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Honolulu Branch APRIL 2016 Biennial Writers' Conference
Click on a link below for details
Workshop Presenters    Workshop Sessions

click here for the full brochure in pdf format.


Roslyn Catracchia
Award-winning songwriter, Roslyn Catracchia has co-written over 40 musicals that have been produced locally and nationally, and has written and co-produced many CDs, four of which have earned her Hoku nominations. She is a proud member of ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Rich Fahle
Rich Fahle is a passionate advocate for reading, publishing, and author-focused entertainment in all its formats. He is founder of Astral Road Media, a full-service author support agency, and Executive Producer of Book View Now on PBS, providing national book coverage for public media.

Moses Goods
Moses Goods is a professional storyteller, playwright and award-winning actor. His plays have been produced by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and Windward Community College. His most recent work Duke, a play about the famed athlete Duke Kahanamoku, is touring nationally.

Michael Gruber
Michael Gruber, The New York Times bestselling author of 25 novels, worked in the Carter White House and holds a PhD in marine biology. Stephen King called Gruber’s novel, The Good Son, his favorite novel of 2013. www.michaelgruberbooks.com

Constance Hale
Born on O‘ahu’s North Shore, Constance Hale leads the Mokule‘ia Writers Retreat. She writes frequently about Hawaiian history and culture. That is, when she’s not writing about language and literary style, in books, on The New York Times Opinionator, and on her website: www.sinandsyntax.com

Tiff Holland
Tiff Holland’s poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction appear regularly in literary journals and anthologies. She is the author of Bone in a Tin Funnel and the novella-in-flash Betty Superman, available through www.rosemetalpress.com Tiff currently lives in Kaneohe, Hawaii.

Marcia Zina Mager
Marcia Zina Mager is an international bestselling author, playwright, award-winning poet, and performance artist. Her publishing credits include 10 books, fiction & nonfiction, translated into eight languages. She’s the creator of the original Write from the Heart national seminar series.
www.321write.com & www.ilovemoneytalks.com

Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency, LLC
Kristin has represented over 35 New York Times bestselling titles and many USA Today bestsellers. She is currently looking for literary commercial novels, big crossover novels, upmarket women’s fiction, lead title science fiction and fantasy, single-title romance (especially historical), and young adult and upper-level middle grade novels. Kristin represents author Jamie Ford. Submission guidelines:

Pamela Rotner Sakamoto
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto’s narrative nonfiction book is Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds (Harper 2016). The New York Times calls it “engrossing” and “an important contribution to our knowledge of the Japanese-American experience in World War II, on both sides of the ocean and the hyphen.” www.pamelarotnersakamoto.com

Susan Scott
Susan Scott has written a weekly column about marine life for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser since 1987 and is the author of eight nonfiction books. In 2014, Susan published her memoir, Call Me Captain, about sailing through a life-changing midlife crisis.

Jonathan Clarke Sypert
Jonathan Clarke Sypert, aka !NTREP!D, has been a professional, award-winning performing artist for 25 years. Artistically driven, he has employed cross-genre as an actor, vocal artist, dancer/choreographer, puppeteer, visual artist and slam poet.

Brian Watanabe
Brian Watanabe is the screenwriter of The Rogues Gallery, which became the cult film Operation: Endgame, starring Ellen Barkin, Maggie Q and Zach Galifianakis. He’s developed scripts for production companies at Fox and Sony. He’s also an award-winning advertising copywriter living in Hawaii. www.brianwatanabe.com

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Hooking the Reader
Jamie Ford
Readers are often turned on or off by the first chapter, even the first page. What contracts do we make with the reader in these first few pages? We’ll analyze story openings with a focus on immersing the audience by sinking story hooks, and creating likeable protagonists (or sympathetic anti-heroes). If you’re feeling brave, submit your own first page for a group critique.

Adventures in Screenwriting
Brian Watanabe
This is a fun and informative overview of the craft of screenwriting for beginning screenwriters and filmmakers. It includes discussions about concept, character, structure, adaptation, and the business of screenwriting. Script to screen comparisons help keep the workshop interactive and entertaining.

An Agent Reads the Slush Pile
Kristin Nelson
Ever wonder how an agent reads the fiction submission slush pile? What an agent is thinking during the opening pages? This workshop gives the inside scoop. Kristin Nelson will read the “slush pile” and give honest feedback on the sample pages in front of her. This workshop is not for the faint of heart. The point is not to dishearten but to give an inside look at the process. Interested participants can bring three copies each of the first two pages of their novels. You are welcome to attend even if you don’t submit pages.

Author & Agent – Landing an Agent
Jamie Ford & Kristin Nelson
Last year Kristin Nelson received 40,000 mind-numbing, email-clogging queries from aspiring authors. Out of those 800+ per week, she requested 85 full manuscripts, and signed two new clients. We’ll examine successful and rejected queries and talk about the best ways to navigate that literary gauntlet, and discuss the ever-mysterious author/agent relationship.

Beyond Self-Promotion & Platform: Share Yourself, Build Your Community
Rich Fahle
A workshop designed to help shed feelings of writer’s dread that frequently accompany the words “author platform” or “self-promotion.” We’ll discuss how creating moments of connection online is about more than follower count numbers—it’s about fostering a network of people who support your work. Workshop Via Skype

The Craft of Lyric Writing
Roslyn Catracchia
A successful songwriter makes every word count. Learn new techniques to help you craft your lyrics. After exploring various song forms and subjects, we’ll pick and choose themes, words, and phrases, ending the session with a finished song that we will create together. All are welcome, from beginner to experienced songwriter.

Memoir, Susan Scott
Susan Scott will talk about storytelling in nonfiction and memoir, as well as what she’s learned over the years about agents, editors, publishers and readers. For an exercise, Susan will share the only one that ever helped her writing.

Novella & Memoir in Flash
Tiff Holland
How to write stand-alone pieces that can be linked to create longer works. In the age of “binge-viewing” and Twitter, this session will cover the process of writing pieces that satisfy the desire for concise writing that can be consumed in one session while leaving readers wanting more.

Playwriting: Letting a Character Live
Moses Goods
Learn how to create likeable characters by exploring what it feels like to walk in their shoes. Conflict, fear, motivation, strengths and flaws play a part. Actor and playwright Moses Goods will share his process of “letting a character live.”

The Power of Writing Badly:
The astonishing truth about the creative process
Marcia Zina Mager
What does it mean to be a “real” writer? Through wild exercises and deep insight, we’ll discover unexpected answers from the world’s greatest artistic masters, like Van Gogh and Rumi, learning to honor our own mediocrity, procrastination and despair, and building a new, kinder relationship to ourselves.

Sin & Syntax: Making Sentences Sing
Constance Hale
Constance Hale (author of the style manual Sin and Syntax and the verb volume Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch) leads you through a series of readings, exercises, puzzles, and games that allow you to stretch new muscles, kick bad habits, and cultivate your own writer’s voice.

Thrillers – What they are, and how to write one
Michael Gruber
Michael Gruber will talk about the origins and construction of the thriller and provide tips on how to write a good one. Workshop Via Skype

Words in Motion,
Jonathan Clarke Sypert
Slam Poetry is self-expression through bold, vocal performance of the written word. “Words in Motion” is a workshop dedicated to lifting words from the page and refocusing the vibrations to convey the exact message intended by the author.

Writing Narrative Nonfiction:

Making the Past Come to Life
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto
Pamela Rotner Sakamoto will discuss how to bring history alive with telling details, visual imagery, dialogue, scenes, and suspense. The past can be as vivid and magical as fiction without sacrificing a grain of truth.

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Questions contact conferenceinfo@nlapwhonolulu.org


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