February 27: Keir Graff
Behind the Book Reviews/Life is Tweet:
Social Media Dos and Don'ts
In this two-part program, Keir will speak to authors primarily from his perspective as the editor of Booklist Online. In part one, he will share the inner workings of the review journal Booklist, charting the life cycle of a book review and explaining why books do and don't get reviewed. In part two, he will talk about the ways authors should—and shouldn't—use social media, while answering the question, "Does social media sell books?"
A recent story, "Women & Horses" can be read online at the Baltimore Review: baltimorereview.org/index.php/winter_2013.com.
Members only may send manuscripts for critique before February 11 to: firstname.lastname@example.org with OCWW Graff MS in the subject line.
March 6: Michele Weber Hurwitz
Query Letters, Unplugged
Michele's talk will cover everything you always wanted to know about query letters. What works? What doesn't? When can you take a risk, and when is it better to play it safe? We will dissect good and not-so-good query letters. Bring one of your own if you dare! We will also write a query letter for a work-in-progress.
Michele Weber Hurwitz is delighted to return as an OCWW presenter. She is the author of the middle grade novel Callie Be Gold, which is nominated for a 2014 Bluestern Award (Illinois children's choice award). Her second novel, for ages 10 and up, The Summer I Saved the World…in 65 Days, will be published in April 2014. She lives in Buffalo Grove with her CPA husband and three children. She blogs regularly for From the Mixed-up Files… blog. Visit Michele at micheleweberhurwitz.com.
Submit query letters to Michele by February 20 via: email@example.com.
March 13: Tina Schwartz
How to Catch an Agent's Eye AND Imagination!
From query letters to one-on-one, face-to-face pitch sessions, what is it that the agent wants, anyway? Find out when author-turned-agent Tina P. Schwartz shares her likes and dislikes when hearing or seeing presentations. Learn the ins and outs of what editors, publishers AND assistants are looking for!
The Purcell Agency started in July 2012 after author Tina P. Schwartz spent twelve years writing and marketing her work, along with helping several others get published. After a career in radio sales and marketing, she turned to her true passion—selling manuscripts. And the rest, as they say, is history. Since her last visit to OCWW, Tina has signed three members from the group and sold one of their manuscripts…so far! She hopes to find more clients here again this year. Visit Tina at: ThePurcellAgency.com.
Tina will accept manuscripts until February 27 via: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your address, email, and phone number on your submission.
March 20: Beatriz Badikian-Gartler
The scene is the fundamental building block of any creative writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. Readers like to read scenes where something happens, scenes that move the action forward, that may include dialogue where characters come to life. Yet, writing scenes continues to be a struggle for many writers. In this program we will learn what a scene is and is not, how to recognize scenes in our writing and how to write a scene.
Beatriz Badikian-Gartler was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has lived in the Chicago area for more than 40 years. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has taught at various institutions of higher learning, including Northwestern, Loyola, and Roosevelt Universities. Her essays, poems, and stories have been published in numerous journals, anthologies, and newspapers in the United States and abroad. She is an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar and a frequent Newberry Library instructor.
Her second full-length collection, Mapmaker Revisited: New and Selected Poems, was published in 1999 from Gladsome Books in Chicago. Her first novel, Old Gloves—a 20th Century Saga, was published in 2005 by Fractal Edge Press in Chicago. See Beatriz's website at: bbgartler.com and visit her blog at Gartler Writing Studio.
Beatriz is no longer accepting manuscripts.
(Ed. note: Derek Sherman, originally scheduled for this date, has agreed to speak to OCWW in the fall.)
March 27: Jane Hertenstein
Writing Your Memoir, Scene by Scene
We all have fantasized at one time or another about what famous celebrity will play us in the movie of our life. With this seminar, Jane Hertzenstein will help you isolate significant life moments and translate them into scenes. Some issues she will explore are: working with composite characters, streamlining events, creating creative non-fiction and finding the arc in your story. Life is made up of a number of episodes.
Jane Hertzenstein's current obsession is flash. She is the author of over 40 published stories, a combination of fiction, creative non-fiction and blurred genre both micro and macro. In addition, she has published a YA novel, Beyond Paradise, and a non-fiction project, Orphan Girl: The Memoir of a Chicago Bag Lady, which garnered national reviews. She is a two-time recipient of a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Hunger Mountain, Rosebud, Word Riot, Flashquake, Fiction Fix, Frostwriting and several themed anthologies. She can be found at: memoirouswrite.blogspot.com. Her latest book is Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir.
Send manuscripts to Jane by March 17 via: email@example.com.
April 3: Laurie Lawlor
Finding the Narrative Voice: Creating the Young Adult Novel
Laurie will lecture on how to create believable fictional characters in young adult novels—one of the hottest genres being published today. This workshop will investigate tips on how to develop intriguing, well-rounded, memorable characters. We will also discuss revision strategies designed to help you let your book be all it can be.
Since 1986, Laurie Lawlor has written and published more than 37 award-winning books of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. She is the 2010 recipient of the Prairie State Award for Excellence in Writing for Children presented by the Illinois Reading Council. Her newest book, Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World (Holiday House), celebrates the life and work of environmentalist Rachel Carson, whose path-breaking Silent Spring recently turned fifty.
Muddy as a Duck Puddle Real American Similes, a full-color picture book, provides a humorous look at figures of speech. Shadow Catcher: The Life and Work of Edward S. Curtis, won both the Carl Sandburg Award, and the Golden Kite Honor Book Award. This Tender Place: The Story of a Wetland Year, a natural history memoir, was selected for outstanding achievement by the Wisconsin Library Association Literary Awards Committee. Young adult historical novels, published in 2006, include The Two Loves of Will Shakespeare and He Will Go Fearless. Visit Laurie at: laurielawlor.com.
Send manuscripts to Laurie by March 15 via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 10 and 17: Christine Swanberg
April 10: The Shape a Poem Makes
Christine will read selections from her work, then open the discussion of shaping and sculpting poems to enhance the effect. Bring a poem to reshape or start a new one during the writing segment of this session. A question-and-answer period will be incorporated into the workshop as time permits.
April 17: What Prompts You?
Christine will provide prompts for writing both prose and poetry. Participants will write 'fast and furious' during the workshop to get a jumpstart on possible pieces for further development. Part of the workshop will include using imagery and similes to enhance memoir, fiction, description, and poetry.
Christine Swanberg's books of poetry include The Alleluia Tree (Puddin'head Press), Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity (Wind), The Red Lacquer Room (Chiron Press), The Tenderness of Memory (Plainview), Slow Miracle (Lake Shore), Invisible String (Erie St.), and Tonight on This Late Road (Erie St.).
Over the past four decades, hundreds of Christine's poems have appeared in journals such as The Beloit Poetry Journal, Spoon River, Rhino, Wisconsin Review, Minotaur and many others. Awards include the Mayor's Award for Community Impact, the YWCA Leader Award for the Arts, The Womanspirit award from Womanspace, as well as many literary awards including the Northern Illinois University Award for Fiction. A full-length interview appears in Poet's Market 2008.
Christine has judged many contests, mentored many writers and served on numerous editorial boards, Most recently, she has given readings for Tacoma Distinguished Writers, In Print, and Jane's Stories Foundation. Recent essays have appeared in Women on Poetry. Visit Christine at: windpub.com/authors/swanberg.htm.
Send poems to Christine by April 3 via: email@example.com.
April 24: Bob Boone
Starting Up With Moe
After talking a bit about his work with young writers from the city, Bob will ask participants to respond to one of the prompts from his book Moe's Cafe. After the break, we will share the responses and discuss how this approach can be useful.
Bob has been a teacher for 50 years, and is also the author of Forest High, and Inside Job: A Life of Teaching, which The Chicago Tribune has called a "charming, passionate and wonderfully written book."
Bob is not accepting manuscripts.
May 1, 2014:
Editors' Day or Special Event
Speaker email addresses and manuscript submission details are not displayed on this site.
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