Honolulu Branch APRIL 2016 Biennial Writers' Conference
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click here for the full
brochure in pdf format.
Award-winning songwriter, Roslyn Catracchia has
co-written over 40 musicals that have been produced locally and
nationally, and has written and co-produced many CDs, four of which have
earned her Hoku nominations. She is a proud member of ASCAP, The
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Rich Fahle is a passionate advocate for reading, publishing, and
author-focused entertainment in all its formats. He is founder of
Astral Road Media, a full-service author support agency, and Executive
Producer of Book View Now on PBS, providing national book coverage for
Moses Goods is a professional storyteller, playwright and
award-winning actor. His plays have been produced by the Honolulu
Theatre for Youth and Windward Community College. His most recent work
Duke, a play about the famed athlete Duke Kahanamoku, is
Michael Gruber, The New York Times bestselling author of 25
novels, worked in the Carter White House and holds a PhD in marine
biology. Stephen King called Gruber’s novel, The Good Son, his
favorite novel of 2013.
Born on O‘ahu’s North Shore, Constance Hale leads the Mokule‘ia
Writers Retreat. She writes frequently about Hawaiian history and
culture. That is, when she’s not writing about language and literary
style, in books, on The New York Times Opinionator, and
on her website:
Tiff Holland’s poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction appear
regularly in literary journals and anthologies. She is the author of
Bone in a Tin Funnel and the novella-in-flash Betty Superman,
Tiff currently lives in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
Marcia Zina Mager
Marcia Zina Mager is an international bestselling author,
playwright, award-winning poet, and performance artist. Her publishing
credits include 10 books, fiction & nonfiction, translated into eight
languages. She’s the creator of the original Write from the Heart
national seminar series.
Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency, LLC
Kristin has represented over 35 New York Times bestselling
titles and many USA Today bestsellers. She is currently looking
for literary commercial novels, big crossover novels, upmarket women’s
fiction, lead title science fiction and fantasy, single-title romance
(especially historical), and young adult and upper-level middle grade
novels. Kristin represents author Jamie Ford. Submission guidelines:
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto’s narrative nonfiction book is Midnight
in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two
Worlds (Harper 2016). The New York Times calls it
“engrossing” and “an important contribution to our knowledge of the
Japanese-American experience in World War II, on both sides of the
ocean and the hyphen.”
Susan Scott has written a weekly column about marine life for the
Honolulu Star-Advertiser since 1987 and is the author of eight
nonfiction books. In 2014, Susan published her memoir, Call Me
Captain, about sailing through a life-changing midlife crisis.
Jonathan Clarke Sypert
Jonathan Clarke Sypert, aka !NTREP!D, has been a professional,
award-winning performing artist for 25 years. Artistically driven, he
has employed cross-genre as an actor, vocal artist,
dancer/choreographer, puppeteer, visual artist and slam poet.
Brian Watanabe is the screenwriter of The Rogues Gallery,
which became the cult film Operation: Endgame, starring Ellen
Barkin, Maggie Q and Zach Galifianakis. He’s developed scripts for
production companies at Fox and Sony. He’s also an award-winning
advertising copywriter living in Hawaii.
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Hooking the Reader
Readers are often turned on or off by the first chapter,
even the first page. What contracts do we make with the reader in these
first few pages? We’ll analyze story openings with a focus on immersing
the audience by sinking story hooks, and creating likeable protagonists
(or sympathetic anti-heroes). If you’re feeling brave, submit your own
first page for a group critique.
Adventures in Screenwriting
This is a fun and informative overview of the craft of
screenwriting for beginning screenwriters and filmmakers. It includes
discussions about concept, character, structure, adaptation, and the
business of screenwriting. Script to screen comparisons help keep the
workshop interactive and entertaining.
An Agent Reads the Slush Pile
Ever wonder how an agent reads the fiction submission
slush pile? What an agent is thinking during the opening pages? This
workshop gives the inside scoop. Kristin Nelson will read the “slush
pile” and give honest feedback on the sample pages in front of her. This
workshop is not for the faint of heart. The point is not to dishearten
but to give an inside look at the process. Interested participants can
bring three copies each of the first two pages of their novels. You are
welcome to attend even if you don’t submit pages.
Author & Agent – Landing an Agent
Jamie Ford & Kristin Nelson
Last year Kristin Nelson received 40,000 mind-numbing,
email-clogging queries from aspiring authors. Out of those 800+ per
week, she requested 85 full manuscripts, and signed two new clients.
We’ll examine successful and rejected queries and talk about the best
ways to navigate that literary gauntlet, and discuss the ever-mysterious
Beyond Self-Promotion & Platform: Share Yourself, Build Your
A workshop designed to help shed feelings of writer’s
dread that frequently accompany the words “author platform” or
“self-promotion.” We’ll discuss how creating moments of connection
online is about more than follower count numbers—it’s about fostering a
network of people who support your work. Workshop Via Skype
The Craft of Lyric Writing
A successful songwriter makes every word count. Learn new
techniques to help you craft your lyrics. After exploring various song
forms and subjects, we’ll pick and choose themes, words, and phrases,
ending the session with a finished song that we will create together.
All are welcome, from beginner to experienced songwriter.
Memoir, Susan Scott
Susan Scott will talk about storytelling in nonfiction
and memoir, as well as what she’s learned over the years about agents,
editors, publishers and readers. For an exercise, Susan will share the
only one that ever helped her writing.
Novella & Memoir in Flash
How to write stand-alone pieces that can be linked to
create longer works. In the age of “binge-viewing” and Twitter, this
session will cover the process of writing pieces that satisfy the desire
for concise writing that can be consumed in one session while leaving
readers wanting more.
Playwriting: Letting a Character Live
Learn how to create likeable characters by exploring what
it feels like to walk in their shoes. Conflict, fear, motivation,
strengths and flaws play a part. Actor and playwright Moses Goods will
share his process of “letting a character live.”
The Power of Writing Badly:
The astonishing truth about the creative process
Marcia Zina Mager
What does it mean to be a “real” writer? Through wild
exercises and deep insight, we’ll discover unexpected answers from the
world’s greatest artistic masters, like Van Gogh and Rumi, learning to
honor our own mediocrity, procrastination and despair, and building a
new, kinder relationship to ourselves.
Sin & Syntax: Making Sentences Sing
Constance Hale (author of the style manual Sin and
Syntax and the verb volume Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch) leads you
through a series of readings, exercises, puzzles, and games that allow
you to stretch new muscles, kick bad habits, and cultivate your own
Thrillers – What they are, and how to write one
Michael Gruber will talk about the origins and
construction of the thriller and provide tips on how to write a good
one. Workshop Via Skype
Words in Motion,
Jonathan Clarke Sypert
Slam Poetry is self-expression through bold, vocal
performance of the written word. “Words in Motion” is a workshop
dedicated to lifting words from the page and refocusing the vibrations
to convey the exact message intended by the author.
Writing Narrative Nonfiction:
Making the Past Come to Life
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto will discuss how to bring history
alive with telling details, visual imagery, dialogue, scenes, and
suspense. The past can be as vivid and magical as fiction without
sacrificing a grain of truth.
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