REGISTRATION CLOSED – Cape Cod Writers Center Virtual Conference August 4-6, 2022





for the 59th Cape Cod Writers Center Virtual Conference

August  4-6, 2022


Thursday, August 4

9:00 -9:15 AM       Welcome   Barbara Struna, President and Nancy Rubin Stuart, Executive Director


9:30-11:30 AM     The Psychology of Character            Lynne Reeves Griffin   

Do you struggle to manage a cast of characters who are distinctive, empathetic, and memorable? Authentic characters work their way into readers’ hearts and minds because the challenges they face are both recognizable and uniquely personal. This session shows writers how to use psychological and behavioral research to create leads, allies, and opponents who are more than the sum of their physical traits. Learn to move your characters closer to their goals while introducing complications to your story, putting at risk what your characters want and need, making failure more possible and dangerous.


12: 00 -2:00 PM   Truth Vs. Memory in Memoir    Alysia Abbott

Whenever we set out to write about our lives we realize that “truth” is a slippery concept. Memories of an event are colored by subjectivity and circumstance. Three people at a car accident may remember that scene differently, depending on their point of view. And as we change over our lifetimes, how we remember events may also change. But as nonfiction writers we owe it to our readers to tell the truth as we know it. To deliver A truth, if not THE truth. In this seminar, we will look at how different memoirists tackle the issues around truth and memory. Includes writing exercises.


2:15-4:15   5:00 – 6:45 PM  Writing for Young Children  Marc Aronson

Writing the text for a 32-page picture book aimed at young children is a true artistic challenge. The picture book is most similar to a film, as art, design, and page turn tell much of the story, and words must be crafted to dance with art – that the author does not create. Using storyboards we will explore how to turn an idea into a true picture book.

Friday, August 5

9:00-11:00 AM       Point of View   John Cotter

We all know the difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, but there are more different shades of 3rd than we can fit on a color wheel. Free indirect, for example, in all its manifestations, remains the style de jour among contemporary fiction writers. Mastery of this style is an essential tool. In this course, we’ll study the evolution, variations, challenges, and power of Free Indirect narration. You’ll never read or write 3rd-person the same way again, and your work will be stronger for it.

  11:15 AM-1:15 PM  Striking Images for Poets & Prose Writers   Rebecca Givens  Rolland 

Writing striking images is a key way to bring both your poems and prose pieces to life–but too often, when we’re focused on plot, narrative arc, or character, we neglect to focus on the images we create through our writing. But adding such images doesn’t only make your work more lively; it can also bring you new creative directions and ideas. Through exercises and models from both poets and prose writers, we’ll identify how to highlight and enrich the images in your work. Please bring a piece in progress to this workshop.


1:30-3:30 PM    Writing for Young Adults: The Pleasures and Pitfalls, Marina Budhos

What is different about writing YA–is it different than writing for adults? What about the use of slang and pop culture?  Content? How to make the voice authentic? In this workshop we’ll discuss voice, point of view, pacing and do exercises to hone students’ skills at writing for young people.

3:45-5:45 PM  What Agents Want and Expect from You  Jacqueline Flynn, Tom Miller, Andy Ross 

Saturday, August 6

9:00-11:00 AM     A Guide to Plotting your Novel  Elisabeth Elo

You’ve got a great idea for a novel. You know the characters, the setting, and you have a general sense of what you want the story to show or reveal. Now what? How do you choose what to put in and what to leave out? How do you structure your story so that events flow at a pace that will keep your reader interested? Most fiction writers will tell you that plotting is the hardest thing they do. This course is designed to make that process less daunting. We’ll look at several different plotting strategies so you can find the one that best fits the way you think and work, and we’ll consider the pros and cons of having no strategy at all. You’ll come away with a few new tools and more confidence.

11:15 AM–12:15 PM   Keynote Speaker   Marjan Kamali 

Marjan’s talk will be FREE for all attendees.

Writing in a Time of Uncertainty: How to Maintain Joy and Stamina in Your Writing Practice 

Over two years into a global pandemic and after months of reeling from war stories that consume our hearts, all the uncertainties of our modern world can make maintaining a writing practice feel insurmountable. Best-selling novelist Marjan Kamali will talk about how to stay inspired, disciplined, and connected in our writing lives in a time of upheaval.

  12:30-2:30 PM  The Foundations of Screenwriting   Marc Lapadula     

The journey of a script can span years of hard work, re-writes, and setbacks. This course provides participants with a practical foundation to develop their own cinematic narrative and learn how to create multi-dimensional characters to deliver that story to their target audience. Marc will address the screenwriting components of a professional script: plot construction, character development, and creating cinematic dialogue. Participants will learn to craft conflict, dramatic pacing, foreshadowing, the element of surprise, subtext, plot points, and visual storytelling into their work.

 2:45 -4:45 PM    Developing the Series Devon Ellington

Whether you have an idea for a series and want to develop it? Several books in and not sure where to go next? The course covers developing the protagonist, antagonist, supporting cast, setting, plots and subplots, coordinating book-specific arcs with multi-book arcs and overall series arcs. It will touch on spin-offs and tie-ins. It will teach how to keep tracking sheets and start a series bible. It will also talk about genre expectations (and is not specific to a single genre). Participants will use exercises in class and as homework to develop different aspects covered in the workshop.





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