OCLS Writers Conference

Friday, January 29, 2021
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Sunday, January 31, 2021

The annual OCLS Writers Conference is going virtual for 2021!

Make 2021 the year you finish and publish a novel. The OCLS Writers Conference will provide the tools and knowledge you need to reach your writing and publishing goals this year. Authors and publishing professionals will teach workshops on both craft and business topics. All times are in Eastern.

This conference is free to the public, but registration is required for all attendees. Registering for one day will register you for all three days, but you can attend sessions at will. Sessions will not be recorded or replayed.

Registration is now closed. Please see other upcoming writing workshops at www.ocls.info/writerscorner.

 

Friday 1/29/21

1:00 PM Make my Genre Punk by Alli Martin
2:00 PM Romance Writing 101 by Kait Ballenger
3:00 PM Perfecting the Query and Synopsis by Saritza Hernandez
4:00 PM Publishing Speculative Short Fiction by Mari Ness
5:00 PM A New Fanfiction by Nicole Oquendo & Mistie Watkins
6:00 PM Genre-Focused Networking Hour


Saturday 1/30/21

10:00 AM Creating a Series Bible by Kerry Evelyn
11:00 AM Understanding the Scene: The Engine of Your Story by Janice Hardy
12:00 PM How to Get a Literary Agent for Your Novel by Maria Ingrande Mora
1:00 PM Organizing Your Writing Life by Racquel Henry
2:00 PM Never Follow Any Rule Off a Cliff by Elle Ire and Jose Iriarte
3:00 PM Creating Characters by Chudney Thomas
4:00 PM Writing Comics When You Don’t Have an Illustrator by Leslie Salas
5:00 PM Your Pacing Score by Arielle Haughee
6:00 PM Genre-Focused Networking Hour

 

Sunday 1/31/21

1:00 PM World Building by Jennie Jarvis
2:00 PM The Agent Relationship by Kaitlyn Johnson
3:00 PM Researching Weapons, War, and Women by L.E. Perez
4:00 PM The 4 C's of Author Branding by Valerie Willis
5:00 PM Revision by Heather Startup
6:00 PM Genre-Focused Networking Hour


See full workshop descriptions and genres for the Networking Hours below.

 

Workshop Descriptions

Friday 1/29/21        

  • 1pm  —  Make my Genre Punk by Alli Martin: Steampunk, cyberpunk, solarpunk, what's with all these punk genres? Learn what makes a genre "punk" and some key ingredients for navigating and writing various punk subgenres.
  • 2pm  —  Romance Writing 101 by Kait Ballenger: An introduction into the conventions of writing romance stories.
  • 3pm  —  Perfecting the Query and Synopsis by Saritza Hernandez: In this 45-minute workshop, we'll go over the anatomy of a query letter, the do's and don't's of the query process, how to turn your outline into a synopsis, and how to prepare your non-fiction proposal.
  • 4pm  —  Publishing Speculative Short Fiction by Mari Ness: A discussion of some of the current routes to getting your short science fiction and fantasy stories published.
  • 5pm  —  A New Fanfiction: How Pop Culture Can Influence Storytelling by Nicole Oquendo & Mistie Watkins: What better way to be inspired than by the things we already love? Join this author/editor team as they discuss a broad definition of pop culture, the benefits of writing in response to it, and strategies to incorporate pop culture into your poems, stories, novels, and more.
  • 6pm  —  Genre-Focused Networking Hour: KidLit: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Children & Picture Books

        
Saturday 1/30/21    

  • 10am  —  Creating a Series Bible by Kerry Evelyn: A series bible is a reference document used to track information on a series' characters, settings and other world-building elements. Author Kerry Evelyn will demonstrate how to create and use one, discussing both digital and paper options.
  • 11am  —  Understanding the Scene: The Engine of Your Story by Janice Hardy: Learn the mechanics of scene and its troublesome partner, the sequel, and how to use this pairing to drive your story. Discover how to develop scenes and weave them together to build strong and focused plots.  
  • 12pm  —  How to Get a Literary Agent for Your Novel by Maria Ingrande Mora: A primer on taking your draft to the next stage -- seeking a literary agent to represent your work. This workshop focuses specifically on fiction manuscripts.
  • 1pm  —  Organizing Your Writing Life by Racquel Henry: Writers are busy and many of us our juggling full-time jobs, families, and other responsibilities. It can be really easy to slip into disorganization. In this workshop, you’ll learn the tips and tools that can save time and help you organize your writing life.
  • 2pm  —  Never Follow Any Rule Off a Cliff by Elle Ire and Jose Iriarte: This talk will break down each of Elmore Leonard’s Ten Writing Rules, explaining the rationales behind them, and suggest when an author might get away with breaking them. 
  • 3pm  —  Creating Characters by Chudney Thomas: This workshop walks attendees through using the lenses of identity and culture to build realistic relatable characters. Attendees will participate in a hands-on walkthrough of character creation from the ground up.
  • 4pm  —  Writing Comics When You Don’t Have an Illustrator by Leslie Salas: This interactive workshop will discuss strategies for how to create your own comics (and why it's better to do it yourself anyway). Attend this session with something to write with and something to write on, and by the time we are finished, you'll have created your own comic.
  • 5pm  —  Your Pacing Score: A Numeric System for Finding Slow Spots (and Tips to Fix Them) by Arielle Haughee: One of the most common issues in novel drafts is pacing. Too fast? Too slow? Saggy middle? The initial challenge is gaining perspective on your manuscript. That’s where a scoring system can help you analyze your scene flow and determine slow spots so you can adjust your scenes as needed
  • 6pm  —  Genre-Focused Networking Hour: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Commercial Fiction

        
Sunday 1/31/21

  • 1pm  —  World Building by Jennie Jarvis: Whether your novel takes place in modern-day America, 32nd century Mars, or a location completely creating in the author's imagination, world-building is an essential step in the prewriting process.  Award-winning author and screenwriter Jennie Jarvis will walk you through the elements authors should consider about the worlds in which their narratives take place.
  • 2pm  —  The Agent Relationship: From Offer of Rep to Going on Submission by Kaitlyn Johnson: Discover what working with a literary agent really looks like from the source.
  • 3pm  —  Researching Weapons, War, and Women by L.E. Perez: The presumption that women do not know how to use weapons or know about conflict is incorrect. Strong female protagonists sell. Learn how to create realistic and tangible protagonists that will make your readers scream with delight and angst.
  • 4pm  —  The 4 C's of Author Branding: Cover, Content, Connection, and Consistency by Valerie Willis: Branding doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Learn how to build a solid author brand for yourself.
  • 5pm  —  Revision by Heather Startup: This workshop will examine the big-picture questions to ask yourself after you've finished a rough draft and how to proceed in implementing your answers.
  • 6pm  —  Genre-Focused Networking Hour: Romance, Women's Fiction, Short Fiction, & Other

        
 

Contact Us

All questions and inquires should be directed to events@ocls.info. If you would like to present a workshop or schedule an author appearance at one of our library locations, please fill out the Present an Event form.