Writing Makes Sense – Enriching Your Writing Experience – with Anthony De Sa

Even proficient writers occasionally get caught in a creative funk. Are you looking to make your writing come to life when your muse has abandoned you? This master class will give you techniques to tap into your sensory experiences and make your writing richer, more meaningful. Other techniques explored will get you writing with depth and clarity. You may just find yourself on an explosive springboard to more creative work than you ever thought imaginable. Note: Please bring a small object to this workshop that holds some special meaning to you.




A Thematic Approach to Science Fiction – with Robert J. Sawyer

Science fiction is often called “the literature of ideas,” and with good reason: the fresh central idea is often the defining characteristic of a science-fiction novel. Join bestselling author Robert J. Sawyer for a discussion of how to come up with and develop a high concept for your own science-fiction or TV series by finding the theme that will give rise to your plot and characters, and enthrall your audience.


Talking (your) Books – with Craig Pyette, Senior Editor, Random House

In this workshop, an experienced in-house editor will explore the best ways to talk about your writing so editors, agents and others will listen. You’ll undertake exercises in refining the quick pitch, identifying your potential readership and knowing how much talk about your book is enough—and how much is too much. And since it’s hard to talk about pitching your writing without actually talking about your writing, he’ll also share some thoughts on how to put your best work forward.


How to Land an Agent – with Carly Watters, P.S. Literary Agency

Many writers think getting a literary agent is the hardest thing they’ll have to do as a writer. They think agents are looking to turn away writers, when actually many agents are actively looking to sign up new talent. How do you find these agents that have open doors?

Literary Agent Carly Watters works with many debut writers she’s pulled from the slush pile who have become successful multi-published authors. She’ll share the industry expectations of debut writers, how to find agents that are actively looking for new writers, and what questions to ask to make sure you find the right agent for you.

Learn what agents are being told by the industry and how that shapes the debut projects they sign, why you need an agent, and where to find agents that represent what you write. Do you want know how to hook an agent? Carly will make sure you’re fishing in the right pond.




Letting Go – with Anthony De Sa

The most common question writers get asked is how much of what they have written is really about themselves. It’s a frustrating proposition, but there may be more truth to the question than the writer is willing to admit. In this workshop, celebrated author Anthony De Sa explores and shares with the audience the intricacies of “letting go.” Learn how truth becomes the kernel for great fiction.

Adaptation:  Turning your Novel into a Script and Vice-Versa – with Robert J. Sawyer

Learn how to transfer your core ideas from one medium to the other — not just expanding and contracting but completely re-imagining a work to best use its strengths in a new form.  Rob is past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and a member of the scriptwriting unions Writers Guild of Canada and Writers Guild of America.  The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his Aurora Award-winning novel of the same name, and he was one of the scriptwriters for that series.  He’s currently writing a commissioned screenplay adaptation of his bestselling novel Triggers, and his 23rd novel, Quantum Night, started as an adaptation of a TV pilot script he wrote.


Publicity Perils, Perks & Pitches – with Ashley Dunn,  Random House of Canada

Random House Publicity Manager Ashley Dunn will use examples of marketing hits and misses to shed light on the publicity process and what you can do to help make your book stand out in today’s highly competitive market.  Ashley will also share guidelines and insider techniques on how to write effective pitches for media.