Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Note: Here's the BEST WRITERS' CONFERENCE ever!!!

From the Southern California Writers Conference * San Diego:

Latest News as of 1/13/09 >> Print SD23 Brochure I Print SD23 Flyer>> View Proper Manuscript Format Sample I MSG on Writing a Synopsis>> JJ on "Pitch" Conferences
I MSG on Choosing the "Write" Conference>> Book your Crowne Plaza Hotel room
online here (use code SCW)

[ Note: Agents wanting to participate contact Michael Steven Gregory only if you're
accepting clients. There are plenty of other conferences that provide reps who have no
sincere intent of acquiring new clients with free weekends at nice hotels in desireable
locales. The SCWC is not one of them. ]


ADVANCE READERS STILL AVAILABLE: Your San Diego conference is now only four
weeks away and we're happy to report that several advance submission readers remain
open at this time and are willing to accept material until further notice. To ensure the
reader of your choice is still open, call or email SCWC Executive Director Michael Steven Gregory before selecting . . .

We're starting to fill up now so don't hesitate — register today!

ADVANCE SUBMISSION UPDATE, PLUS (1/8/09): Literary agent Jeff Moores, of
Dunow, Carlson & Lerner in New York, is ready for more submissions. While he's still
looking for stellar fiction, Jeff reports that he's especially interested in "all types of
nonfiction so long as they aren’t prescriptive books, craft books, etc. Narrative nonfiction, science, politics, etc. &mdash these are all good." Likewise, Literary Works powerhouse
agent Jacqueline Hackett is open to any and all commercial fiction and nonfiction . . .
Finally, author/workshop leader Michael Thompkins is making available the syllabus
to his Shrinking Fiction sessions, "Using Psychology to Write Great Characters 1 and 2."
Contact him directly to get your copy . . . Check back next week for another important

EARLY "BARD" DISCOUNT EXTENDED (1/2/09): With the arrival of our dutiful
director's special holiday gift — one Zachary Pearce Albers — it's only fitting that we
bestow a gift to every other SCWC writer, so we're extending the $50 discount off full
conference registration . . . At the moment all readers remain open for advance
submission critique, followed by one-on-one consultation. For those seeking an agent,
now is the time to put your pages forward and take your shot. Of particular note is a late addition to the roster, Jacqueline Hackett. In addition to commercial nonfiction, she's
really interested in fiction with a humorous/suspenseful plot and unique characters.

SCWC mascot Ben says, "Jolly Holly!"JOLLY HOLIDAY "MUSE" (12/22/08): In effort
to preserve a forest or two and keep the SCWC affordable, we're no longer mailing
hardcopy brochures via regular post. As always, however, the 4-page brochure is
available online,
enabling us to update information to it as need be. And don't forget, we also have the
printable 1 page flyer for distribution to all your writerly groups and friends . . .

Another staff addition comes in the form of author/editor Lynn Vannucci. For those
who were at LA6, you'll remember Lynn introduced us to Beat the Book, her exclusive
1-year-long disciplinary/editorial program. BTB puts into action an aspect of the SCWC's continuing success that most often sets us apart from other conferences, by extending
many of the vital relationships forged and expertise gleaned during the weekend event
well beyond its close in effort to get manuscripts into shape, properly represented and
ultimately published. For those isolated from an empirically qualified writing community,
or grappling with an inability to find the time to write, or not fully exploiting what time
you do find, we're going to slap Lynn with a workshop tailored specifically for you . . .

We're also pleased to announce that the
University of California San Diego Extension's Creative Writing Program will be offering
credit for certain workshops on the February schedule, for those interested. Specifics
will be posted here in January. . . . Rumor has it that two more SCWCers have landed
book deals. Am awaiting details, but rest assured that once we know, everybody will.
In the meanwhile, to you and all your other favorite writers, your family and friends,
the SCWC wishes the Jolliest Holly of all — Cheers!

LATEST "MUSE" (12/8/08): Filling out the special guest speaker slots, Sunday morning
we welcome novelist, nonfictionalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Caitlin Rother to the
SCWC. Her most recent is Twisted Triangle, which tells the torrid tale of a kidnapping,
an attempted murder and a love triangle involving two married FBI agents and none
other than bestselling crime novelist Patricia Cornwell — true story!

Sunday evening, author and Alluvium Books publisher Marie Etienne will discuss her
latest, another true story, Confessions of a Bi-Polar Mardi Gras Queen. Heartbreaking
and often hilarious, in it she explores the themes of love versus lust, the legacy of abuse
and mental illness, the impact of murder and suicide among her siblings and the
redemptive power of faith, forgiveness and courage . . .

Also aboard is Marla Miller, a SCWC favorite who returns with her ever-popular
"Pitch it to Me: Let's Fix Your Book Pitch!" troubleshooting workshop. Another San
Diego regular will not be back this year, unfortunately, due to a conflict. Yes, we know
it's criminal, but don't worry: Gordon Kirkland will no doubt return for a future
event . . .

Speaking of crime, The L.A. Times named its choices for top crime & mystery fiction
of 2008 yesterday. Citing our Friday evening special guest speaker's latest they said,
"Don Winslow drops pitch-perfect sentences to brilliant effect in The Dawn Patrol
(Alfred A. Knopf), recoding the traditional private-eye novel through a surfer
community lens." We could've told 'em that.

And for those of you following the Writing Crime track that's loosely woven into the
schedule, here's a pretty good primer in the form of a recent feature piece author
and periodic SCWCer Thomas Larson did for the San Diego Reader, called
"Intimate Murder: Women Kill the Ones They Love" . . .

Finally, advance submission readers will begin selling out soon as the conference
begins to fill up. If you haven't already, with the schedule now posted,
keynote speakers announced, workshop leaders & readers all listed (remember,
agents and editors typically sell out first), and a $50 discount off full
conference registration available, now perhaps more than any time before is the time
to invest in your writing career!

ONE OTHER SPEAKER (12/5/08): Hailing from Northumberland, England,
bestselling author Val McDermid brings her latest novel, Darker Domain
(Harper, Jan. 2009), to the SCWC. With 25 books and a hit TV series to her name,
the UK's Wire in the Blood, Val's work has been translated into 30 languages and
yet only now is finding the big time with this past April's break-out release, The Grave
Tattoo. A modern day thriller addressing a 200-year-old mystery — HMS Bounty
mutineer Fletcher Christian's apparent return to England — The New York Times
declared the book, "Exciting…wildly beautiful," while The Boston Globe concluded simply, "Extraordinary." From us to Val, Dinna droon the miller!

BUT WAIT — THERE'S MORE!: That fabulous femme (in the informal sense of the
word for all you purists) of finite fine fiction Julie Ann Shapiro returns with her
hands-on workshop, "Flash Fiction: The Ultra-Quick Story Market." Given that
we can no longer keep up with her ever-growing list of by-lines, let's just say that
if you want to write fast, write now and get published, she's your go-to gal . . .

Finally, the jacket art for another prolific author/SCWC workshop leader,
Frederick Ramsay, just came in for his upcoming book, Choker (Poisoned Pen,
June 2009). Wha'dya think? Exactly -- Excellent!

[Go to for workshop schedules and a lot more]


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