Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Great Book Academy Question--Opinions Needed

by Julie Coulter Bellon

You may not know this, but I’m on the planning committee for the Book Academy Conference. This is a writing conference that Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, puts on at the end of September every year. Last year we had two keynote speakers, Brandon Sanderson and Maria Covey Cole (with a surprise guest speaker--her father Steven Covey), lots of classes and panels, and I think most everyone had a great time. Utah has a wonderful variety of aspiring and established writers and I love the energy I get when I go to different conferences with them.

Anyway, this year’s Book Academy conference promises to be even better than last year’s and I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be held on September 30th and the website for early bird registration (and a $10 discount) will be up and running shortly. (I'll keep you posted). But as our committee was in session the other day, we were putting together the classes, topics, and possible teachers, and I thought to myself that I know what kind of classes I want to see, but how could I ask a good cross-section of aspiring and established writers what class topics they would most like to see at a conference? And then I thought of you, dear readers, and I’m hoping you can help me. If you were to attend a writing conference, what classes would you most like to see? There are two tracks, one for beginning writers and one for advanced writers, so keep that in mind. But would you prefer to see things like self-editing, grammar, what to do when your first draft is finished, showing not telling, critique groups, and other things like that? Or a mix of writing/marketing specifics---like writing in depth characters, great villains, character bibles, plotting your plot, great dialogue, great query letters, pitching to agents, marketing your books, etc.? Or both? Do you have other ideas? (I’m totally open for new ideas!)

Obviously I’ve only listed a few things off the top of my head, but this is what I want to know: What kind of classes most interest you at a writing conference? (And who would you love to see teach it?)


13 Comments:

At 7/15/2010 11:40 AM, Anonymous T.J. said...

One thing I personally want to see is Jeff Savage's Character Bible class. I missed it at last year's book academy and signed on too late for Storymakers workshop.
I would personally enjoy a class on dialogue, query letter writing from those that have successfully received agents, and revising (as opposed to editing). I think a general class on something like "being the critiquer" (instead of the critiquee) would be interesting, meaning how to help other writers.
The Book Academy was the first conference I've ever attended and I really did love it and have been waiting since it ended to attend the next one.

 
At 7/15/2010 11:59 AM, Blogger Krista said...

Book Promotion "My book has been accepted, now what?"; Internet Resources for Networking and Promotion, taught by Marion Jensen because he needs more to do; Plot Structure...

I'm sure you'll have so many great topics I will be miserable choosing! my mouth is already watering from the list in your post!

 
At 7/15/2010 12:06 PM, Blogger Marta O. Smith said...

How about something called "BICHOK: Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard."

 
At 7/15/2010 1:37 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

As I am new to the process, I would love to being informed about character bibles, plotting, creating believeable characters etc. Please keep us in formed of registration etc. Thanks, -Lisa

 
At 7/15/2010 1:43 PM, Blogger Karen Hoover said...

I like the in depth classes that are more specific to my problem areas, personally.

Oh, and if you need any help, I'm volunteering. :)

 
At 7/15/2010 4:02 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I think a class on editing/polishing a manuscript is always helpful!

 
At 7/15/2010 4:07 PM, Blogger Taffy said...

Jeff is an awesome teacher.
Elana's query class (she gives candy!), dialogue, marketing, Heather Moore, Brandon Saunderson, um,James would be a good keynote speaker...
Is that enough for now?
P.S. I would love to help!

 
At 7/15/2010 5:58 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

1) Anything Stephanie's teaching!
(True for the rest of you: sorry I missed your class last year, Julie!)

2) Police/Authority Procedures - where do mystery writers get their info on how the police / marshalls / dog catchers really work? Wikipedia seems inadequate for really getting the details right. How about watching Law & Order?

Clair Poulson might be a good choice for this, not sure whether he likes public speaking. (Who does?) Or, um, that former-CIA author, is that Tracy Abramson?

 
At 7/15/2010 7:37 PM, Blogger Paisley said...

I agree with Heather B., a class in self-editing and polishing a manuscript would be a blessing right now. Also, if you had an expert in writing a short and long synopsis, and query letters, that would put things over the top for me. I'll be checking back to see when you have more information, and a website.

 
At 7/15/2010 8:12 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

My two opinionated cents: When I'm attending workshops I'm not as concerned about the subjects as I am about the presenters. It seems like a lot of presenters (at all writing conferences) are hit-and-miss (both in presentation ability and expertise). So, I kinda think you should just select good presenters and then let them choose their own topics (within reason).

 
At 7/15/2010 9:17 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Awww, Jon, you're sweet.

 
At 7/16/2010 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to anonymously ditto Rob. Partially because he makes sense. And partially because I don't.

 
At 8/05/2010 12:28 PM, Anonymous Sindy said...

I went to the conference last year and loved it. I can't wait until the website for this year is up.

Personally as a new and aspiring author, I'm interested in plot creation, character creation, finding and pitching to agents, illustrating, support/writing groups, etc. I might also like story writing "how-tos" (for lack of a better word) and a class on self-publishing and marketing.

 

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