The Writers Conference has been cancelled for March 21 - We will reschedule it for latter this year - Please visit us for updates.

MEET OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER 

Sheila Hudson

Television and the movie industry have fostered the idea that writers are some kind of gods living above everyone in an ethereal cloud untouched by the world’s demands. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just that we juggle the day to day schedule with our outrageous imagination.

I want to dispel the idea that writers (like me) live glamourous lives, that writing is easy, that writers rely on a muse, and that writers don’t need proofreaders. Anyone who shares their life with a writer knows that they are flawed human. They are NOT geniuses, and probably DON’T have original ideas but writers never give up.

One thing we do KNOW is how to rely on imagination, read what others write, rub elbows with other writers, and steal from the BEST.

I’ve been writing for more than thirty years and I can attest, you can’t put writers in a box or a category. They just don’t fit expectation. Each one I meet is unique and wonderful writing their experiences and stories in their own way and in their own time.

Dispelling Writing Myths

ABOUT OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Sheila's writing has been published in anthologies such as Chicken Soup for The Soul, her byline has appeared in several Athens periodicals and newspapers, and she has entertained readers with her cozy mystery series.  A writer's writer, Sheila shares her knowledge on the craft of writing through teaching and publishing books to help fellow writers find their sparkle.  Her commitment to the writing world also encompasses her years of being active with the South Eastern Writers Group and annual conference. 

MEET OUR PRESENTERS

MARY MARVELLA

Everybody Hurts, ahhh a great song by REM.  But, yes, everyone feels some type of emotion.  But do your readers?  Do they truly feel the emotions of your character or are they dependent on you to tell them how to feel?  Mary Marvella returns this year with a fresh new topic -Love Me or Hate Me - But Don't Walk Away Yawning.  Learn how to use emotions to connect with your readers.

 

Mary Marvella,  a writer and editor, has just the right tools to help writers tap into their character's psyche and transcend them beyond the pages and into the hearts and souls of  readers. Mary has been a storyteller for as long as she can remember.  She made up stories for the other children and created the details for their “play like” or “let’s pretend” games. Sometimes the details were so real  she’d scare herself. She  now shares her passion for writing beyond the pages of her romance novels.  She is  a writing instructor, freelance editor, and tutor.  She has authored several romance novels.​

LOVE ME OR HATE ME 

BUT DON'T WALK AWAY YAWNING

JACKIE ROD

No, this is not a lobotomy class.  Mind Mapping is a visualization tool that helps graph ideas when brainstorming or strategizing.  This concept is not new but has been around in the business and educational sector. Jackie Rod will untangle this maze and expose its benefits for the developmental stages of writing.

 

Jackie Rod critiques and edits manuscripts for her author friends, judges writing contests, and conducts workshops for writing groups. Each month she presents a grammar lesson for the Walton Writers group. Jackie loves the idea of ‘word painting’ for description.  “Writers should use all the senses to engage the emotions of readers.”  She also believes in well-defined characters are essential to the strength of any work.She belongs to Romance Writers of America, Atlanta Writers Club, East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers, Georgia Romance Writers, NOLA STARS, and Heart of Dixie Writers.

MIND MAPPING MAZE

GENIE BERNSTEIN

Gotta spend all my time writing my manuscript.  This is a common mantra among writers.  However, while writing your first manuscript your focus should also be on building an audience of readers and your writer's resume.  This is where writing for small publications can help not only building your audiences, help provide a strong author bio, but also hone your writing skills. 

Genie Bernstein career as a writer began by literally falling out of the sky when she had to perform an emergency landing with her single engine airplane.   He is the author of several books but she also has an impressive repertoire of small publications she's written for.  Genie brings her knowledge of the advantages of writing for small publications and how to find writing opportunities to our conference this year.

BEEF UP YOUR WRITER'S RESUME BEFORE PUBLISHING YOUR FIRST BOOK!

How to Build An Interesting Author Bio

TIM RIORDAN

Marketing....no writer ever said I want to market.  Most of us prefer to sit in our comfort zones and write.  But, the writing is the easiest part of being a writer.  The challenge is getting your "little baby" into the hands of readers or recognized by reviewers, bloggers, and bookstores.  

  Tim Riordan is a bestselling INDEPENDENT author.  He has published both fiction and non-fiction books.  His romance under the pseudonym, Judah Knight, The Long Way Home was a finalist in the Georgia Independent Author of the Year Award for 2019.  

BESTSELLER - MARKETING FOR SUCCESS

BOBBY NASH

Our characters are more than the sum of their parts and making our characters feel as three dimensional as possible not only helps readers connect to the character(s), but also helps inform the story. Author Bobby Nash walks you through some steps that have served him well in creating characters that readers love or love to hate. We'll also talk about how characters impact story. Would my character do that? Lets find out.

Bobby Nash is an award-winning author. He writes novels, comic books, short stories, screenplays, and more. Bobby is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers. On occasion, he appears in movies and TV shows, usually standing behind your favorite actor.

HOW YOU SAY IT AND ACT SPEAKS VOLUMES

USING DIALOGUE & MANNERISMS TO BUILD YOUR CHARACTER

 

LORI DUFF

Do you think of yourself as a business?  What type of business are you?  LLC, Proprietary Ownership, or are you a partnership with other authors?  Most writers  don't like to embrace the business side of being an author.  But, once your baby is sent out into the world in a book format for sales, you have become a business.  Attorney - Writer & Comedian, Lori Duff slay the monsters that haunt many writers when it comes to understanding the business side of writing.  With her wit and humor, she will explain the different types of businesses, accounting paractices, understanding contracts, and sales tax.

After twenty years practicing law, Lori decided to start doing what she always wanted to do, and what she always secretly did, which is write.  She currently writes led   a humor blog and a legal column on Your Local News.  She has received  an award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, a spot in the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, and a blog on the Huffington Post. In the midst of lawyering, being a wife, mother, and dog parent,  she has written three books, “Mismatched Shoes and Upside Down Pizza,”  “The Armadillo, the Pickaxe, and the Laundry Basket,” and “You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive” which were Amazon #1 Bestsellers.  Her latest book "You Know I Love You Because You’re Still Alive" has won THREE national awards for humor books.

YOU ARE A BUSINESS

Understanding The Business Side of Writing

JANET HOGAN CHAPMAN

What do you do when you discover one of your ancestors was madam, hooked on morphine, ran a brothel, was a moonshiner, and tried for murder?  You create a historical fictional series.  Janet Hogan Chapman is the author of the Madam May series based on her grandmother.  Historical Fiction has become a popular genre with readers.  Discover tips and insight on how do use family genealogy and factual events into fiction.

Janet Hogan Chapman describes herself as a Bohemian Southern Belle, lover of all things Southern, and proponent of strong women.  As a writer, she has written several books pertaining to teaching and education.   Madam May was her first historical fiction. 

TURNING FAMILY SECRETS INTO HISTORICAL FICTION

TIM WESTOVER

Westover is a transplanted Yankee who has put down roots in Lawrenceville, Ga. where he has embraced the culture and is raising his daughter to be a Southern eccentric. He perfected a family recipe for biscuits after dozens of failed attempts, learned to play the clawhammer banjo, and travels the South looking for unique stories, folklore, and history that he enjoys mixing with larger philosophical themes.  He enjoys sharing his research on the colorful parts of being Southern and how to incorporate them into writing.

The Winter Sisters (QW Publishers, August 2019) is Tim Westover’s second unusual Southern novel. Auraria (2012), his first novel, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The Old Weird South (2012) is a collection of 24 stories exploring the supernatural side of the American South. Westover is also the author of Marvirinstrato (Mermaid Street) (2009), a collection of short stories in Esperanto, an international language created in 1887 to bridge the gap between speakers of different languages. Westover is a recognized expert in Esperanto and also speaks Russian, German, and reads ancient Greek.

SOUTHERN GHOSTS, PLAT-EYES, WILL-O'-THE-WISPS, HAINTS, AND SUCH

MAB MORRIS

Having the correct tools is essential to a successful outcome in any trade.  Writing is no different.  Mab Morris has the perfect one for developing characters.  This simple and easy tool will have writers tossing outdated and cumbersome tools that often bog down the process of truly defining the characters of a story. 

Mab Morris is the owner of White Tiger Editing service and focuses on substantive editing.   

DEVELOPING CHARACTER WITH THE RIGHT TOOL

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