Now in its 30th year, WriteAngles is Western New England’s premier conference by writers, for writers. At this one-day gathering, you’ll mix with experienced writers and agents in panel discussions, face-to-face meetings, and in casual networking opportunities. The affordably priced conference fee includes a continental breakfast and a bountiful buffet lunch. The conference is held in Mount Holyoke College’s gracious Willits-Hallowell Center, which features plenty of free parking and handicap accessibility. The full conference schedule is given below. Please note that you do not need to choose in advance which panel you plan to attend in each session.
8:15 to 9:00 am – Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 to 9:30 am – Morning Keynote Speaker: Carol Edelstein (Morrison Room)
NOTE: Individual agent meetings will run concurrently with the morning panels, 9:45 to 12:30, by pre-arranged appointment.
PANEL SESSION I – 9:45 to 11:00 am (Choose one)
Extraordinary Seeds (Andreola Room)
Panelists: Jedediah Berry, Marika McCoola, Ilya Parker (moderator), Gabriel Squailia
Fairy tales and myths, favorite novels and weird dreams: contemporary storytellers draw inspiration from all over the map, even its edges. Authors will discuss how to deliver to readers the strange, bizarre and fantastical with clarity and conviction.
Paths to Publishing (Morrison Room)
Panelists: Anna Bozena Bowen, Joanna Lillian Brown (moderator), Martha Johnson, Robert Zucker
The publishing industry is rapidly changing, and three quarters of the one million books published in the U.S. annually are now self-published. Our panelists will share their experience with three different paths to publishing: through a major publisher, by establishing a small press, and by self-publishing.
The Writer as Entrepreneur: Getting Your Book Out There (Executive Board Room)
Panelists: Liz Bedell (moderator), Avital Norman Nathman, Hun Ohm, Ben Zackheim
These days, writers have to do so much more than simply write a compelling book. They have to promote, market, and keep track of royalties and rights. Questions about blog tours, podcasts, audiobooks, organizing readings in unusual venues, intellectual property or international rights? Our panelists will share their varied experience and expertise, from both self-published and traditionally published perspectives. Please bring your questions!
PANEL SESSION II – 11:15 am to 12:30 pm (Choose one)
Not in Polite Company: Writing Controversy in Fiction (Morrison Room)
Panelists: Shelley Ettinger, Céline Keating, Ellen Meeropol (moderator), Susan Stinson
Fiction often explores situations not fit for dinner table conversation. Join four authors whose novels contain controversial social, political, and religious issues, ranging from infidelity and emotional abuse to torture, fundamentalism, and homophobia. We’ll discuss the challenge of developing dramatic plots and characters both powerful and nuanced enough to balance the difficult hot button issues that fascinate us. What is the line between polemic and exploration in fiction, and how do we walk it?
Secrets of Successful Writers (Andreola Room)
Panelists: Joan Axelrod Contrada (moderator), Cathi Hanauer, Pete Nelson, JoAnna Novak
Three prolific writers share their secrets for productivity. What helped them break through? What keeps them motivated and inspired? How do they feel about old adages such as “Write every day” and “Write what you know”? Finally, and perhaps most important, what advice do they have so that you, too, can find your place in the sun?
Read & Weed: Critiquing for Growth (Executive Board Room)
Workshop Leaders: Liz Bedell, Cheryl Malandrinos, Ilya Parker, Darlene Smith-Ash
Plucking through garden weeds and flowers takes knowledge, tools, and a gentle hand. This applies to writing as well. Some words or phrases are unnecessary weeds, while others are exotic, beautiful flowers meant to blossom and enhance a narrative. In this experiential workshop, facilitators will guide participants in the art of helpful critique. Using one-page, blind samples of participants’ writing, we will focus on the writer’s words and concept, resisting the temptation to re-write. Honest critiquing, like earnest weeding, is beneficial, but knowing where to stop can be tricky. This session focuses on the art of giving constructive critique, giving you strategies you can apply to your own writing to become an active editor in your own garden of words. You will be asked to submit a single page of writing (in any genre) immediately after registration. Please be sure to mark the box on your registration form, indicating your interest in this workshop. The workshop size is limited to 24.
Participants in the Read & Weed workshop will be asked to submit a 200-250 word sample prior to the due date. This sample can be either a very short standalone piece or a page from a longer work, prose or poetry. You should choose a piece you feel represents your current writing ability. Your sample should be double spaced to allow room for editorial comments. Do not use non-standard fonts, colored text, or colored/patterned backgrounds. Samples that do not meet the requirements will not be considered. Further details for submission will be provided when you register for the workshop.
12:30 to 1:30 pm – Buffet Luncheon
1:30 to 4:00 pm
NEW THIS YEAR – Legal Clinic
Sit down with Attorney Hun Ohm, a partner at the Northampton, Massachusetts, law firm Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg LLP, for a free, private 20-minute consult on your publishing, intellectual property, and/or merchandising and licensing legal issues. This clinic is designed to give WriteAngles attendees an opportunity to have general legal questions about the business answered. By appointment at the time of registration, concurrent with afternoon sessions.
Participants in the Legal Clinic will be requested to provide a brief description of their concern or questions prior to the conference so that our legal expert can better prepare. Confidential information need not, and should not, be included in this description. Further details for submission will be provided if you request the Legal Clinic during registration.
1:30 to 1:45 pm – Celebration of WriteAngles Community Grant (Morrison Room)
1:45 to 2:45 pm – Afternoon Keynote Speaker: Susan Stinson (Morrison Room)
PANEL SESSION III – 3:00 to 4:15 pm (Choose one)
Toward the Strange: Revision Strategies for Poets (Executive Board Room)
Panelists: Brett Averitt, Carol Edelstein, Jonathan Wright
Some poems are born perfect. Whether you are newly exploring poetry as a form, or have long experience writing and revising, one can’t have too many strategies for assessing whether a poem needs clarification, and if it does, what kind. In this workshop, three poets will read and speak about their approach to revision, followed by questions and the exchange of ideas. Do you have a poem that needs something, but you’re not sure what? Bring it with you. If you are open to sharing it, bring 10 copies. Or just listen in and contribute to a lively forum that might help you move a poem of your own forward.
Agents Panel: The Hook (Morrison Room)
Panelists: Kaylee Davis, Kimiko Nakamura, Gina Panettieri
Is your book’s opening strong enough to hook an agent or reader from the first page? This year’s agents panel will give ten to fifteen writers (depending on how long each evaluation takes) the chance to have their first 150 words evaluated live by our panel of agents. When you register, you will have the opportunity to submit up to 150 words from the beginning of your book to be read aloud during the Agents Panel. The agents will give their immediate reaction as to its strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement. Details for submission will be provided if you request this option at registration.
4:15 to 4:30 pm – Wrap-up (Morrison Room)
Names will be drawn for attendance prizes; you must be present to win.