Pre-Conference Online Sat Sept 30

All  times are Pacific Daylight Time

Online sessions are live presentations on Zoom

Program subject to change.

For registration information, go to the registration page


9:00 - 10:00am - Fostering Your Authentic Voice with Ariele SielingJoin Ariele Sieling in exploring the question “What is voice? And how is it different from style?” This workshop will do a deep dive into the nuances of making writing choices that ultimately come to define that thing which makes your work unique.  Learn the difference between voice, style, and tone;  explore strategies for finding and developing their own voice; and understand the nuances of how small writing choices can have a big impact. 

10:15 - 11:15am - Your Family, My Family, The Human Family with Doug CrandellIt’s the fear of most writers: how do I write honestly about my family, my place in it, and our flaws, issues, dysfunctions and even crimes? In this session, we will balance the negative with the positive, explore what makes memoir satisfying when we think about our family members as multi-dimensional, capable of even the smallest change, and truly alive and vulnerable on the page, as we all are in life. Doug will present real-life examples and share tips that have kept his own family from disowning him, at least partially. This workshop focuses on how to navigate the sometimes-tricky aspects of writing about family in nonfiction and memoir.

11:30am - 12:30pm - Place as Narrative with Meg Eden Kuyatt:  Every place has a story, but to find it, we often have to use the power of natural objects. As writers, we can plant clues and seeds for our reader through objects, which can give us story more efficiently and powerfully than exposition. In this workshop, we'll talk about place, the natural object, and go into a writing exercise that allows us to explore and invent stories through the details of a landscape. 

1:30 - 2:30pm - Misunderstood Secret Weapon: Show, Don't Tell with Leslie J Hall: Some say to ignore the well-known adage to "Show, don't tell" (SDT), while others live by this rule. We’ll review the true meaning of SDT through examples and exercises, and discuss how this tool connects your story more deeply with readers. We’ll look at SDT in terms of character, setting, and point of view. Great for any level of writer who wants their stories to be tighter and more impactful.

2:45 - 3:45pm - What is Your Novel's Point? with Stephanie Dethlefs: The goal of your novel is to impact the reader. But do you know why, or how? In this class for novelists of all skill levels, we’ll get to the root of what you are trying to say with your novel and provide clear steps to make sure you get your point across.