Upcoming Events

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Publication

November 14, 2017 1-2pm ET

Five Ways to Find More Markets for Your Work

Tara Lynne Groth, Freelance writer and author

The writing submission process can be confusing and time-consuming. Whether you’re trying to publish short fiction or personal essays, or write an article, submissions require finding and researching markets, carefully reading the guidelines, and tracking submissions. Streamlining these processes can help carve out more time for writing and make your submission process more efficient. In this session, we’ll review different methods, both online and offline, for discovering literary journals and markets best suited for your writing works.Read More

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Agents, Career

December 5, 2017 8:30-9:45pm ET

What to Expect From Your Agent

John Cusick, Literary Agent, Folio Literary Management

In this talk we'll discuss what to expect from your agent and how to develop and maintain a lasting and productive relationship. What are the best questions to ask before committing to an agent? What role does an agent play in your career? To what degree does your agent participate in edits, sales, and publicity? We'll explore empowering communication strategies as well as how to get the most out of your author-agent relationship.Read More

Past Events

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August 2017

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Reading

Our Voices: A Reading for and by Our Members

Members

Listening to fellow writers read their work contributes to a supportive environment in our community, offers inspiration for our own work, and helps the creative process thrive. The reading is open to all members to participate or listen in. Learn More

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September 2017

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Structure

Fixing Flabby Fiction: A Closer Look at Narrative Structure

Melissa Gardner

Is your fiction flabby? Prose a bit paunchy? Do your characters wander aimlessly? If so, then join us for a closer look at narrative structure. Narrative structure is more than simply plot, moving characters from Point A to Point Z. In this webinar, we’ll take a closer look at how narrative structure works, how to use structure to increase tension, and how narrative structure can—and should—also reveal and develop character. We’ll explore the 4-stage model of narrative structure by taking a detailed look at William Carlos Williams’ short story “The Use of Force” and we’ll discuss how this looks in a novel by reviewing the narrative structure of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Learn More

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September 2017

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Children's Books

Picture Books in Focus: Structuring Your Picture Books and Nonfiction

Emily Feinberg

In this talk, we will look exclusively at the ways in which picture books (fiction and nonfiction) benefit from a narrower scope and a focused structure. We will go through examples of finished books and works in progress so participants will be able to see some before and after editorial work. Learn More

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July 2017

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Agents, Queries

Queries: Hook, Line and Slam Dunk

Kris Asselin

When it comes to Querying, there are certain standards that apply universally. However, it is possible to make your query letter stand out from the rest of the slush pile and tailor it to target the agent of your dreams. Get the inside scoop about querying from author and expert queryier, Kristine Asselin. I will talk about queries that work (and why!) and perfecting the elements of your query. Discover what works, what doesn’t work, and when it is okay to “think outside the box”. See examples of real queries that landed an agent and later, a book deal. Be inspired! In this webinar, you won’t hear vague advice—you will get tangible tips to create an effective, concise query letter. Learn More

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April 2017

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Contemporary Fairy Tales

Anca Szilágyi

Fairy tales offer rich sources of inspiration for writers. We’ll read a short-short story by a contemporary master of the fairy tale, Angela Carter, and explore techniques such as everyday magic, intuitive logic, and archetypes. A writing prompt based on these concepts will give participants the opportunity to put them into practice. The lecture will also include recommendations for further reading and magazines interested in publishing fairy tales. Learn More

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May 2017

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Writing Process

Overcoming Our Negative Thoughts

Rahti Gorfien

Self-doubt can come in many variations: depression, extreme shyness, shame and creative blockages. If we don’t fall into self-doubt, we are free to fail, free to write loudly and free to take the paths towards being read widely. So why don’t we? Come ready to clean your mental house so that all that’s left to stay are the self-identities and imagination that serve you. Learn More

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June 2017

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Marketing

Marketing Your Book

Andrea Dunlop

As an author, you know you want to get the widest exposure for your book possible, but how can you tackle the many-headed beast that is book marketing? Should you hire outside help or rely on your in-house team? What will it all cost, and what exactly do marketers, publicists, and social media managers do? In this webinar, Atria author and book marketing expert Andrea Dunlop will explain everything you need to know about inner workings of in-house marketing, give a breakdown of the various kinds of professionals you might consider hiring to help, and explain how you can be the best advocate for your own work. Learn More

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April 2017

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Poetry, Revision

Conversation with a Draft: Toward a Personalized Theory and Practice of Revision

Catherine Abbey Hodges

What if we were to approach the revision of a poem as a conversation with a draft? After examining several metaphors for the process of revision, we’ll explore some fruitful directions and particulars for such a dialogue. The material for the session will be informed by the ideas of such poets as W. B. Yeats, Jane Hirshfield, and William Stafford. Writing exercises will be incorporated; participants should bring drafts of two or three poems for the exercises. Learn More

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December 2016

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Critique

Think Like an Editor: How to Deliver a Critique Like a Pro

Sangeeta Mehta

Even for thick-skinned writers, receiving criticism is rarely easy. But giving criticism can be even more challenging—especially to a writer friend or a member of your critique group. Most writers will insist that they can handle honest feedback, but if you find issues with their plot and pacing, can you express your concerns without crushing any egos? And if you love your critique partner’s story but have no idea why, should you say this at all? Based on her years as an in-house and freelance editor, Sangeeta Mehta provides the essentials on how to deliver constructive criticism. She will cover: *The pros and cons of the “sandwich” technique and the “rule of 3” *The macro vs. the micro critique *How to focus on the craft of writing vs. the business of writing *The difference between suggestive and directive critiquing *The trap of over-critiquing *Getting beyond "I liked it" Providing critiques is an art that can improve with practice. And by developing the ability to constructively critique others’ writing, we can all take our work to the next level. Learn More

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January 2017

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Grammar, Style

No Mustard on Your Shirt: Spill-Proofing Your Grammar and Style

Tex Thompson

It's a truth every interviewee knows: there's nothing more tragic than missing out on your dream job because the interviewer can't see past the stain on your collar. In this class, we'll tackle the grammar and style mistakes that even experienced writers make, and highlight winning strategies for scrubbing them out of your manuscript. Don't give your reader even one easy reason to toss your work aside: come learn how to put the "pro" in your prose! Learn More

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October 2016

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Planning

Take Off Your Pants!

Libbie Hawker

Learn a technique for planning and outlining your story before you sit down to write. Libbie Hawker will discuss character flaws and character arc, as well as choosing a plot that complements your character's interior journey. She'll also talk about pacing and theme. Use these techniques to nail your story, and write a better book more quickly. Learn More

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August 2016

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Voice

Nailing Voice in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

Jen Malone

The legendary editor Ursula Nordstrom, when asked what qualified her to edit books for children, replied, “I am a former child, and I haven’t forgotten a thing.” She was right, of course, but while we can all draw from our own experiences, how do we make sure our stories will speak to today’s kids in tone, language, and relevancy. This workshop will discuss concrete methods to nail those hard-to-match MG and YA voices, the pros and cons of using slang and/or pop culture references, issues relevant and appropriate to these ages, and what content does and doesn't fly in the current marketplace. Some topics will be covered jointly, but time will be also dedicated to discussions of each distinct category and what differentiates young adult from middle grade stories, beyond simply the main character's age. Learn More

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June 2016

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Point of View

Point-of-View: As Easy as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

Melissa Gardner

Point-of-view (POV) is all about perspective: who is telling the story and how? In Point-of-View: As Easy as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, we’ll discuss the basics of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person POV and explore the benefits, limits, and intricacies of each one through examples and exercises. We'll also look at the use of multiple POVs in one piece, when and how the use of multiple POVs is effective, and the challenges associated with this technique. Handouts and a list of resources will be provided. Learn More

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April 2016

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Setting, World building

Powerful Objects

Anca Szilágyi

What makes a story pulsate with meaning? How can you keep imagery fresh and ideas and emotions tactile? In this webinar, we’ll discuss the multiple uses of objects in fiction: to develop character, to structure story, and to heighten emotional impact. Participants should read Cynthia Ozick’s short story “The Shawl” (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1980/05/26/the-shawl) before listening. Writing exercises are incorporated into the lecture. Learn More

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February 2016

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Theme

What's the Big Idea?

Frank Flaherty

“No one ever looks at a tree and wonders, ‘Which is the trunk and which are the branches?’” says Frank Flaherty. “That same clarity should hold true for themes, too.” In this 1-hour webinar, non-fiction and journalism expert Frank Flaherty discusses the proper handling of the “big idea” of an article -- its theme. Many overstuff their articles, so that identifying the theme takes some hard detective work. In this lecture, Mr. Flaherty will show that, like the trunk of a tree, theme should be unmistakable. Learn More

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December 2015

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Plot

Constructing the World: Internal and External World Building

Emma D. Dryden

Children’s editorial and publishing expert Emma D. Dryden discusses various facets of worldbuilding as we think about our stories. She explores the idea that the world of a story is not just description of place, but is the main character’s interaction with that place and she looks at the ways in which a keenly realized make-up of an exterior world can become an integral part of the make-up of the internal world of our main character and characters. Learn More

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October 2015

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Dialogue

Putting Words in Their Mouths

Melissa Gardner

Dialogue can make or break a story. Great dialogue does more than convey who said what. It helps convey character, pace a scene, and further plot. Refresh the basics, like dialogue tags and dialogue format. Learn how to use dialogue to move your story forward. Learn More

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June 2015

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Interview

Interview with Suzanne Feldman

Suzanne Feldman

Member Suzanne Feldman shares her path, process and advice as an author of science fiction and literary fiction. Learn More

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March 2015

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Revision

Brendan Halpin

Tips for self-editing and giving/getting feedback. Learn More

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February 2015

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Critique

Critique Groups Panel

Brooke McIntyre

Inked Voices chats with middle grade authors Jen Malone, Gail Nall and Ronni Arno. We talk finding critique groups, giving critique, receiving feedback. And how things have evolved as they've gotten agents and publishers. Learn More

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February 2015

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Critique

Critique Advice

Judy Reeves

An interview with writing groups expert Judy Reeves. Learn More

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January 2015

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Pacing

Getting your story moving

Frank Flaherty

Pull the oars of your story quickly enough to get your reader excited, slow enough to share the scenery. Learn More

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November 2014

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Character

Revealing Character

Frank Flaherty

Professor and former New York Times editor Frank Flaherty shares methods to reveal character Learn More

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October 2015

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Plot

Looking Under the Hood at Plot

Brendan Halpin

Join us for our first lecture series. Teacher/author Brendan Halpin discusses key elements of plots. Learn More