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2017-09/08 to 09/10 Fall for Writing Conference

Date: Begins Friday September 8th and lasts through Sunday Time: All day long Number of sessions: 3 days of panels, workshops and activities Members: $100 for whole event Nonmembers: $125 for whole event Location: San Diego Writers, Ink, ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 16, 2nd Floor Above Women's Museum, San Diego, CA 92106

REGISTRATION OPEN:  purchase pre-registration tickets for whole event (excluding special pitch/consult sessions) using buttons above (you will be asked which sessions to help us plan but can change your mind later).  If you wish to purchase just a few sessions, click on links in class names below to just register for that session.

This will be a great weekend to immerse yourself in your writing, make real progress towards your goals, learn new skills, and get the answers to your questions.

Pre-registration will be $100/$125 for the whole weekend (except excluded special events).  The package deal gets you up to TWELVE sessions on THREE DAYS (2 sessions generally run at the same time–you must choose which you will attend). Higher prices at the door on the weekend of the event and some sessions may sell out.  

Individual Sessions can be pre-purchased for $20/$25 per session (instead of purchasing the entire conference) by clicking on the links below.  Panels are $10/$15 per session.  Higher prices at the door on weekend of event for most sessions. Some sessions will sell out. 

Separate price and admission for appointment with one of the participants in the Book Pitch/Consult



1pm-2:45pm  Jumpstart your Journaling: Shortcuts and Prompts for Busy People with Mary Lee Moser

Learn to make journaling fun, accessible and meaningful, adapting your practice to your own personal schedule and energy level. Participants will leave with fresh ideas to gently encourage daily writing, free of burdens or unrealistic expectations.

3pm-4:45pm Generative Writing: Seven Deadly Sins in Seven Minutes with Kristen Fogle

Need macabre material for a developing plot line or merely want to partake in an afternoon of themed writing practice? For both newbies and seasoned generative writers, Fogle will provide seven multi-sensory writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. Sharing is encouraged but not required. 

NOTE:  DIME STORIES STARTS AT 6:30pm on Friday.  $5 (separate from conference)

Saturday, Sept 9
Special Event not included in price of conference
Book Pitch/Consults
$25/$30 for 10 minute pitch session

Patricia Nelson  10am-11am

Patricia Nelson joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. She represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively building her list.

Jennifer Silva Redmond  Noon-1pm

After more than a decade as editor-in-chief/acquisitions editor at Sunbelt Publications, Redmond is now a freelance publishing consultant and editor. On the staff of the Southern California Writers Conference and San Diego Writers, Ink, she was also prose editor for A Year in Ink Vol 3, and co-founder of the Sea of Cortez Review.

10am-11:45am Writing in the Wild with Judy Reeves

Let’s go outside. Let’s prowl around Liberty Station with our notebooks and pens, our curiosity and our imagination. It may not be exactly “wild” like the backcountry or the jungle or the rainforest, but we’re writers, we’ll discover the wild whether we choose to write about a pair of seagulls squawking on a tiled rooftop or a pair of lovers nuzzling on a bench. We’ll play around with description—both place and character; maybe we’ll take our shoes off and sit on the grass and write the way green feels on our bare feet. We may eavesdrop on dialogue and improvise a scene. Who knows what can happen once we turn our writer-selves loose for a couple of hours of free-form writing under the blue San Diego sky.

We’ll meet at The Ink Spot Saturday morning at 10 am and set out for the “wild.”

1pm-2:45pm Mining History for Fiction with Susan Meissner

In this workshop you will learn how to find the facts you need, organize the data in a useful manner, and merge the facts seamlessly into your novel.




Character with Cornelia Feye

Creating compelling and believable characters is one of the most important and enjoyable facets of being a writer. In this workshop we will practice building characters, getting to know them, making them believable, and giving them human flaws through writing exercises and discussions.

3pm-4:45pm Memoir with Marni Freedman

Be introduced to the basics of creating your memoir such as crafting the hook, selecting memories, sculpting narrative from memories, crafting a scene, parameters, editing, transitions, theme, tone, character arc, dialogue and flashbacks.

Editing with Jennifer Silva Redmond

Accomplished editor Jennifer Silva Redmond will explain and demonstrate different types of editing. Learn what a content edit is, what a line edit is, and what exactly a copyeditor does.

Whether you are reworking a project, cleaning up a finished book for submission, or planning on self-publication–this workshop is for you.


Learn writing techniques to help you pull the reader deeper into the story. Leave readers breathless to turn the page and invested in your characters. Tips, tricks, and exercises to help you dig into your characters and pull the reader in too.
John Van Roekel and Indy Quillen discuss self publishing and indie publishing strategies, strengths and pitfalls.  Hear from those who have done it and how they made it work for them.
Sunday, Sept 10
9am-10:45am Scrivener with Kim Keeline

Scrivener is writing software (for Mac or PC) which helps keep you organized and on track. Switch between outline/writing/photos/research and keep everything together. A unique tagging system, backups (and the ability to compare between past versions and the current version of a draft), and a simple but powerful interface makes it one of the best ways to write a novel or any long piece of writing, particularly one with notes, research, or complex ideas.

11am-11:45am PANEL: The Art of the Thriller

Thrillers are all the rage this year. Learn how to create the perfect thriller, from spine-tingling villains to drawing out tension, with authors Liz Fenton and Caitlin Rother.

PANEL: Children’s Books

Some people believe that writing for children is, well, child’s play. But it’s actually the most difficult genre to write for, because you have to please both the children and the adults buying the books for them.Learn about the business of writing for young people with authors Marcie Colleen, Margaret Dilloway, and Kali Wallace, who have covered picture books to YA between them.

12pm-12:45pm PANEL: Author Platform 

Dylan Yates, Jen Coburn and Jill Hall discuss building an author platform.  What do you need to do to get published?

Brown Bag with Danielle Baldwin

Writing Prompt time. $5 drop in or free to people that bought the conference package.

1pm-2:45pm Building a Sustainable Writing Practice with Judy Reeves

Some writer who knew a few things said, “starting writing is easy; it’s keeping writing that’s difficult.”

How often does this happen to you? You get a flash of an idea (and it’s a good one), and you can’t wait to get to your notebook or your laptop to begin writing; you write in a flurry for a while, and then it gets harder. You don’t know where to go with the story next; the characters are in hiding; the idea has fizzled. So you put your notebook away or close your laptop. Days go by, and you don’t write but you swear you’re going to get back to it “as soon as.” Weeks go by and you still haven’t got back to it. Then one day, you decide “this is it!” and you sit down with your notebook or your laptop, but nothing comes and you decide, well, maybe you’re not a writer after all. But still, there is this urge, this desire, this longing to write and write regularly.

I’ve heard this same, sad story from so many writers, or would-be writers, or want-to-be writers. It’s certainly a story from my past. I stopped and started more times than I can name, until…

It’s the “until…” that this workshop will focus on. We’ll look at what gets in the way of having a regular writing practice, no matter what we want to write. Working together, we’ll discover the three simple steps it takes to create a regular writing practice and sustain it day after day after day.

Marketing Secrets for Writers
with Mark O’BannonHow to create a buying frenzy. What every author ought to know about writing and marketing. Some plain talk about a simple business that often sounds complicated.In this class you will learn:

  • How to Find People Who Will Buy Your Stories
  • The most powerful marketing strategy ever devised
  • How to Build a Relationship With Your Fans
  • and more
3pm-4:45pm Plot Structure with Rich Farrell and Hunter Gatewood

What does ‘structure’ mean in fiction? What defines story structure as applied to writing novels and short stories?  This class will explore the elements of story structure, with practical tips towards building solid foundations for your writing.

 Creative Writing with David Coddon

You’ll learn helpful fundamentals about crafting a story, creating vivid characters and establishing compelling narrative conflict that will open up your possibilities and make you more excited than ever about telling the stories you want to tell.

5pm-6:45pm Screenwriting with Mark O’Bannon

According to John Truby, the premier story consultant in Hollywood, ninety percent of screenplays and eighty percent of novels are rejected because of poor structure.
This means that one of the most important things you will ever learn as a writer is how to structure a story. This class will look at structure.
Intro to Writing a One-Person Show
with Brenda Adelman

Actors need to express themselves. The one-person show format puts the control into the performers hands. No waiting to be cast. No more being a background player in your life.  Instead your story, your message and your talent put you center stage.
This is a class where we’ll begin to identify events in your life that shaped you, shocked you, devastated you, surprised you, humored you and most definitely had an impact. We’ll explore the theme of your life, dive deeply into character and solo performance. You’ve got a message to share and you are going to learn how to put it into your show. You’ll get the skills you need to stand out and make an impact if you take the 4-week course.
 Please register in advance.  When buying the package deal you will be asked to chose your sessions.  If you want to change your mind prior to the conference, please email Kim at and she will change your form.  If a session is not yet designated and you change your mind when you see the new info, please let Kim know and she will help you.
Sessions that sell out will give priority to those who purchased and choose the session ahead of time.  You can choose to change a session on the day only if there is still room.