Tag Archives: Writers

Tips from the MFA Pit, Part 7 – Author or Writer?

Welcome to the Fall Semester! A little bit late, but excuse me, I’ve been a bit preoccupied teaching actual students! For this edition, we look at one of my students who is studying classic sci-fi and fantasy novels. One of their readings is a Jules Verne, and they had noticed that much of the writing is a bit cliched and dog-earred. Perhaps, but crossing two centuries into 2019, we’re still reading him. That led me to thinking what made this author so popular? Why does his writing still resonate? My observations on that were thus…

We tend to forget, in our sophisticated world of writing and reading, that all writing and reading had to start somewhere. What seemed dated and clichéd was at one time innovative. Jules Verne, when he wrote his tales of (then) high-tech and science was prescient for the times. His stories were forward-thinking as well as fantastic to readers, and the Victorians ate them up. The times were also rife with innovation—think about the technology that emanated from the period. Railroads, telegraph, telephones, automobiles, sanitary medicine, vaccines—and the novel, which was considered the scourge of the masses at the time. But the era that spawned Jules Verne also gave us Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Mark Twain—all masterly writers whose wit and wisdom and style are still the standard for excellence in prose. So where does that put Verne? Well, think about it. There are writers and there are authors. 

What’s the difference? Think about the books that top the bestseller list. Many are non-fiction, celebrity bios, people caught up in historic events or scandals, chefs pushing their recipes, diet books, exercise books, or the latest self-help craze. Fiction follows many trends like the ever-popular YA dystopian saga or the once-popular chick lit, or the reliably formulaic genres of mystery, romance, sci-fi, or horror. (Okay, I hear the screaming, but I’m NOT slamming on genre fiction. There’s good, there’s bad, and there’s memorable and there’s horrible. I should know. I’ve written them and I’ve loved them like an old sweater. They’re meatloaf-and-mashed-potatoes-cozy, and the reading world would be a dim place indeed without them). There’s the latest fiction craze that everyone’s following, there’s serials and sequels and authors we can’t get enough of. But just because someone manages to squeeze out a bestseller on a hot selling topic or storyline, it doesn’t make them a writer. It just makes them the originator—the author—of that particular piece of information we all want to hear about.
Writers—real ones that stand the test of time—touch a core of use that goes deeper than topic or storyline. They paint pictures with words, invoke emotional reactions, create memorable characters that we can identify with, empathize with, love, cherish, loathe. The settings of their stories invoke another world, they inspire us, leave feelings that linger within in us long after we read the last word. We become invested in the milieus they create, we pass on their books to friends. We study these writers, learn from them, their words and wisdom last longer than they do. So was Jules Verne, with his sometimes “pedestrian” prose, his formulaic writing, a writer or an author? Hmm…well over a century removed we’re still reading him. That’s got to mean something. We writers should all be so lucky!
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Embrace your inner author

One week to the Author-Preneur workshop in Red Bank, New Jersey! Agents! Editors! Writing! Craft! Critique! Food, Blessing Bag stuffing, agents panel, and an attendee mixer afterwards. This is my third year in a row, and I’ve yet to be disappointed.  Go to the Corvisiero Agency for more info!

Don’t ever say I haven’t suffered for my art

An edit is a cruel, cruel thing to the mind, but especially to the body. It’s not enough you’re forced to rethink all those trite plot twists, kill some of your favorite characters, remove 97 out of a 100 times you used your favorite word (yes, my moral failing, I just can’t get enough of the word just), as well as barrel higgley-piggley to an ending you’ve changed a dozen times and still can’t get right. No, all that upheaval isn’t enough. No, you must suffer more. And suffering doesn’t come any crueler than when your body starts breaking down.

Look at that hand above. It’s in a “Futuro” brace. (I just love the name. It reminds me of the robot in this scene from the 1927 movie Metropolis. I don’t remember what the robot’s name was, but I think “Futuro” would’ve been just dandy.) What you’re seeing there is a textbook case of carpal tunnel , brought on by an excessive use of just about anything that involves a keyboard. Particularly highlighting to cut and paste, which I find extremely hard to do with my left hand, which I am now forced to use if I want to continue Life As I Know It. Today’s Wednesday, and pain has been shooting up my middle finger since Sunday, when I picked up a fork–I suppose–the wrong way (how does one do that wrongly enough to injure themselves??) The pain’s easing, but it’s still not gone. And it’s a prime pain-in-the-ass to someone who makes their living by spending three-quarters of their work time using a keyboard.

So am I quitting? Hell no. I’m a writer, and I need to get this book done. Why would you even ask me that? Sheesh. But I sure wish there was someplace to apply for hazardous duty pay.

 

The Importance of Being Workshopped

Faculty of Agents and Editors during the Red Bank, October 2018 Workshop. (Corvisiero Literary Agency)

I think I’ve said this before and excuse me for being redundant, but writing can be a lonely business. True, there are writers’ events where you can all write together at a coffee shop or a winery or at the shore, but at the end of the day it’s just you, your keyboard, and the little imaginary friends in your head. So it helps now and then to get among your fellow writers to commiserate, focus on craft and publishing, and realize you’re not the only writer in the world that has issues with head-hopping, comma splices. or rejection letters.

That’s why writers conferences are so important, like Thrillerfest last week, Romance Writers of America’s going on now, or Writers Digest’s huge conference next month. For me, it’s not only the craft sessions, and workshops, the readings and the pitch sessions, it’s the realization that writing isn’t just an occupation or creative endeavor or even a business. It’s a way of life, a big, beautiful, noisy, extravagant, vibrant, lush, existence, that’s exciting and inspiring and humbling all at the same time. It can be as exhilarating as it is devastating, it can be cruel, it can be disappointing. But just like the perfect word that makes your prose sprint across the page, a writers conference can be like a B-12 shot to your flagging writers ego. It can recharge your creativity just being around other people that get you. I mean really, wouldn’t it be so refreshing not to have to explain why you’ve been locking yourself in that room for eight hours at a stretch?

So here’s another writers conference for you. The Authorpreneur Workshop in Red Bank, NJ, coming this September 27-28. Writing and Craft and Publishing Professionals by the beautiful Navesink River. Time to get out of your head and get a glimpse of what the writing life can be. And if you’re already there, come and share your expertise with the rest of us. If I’m going, then you know it must be worth it!

A Midsummer Assessment

Sometimes I write stuff and no one pays attention. Okay, a LOT of times I write stuff and no one pays attention. The following post is one of those, that I wrote a few years back, but it’s reflecting exactly how I feel right now. So with a few updates (in italics) you can see easily how this writer is feeling on this mid-summer night’s eve…

Been working hot and obsessively developing  another project (actually, the same one I’ve been working on for the past two years, wound like a bitch in editing hell) the last few weeks. When I do this I so live in my head I’m apt to leave lights on or subsist on string cheese and blueberries because I can eat them with one hand. Because of that I’m giving myself a pass tonight to let my mind wander.  I have too many topics rolling around the fertile landscape of my brain to settle on one, so I’m treating you to a virtual sampler of each. Think of it as the Jones version of the Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy,” (more like a keto snax box filled with cherries, hard boiled eggs, any nuts I can find, and an everything bagel and cream cheese to blow all good intentions straight to hell) except not about chain restaurant Italian food or really anything to do with food at all. Please don’t ask me to explain…

~ Why is it harder to write in the summer when it should be easier? Okay, I”m a college professor, right? And I “theoretically” have the summer off (except for the [three] summer class[s] I’m teaching, which really is cake next to my usual load). So my brain should be my own (mostly), and I should be able to sail through what I’m working on, producing so many pages a day I’d best keep a fire extinguisher near my desk. Wrong! Phuque moi! Could it be the sun shining through my window? The fact I have no schedule? The lure of the beach? Distraction by a shiny object? Or I’m still trying to get to know my characters? Hmm…I going to have to think about that one. Where’s the string cheese? (Yuengling)

~ You can lose weight on summer fruit. (All right; I lied about the food reference) I live in the heart of the South Jersey farm belt, and you can’t drive more than a couple of miles without either passing a farm or a farm stand. This morning I happened to visit the latter, where I purchased tomatoes (early, but there’s nothing like a Jersey tomato!), cukes, blueberries (another iconic Jersey crop), cantaloupe and peaches, both yellow and white. Lately I’ve been gorging on berries and melons and cherries, instead of the usual snacky-type foods, and in the past month I’ve lost seven pounds! (gained three on summer ice cream) Of course, this may have something to do with the 1725 calories I’ve been allowing myself to eat, the half-hour of daily exercise, and the frequent swims in the ocean (haven’t visited the beach yet, but swam in a pool once. Yeah, it was only four feet deep, and I was hooked to a pool noodle, but I was out in the sun–Vitamin D, you know) BUT! I have had more than a couple Bacchanalia events and let me tell you, the Yuengling hasn’t been lonely!

~ Beer tastes better in summer. That’s all I got. Any other commentary on that topic would be redundant.

~ Socks suck in summer.  I haven’t worn a pair of socks since, oh…probably early May. I hate the fricking little cotton casings anyway–hate the way they bunch up under your instep, hate the indentations they make on your shins, hate how the heels always wear out when the rest of the sock can go for another 10,000 miles. But MOST of all I HATE folding them. (Hate! Hate! Hate! still) Just sayin’.

~ I love the sound of birdsong at dusk. The sun has set, the western sky is stained red, outside a soft breeze is blowing and you can finally shut off the A.C. and let in some fresh air. You venture out on your porch or you open your car window, or maybe you’re out for a walk and there in the bushes, the trees or on an overhead wire is a whip-poor-will or a mockingbird or who knows what kind of bird, only that their song is lovely, a tiny gratis pleasure on a soft summer night. What else can you possibly need?

(Except it’s as hot as balls out there tonight and there’s no beer in the house. Still, there’s watermelon in the  fridge and I don’t have to work tomorrow, unless you count working on the edit again, which I’m enjoying so much it’s not really like work at all. Life is good, peeps.)

So you want to be a writer, huh?

You first felt it when your were in grade school. You had an assignment to write a poem for Valentine’s Day, like for a greeting card. You got a little tingle down your spine because you knew you could do it. You started right away, scribbling in your notebook, those cutesy-sweet words that moony-eyed fifth-graders would love. But those words linked together, as made-for-each-other like a daisy chain, and that tingle reappeared, because you knew you’d done it so well. So well, your desk mates noticed. “I wish I could write a poem like that.”  You got that tingle again, but this time in your brain. “You could,” you said. “For a quarter.” A quarter later, you made your first sale. Four more, in fact.

You knew you couldn’t stop there. You had to write short stories. Adventure and love and mystery filled your notebook.  Soon, you got a special one you filled in the summer, more poems, more stories, and one notebook later, you started a novel (about a girl and her horse, of course). You got a library card and you read. And read and read and read. The more your read, the more you learned how the words played off of each other. They more you learned how a scene can bleed into the next, the more you built secret lives around each character. And you wrote. More and more. A diary. Essays. More poems. For the school newspaper. You graduated, and entered the real world. This time writing for a small-town newspaper, in the days when small-town newspapers existed. From there you graduated again, from college and into a “real” job. You wrote copy. Press Releases. Advertisements. More short stories, and started a novel for real this time.

It was awful. But still you wrote, finishing it.  But as awful as it was, after dozens of tries, it got you an agent.  (Who apparently didn’t believe you could do awful. Who probably believed in unicorns, too.) But the real world was more realistic. You parted, still friends.

You wrote. Another novel, and another. Three, four. More agents, more parting as friends. All those finished books, all going nowhere. But still you wrote, asking yourself why over and over. You wrote more. Wrote a thesis. Graduated again. You hear other people say they don’t know why they write. They just do. But you know why.  You found this out after years and years of practicing going nowhere. You also found out your reasons for doing it sound too hokey for words. That you write because to not write is worse.

That for some weird, bizarre, sadomasochistic reason it makes your fractured self seem whole. That it gives you a raison d’etre not only in the morning but in the middle of the night. That once in a while you write the perfect turn-of-phrase and when you do, it’s akin to an orgasm. That your moving and arranging of words around a page can sometimes move you to tears or laughter or unfiltered fits of rage. That sometimes those words shoot out of you like rivets to steel, and when they do oh my fucking Lord you need to get out of their way — because you need to get those words out before they stop like a crash into a brick wall. Because inevitably they will stop and when they do, the only thing you can do if you want to call yourself a writer is to keep your ass in that chair until your Muse and your own determination break through. Because there is no magic cure for creative constipation. There’s just you and the words and no magic formula, just a million monkeys at a million keyboards who sometimes, sooner or later, when the planets all line up and you finally get it right, and there’s the world waiting for you to step right up.

So you want to be a writer, huh? Then you can be. But only if you’re not afraid to say it out loud. Can you?

 

Authorpreneur Workshop by the River Sept. 27 – 28, 2019 – Registration is now Open

Marisa Corvisiero, founding agent and owner of the Covisiero Literary Agency, is excited to announce the next Red Bank, Author-Preneur Workshop by the River, September 27-28, 2019. This event is an amazing multilayered interactive full day workshop with presentations by  Literary Agent Marisa A. Corvisiero, Esq., her Corvisiero Literary Agency colleagues, and other key industry professional guests dedicated to authors’ success.

​The workshop is presented at a beautiful location by the Navesink River in Red Bank, NJ, where the setting is relaxing and inspiring. Light breakfast, lunch, and social mixer will be provided.

The event offers a hands on approach to authors of all genres at all levels of their careers, with the mindful goal of imparting writing, publishing industry, business, and mindset knowledge, while sharpening skills to attain success in the fastest possible period of time. This is a two day retreat for authors to really get immersed into the mindset of growth, honing skills, learning publishing options, industry practices, getting insider tips and guidance on everything from plotting to submissions to publishing deals. In addition to the lectures and hands on drafting exercises, authors will enjoy mediation sessions, goal setting practices, presentation by success coach, and much much more. The goal of this workshop is to help authors not just think like creative author-preneurs, but Successful Author-Preneurs.

During this retreat-like full day workshop, authors have the opportunity to attend various Presentations, pitch Literary Agents and Editors (Optional), get a book signed by Bestselling Author Megan Erickson during our Mixer, get work critiqued by Agents and Editors (Optional), attend the Critical Mass: First Page Critique Literary Agent and Editor Panel, and Network with authors and industry professionals all day long and during a Networking Mixer after hours.

For registration, presenters, pricing, and more info, go to Covisiero Agency Authorprenuer Workshop.

Pack your suitcase! Writers Conferences for May

One hella site for writers is Publishing… and Other Forms of Insanity.  Offering tips on contests, agents, publishers, self-publishing, reviews, calls for submission, and so much more, it’s the go-to site for the business-end of writing, geared towards beginning to seasoned writers. One of my favorite sections is for Conferences, and here’s the latest sampling of events coming up next month.

Las Vegas Writer’s Conference is sponsored by the Henderson Writers’ Group, Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada. May 2 – 4, 2019. Join writing professionals, agents publishers and marketing experts for a weekend of workshops and enlightening discussions about the publishing industry. A chance to pitch your manuscript and ideas to agents.

Northern Colorado Writers Conference. May 3 – 4, 2019, Fort Collins CO. Workshops, seminars, speakers, entertainment, agent roundtables, pitch sessions, networking with authors and industry professionals.

Atlanta Writers Conference. May 3 – 4, 2019, Atlanta, GA. The conference features publishing panels, pitch sessions, manuscript and query letter critiques, and a workshop on author branding for fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and graphic novelists. Participating publishing professionals include editors Rebecca Brewer (Ace/Berkley Publishing Group), Stephanie Guerdan (HarperCollins), Jennifer Gunnels (Tor Books), Emily Hartley (Ballantine Books), Chelcee Johns (37 INK), Danielle Marshall (Lake Union Publishing/Amazon Publishing), Grace Menary-Winefield (Sourcebooks), and Kristine Swartz (Berkley Publishing Group); and agents Caroline George (Cyle Young Literary Elite), Natalie Grazian (Martin Literary & Media Management), Julie Gwinn (Seymour Agency), Sharon Pelletier (Dystel, Goderich & Bourret), Michelle Richter (Fuse Literary), Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein (McIntosh & Otis), Jennifer March Soloway (Andrea Brown Literary Agency), and Léonicka Valcius (Transatlantic Agency). You must be a member to attend.

The Pikes Peak Writers Conference. May 3 – 5, 2019. Colorado Springs, Colorado. “The three-day conference is full of topical, in-depth workshops, dynamic keynote speakers, opportunities for one-on-one time with agents and editors, the chance to read your work aloud for constructive critique, plus time to socialize with fellow writers.

Malice Domestic. May 3 – 5, 2019, Bethesda, MD. Malice Domestic™ is an annual fan convention in the metropolitan DC area that celebrates the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely identified as mysteries which contain no explicit sex, or excessive gore, or violence.

Gold Rush Writers Conference. May 3 – 5, 2019, Mokelumne Hill, CA. “Writing professionals will guide you to a publishing bonanza through a series of panels, specialty talks, workshops and celebrity lectures. Go one-on-one with successful poets, novelists, biographers, memoirists and short story writers.” Writing workshops in Autobiography/Memoir, Children’s, Fiction, Marketing, Non-fiction, Poetry, Publishing, Romance, Travel, Young Adult. Individual sessions available.

Hedgebrook VORTEXT Salon. May 3 – 5, 2019, Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island, about 35 miles northwest of Seattle. Workshops, panel discussions, lectures, open mics, and time to write in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for women writers.

Michigan Writers Conference, May 4, 2019, Detroit, MI. This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit Livonia Novi. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss your publishing opportunities today, how to write queries & pitches, how to market yourself and your books, what makes an agent/editor stop reading your manuscript, and more. No matter what you’re writing — fiction or nonfiction — the day’s classes will help point you in the right direction. Writers of all genres are welcome.

ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Writers Conference, May 5 – 6, 2019. NYC, NY. Focus on Autobiography/Memoir, Business/Technical, Humor, Journalism, Marketing, Nature, Non-fiction, Publishing, Religion, Screenwriting, Travel. Attending: more than 100 editors, authors, literary agents, and publicists.

Mokulē‘ia Writers Retreat. May 5 – 10, 2019 in Waialua, Hawaii at Camp Mokulē‘ia, Oahu. Offers workshops in fiction and nonfiction, readings, one-on-one consultations, publishing panels, yoga sessions. The retreat is led by North Shore native Constance Hale, the author of Sin and Syntax, the editor of more than two dozen books, and a journalist whose stories about Hawai‘i appear on CD liner notes, as well as in publications like The Los Angeles Times and Smithsonian magazine. Hale invites a mix of writers, editors, and agents from both the islands and the mainland to lead various workshops and appear on panels.

Columbus State Community College Writers Conference. May 6, 2019, Columbus, Ohio. Workshops in Autobiography/Memoir, Business/Technical, Fiction, Journalism, Marketing, Non-fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Publishing, Screenwriting. This one-day conference is free of charge.

Annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. May 6 – 12, 2019 at various locations in New York City. “Join more than 125 writers and artists representing over 50 nationalities in New York City for the 2019 PEN World Voices Festival: Open Secrets. In 60+ events in venues across New York City, the 15th anniversary of New York’s first international literary festival will gather nonfiction and fiction writers, thinkers, and activists to discuss what we reveal and what we withhold, and the opportunities and dangers inherent in the rapid reconfiguring of the public and the private in the literary, cultural, social, and political realms.”

8th Annual Nonfiction Writers Conference. May 8 – 10, 2019: Conducted online. Opening Speaker: Gretchen Rubin.

Washington Writers Conference 2019. May 10 – 11, 2019: Bethesda, MD. Pitch sessions, expert sessions, author talks, and a luncheon (featuring keynote speaker Jeffery Deaver), plus panels on how to query, how to pitch, and more publishing pros’ insights, are just some of the highlights. Past speakers have included Bob Woodward, Bob Schieffer, Kitty Kelley, Judith Viorst, Alice McDermott, Ron Charles, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Susan Coll, and E.J. Dionne.

Lakefly Writers Conference. May 10 – 11, 2019, Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Workshops, talks, and a book fair for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. Keynote is Liam Callanan, the author of The Cloud Atlas, All Saints, Listen, and Paris by the Book. His work has been or will be translated into Chinese, German, Italian, and Japanese. Liam was the winner of the 2017 George W. Hunt, SJ Prize in Arts, Letters & Journalism and a finalist for the Edgar Award.

The Loft’s Wordplay Conference. May 11- 12, 2019, Minneapolis MN. “The Loft’s Wordplay aims to be Minnesota’s largest celebration of readers, writers, and great books. Imagine a weekend full of famous authors and celebrated books; a weekend of readings, conversations, workshops, kids’ activities, demonstrations, and one-of-a-kind happenings with outdoor stages, cooking stages, book signings, quiet reading corners, boisterous parties, food trucks, beer tents, and books, books, books.”

Longleaf Writers Conference. May 11 – 18, 2019: Seaside, Florida. “Formerly the Seaside Writers Conference, Longleaf Writers Conference is an annual gathering of creative writers from all over the nation, featuring award-winning writers in poetry and fiction and screenwriting who will offer a full week of intensive writing workshops, one day seminars, school outreach programs, and social events. This event occurs every year in May, and offers the opportunity for beginning, intermediate and advanced writers to celebrate writing, to network with other writers, and to hone their craft. There will also be seminars hosted by professional editors and literary agents who will offer one-on-one consultations. All participants who pay the full conference tuition fee will be able to take part in all daily activities, while those paying a la carte pricing will have the pick of which classes and workshops they would like to attend. The Longleaf Writers Conference is one of the only conferences in the nation to take place on one of the most beautiful beaches in the US, and every year will feature notable guest writers, literary agents, and professional editors.”

Writing the Unreal: The Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy & Speculative Fiction. May 12 -19, 2019, Honesdale, PA. This unique workshop is designed for anyone with a complete or near-complete draft of a middle-grade or young adult novel in fantasy or speculative fiction who wants a thorough manuscript critique and help making plans for revision.

Nebula Conference. May 16th-19th, 2019, Los Angeles, CA. SFWA members and other individuals who are interested in the field of science fiction and fantasy are welcome to attend SFWA’s Nebula Conference. Attendees may participate in workshops, programming and special events throughout the weekend. You do not need to be a member of SFWA to attend.

Big Sur on Cape Cod. May 17 – 19, 2019, North Falmouth MA. Faculty: Andrea Brown and four of her agents, four editors and four authors. Children’s writing.

Missouri Writers’ Guild Annual Conference. May 17 – 19, 2019: Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  Workshops (fiction/nonfiction, romance, mystery, screenwriting, query letters, book design), critiques, pitches to literary agents, Slush Pile sessions, awards banquet & keynote address. Eight (8) Sunday master classes. Literary agents: Nikki Terpilowski, Caroline, George, Savannah Brooks, and Jill Marr (remote). Claudia Shelton, Karen Sargent, Steve Wiegenstein, Paul Bass, Ellie Searl, and The Deadly Duo, Bill & Sharon Hopkins.

Pennwriters Conference. May 17 – 19, 2019: Pittsburgh, PA. The 32nd Annual Pennwriters Conference features three days of workshops, panels, networking and learning to help you learn, grow, soar! Friday, Saturday and Sunday feature an open attendance slate of one-hour workshops on all things writing. The schedule is structured with open attendance, so you can take whichever classes appeal to you. Attendees will have 40+ hours of sessions to choose from. Our faculty is comprised of published authors, literary agents and editors, and other writing industry professionals. Pitch appointments are available at no additional fee.

Austin SCBWI 2019 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. May 18 – 19, 2019: Austin, TX. Conference on children’s books with keynotes; general sessions; breakout sessions for writing, professional development and illustration; intensives for novels, picture books and illustration; critiques; pitches and more.

Novel-In-Progress Bookcamp. May 19 – 25, 2019: West Bend WI. 6-day, residential workshop-retreat for writers in all genres working on a novel or creative nonfiction book. Workshops in Autobiography/Memoir, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Non-fiction, Publishing, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult. Registration is limited to 30 people.

Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers. May 20 – 24, 2019: Houston, Texas. Daily workshops, readings, craft talks, social events and professionalism panels in an intimate and supportive environment designed specifically with the needs of emerging writers in mind.

Sundress Academy for the Arts Summer Poetry Writing Retreat. May 24 – 26, 2019: Knoxville, Tennessee. The three-day, two-night camping retreat will be held at SAFTA’s own Firefly Farms in Knoxville, Tennessee. All SAFTA retreats focus on generative poetry writing, and this year’s poetry retreat will also include break-out sessions on writing political poetry, writing confession, kicking writer’s block, publishing, and more.

Balticon 53. May 24 – 27, 2019: Baltimore, MD. Balticon is sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS). BSFS presents the Compton Crook Award, the Robert A. Heinlein Award, and the winner of the annual Jack L. Chalker Young Writer’s Contest annually at this event. Faculty: Guest of Honor: Catherine Asaro. Multiple tracks of Programming over the four day weekend, featuring authors, artists, scientists, musicians, podcasters, publishers, editors, costumers and other creative SF luminaries.

James Jones Writers Workshop Retreat. May 26 – June 2, 2019: New Harmony, IN. Faculty: Kaylie Jones, Judy Mandel, J Patrick Redmond. Costs: Advanced Writing Workshop (includes food and lodging for 7 days): $2,450. The Art of Creative Writing (beginner): $500. FULL

North Words Writers Symposium. May 29 – June 1, 2019: Skagway, Alaska. Faculty: Susan Orlean, Emily Wall, Ernestine Hayes, Don Rearden, Jonathan Evison, Nancy Lord, Terrence Cole. Costs: $375 includes most meals. College credit extra for $90.

Bear River Writers’ Conference. May 30 – June 3, 2019: Camp Michigania on Walloon Lake, near Petoskey, Michigan. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as readings, discussions, nature walks, and time to write.

Surprise Valley Writers’ Conference. May 31 – June 4, 2019: Cedarville, California. Features workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as craft lectures, readings, open mics, and a Book Arts workshop.

Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. May 31 – June 6, 2019: Ripton, VT. The Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference includes workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as lectures, craft classes, meetings with editors and agents, and readings by faculty and guests. Application deadline: February 15, 2019.