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Choose from a variety of hour-long sessions offered throughout the day. Our industry experts will talk on subjects that focus on Genre/Craft, Publishing and Marketing.

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You have the following choices on how to plan your day if you are interested in attending a mix of sessions and workshops.

1)      Attend one 2-hour workshop in the morning and two general sessions in the afternoon;

2)      Attend two general sessions in the morning and one 2-hour workshop in the afternoon; or

3)      Attend two workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and no general sessions.

Of course, you may decide not to attend any of the workshops and instead attend four general sessions throughout the day. Continue reading to discover all the opportunities to learn from the sessions:

10:10 - 11:10 a.m.
KENDALL HAVEN

Your Brain on Story: Findings from the Neuroscience of Story for Every Writer

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11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
IRIS DUNKLE

The Poet's Craft

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2:50 - 3:50 p.m.
TIM McCANNA

Picture Book Craft: Rhyming and Prose

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4 - 5 p.m.
ANNE JORDAN

Story Arcs

10:10 - 11:10 a.m.
HELEN SEDWICK

What You Don't Know May Hurt You

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11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
CATHARINE BRAMKAMP

Self(ie) Publishing

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2:50 - 3:50 p.m.
MICHAEL LARSEN

Deal Yourself a Royal Flush: Remove the Risk from Writing and Publishing

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4 - 5 p.m.
JORDAN ROSENFELD

How to Stay Persistent on the Road to Publication

10:10 - 11:10 a.m.
BETSY FASBINDER

Hybrid Presses and Partnership Publishing

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11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
PENNY SANSEVIERI

How to Sell More Books, Build Your Super Fans, and Sell More on Amazon

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2:50 - 3:50 p.m.
STEPHANIE CHANDLER

Build Your Online Book Marketing Plan

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4 - 5 p.m.
JUDY BAKER

Marketing is a Conversation: What Authors Need to Know to Sell More Books

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10:10 - 11:10 a.m.

Your Brain on Story: Findings from the Neuroscience of Story for Every Writer

The human brain has been evolutionarily hardwired to make sense, to understand, and to remember in specific story terms and through specific story structures. Kendall will present his findings from these first-ever detailed EEG studies of the human brain on story, and their practical implications for every writer. Why are humans drawn to stories? Why do we remember stories? What are the specific informational elements that the human brain automatically used to make sense of, and to create meaning from, incoming information? In this fascinating, practical, hands-on presentation, Kendall will answer these and other related story questions.

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KENDALL HAVEN

The only West Point graduate to turn professional storyteller, now a performing master storyteller and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University for story and communications research, Kendall Haven has, for more than 30 years, led the research effort for the National Storytelling Association and International Storytelling Center into effective story structure and into the process of story-based influence and persuasion.

An internationally recognized Subject Matter Expert on the cognitive and neuroscience of story, Haven helped create the study of the Neuroscience of Story, and created the first detailed, tested model of dynamic story architecture that accounts for the neurology of how narrative material is processed, understood, remembered, and recalled in a receiver’s mind. His two seminal works, Story Proof and Story Smart, have revolutionized our understanding of the neural and science aspects of effective story structure.

Haven serves as a story consultant to various governmental agencies as well as with numerous corporations, nonprofits, and educational organization. Haven has published 34 books of and on stories and storytelling and has won 20 major awards for his writing and performance storytelling.

Iris Jamahl Dunkle

IRIS DUNKLE

Iris Jamahl Dunkle is Poet Laureate of Sonoma County, CA. Interrupted Geographies, published by Trio House Press, is her third collection of poetry.  Her debut poetry collection, Gold Passage, was selected by Ross Gay to win the 2012 Trio Award. Her second collection, There’s a Ghost in this Machine of Air was published in 2015. Her work has been published in numerous publications including Fence, Calyx, Catamaran, Poet’s Market 2013, Women’s Studies and Chicago Quarterly Review.  Iris teaches at Napa Valley College and is on the staff of the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference.

11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

The Poet’s Craft: How to Find Inspiration in Just About Anything

Want to know how to never get writer's block?  Or, how to shake yourself out of it when you do?  This workshop focuses on understanding the craft behind many famous poems.  What inspired Emily Dickinson to tell the truth, but tell it slant?  Why do we all fall in love with the natural wisdom of a Mary Oliver poem?  We will read, we will look under the hood and then, using techniques inspired by these poems, we will write our own poems.

2:50 - 3:50 p.m.

Picture Book Craft: Rhyming and Prose

Whether you love to rhyme or you write in prose, your strength as a storyteller will make or break a picture book’s chances of reaching publication. In this lively discussion, picture book author Tim McCanna identifies the building blocks of a stand-out manuscript that will have agents, editors, and readers begging for more. We’ll analyze works by a few of the picture book greats, and shine the spotlight on professional standards and common missteps. Tim will also offer tips, tricks, and tools for getting your next picture book off on the right foot.

Tim McCanna

TIM McCANNA

Tim McCanna is the author of Bitty Bot, Barnyard Boogie, Teeny Tiny Trucks, and Watersong, which received a star from Kirkus Reviews. His upcoming picture books include Jack B. Ninja, Bitty Bot’s Big Beach Getaway, So Many Sounds, In a Garden, and Boing! Tim serves as Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI’s San Francisco/South chapter, and he holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing for Musical Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Find Tim online at timmccanna.com.

Anne Jordan

ANNE JORDAN

The founder and president of Northern California Writers, Anne Jordan is a college screenplay instructor. In 2007, Anne wanted to help her students realize their literary dreams, so in addition to her classes, and her one-on-one tutoring, she developed workshops, a weekly advanced writers group, and an expo where her students could make important connections to both the publishing world and Hollywood. Anne is an executive producer, professional script doctor, author of The Big Secret - What Hollywood Won’t Tell You, and president of Popcorn Entertainment Group.

4 - 5 p.m.

Story Arcs

What professional writers use to tell a compelling story and keep readers on the edge of their seat.

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10:10 - 11:10 a.m.

What You Don't Know May Hurt You

Writers should not be losing money (and sleep) by working with the wrong self-publishing company or getting sued for copyright infringement. Attorney and author Helen Sedwick will provide an overview of the legal issues facing all writers. She’ll discuss copyright basics so writers can understand what they own and how to protect it. She’ll cover when and how to get permission to use quotes, images, and lyrics created by others. Time permitting, she’ll give tips on how to use real people in your work without ending up in court.

Helen Sedwick

HELEN SEDWICK

Writer and lawyer Helen Sedwick uses 30 years of legal experience to show writers how to stay out of court and at their desks. Her historical novel, Coyote Winds, has earned five star reviews from ForeWord Reviews and Compulsion Reads. ForeWord Reviews gave her SelfPublisher’s Legal Handbook Five Stars, calling it “one of the most valuable resources a selfpublisher can own…well-written and authoritative yet unhampered by legalese.” Her blog coaches writers on everything from protecting copyrights to hiring freelancers to spotting scams. For more information about Helen and her work, check out her website at helensedwick.com.

Catharine Bramkamp, author.
Photo by Deanne Fitzmaurice

CATHARINE BRAMKAMP

Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach bringing her clients from idea to published book and beyond. She has written 17 novels and three books on writing, some self-published, some traditionally published. Her poetry has been included in a dozen anthologies including And The Beats Go On (she was the editor, as well) and the chapbook Ammonia Sunrise (Finishing Line Press). Her current book, Don’t Write Like We Talk, is based on creating 200-plus episodes of the Newbie Writers Podcast. She is the Chief Storytelling Officer for technology companies, because everyone has a story.

11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Self(ie) Publishing

Self-Publishing can be a masterstroke of genius or a complete disaster. Come hear the success and nightmares inherent in the adventure that is self-publishing. The problems are not what you think!

2:50 - 3:50 p.m.

Deal Yourself a Royal Flush: Remove the Risk from Writing and Publishing

 

If you play your cards right, you’ll have a winning hand to achieve your writing goals and get published. We’ll talk about how important it is to be knowledgeable about the publishing industry, have a plan, become part of the writing community, know how to sell yourself and maintain balance in your life to attract agents and publishers and become a successful writer.

Michael Larsen

MICHAEL LARSEN

Mike Larsen and his wife Elizabeth Pomada worked in publishing in New York before moving to San Francisco in 1970 and starting Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents in 1972. They were members of AAR and sold hundreds of books to more than 100 publishers and imprints, before they stopped taking new clients in 2015. Mike loves helping writers and offers coaching for nonfiction writers. He offers free advice about writing, publishing, promotion, and building a career, to writers of books. He wrote How to Write a Book Proposal, which is in its fifth edition. He also wrote How to Get a Literary Agent and coauthored Guerrilla Marketing for Writers: 100 Weapons for Selling Your Work. Mike and Elizabeth are co-directors of the San Francisco Writers Conference: A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community Community,  sfwriters.org; the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference: Writing to Make a Difference, sfwritingforchange.org; and the Women Writing in the Redwoods Retreat, sfwriters.org.

Jordan Rosenfeld

JORDAN ROSENFELD

Jordan is author of the suspense novels Women in RedForged in Grace and Night Oracle as well as the writing guides Writing the Intimate CharacterWriting Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story Through Action, Emotion & Theme, A Writer’s Guide to Persistence: How to Create a Lasting & Productive Writing Practice Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time, and, with Rebecca Lawton, Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life–soon to have a second edition.

I have a simple philosophy in all that I do: “Practice. Polish. Persist.” Make your writing life into an ongoing, deep writing practice that can survive the test of time, discouragement and change. Never stop trying to become better and polish your work, learn new things, take classes and feed both your muse and your craft. But what will set you apart is your persistence. Don’t give up. If you need help with any of these things, I’m here to help you.

4 - 5 p.m.

How to Stay Persistent on the Road to Publication

Writers write for many reasons, but most of us write to find an audience in what has become a quick-changing publishing landscape. This can make the path to publication fraught with frustrations. Jordan Rosenfeld will walk you through ways to sustain an unshakable writing practice through the mastery of persistence building skills such as building boundaries, collaboration, and learning how to fail up, among others, to help you achieve your publishing dreams.

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10:10 - 11:10 a.m.

Hybrid Presses and Partnership Publishing: What I've Learned Publishing with She Writes Press

Unless you're a Kardashian or you've toppled Wall Street recently, it's tough to get a traditional publishing deal these days. Their doors are closed tighter than ever to new authors, new ideas, or any idea that isn't a guarantee because of a huge author platform or a celebrity author. This means that good books are going unpublished.

The world of self publishing has blazed new trails, but it's not for everyone. Vanity presses will accept any book for publication, no matter the quality, as long as you pay their fees. When none of these options were a fit for me, I was fortunate enough to find She Writes Press. Not a full-on traditional. Not self pub. Not a vanity press, but a true authors' partner.

In this talk we'll explore what a true and ethical partnership press is, what are the benefits, and how it works. We'll talk about what tasks the Press did for me, and what remains the author's responsibility.

Betsy-GRAZIANI FASBINDER

BETSY GRAZIANI FASBINDER

Betsy Graziani Fasbinder published her debut novel Fire & Water with the then newly established She Writes Press in March of 2013 as one of the press's first 5 titles. F&W was honored several awards and has received more than 200 Amazon reviews with a 4.76 Star Rating, Since, SWP has grown, developed more mature systems, and has published more than 200 titles, including Betsy's latest, Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family, in May 2017. The titles and the Press, after facing great industry resistance, have now garnered respect from industry experts and critics. FHS received a Booklist Starred review, a NABE Pinnacle Achievement Award, and listed as a Readers' Favorite "memoir to read".

Betsy has coached public speaking in Fortune 500 companies, and now teaches simple, doable public speaking skills to authors who sometimes spend so much time building their platforms that they forget to prepare themselves to stand on them and speak about their books. 

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PENNY SANSEVIERI

Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. She is the author of 14 books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet."

11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

How to Sell More Books, Build Your Super Fans, and Sell More on Amazon

At the end of the day, for all of the marketing we do, for all of the Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and blogging, we really just want to know if it’s paying off. Does any of this sell books?

Have you ever asked yourself:

  • How do I know if they are the right things to market my book?
  • I don’t want to spend my life marketing, how can I get the most out of my efforts?
  • Does giving away my book actually help sell it?
  • Will any of this help me sell more books?

 You will learn how to:

Identify and reach your exact right market:

  • Turn fans into SUPER FANS
  • Ignite your fans so they promote your book
  • Use free to sell more books
  • Find and use the right social media for your book
  • Optimize your Amazon page: what you must do to start showing up in more searches
  • Understanding categories/themes and how to rank consistently #1 in your category.

2:50 - 3:50 p.m.

Build Your Online Book Marketing Plan: Simple Strategies to Increase Website Traffic, Build Buzz, and Sell More Books

Before self-publishing her first book, Stephanie Chandler decided to build an audience online. The success of that effort led to corporate sponsorships, major media coverage, product sales, and a variety of other opportunities. In this content-rich presentation, she shares strategies that authors can use to develop a marketing plan focused on building an audience online. 

You will learn how to:

• Build an effective book marketing plan
• Identify and attract your ideal audience online
• Leverage blogging to increase site traffic and sales
• Conduct interviews with internet media sources
• Use articles, podcasts, videos, and content marketing tactics to boost traffic
• Expand revenues with information products
• Utilize social media without a big time commitment (really!)

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STEPHANIE CHANDLER

Stephanie Chandler is the author of nine books, including The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan: Online and Offline Promotion Strategies to Build Your Audience and Sell More Books. Stephanie is also founder and CEO of NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com, a vibrant educational community for experienced and aspiring writers, and NonfictionWritersConference.com, an annual event conducted entirely online. A frequent speaker at business events and on the radio, she has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, and Wired magazine. For author and speaker information, visit StephanieChandler.com.

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JUDY BAKER

Judy Baker is completely creative and an ambivert. She attributes her love of color to her mother and her love of books to her father. Her passion for communication manifested in little theater. She studied drama and telecommunication at San Diego State University. Baker came north for an audition at A.C.T., and although she didn’t get the part, she moved to San Francisco — where she met her future husband at a party on Pier 33, July 4th, 1976.

Fascinated by the ways in which people behave, Baker studied Organization Behavior at UCSF and went on to become the first Director of Human Resources for Sutter Home Winery. She was featured in a story in the Press Democrat as one of the first women in Sonoma County to have a legitimate home office, circa 1992.

Baker’s launched her first business providing graphic design services to small businesses. Clients kept asking for help with marketing. Being smart enough to recognize a need, she began offering marketing services to clients around the country. She specializes in positioning independent authors for success.

She launched a partnership with Judy M. Reyes, Book Marketing Mentor, offering support to authors launching and marketing their books.

https://bookmarketingmentor.com/blog/

4 - 5 p.m.

Marketing is a Conversation: What Authors Need to Know to Sell More Books

Authors need visibility to sell books. Learn how to grow your audience by being:

  • Relentlessly generous
  • Memorable
  • Discoverable
  • Creating a brand

It is never too early to start building your brand and get people talking. Even a small, loyal tribe can yield great results when they are active and motivated to share you, and your books, with their friends.

You will learn how to:

  • Identify the elements of your brand
  • Build a clear message
  • Get blurbs and reviews
  • Create an action plan that keeps you on track and fits your style, time, and resources

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