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Optional Intensives on Friday, September 21 provide additional time for authors and illustrators to further learn from industry professionals on specific subjects that will enhance their writing or illustrating careers. Smaller group sizes and more intimate settings allow for direct interpersonal feedback from faculty and attendees, as well as opportunities to delve further into your own work.

How to register: On your conference registration, select the Friday Intensive you wish to attend.

Pricing: All intensives are $65 for members of AWG / SCBWI / RWA, or $85 for Non-Members

Please note: some intensives have different start and end times. 


9:00am - 12:00pm

Bring Out Your Inner PITCH with Literary Agent Colleen Oefelein, and Authors Dante Medema and Erin Bentley

Boiling an entire book down to that perfect hooking pitch is one of the most difficult tasks an author has to face. In this three-hour session, attendees will learn how to craft the perfect pitch for their story, where pitches can be made both in person and online, and how to deliver the perfect pitch seamlessly. During the last hour of the session, attendees are invited to practice their pitch with literary agent Colleen Oefelein,  who will then provide feedback on both the pitch and project. 

Emotional Wounds: How to Uncover Your Character’s Pain with Bestselling Author Angela Ackerman

Backstory wounds are critical to character development, as not only do they shape personality, create deep fears, and lead to unmet needs, they also cause a lie to form that changes how the character views the world and themselves. This skewed misbelief will dictate certain behaviors that create dysfunction and friction in the story, tripping the character up on the path to their goal. This workshop will delve into the landscape of an emotional wound and look at how they form, the damage they cause, and their defining role within character arc. Learn how to brainstorm wounds that will add deeper layers to your character and give more profound meaning to their goal in the story.

Plotting for Pantsers with Author Stefanie Tatalias

Learn how to use plot points to plan or refine your story into a page-turning adventure for your readers, and your characters into dynamic, memorable individuals. Have you started a novel (or a few) only to get bogged down midway and not know where to go? Do you have a 500 pages that need to be edited down? Or maybe you have a great idea, but don’t know how to turn it into a fully fleshed-out story? In this intensive you will learn how to use plot points to plan or refine your story into a page-turning adventure for your readers. You will leave with a road map of your character’s journey—not just their outer journey but their inner one as well, the one that makes your character, and so your story, stand out and be remembered by readers, agents, and editors. This intensive is appropriate for beginners and advanced writers, those who write novels as well as picture books.

3:00pm - 6:00pm

Landing a Literary Agent for Your Picture Book, Middle Grade, or Young Adult Novel with Literary Agent Clelia Gore 

In this intensive, literary agent Clelia Gore will provide practical tips, resources and guidance on how writers can best position themselves for success in landing a literary agent. She will go through publishing basics, provide insight on what kind of books the current market is looking for, demystify the submissions process, and delve into query writing and developing an author platform.

Capture your Fans with Intriguing Character Arcs, Individual Book Arcs, and Series Arcs with Bestselling Romance Author Rebecca Zanetti

A great plot will engage a reader, but a fascinating character will bring that reader back for more and have them pre-ordering your next book, regardless of genre.  You can create characters and show their progress in each story by using internal and external conflict, subtext, and even a plot twist or two.  We'll talk about getting those characters to light up the pages by designing a complete book arc for each novel within the bigger picture of a series.  Writing a series is rewarding because it allows an author to return time and time again to a created world, it helps to build a faithful fan base, and it’s a good way to make money.  Fans enjoy returning to well-crafted worlds and checking in on those characters they fell in love with in earlier stories, but each story has to be good enough to draw in new readers…and keep them.  We’ll explore how to build, what to add, and what to delete with examples from books, film, and television in this master class.

Platforms that Soar, Blunders to Avoid, and Marketing Tips Galore with Dr. Judith Briles

Whether you are just beginning the author journey or think you are an old pro, the publishing maze has a few tricks up its sleeve. Contracts can snarl you, marketing can swamp you, and social media can suck your energy. No wonder authors become comatose—no longer, after this highly interactive, fun and “aha” session. It all starts with platform building. Contrary to what many authors believe, writing the book is only 10% of publishing … it’s the 90% marketing that will make or break book success.

Whether you are traditional or indie, it’s the author who is responsible for the majority of book marketing. That means you. You need to think of your book as a product that you are bringing to the market. The knowledge, tools, tips, and techniques delivered here will impact every decision you make along the way. Your takeaways will include:

·      Create a plan that’s a fit for your buyer and your book.
·      Identify which social media platforms to use and which to dump.
·      Why and how to use the cyber town hall to position a book launch.
·      It’s in the “WHO” …how to ride the “draft” of your competitors.
·      How to get your name out there and get recognized while keeping your sanity.
·      Discover “freebies” that will tickle your book marketing fancy.
·      How to create branding that waves a flag to your buyers.
·      How quirky can get followers to open your Tweets, Postings and Blogs.
·      How your author profile can kill your book sales and how to fix it pronto.
·      Why QVC and The Shark Tank are important to all authors.
·      Why taking a contrarian position can soar media presence and book sales.
·    Platforms need social media network, choose which one(s) are for you.
·      One sure tip to add to the author platform-create a no-brainer newspaper.
·      Identify the 7 deadly sins that too many authors make.
·      Learn what the “escape” clause is that every author needs to include in a traditional publishing contract.
·      Come away with great tips and tricks to goose up your open rate on blogs and emails.

… And more!


Alaska Writer's Guild

PO Box 670014

Chugiak, AK 99567

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