Keeping with tradition, the AJC Decatur Book Festival will hold its annual Writers Conference on Friday, August 30th at Agnes Scott College. A handful of stellar authors have been invited to kick off the festival, teach workshops, and share their special knowledge and skills with the public. This activity begins with a Writers Conference keynote address at 2:30pm, spilling into workshops from 4pm until 6pm.
The keynote address will be given by Clyde Edgerton. He is the author of ten novels, a book of advice, a memoir, and numerous short stories and essays. Edgerton has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and five of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books. He will be discussing writing and his new book Papadaddy’s Book For New Fathers: Advice to Dads of All Ages.
Edgerton will deliver his keynote speech from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Refreshments and book sales follow. Individual writer workshops take place at Buttrick Hall beginning at 4:00 p.m. Get your ticket now at http://ajcdbfwriterskeynote.eventbrite.com.
Take a look at our workshop descriptions below and follow the EventBrite links to sign up! All workshops are free and open to the public, with limited space.
Kathie Bennett & Sharman Burson Ramsey
You Are Your Own Best Publicist
You are your own best publicist. You became an entrepreneur the day you began to write. Once the hurdle of publication is past, publicist Kathie Bennett and author Sharman Burson Ramsey discuss how you as an author in today’s publishing world must take responsibility for marketing your book. Together they give examples of market strategy and how “to be a friend is win-win.” Sign up at http://writersworkshop1.eventbrite.com.
Roy Peter Clark
How to Write Short
In HOW TO WRITE SHORT, Roy Peter Clark turns his attention to the art of painting a thousand pictures with just a few words. Short forms of writing have always existed--from ship logs and telegrams to prayers and haikus. But in this ever-changing Internet age, short form writing has become an essential skill. Clark covers how to write effective and powerful titles, headlines, essays, sales pitches, Tweets, letters, even self-descriptions for online dating services. With examples from the long tradition of short form writing in Western culture, HOW TO WRITE SHORT guides writers to crafting brilliant prose, even in 140 characters. Sign up at http://writersworkshop2.eventbrite.com.
Science & Storytelling: Creating a Chemical Reaction
Maybe you’ve heard of science writing or science journalism, but as a creative writer, you wonder, “How creative could science writing really be?” You’re interested, but you wonder if it might be a little dry for you. You wonder if it could really scratch your “writer’s itch.” In this workshop, learn how science writers use metaphor, character, scene and other creative literary devices to tell stories about science. And then try the tools out for yourself. Sign up at http://writersworkshop3.eventbrite.com.
Ahmad Meradji & Caroline Donahue
Why Invest in Professional Editing?
What’s an editor? Do you need an editor? When is the right time to hire an editor? What’s the difference between a good and bad editor? Is an editor worth my time and money? This talk, with Ahmad Meradji and Caroline Donahue, will help you answer all of those questions and more. Find out what an editor can do for you and your manuscript, tips for choosing the right editor (did you know there are different kinds?), and how much you can expect to spend for editorial services. Sign up at http://writersworkshop4.eventbrite.com.
Handing the Truth: Writing Your Memoir and Why It Matters
Writing memoir is a deeply personal, and consequential, undertaking. As the acclaimed author of five memoirs spanning significant turning points in her life, Beth Kephart has been both blessed and bruised by the genre. In Handling the Truth, she thinks out loud about the form—on how it gets made, on what it means to make it, on the searing language of truth, on the thin line between remembering and imagining, and, finally, on the rights of memoirists. Drawing on proven writing lessons and classic examples, on the work of her students and on her own memories of weather, landscape, color, and love, Kephart probes the wrenching and essential questions that lie at the heart of memoir. Sign up at http://writersworkshop5.eventbrite.com.
Tell Me Something True: Addressing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer so you can write the stories people want to read
Every writer has innate strengths and weaknesses—they always do best when they play to their strengths and then address those weaknesses. As authors, the three of us are vastly different in what comes easily and where we struggle. In the first half of the workshop, we will each address the elements unique to us as writers, focusing on how writers can identify their strengths and make them the backbone of their writing. Then we will shift gears to share advice on how to slowly address the things that don't come as naturally.
In the second half of the workshop, we’ll talk about the things that make books stand out to us when we’re selecting titles for the national book club, She Reads. How do writers write a book that will make readers, reviewers, bloggers, etc. sit up and take notice? What elements can writers include that make their books distinct. What do we look for when we consider books? What makes us run away?
Sign up at http://writersworkshop6.eventbrite.com.
Good Book, Bad Book: A Workshop for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
In over thirty years of reviewing children’s books, Susie Wilde has built a fabulous collection of really bad picture books. To set the mood of this workshop, she slices and dices a few of her best worst favorites. Then participants examine, discuss, and determine what makes children’s books succeed, or fail. Does message ever work? What’s sure to hook young readers? Writers and illustrators will leave armed with a collaborative list of children’s book criteria. Sign up at http://writersworkshop7.eventbrite.com.
Top Tips for Creating Your Multimedia Portfolio
Top tips for creating your multimedia portfolio: Find out how to harness apps, blogs and social media to perfect and promote your writing. Whether you’re a published author, a curious beginner, or somewhere in between, you can find new ways to connect with like-minded authors and fine-tune your work. You will walk away from this workshop with ten tips on how to raise your profile, and add a digital edge to your writing. Sign up at http://writersworkshop8.eventbrite.com.
Standalone Shockers & Series Thrillers
How do you approach writing a series with the same main character vs. writing one standalone novel in the mystery, detective, and thriller genre? What research methods can you use to make your writing authentic in crime fiction? Sign up at http://writersworkshop9.eventbrite.com.