CCWC’s Virtual Summer Conference August 5-7, 2021

The 2021 Cape Cod Writers Center Conference

August 5-7 

A Virtual Conference 


Conference Schedule

Featuring an outstanding staff of author-instructors in ten workshops on fiction, mystery, editing, memoir, screenwriting, and poetry.

Click on their names for their biographies. 


Thursday, August 5

9-9:30 AM Welcome: ( Free to All Registrants)  9-9:30 AM  Barbara Struna  and  Nancy Rubin Stuart

9:45-11:45 AM  Adam Sexton     Point of View 

In this workshop we investigate point of view – the relationship between story, storyteller, and audience.  Is your short story or novel best told by a first-person narrator, or from the third-person omniscient p.o.v.?  Maybe you want to combine the intimacy of first-person with the distance of third by using the third-person-limited perspective.  Even the second-person (“you”) is an option.  Every short story and novel has an ideal p.o.v. strategy.  Learn what’s best for yours.


12-2:00 PM  Linda Joy Myers                The Art and Craft of Memoir Writing

This workshop examines writing memoir from the very beginnings—finding your memories and your theme to structuring your memoir and writing scenes, the building blocks of memoir. We’ll talk about truth, the inner critic and family, and learn about using fiction skills in writing memoir.



2:15-4:15 PM  Laurie Stolarz                Compelling Fiction for Young Adults

This workshop explores the elements of compelling young adult fiction and examines various genres of YA writing. Within it we will learn about the importance of voice, plot, character, tension, dialogue, and point-of-view in contemporary work. Exercises will be provided to get you started and/or propel you further in your work-in-progress. Come ready to be inspired.



4:30-6:30 PM  Edith Maxwell  How to Write Mysteries and Cozies

Some say a murder mystery is “formulaic” – but is it? This course explores the elements of the traditional mystery – character, setting, plot, puzzle – with examples from several subgenres, particularly the cozy mystery. We’ll look at hooks, suspense, red herrings, and the conventions of the subgenres. Participants will work on their own ideas and should bring their work-in-progress if they have one.


Friday, August 6

9-11 AM  Devon Ellington:  Realistic, Riveting Characters

Great characters in fiction and memoir do not simply spring from the page, but are carefully crafted by the author. How do you create complex, interesting people within the context of dialogue, viewpoint, voice, beginnings and endings? In this workshop, author Devon Ellington offers techniques and exercises to develop layered characters. Please bring questions/challenges on your work regarding characters, and you are welcome to bring in a short (500 word or less) scene for discussion and suggestions/feedback.


11:15-1:15 PM  Enzo Silon Surin:   Finding Your Poetic Voice Through the Use of Persona

Poetry helps us to answer the question “Am I alone in this world?” and provides us with the vehicle to share our stories with those who may have similar experiences. Poetry is, as the poet Pam Allyn puts it, “how we say to the world, and to each other, ‘I am here.’” In this workshop, we will explore the power of figurative language as a safe and effective way to bring your authentic narratives to life.


1:30-3:30 PM   Advance Your Screenwriting Jim Jennewein       

An intensive workshop that teaches you how to use classic screenplay structure, “character motors” and other story building secrets to turn your original idea into a fully-developed movie story. Attendees will leave with improved outlines as well as tools for deepening their character arcs and strengthening screenwriting craft.


3:45-5:45 PM  Writing for Children  Linda Oatman High:

A shipping box can be a pirate ship. A bathtub can be an ocean. This session illustrates how to glean writing ideas for children from everyday objects and everyday life. A Power Point point will be presented, following by writing prompts and hands-on writing exercises sure to spark creativity and ideas.


Saturday, August 7:

9-11 AM  Constructing Scenes Mark Fogarty:

In this workshop, writers will learn what makes a great scene and put this knowledge to work, creating a scene (or transforming an already written one) that is full of tension, detail and power. Topics explored include creating suspense, when to begin and end, how to design conflict, and using cinematic scene construction techniques for your novel.


11:30-12:30 PM  (Keynote Speaker, Free to All Registrants)

“Current Trends in Publishing” Tom Miller

Tom, a publishing veteran has seen many publishing trends come and go, from the recent coloring book craze to the latest fad diet books (some of which he used to publish!). Publishing Trends today will be Tom’s insider’s analysis of what is working now. Here’s a quick preview: fiction and nonfiction books with diverse themes by diverse authors are especially in demand, as are graphic novels and grounded inspirational and motivational books. The children’s book market also continues to be very strong.


 1-3:00 PM  Editing Your Fiction with a Critical Eye  Dr. Laurel Yourke: 

Writers who embrace revision view it as an exhilarating process that transforms the words you created into the ones your readers will want. To accomplish this, you must analyze your fiction as if someone else wrote it. Cultivate objectivity. Discover strategies to identify what’s on the page instead of what you hoped was there. Now you’re ready to revise everything from the deep structure of plot and characterization to the polish of syntax and word choice. By adding “vision” to revision, you can perfect the story you always wanted to write.