The current schedule is under construction and will be updated soon with new offerings.
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Friday, November 5, 2021
12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Opening session will be held beginning at 12:30 in Willow Ballroom A & B.
Registration desk, with badges, bags, etc. will be found in the hallway outside the Willow Ballrooms A and B.
1:00 – 1:50 p.m.
Breakout Session 1
Once upon a time I wrote three books a year. Every year. Then life took a big painful bite of me, chewed me up, and spit me out (as it seems to want to do to all of us.) When I quit hurting enough to look around, I realized I wasn’t writing anymore. It was a different kind of pain. I kept telling myself, “I’ll start tomorrow,” but guess what? TOMORROW NEVER CAME!
Then I went to the 2019 Kanab Conference, where I was inspired to get serious about writing again. I set a goal to write for at least an hour a day, and this is what happened…
Am I a plotter? Am I a Panser? Am I actually in between a… a… Planster? Is discovery writing for me or should I become a writer who plans my books? Come discover what kind of writer you are and why knowing this can become a valuable tool in your writer’s tool belt. Through personal experience, examples and a quiz, I hope to help you discover what kind of writer you are. I will give you the tools you need to help you make the special way you write your own superpower.
2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
Breakout Session 2
“Gather ‘round while I sing of the Great Hero’s journey, The archetype of story and play.”
In his book, “The Hero of a Thousand Faces,” Joseph Campbell explores the ideas common to many world mythologies. This workshop introduces the storytelling gold uncovered by Campbell’s research. We will discuss how character archetypes and story elements common to all times and cultures can apply to you and your story, no matter what type of fiction you write. There may also be a sing-along.
We love reading a book that leaves its imprint on our souls. We cry, we laugh, we fear, we fall in love. What causes a reader to bond with a story? Emotional resonance.
If you’ve ever wanted to make your readers either praise or curse your name—then immediately hop online to look for your next book—come to this class to discover how to craft emotional resonance that will capture your readers’ hearts.
It’s never been easier to self-publish. But it’s not a trivial undertaking, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the weeds and overwhelmed, and it’s never been more important to do it right. So let’s start out on the right foot!
Learn the 3 ways to publish, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and which is the best fit for you.
Learn the 3 basic ways of self-publishing (plus a couple more) where you can get your content out there and how to determine which way(s) are best for you.
Finally, learn the 3 most important things you must determine before you even begin. (Everything else you do hinges on these)
We’ve been publishing (all 3 ways) for many years. Come and learn from our experience! See you there!
Why is the idea of a three-foot-long bronze sword wielded by an eleven-year-old laughable? Do you know the difference between a long sword and a great sword? A saber and a rapier? How about the difference between a thrusting spear, a throwing spear, and a hewing spear? How hard is it to swing a war hammer or a mace? This is a HANDS-ON presentation of various types of swords, axes, spears, and other weapons and armor, ranging from the Bronze Age to the early 20th Century, from copper to bronze to high-carbon steel. Participants will have the opportunity to handle and heft actual weapons, don armor, and learn how such items were employed.
Critique groups can be intimidating and tear-inducing. While getting extra eyes on your writing is always a great idea, the object of a critique group is to see what’s “wrong” with your work. Ouch! In this class, we’ll talk about the RIGHT and WRONG ways to start/run a critique group, how to offer constructive feedback, and make sure that rather than tears, group members come away empowered and excited to keep writing.
2:50 – 3:10 p.m.
3:10 – 4:00 p.m.
Breakout Session 3
Lots of people swear by it—some people swear against it. Why not find out for yourself what this “Save the Cat” business is all about?
Ali Cross is an Expert Cat with a nod from Blake Snyder’s team to teach you everything you need to know to get started outlining the best novel you’ve ever written—with the help of the Save the Cat Beat Sheet.
In this workshop, you’ll learn how to take a shiny new idea to ready-to-write novel outline. You’ll learn what each of the beats mean, how they impact your novel and your reader, and you’ll learn how to repeat the process over and over again.
Ralph Waldo Emerson taught that the natural world around us is a language of its own. In his essay, “Nature,” he explained “The use of the outer creation is to give us language for the beings and changes of the inward creation.” We don’t often think of the setting of our stories as speaking, but what if we treated it like a dialogue with the reader? In this class we will explore how we can use our setting to tell part of our story without overwhelming the reader with unimportant details. With a specific focus on the natural environment, this class will dive deep into the power of setting.
When selling your book to a potential reader, an agent or a publisher your pitch can make or break you. Learn the easiest way to do a synopsis and how it can help you create your pitch. Learn the secrets that help your pitch be more effective and how to be comfortable talking to the people you want to read your book.
Tales from a Cult Insider is the hit podcast by Jared Garrett, who grew up in a Scientology splinter cult and now tells true stories about that life. The cult evolved over thirty years and finally dropped all religion and became Best Friends Animal Society. This will be the final episode of this podcast series, so join in and help it go out with a bang! A Q&A will follow, as well as a primer on doing your own podcast.
Whether your novel is a romance or contains a love story as a subplot, the moment the couple kisses is a defining moment in their relationship. Learn the steps that lay the groundwork of a naturally building and compelling attachment. Already have a romance that’s just missing that little something? Learn the mechanics that fix the flaws that can make the romance unbelievable or unsatisfying. It’s all about how the characters earn that first kiss.
4:10 – 5:00 p.m.
Breakout Session 4
Writing is a work of love, and when it comes to revision, it can be hard to know what to cut and what to keep. Especially when we love, love, love what we’ve written. This presentation goes through four types of Darlings (words, phrases, characters, and scene), and how to look at them objectively to know better what to cut and what to keep.
Adding a dash of color and a pinch of smell can transform your story from a $1 value meal burger into a filet mignon worthy of the Iron Chef. In this class, we discuss how to sprinkle your story with sensory seasoning, taking your writing to the next level. You are the master chef of your story and using sensory detail the right way will not only help satisfy your readers, but keep them coming back for more.
As with any seasoning, too much can ruin your meal instead of enhancing it. But adding just the right amount of color, smell, taste, sound, and touch, can make all the difference.
Do you ever feel guilt about not writing? Or maybe even when you’ve written, you feel guilty about not getting the number of words down you’d hoped to? Maybe you even feel disappointed with the quality of those words?
If you are one of the many writers whose creativity suffers due to the guilt monster tapping you on the shoulder, come to this class and learn how to change your writing mindset and kick that guilt monster in the face.
Rebecca stumbled across this technique when she was trying to figure out a way to write while coexisting with depression and anxiety. She shared her discovery with others who have found results by using the same technique, and she’s excited to share it with you.
Have you ever thought, “You know, I think I need some loyal followers?” Have you tried Twitter? If Twitter wasn’t enough for you, you might want to start a cult. In this class, former unwilling cultist Jared Garrett will briefly walk you though the story of the cult he grew up in, followed by a discussion about what a cult really is. This is a subject-matter heavy class for those interested in adding authentic does of narcissism, cult-like groups, and fanaticism to your work.
We will examine some of the reasons people get hung up while writing and will suggest thought processes and writing activities to make writing easier and more productive. Be prepared to challenge some of your beliefs about writing.
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Willow Ballroom A & B
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Community Event & Book Signing
Join us for a discussion about the John Wesley Powell expeditions and the contributions of the Paiute tribes to his journeys. The community and Paiute tribes have been invited to attend. Consultation sessions with Eschler editing will be available, as well as retreat and social activities.
Saturday, November 6, 2021
8:30 – 9:20 a.m.
Saturday Keynote Session
Registration desk, with badges, bags, etc. will be found in the hallway outside the Willow Ballrooms A and B.
9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Breakout Session 5
Want to keep readers engaged? Then consider creating conflict between your characters that runs so deep, it seems impossible to resolve. The kind that starts out as a lovey-dovey conversation between newlyweds on which dishes to use at their housewarming party, and ends with porcelain shards and a shattered marriage. But how do we create that deep conflict? And how do we resolve it, if we wish? By playing around with judgment, values, and gremlins. I hope my experience as a life coach offers a fresh perspective on this topic—if you don’t agree, let’s duke it out in class.
Have you ever said, “I don’t have time to market my books?” As a busy mother of eight children, Julie Coulter Bellon was trying to balance family, writing, and getting her books in front of the right audience. Some days it seemed impossible until she developed a system of marketing that harnesses the power of just fifteen minutes. Through proven patterns that have increased her visibility and sales, Julie will teach you her system of fifteen minute marketing techniques and tools that any author—from beginner to advanced—can add to their marketing toolbox.
In recent years, biographical novels have increased in popularity. This genre reaches beyond the dates, names, places, etc. found in nonfiction biographies, weaving story with imagination in order to more fully explore the life and times of individuals in history. This class will draw upon examples from various biographical novels to study how authors go about constructing a compelling story. We will also discuss the challenge of filling in the gaps in the history and the use and value of historical notes for the reader. We will also explore the value of this genre: that in writing or reading about real people, we can find meaning and perspective for our own present.
Creating memorable characters can seem very daunting. So how do you create characters that really resonate with your readers? In this class we will learn to use psychological concepts to create amazing protagonists, evil antagonists, and wonderful supporting characters that are real to your reader. We will examine cause and effect in character development, how psychological challenges enhance your character’s believably, and language to convey their emotional evolution. Using these concepts will help your characters to resonate with your readers and your readers to connect with your characters.
There are many great plot tools to help you decide what should happen, but how do you know when they should happen? Four part pacing divides your story into four distinct parts to make sure events at the optimal time to pull the reader through your book. We examine all of the main aspects or story, what elements need to happen when, using this tool to create a basic outline, and how all of the pieces fit together.
10:30 – 11:20 a.m.
Breakout Session 6
Heroes and Villains are two different sides of the same coin. One can’t operate without the other. This workshop discusses how to create a great villain using literary archetypes and shares examples from literature, film and TV.
We go over how most writing contests are set up and how the writer can increase their possibility of placing within the top three of most contests. It turns out the things you do for writing contests are some of the same things you would use to snag an agent or receive a publishing contract. The class will learn which contests to avoid and which types boost your career. Winning is motivational; this class will raise your percentages of achieving your goals.
“In order to have self-expression, we must first have a Self to express.” (Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way”)
2020 marks Raven’s sixteenth anniversary of stream of consciousness writing every morning. What started out as a writing assignment has transmuted into a non-negotiable spiritual practice that has become a way of life. In this class, Raven hopes to inspire participants to deepen their journey by beginning their own Morning Pages. Prompts will be given, with opportunities to both read and witness. Please come prepared to sit in Circle and bring old fashioned pen and paper!
You care about writing diversely. You know how important it is to have accurate representation in your stories. You want to include characters whose experience is outside of yours. But can a white, cis, or able-bodied author write diverse characters? Salt & Sage Books gives a resounding yes! Not only can you write diverse characters, but you ought to! It’s easy to find examples of writing gone wrong, but where do you start to get it right? Join us for a live discussion with several sensitivity readers discussing how to help authors succeed in the critical work of writing diversely.
Description coming soon
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Willow Ballroom A & B.
Winners of contests and other announcements will be made.
1:00 – 1:50 p.m.
Breakout Session 7
Creating a setting that immerses your reader means more than just deciding where the mountains, rivers, and streets are. Culture and community make settings more than mere landscapes, and everyday, informal folklore is one of the best ways to let that culture invite your reader in and immerse them, whether your setting is in the real world or a faraway galaxy.
Do you ever feel so discouraged you want to give up? You doubt yourself and wonder whether you’re good enough or whether it’s even worth the effort anymore? We’ve all been there. The key to a successful writer’s life is not just managing discouragement, but implementing a framework that enables you to take control of the saboteurs that keep trying to derail you so you can reignite self-confidence and creativity, re-find joy in your craft, and accelerate creativity. In this workshop I’ll teach you how to build your own Success Staircase, a proven method to change habits and achieve goals by implementing simple daily steps, exercising faith, and developing a positive mindset.
Short stories often get the overlooked by the aspiring writer, who may believe that novels are the only path to success. However, learning how to master short fiction can not only help you write better, more tightly plotted novels, but it can also help you find new readers — especially in the thriving science fiction/fantasy/horror market. This session goes over the basics of why write short fiction, how to apply what you learn writing short to writing long, and where to sell your short story when you’ve finished it.
Many writers create detailed outlines, character descriptions, and plot development for a novel before writing a word. Others prefer to start with a general idea and direction, and let all that stuff happen as the story unfolds and characters reveal themselves. While writing without a plan can result in a successful novel, there can be challenges in maintaining continuity and consistency in plot elements and details. This presentation shows methods for keeping track of those things—in effect, outlining in reverse, sort of. Writers will come away with helpful means of keeping the story on solid ground as they wing it.
Join our special guests, agents, editors, and others invited panel members as they answer your questions in a small classroom setting.
2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
Breakout Session 8
Do you have a manuscript that just doesn’t fit into the traditional publishing mold? Don’t worry. You have options.
This workshop will compare and contrast self-publishing against small press publishing. We’ll begin by identifying individual publishing goals and how those goals can be best accomplished. Bring your questions. This class will be dynamic and interactive.
See Michael’s Bio
This class offers attendees an introduction to mystery writing and includes topics such as (1) understanding and choosing your mystery subgenre, (2) shaping your plot idea, and (3) using a writing process (planning – writing – revising).
Have you ever thought about how food influences the world? Or the part it might play in your story?
Sink your teeth into a smorgasbord exploration of the power and influence food has on culture, trade, religion, politics, and even relationships (e.g. romance). We’ll look at a few examples while discussing how a thoughtful inclusion of food can add a nuanced layer to delight both the senses and emotions of your readers.
You always hear, “Write what you know.” But every writer, whether writing fiction or nonfiction, finds gaps in knowledge needed to tell a story. Understanding the times and places your story is set, the people and events surrounding your characters, and the details and intricacies of how things get done add realism to a story. Get it wrong, and informed readers will notice and close the book. Get it right, and they will keep turning pages.
3:00 – 3:50 p.m.
Breakout Session 9
“Everybody imitates before they can innovate,” says bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert. In this fun, hands-on class, you’ll learn how every writer grows from poseur to professional and how imitating the style of established authors will help you to master cadence, pattern and voice in your own writing.
See Cindy’s Bio
Learn how to: Create Your Platform, Market, Contact, Schedule, Create Your Presentation and Sell Your Books at Schools and Events.
Have you published a book, either traditionally or indie and asked yourself, “Now what? How do I promote and sell my book?” This class will show you a successful PR/Marketing plan and help get your creative juices flowing to map out your own journey to successful book sales.
You’ve always dreamed of captivating children and their parents during those precious bedtime moments, but your words are only one half of the equation. Picture books are only as good as…well, the pictures.
In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to pinpoint the style of illustrations that will fit the mood of your book and where to go to find an illustrator who can create that mood. From contract negotiation to communicating expectations and creative relationship management, we’ve got you covered.
Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago the four elements were fundamental to writing teams of characters. None of that changed when science discovered the atom.
In this workshop, we’ll use the four element ensemble and related tropes to show how Cast Calculus can be used to create complementary, well-balanced groups. We’ll draw from obvious, literal examples like the Last Airbender and the Fantastic 4, as well as more nuanced casts from such varied sources as Seinfeld, Friends, and the Golden Girls.
Do people love the way you write? Do they connect with how it sounds? Writing with an authentic voice—your voice—and training it to work in a way that engages your audience is one of the most important skills you can develop as a writer. In this class you’ll learn how to train your authentic voice to captivate readers.
4:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Willow Ballroom A & B.
Following the closing session the conference will be adjourned until 2021.