Schedule: 2020 Workshop


8:30 – 9:30: Check-in and registration at the event location. Check in and get comfortable.

There will be 3 classes/workshops going at all times during the day. Agent pitches and critique consultations overlap with the sessions below. The schedule of presentation topics below is subject to change, but here is the current layout:

BLOCK ONE: 9:30 – 10:30


BLOCK TWO: 10:45 – 11:50

1. Characters: The People of Your Story, taught by Bob Mayer. The most critical component of a novel is character. How do you go from flat two-dimensional characters to vibrant three-dimensional ones? Bestselling author Bob Mayer will discuss templates you need to develop characters as well as the concept of character arc and change. These include profiling, psychological frameworks, and the to show character arc and change.


LUNCH ON YOUR OWN: 11:50 – 1:15

Lunch is on your own during these 85 minutes. There are lots of options, including onsite restaurants, and nearby places to eat.

BLOCK THREE: 1:15 – 2:30

1. “Writers Got Talent”—a Page 1 Critique Fest (Grand Salon 1+2 combined), with participating literary agents and editors. In the vein of “American Idol” or “America’s Got Talent,” this is a chance to get your first page read (anonymously — no bylines given) with attending agents commenting on what was liked or not liked about the submission. Get expert feedback on your incredibly important first page, and know if your writing has what it needs to keep readers’ attention. (All attendees are welcome to bring pages to the event for this session, and we will choose pages at random for the workshop for as long as time lasts. All submissions should be novels or memoir—no prescriptive nonfiction or picture books, please. Do not send your pages in advance. You will bring printed copies with you, and instructions will be sent out approximately one week before the event.)

BLOCK FOUR: 2:45 – 3:45

1. Platform, Product & Promotion: Understand Your Unique Position as an Author, taught by Bob Mayer. A writer can easily be overwhelmed by all the well-meaning advice given by experts, industry professionals and even other authors. The reason for this is that every single writer is in a different place and has to figure out their position and point of view with which to boil down all the information into intelligence (useable information). If you consider these three variables, with a sliding scale from ‘none’ to ‘the best’, you end up with an infinite variety of authors. This course taught by bestselling author Bob Mayer will help authors make decisions, such as should whether to traditional publish or self-publish; what areas they should focus their creative and marketing efforts on; and much more.


BLOCK FIVE: 4:00 – 5:00



At 5 p.m., the day is done. Speakers will make themselves available by the workshop’s bookstore station for a short while to sign any books for attendees.