of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference and Director of Roanoke Author Invasion. She speaks to writers of all ages in writing and/or marketing classes around Roanoke, has been on Amazon and B&N bestseller lists and is passionate about writers exploring their publishing options and opportunities. 



JM Snyder

J.M. Snyder is a multi-published author of gay romance who has worked with several different e-publishers, including Amber Allure Press and Torquere Press, and has short stories published in anthologies by Alyson Books, Cleis Press, eXcessica, and Lethe Press. In 2010, she started JMS Books LLC to publish LGBTQ romance. http://www.jmsnyder.net

 

 

 

Chris Kennedy

A bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy author, speaker, and publisher, Chris Kennedy is a former naval aviator and elementary school principal. Chris' stories include the "Theogony" and "Codex Regius" science fiction trilogies and stories in the "Four Horsemen" military scifi series. Get his free book, "Shattered Crucible," at his website, http://chriskennedypublishing.com.

Chris is the author of the award-winning #1 bestseller, "Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores." Called "fantastic" and "a great speaker," he has coached hundreds of beginning authors and budding novelists on how to self-publish their stories at a variety of conferences, conventions, and writing guild presentations, and he has published six authors under various imprints of his Chris Kennedy Publishing small press. Find out more about having him talk to your group at http://chriskennedyspeaking.com.

Chris lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he manages the curriculum for sailors learning to maintain the Navy's F-18 Hornet. He is the holder of a doctorate in educational leadership and master's degrees in both business and public administration.

Follow Chris on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chriskennedypublishing.biz  and on Twitter at @ChrisKennedy110.

Kris Spisak

With degrees from the College of William & Mary and the University of Richmond, Kris Spisak began her career as a college writing instructor; however, after six years in the classroom, she transitioned to professional writing and editing. Helping writers sharpen their craft was the driving force behind her book Get a Grip on your Grammar: 250 Writing and Editing Reminders for the Curious or Confused (Career Press, 2017). Kris is also pursuing the publication of her first novel and is the co-founder of Midlothian Web Solutions. http://www.kris-spisak.com/

 

Bringing Your Book to the World: Book Launches, Signings, and Publicity

Your book is published, now what? Panelists will discuss how you can use a book launch, signings, and publicity to get your book sold.

Moderator: Rosanne Vrugtman

Rosanne’s five earned degrees are an AA, BA (English/education), MS (human resources), MEd and PhD (adult education). With careers in business, human service and higher education, in 1991 she launched Transitions Unlimited, a training consultancy and publishing company. She has taught undergraduate and graduate business, psychology and education courses; as well as business, technical, academic and creative writing since 1998. Her extensive board service includes presidencies for training and development and learning styles research organizations; and she holds certifications in brain dominance profiling, parenting and police training.

After retiring from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2012, Rosanne began writing historical romances. In 2013, she published a contemporary version of Zane Grey’s first book, Betty Zane. Writing as Abigail Dane, she has published two historical novels—The Pirate and the Virgin and The Baron and the Black Widow—set in mid-17th century England. She is currently working on books three and four in the series, which is based on her own ancestors’ history. She and her husband, Rudi, recently relocated from Florida to Virginia.

Gwen Keane

Gwen Keane -Member of Virginia Writers Club, past Vice President  and member of Chesapeake Bay Writers. Received second place award in Chapter Golden Nibs contest in 2015 and third place in 2016.  Author of two non fiction books (Swan Wait and Local Color).  For seven years wrote a monthly column in Chesapeake Style Magazine. Serves as a board member for Virginia Writers Guild. Published a story in first volume of Virginia Writers Guild, November 2015.

Connie B. Dowell

Connie B. Dowell is an author of fiction and nonfiction for teens, and a marketing and publicity assistant/virtual assistant with Aurora Publicity. Her latest writing projects include The Orchid Caper, a young adult heist comedy, and The Poison in All of Us, a young adult historical mystery. A former university writing center coordinator, she also authored You Can Love Writing: A Guide to Get through Your College Papers and Like It. Connie lives in central Virginia with her husband and kids, where both adults occasionally podcast on history topics on their show One Hundred Centuries and often drink far more coffee than is probably wise. You can find out more at http://conniebdowell.com.

 

Marco LeRoc

Marco LeRoc is an emerging thought leader and a leading personal achievement expert. He's the founder of Marco LeRoc & Co., an organization that inspires millennials to grow personally and financially.

Marco is the host of Inside a Great Mind on Marco LeRoc TV: TV that Inspires and Informs. He's also the author of Cash In with Your Money: Tools for a Better Financial Life, Screw College Debt: How to Go to College without Breaking the Bank, and the upcoming book, Activate Your Untapped Potential.

Featured on many news outlets nationally and internationally (including CBN News, NBC WOWT, TODAY'S TMJ, Black Enterprise and WGN), Marco"¨ is an international speaker who's engaged audiences in the Americas, Europe, and Africa on the subjects of financial literacy education, college planning, and self-improvement. He's also a certified John Maxwell coach, teacher, and trainer.

Enhancing and impacting the lives of the underserved, Marco is a philanthropist who has served as the chairman of the board for his local chapter of Junior Chamber International. He is serving on the board of the Hidden Talent Foundation and is also a champion of the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets, a program that fights against malaria.

A global traveler with a passion for discovering and experiencing different parts of the world, Marco makes his home in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife, Gina, and daughter, Elizabeth. http://www.marcoleroc.com


$80 - Early Bird Registration opens for MEMBERS ONLY - May 1, 2017

$90 - General Registration opens June 1, 2017

REGISTRATION FORM


Symposium Schedule

8:00 - 8:30 Registration/Coffee and Light Breakfast

8:30 - 9:00 Welcome/Opening

9:00 - 9:45 (45 minute) Panels

  • Poetic Expression Off the Page – Moderator: Caroline Brae, Panelists: Angela Carter, Patsy Asuncion, Elizabeth Spencer Spragins

  • Writing and Marketing Short Fiction – Moderator: Phyllis Duncan, Panelists: BK Stevens, Cliff Garstang, Zach Powers
  • Bringing New Worlds to Life: Essential Elements in Speculative Fiction – Moderator: J. Elizabeth Vincent, Panelists: Natalina Reis, James and John Gaines, Greg Smith

10:00 - 11:15 Workshops

  • Traditional and Self-Publishing Avenues for Poets - Judy Light Ayyildiz and Caroline Brae
  • Beating the Self-Publishing Stigma - Liz Long
  • Love, Passion, and Happily Ever After: How to Write a Romance Novel - Jenna Harte

11:30 - 12:00 Keynote: Jane Friedman “The Competitive Creative”

12:15 - 1:00 Lunch

1:15- 2:00 Panels

  • NaNoWriMo: It only feels like a death march! – Moderator: Betsy Ashton, Panelists: Phyllis Duncan, J. Elizabeth Vincent, Jenna Harte
  • Preparing Your Book for Publishing: Editing, Formatting and Cover Design for the Indie Author – Moderator: Rosanne Vrugtman, Panelists: JM Snyder, Chris Kennedy, Kris Spisak.
  • Bringing Your Book to the World: Book Launches, Signings, and Publicity  - Moderator : TBA, Panelists: Gwen Keane, Connie B. Dowell, Marco LeRoc

2:15 - 2:45 Book signing/Afternoon snack

3:00 - 4:15 Workshops:

  • The Art & Business of Author Platform - Jane Friedman
  • Writing the Dreaded Query Letter - Alan Orloff
  • Instagram for Authors - Audrey Knapp




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