PPWC 2015: Thursday Prequel

So the funny thing is: while editing this blog, I decided to change which morning workshop I wanted to go to. I’m actually writing this at work and decided to go back into my registration and change things up on one of my breaks.

For those of you not familiar with PPWC, the conference gives an optional Thursday program. It’s divided into two long workshops. It’s pretty intense but it’s been great each time I’ve gone. They usually have one that is a two-parter and a handful of others divided between the AM and PM options. I haven’t done one that lasts the whole day with one session since my first year which had a day long workshop on Young Adult and Middle Grade writing.

What has always interested me about the Thursday option is that you have the option to do it by itself as well. So if you don’t have the funds – or the time – to do a weekend long conference then they do a great deal on just the Thursday event that gives a wonderful amount of information.

So I’m planning on doing these two:

  • Morning Option – Author 101 – The description for it is “You’re writing a book. Congratulations! But with this ever-changing industry, you need a primer to the process. Enter Angel Smits and Bob Spiller. These established local authors can guide you through industry terminology, critique groups, the process of querying, the editor/author relationship, and of course the daunting divide between indie and traditional publishing.” – I decided to devote my Thursday to being an author. Learning about what it truly means to be a part of the writing community and attempting to get published. So I decided to start here.
  • Afternoon Option — Queries With Claws – The description: “Agents and editors see thousands of queries a year. The query letter has the power to determine if your manuscript will get read or even published. Andrea Somberg, a literary agent with Harvey Klinger, Inc, will show you how to write the perfect query letter and leave agents and editors eager to read more.” – I need to learn how to write a query letter. I figure an intensive day of talking it through would be extremely beneficial. I plan to rewrite the very rough one I have right now. That way, maybe, after conference I can really start this querying business.

Like I said in my little aside at the beginning, things switched around when I was pre-writing this out. I originally wanted to do the Editing workshop but decided against it. See below for why.

So, those are the two that I’m doing. Here are the ones I chose not to do:

  • The Two Parter – Life After Death – Part one is described as “Hunting ghosts or talking to spirits sounds like a day at the beach, right? Not so fast! Meet these professional ghost hunters and mediums who are eager to talk about the technology, the science and the skills behind the work they do. Get the skinny on haunting, spirit readings, ghost myths and misconceptions.” Part two is described as “We live. And then we die. But what happens next? Funeral director Jim Snell has all the facts on the physical: embalming, interment, cremation, everything related to the body. And our group of religious experts will present their faiths on spiritual matters, heaven and hell, reincarnation, and the destination of the soul.” – Why am I not doing this one: I have no interest in it? I mean the first part sounds somewhat interesting, but nothing I’d want to spend the whole morning on. A shorter workshop? Maybe if I didn’t have something else I wanted to do. The second part? Would have no basis in my world. I’m Atheist and my non-belief might have an interesting point here, but this seems to be advertised as something based on the religious beliefs of afterlife.
  • Morning Option – Reading Like An Editor – Here’s what the brochure says about the workshop: “Freelance editor Bree Ervin provides a hands-on workshop that will walk attendees through the self-editing process. Get equipped with the tools, the questions, and the discipline you need to take your rough draft from brain dump to polished manuscript.” — Why, in the end, I chose not to go with this option: I apparently LOVE editing workshops. Going back through my previous workshops, I almost always pick them. Why? Because I dislike editing. I don’t feel like I know enough and most of the time I struggle through it. I was going to use this time to get assistance in editing my first two chapters since it told us to bring up to 10 double spaced pages. I decided that I know plenty and can get that editing done myself. I might see if I can connect with someone who goes to this one and see if there is anything that is interesting though.
  • Morning Option – Blueprint for Building a Dream – The description is “Do you want to turn your life’s passion into a writing reality? Then you need to know your foundation, how to write what you know. You need a blueprint for breaking into freelance writing. You need to construct a solid proposal or query. And you definitely need this workshop by multi-published nonfiction author JL Fields to help you build your writing dreams.” – As much as I would love to get more into the freelance world of things, I felt there was other things I needed to focus on first.
  • Afternoon Option – The Resonance of Writing – The description is “Can’t find your literary voice? Tripped up on tone? Let Trai Cartwright refine your notions of genre, tone, and voice, and then learn how to intertwine these elements to build the core theme of your book and enthrall readers.” Why I didn’t choose this one: Well, like I said, I wanted Thursday to be more focused on the “what happens next” aspect, as well as the stuff behind being an author, that way I can devote the rest of the time to craft itself. Though I did enjoy a previous workshop by Trai, so I may try to catch another of her workshops that weekend.
  • Afternoon option – Romantic Fiction Bootcamp – So the description is “The romance genre is sizzling hot – there is no other genre more lucrative or enduring. From emotional story arcs, tropes, cliches, publishing options, and even love scenes that won’t make you cringe – Barbara Samuel’s boot camp will explore everything and seduce you into the world of Romantic Fiction.” Why I chose not to go to this one: Well, I don’t currently write romantic fiction and I really don’t have any plans to right now. Though there are romantic elements to the stories I do write, I don’t focus on those elements. Plus, again, I’m not trying to focus on craft on Thursday.

So, that is what I’ll be up to on Thursday – and what I won’t be up to. If you’re going to be in the Springs for the conference this year, I hope you enjoy yourself at what ever you pick for your options. Otherwise, I hope to have a recap of my adventures during that weekend.


A Whisper In The Ear

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