Schedule of Events for the
Seventeenth Annual North Coast Redwoods Writers' Conference

Descriptions of the workshops are given below


Pre-Conference Manuscript Critiques — Not Open to the General Public

      4:00-5:00 p.m.   For those attendees who, in advance, have submitted manuscripts and paid for critiques, twenty-minute, one-on-one critique sessions will take place between 4:00 and 5:00pm (see details of this opportunity). All other attendees should plan on arriving at the conference at about 5:30pm.


Conference Begins at 5:30 p.m.

  5:30 p.m.   Attendee registration
  6:00   Welcome
  6:05   Panel Discussion: A Writer's Space
  7:00   Readings by Caroline Gill, Roy Parvin and Ken Letko followed by Q & A




      8:15 a.m.   Registration and continental breakfast
  8:45   Welcome and Keynote Speaker: Steve Wasserman
  9:30   Break
  9:45-11:15   Concurrent Workshops:
(1) Julie Christine Johnson (2) Erick Mertz (3) Roy Parvin (4) Phil Taggart
The Art and Craft of the Query Letter The Difference Between Money and Rewards Five-Point Plan to Telling a Story Ars America
  11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.   Concurrent Workshops:
(5) Caroline Gill (6) Julie Christine Johnson (7) Erick Mertz
Covers that Sell Characters that Breathe: Crafting Character Sketches When all Lines Gray: The Work Life Balance
  1:00-2:00   Break for Catered Lunch
  2:00-3:30   Concurrent Workshops:
(8) Caroline Gill (9) Roy Parvin (10) Phil Taggart
Marketing 101: Simple Rules to Find Readers Writing from White Space to White Space Reading Your Poems
  3:40-4:30   Open Mic (by sign-up; first come, first served; original work; 5-minute limit)
  4:30-5:00   Book Sales and Wrap-up


Descriptions of the Workshops

Caroline Gill
5) Covers that Sell (not hands-on)
It is the one element that can make or break a book’s sales: the cover. What entices a reader to begin your novel? Come explore what makes a successful cover using bestseller lists, elements of composition, wording/blurbs, and use of fonts. Break down dominant design cover factors for multiple successful genres. Discuss the benefits of pre-mades, original, and custom design work. Visual examples provided. Not hands on. Bring your current cover ideas for a class critique.

8) Marketing 101: Simple Rules to Find Readers (hands-on)
You finished your story. Now what? What steps do you need to get as many readers and social media following for your novel? How do you gain a following? Where is the best use of your marketing dollar? We will discuss websites, blogs, newsletters, personal assistants, as well as the use of social media and advertising. I will be sharing the most effective, current strategies involving conventions, facebook ads, Instafreebie, and Twitter.

Julie Christine Johnson
1) The Art and Craft of the Query Letter (hands-on)
Regardless of what stage your novel is in, working on a query letter is an excellent way to articulate what you are writing about, who your readers are, and what sets your story apart from the rest. This workshop will examine each element of a query letter, with particular emphasis on crafting your book’s “hook”.

6) Characters that Breathe: Crafting Character Sketches (hands-on)
Character is story. You may have an idea for a plot, but until you know your characters, you won’t have a story. This workshop will take participants through character-building exercises, writing prompts, and examples from published works to show participants how to create characters who will be remembered long after the reader closes the book.

Erick Mertz
2) The Difference Between Money and Rewards (hands-on)
One of the chief struggles in developing a writing business is landing paying clients. Once a writer is through those woods however, the bigger challenge becomes finding the rewarding assignments that will keep those fires lit. This workshop will shoot from the hip on topics like creating a community and finding humor in the many missteps. Most critically though, we will discuss how to locate what Richard Hugo describes as a writer’s “Triggering Town” the key to unlocking living inspiration.

7) When all Lines Gray: The Work Life Balance (hands-on)
The statistics tell us that most small businesses fail early on. The alarming numbers are even more troubling when looking at creative professionals, especially writers. Attendees will learn some of the realities of getting a freelance writing business off of the ground, from toddlers to taxes, lunch breaks to long term planning. This workshop will also go over a few ways of thinking of your writing before taking the leap, and help give those struggling in mid-air the best chance for success.

Roy Parvin
3) Five-Point Plan to Telling a Story (hands-on)
This workshop offers a critical toolbox that helps the writer raise the narrative above the level of anecdote. How to use backstory, conflict and resolution is explored, along with an investigation of how scene works. Finally, how to end a story is covered. Overall, the workshop is meant to inspire new ways of looking at one’s work.

9) Writing from White Space to White Space (hands-on)
Any story is built from the sum of its sections. This craft talk explores how individual sections, from white space to white space, operate. Scene and summary are compared, the differences between narrative and dialogue and how time works in each are discussed. Also how to locate and transmit the pulse of the story in every section you write. The takeaway is to learn how to advance the plot on a constant incremental basis.

Phil Taggart
4) Ars America (hands-on)
In this workshop participants will explore how the Ars Poetica form can be used to start a new form, Ars America. The Ars Poetica form is commonly used to define the poet and their relationship to poetry. The Ars America form used is to explore the poet’s relationship to America and what makes them American.

10) Reading Your Poems (hands-on)
In this workshop, participants will read their own or someone else’s poetry. We will consider the role of spoken word in our poems. This workshop will consider the aspect of the oral tradition that poetry comes from. Participants will explore how best to present their poetry to enhance their poetic practice.


To register for the 2017 North Coast Redwoods Writers' Conference,
including specifying which workshops (above) that you'll attend,
please proceed to the Registration Form, print it out, complete it and mail it to us.


Presenters | Contact Us | FAQ | Home | Location | Lodging
Registration Form | Rental Cars / Taxi Service | Schedule | Sponsors
NCRWC on Facebook

South Fork of the Smith River (from Steven Memorial Bridge) - image courtesy J.M.Renner
South Fork of the Smith River (from Steven Memorial Bridge) - image courtesy J.M.Renner