I am pleased to welcome Sebelle Stone today with some advice on writing conferences. Be sure to check out her contest below!
As the person who schedules writing workshops and author events for one of the busiest libraries in the country, I understand what it takes to create a successful program. And I can often recognize within a few minutes if what I’m seeing was worth the time and effort it took to schedule and publicize the program.
The trick with a writing presentation is to somehow make a lot of information easily understood and clear to an audience that might hold a wide spectrum of writers. You will have newbies, eagerly clutching their pens and taking copious notes of everything you say. They are your true believers. Then you’ll have folks a bit further along in the writing process who might have learned the hard way that you always need to keep learning new ideas and techniques, but you need to choose what’s most useful. Finally, you’ll have a few pros, the ones who have submitted, been rejected and might even have crossed into the magical realm of PUBLISHED. They’re the “show me” kids.
Begin with a decription that is short and sweet.Create a spiffy but concise title with a short paragraph of description that will convey the content of a one to two, (sometimes up to four hour) workshop. Oh, and can you make it really compelling so all the writers in the county will want to attend? Good!
How do you do it well?
- Know exactly what the tone of your workshop will be from the beginning: serious, funny, or irreverent, it should be apparent in the title and description
- Know the main audience you’re targeting and try to convey that in the description
- How are you going to break down the time? Lecture, reading from your work, writing exercises?
- What format are you going to use? Lecture, Powerpoint slides, an easel with audience participation or handouts with review?
- What equipment do you need for your presentation? And don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Many libraries and conference centers can arrange for LCD projectors, white boards, easels, etc.
- Just in case though, be prepared to go to Plan B, with another presentation method in case the requested equipment isn’t available
- Understand your topic thoroughly, and if this is the first time you’re talking about it, practice and rehearse several times
- Always leave time at the end of the presentation for questions and answers
Remember the purpose of the presentation, which should be part of constructing your author platform. You need to build name recognition. Being able to present programs is another way to generate publicity, create buzz and in some instances, it can lead to a source of income. But, it requires more than “talking about how I published a book” – because writers are a savvy group. And if you want to impress them, you need to do your homework.
Sibelle Stone is the pen name for Deborah Schneider , who has presented programs in libraries and at conferences for organizations such as: the American Library Association, Romance Writers of America, Pacific Northwest Writers, Romantic Times and Emerald City Romance Writers. Her most recent release is Whistle Down the Wind.
Genre: Historical romance with paranormal elements
Publisher: Moon Valley Publishing
Page count: 360
Escaping from the persecution of the European witch hunts, a beautiful witch with the power to control the wind joins forces with a handsome Cavalier on a mission to save the King of England and the colony of Virginia.
Catlin Glyndwr is a tenth generation Mistress of Elements — a hereditary witch who can call upon her elemental spirits for assistance in casting spells.
Accused of witchcraft in seventeenth century England, she faces the hangman. Even though she took a vow never to hurt anyone with her magic, if her true powers are revealed, she’ll be executed.
Sir Griffin Reynolds is on his way to the colony of Virginia, on a secret mission to locate Puritan rebels intent upon seizing the throne of King Charles II. When his best friend becomes deathly ill while interrogating a beautiful Welsh maiden accused of using magic to attack a local official – Griffin is forced to strike a bargain with her in order to save his friend’s life.
When Catlin and Griffin travel together on a voyage to the American colonies, they try to resist the pull of erotic sensuality that flares between them. It is a temptation they both soon crave. But danger lurks aboard ship and evil haunts Catlin. She must learn how her destiny is linked with that of the man who has vowed to protect her.
In a dangerous and unexplored world, where superstition exists along side the new discoveries of science, powerful elemental spirits are capable of assisting the magical adepts. But there is always danger in harnessing magic and a price to pay when one calls to the spirit world for help.
While Griffin tries to deny his attraction to Catlin, she works her own special magic on his heart and he discovers he cannot resist falling under her sensual spell.
Together, Catlin and Griffin learn that a journey of the heart requires courage, trust and the ability to believe in the astonishing gift of love.
Tagline: A beautiful witch discovers there’s more then one way to be wicked!
Whistle Down the Wind
By Sibelle Stone
Escaping from the persecution of the European witch hunts, a powerful witch with the ability to control the wind joins forces with a handsome Cavalier on a mission to save the King of England and the colony of Virginia while a dangerous stranger hunts them both. Book One: Mystic Moon Series.
Sibelle Stone is the pseudonym for award winning historical romance author Deborah Schneider. Sibelle writes sexy steampunk and paranormal stories, filled with magic, mad scientists, dirigibles, automatons, and creatures that would scare the panties off Deborah. In her spare time Sibelle enjoys dressing up in Victorian ensembles, modding play guns into something that looks a bit more sinister and wearing hats.
Author Bio: Deborah Schneider
A lifelong love of American history led Deborah Schneider from teaching high school to writing novels. Her first book, Beneath A Silver Moon won the Molly award for “Most Unsinkable Heroine” from the Heart of Denver chapter of RWA and was later a finalist in the New Historical Voice Contest in 2000. Her most recent release Promise Me won the 2011 EPIC Award for Best Western Romance. Her first steampunk story, No Ordinary Love was published in fall 2011. Deborah is employed by the busiest and best library system in the U.S. She’s received the “Open Book Award” from Pacific Northwest Writers and was named “Librarian of the Year” by Romance Writers of America in 2009.
Sibelle is giving away a copy of Beneath a Silver Moon -winner’s choice of format -either a free Ebook or a print copy- and a One $10 Starbucks Gift Card open to US Shipping. Please leave Sibelle a comment with your email address for a chance to win!