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Writer's Room

Join the Writer's Room In Session Now!

Annual, Weekly and On-Going Socials

Weekly Saturday Social with HWG

      Join us on Saturday mornings from 10:00 am to 11:00 am (CST) via Zoom for a time of networking and connecting to other writers. Conversations about current work in progress, publishing, troubleshooting issues, plus sharing news and opportunities with one another take place during this time as we meet up in virtual space for coffee.

Last Saturday of the Month, Rally for Hope with former guild president, Andrea Sanchez.

     On the last Saturday of each month, in lieu of our social, we join in with former guild president Andrea Sanchez as she hosts a Rally for Hope from 10:00 am to 11:00 am CST.

      Each Rally includes motivational speakers that share compelling stories and insight to motivate us and help us remember we are not alone in this journey called life.

     Check out more about this ongoing program and register for the next event here: andrea@sparkstory.co

Saturday Socials
Seminars and Summits

Seminars and Summits

Annual Love Your Writing Seminar

Coming February 2024

Follow the Houston Writers Guild on eventbrite to stay up to day with all of our events!

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Upcoming Houston Writers Guild Events

Authopalooza

Authorpalooza Extravaganza Conference

Friday, October 6 - Sunday, October 8, 2023

Hilton Houston Plaza Medical Center Hotel

6633 Travis Street  I  Houston, TX  77030 

Event Pricing

Members:

  • Friday, October 6th, 2023 Only -- $50

  • Saturday, October 7th, 2023 Only -- $200 (includes lunch)

  • Sunday, October 8th, 2023 Only -- $100

  • 3 Day Conference Pass (Fri-Sun + Saturday Lunch) = $325

Non Members:

  • Friday, October 6th, 2023 Only -- $70

  • Saturday, October 7th, 2023 Only -- $220 (includes lunch)

  • Sunday, October 8th, 2023 Only -- $120

  • 3 Day Conference Pass (includes full conference, lunch, plus a one-year membership to HWG) = $345

** Venue parking information will be coming soon and may include an add on cost which will be purchased separately for those who need it.

Venue

Friday, October 6, 2023 -- 7pm to 9:00 pm (CST)

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm      Session: Using anthology and journal publications to build your author platform with Fern Brady

8:00 pm – 8:15 pm      Introduction of Collaboration with WIVLA & HWG Acknowledgments of Judges and Production Staff

8:15 pm – 8:30 pm     Award Winners called up to receive award & READ their stories (3 winners)

8:30 pm – 8:45 pm     Honorable Mentions called up to receive their certificate and copy of book (7-10 authors)

8:45 pm – 9:00 pm     Closing comments and adjournment

Saturday, October 7, 2023 – 9 am to 5:15 pm (CST)

9:00 am – 9:15 am                  Opening Remarks

9:15 am – 10:15 am                  Keynote Speaker – Kevin J Anderson

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Kevin J Anderson, “The Popcorn Theory of Success”

How to go from small-town fanboy to #1 international bestselling author—and how not to miss an opportunity for lightning to strike.

     Kevin J Anderson has published more than 175 books, 58 of which have been national or international bestsellers. He has written numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, and Dune universes, as well as a unique steampunk fantasy trilogy beginning with Clockwork Angels, written with legendary rock drummer Neil Peart. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series, the Wake the Dragon and Terra Incognita fantasy trilogies, the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and his humorous horror series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. He has edited numerous anthologies, written comics and games, and the lyrics to two rock CDs. Anderson is the director of the graduate program in Publishing at Western Colorado University. Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press. His most recent novels are Clockwork Destiny, Gods and Dragons, Dune: The Lady of Caladan (with Brian Herbert), and Slushpile Memories: How NOT to Get Rejected.

10:30 am – 11:30 am                  Break Out #1, Room A

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Doug Williams, Freelancing 101

     We live in a literary world where writers – unless they are a “brand” like John Grisham or James Patterson – are not likely to make a sustainable living as novelists. But that does not mean abandoning your passion. The fact is, by finding a profitable side hustle as a writer for hire (technically known as a freelancer), you can pay the bills, keep up with the mortgage, put food on the table, and even take an occasional weekend trip – without hitting pause on your writing dreams. Freelancing isn’t for the squeamish. But if you’re willing to take the plunge, it can be lucrative and a powerful complement to your creative work. In this session, you’ll get the basics (and more) on just how to do it without losing your mind.

     Doug Williams has more than 35 years of experience writing, editing, and training in a comprehensive range of media in multiple industry sectors. He is also a novelist, playwright, and award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, and has ghost-written multiple books.

      He is a former journalist, editor, and columnist; worked as a press secretary in the U.S. Senate; and served as chief creative writer and senior vice president for public relations and public affairs at a large regional advertising agency. Additionally, he has managed corporate communications, branding, and marketing functions in both the public and private sectors, and has worked in government relations/legislative advocacy at the state and federal levels.

10:30 am – 11:30 am                  Break Out #1, Room B

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Melanie Bragg, "Legal Fair Game and Your Book"

     In this program, author Melanie Bragg of Bragg Law will go through the legal issues that authors need to be aware of when writing their books. Bragg will go over the subjects of copyrights, using song lyrics, the concept of “fair game,” plagiarism, trademarks, disclaimers, types of entities and more. Come prepared with questions!
 

Melanie Bragg (melanie@melaniebragg.com; https://www.melaniebragg.com) is the owner of Bragg Law, a general civil firm in Houston, Texas and Legal Insight, Inc, a legal education company. She is the author of three books: Crosstown Park, an Alex Stockton legal thriller, published by Koehler Books; Defining Moments: Insights into the Lawyer’s Soul, an American Bar Association Flagship publication and HIPPA for the General Practitioner, also published by the American Bar Association. She is named a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters since 2019 and was named one of Houston Chronicle’s Best Probate Lawyers this year. Bragg is a former Chair of the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division and she serves on the ABA House of Delegates for the Houston Bar Association. She served on and chaired the ABA GP Solo Division’s Book Publications Board for many years before she was chair and had over 40 authors under her care to shepherd their books from proposal to publication. She is taking on that role again for the Division this Fall. Bragg writes on mindfulness and leadership with her monthly columns for the GP Solo eReport with a circulation of over 25,000. She is a certified Success Coach and is a frequent motivational and mindfulness speaker. In April of 2022 she received the 2022 American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division Lifetime Achievement Award.

10:30 am – 11:30 am                  Break Out #1, Room C

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Rachel Connelly, Developmental Editors: What are they and why do you need them?

     Rachel Connelly is one of Inklings Publishing’s developmental editors. A writer and thespian, Rachel will be working with the winning and honorable mention authors from the Journey into Art contest to develop and refine their piece for publication.

     She works as a freelance developmental editor, born and raised in Houston. For as long as she can remember, writing and reading and storytelling have been her passions. As an editor, it gives her so much joy to help others bring life to the stories inside their heads.

     Outside of work, Rachel is a local community theatre actress, avid painter and crocheter, and mom to four ridiculous cats.

11:45 am – 12:45 am                  Break Out #2, Room A

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Amy Megill, Working with a Copy Editor

     You've just completed your masterpiece—your debut novel. Now what? Find a publisher or an agent? Don't forget about the essential step before that: Get a professional editor. In this presentation, Amy Megill (a.k.a. Editor Amy) will walk you through everything you need to know about the editing process and working with an editor: the different types of editing, where to look (and where not to look) for a good editor, costs, the typical editing process and how to make it ideal, what to include in your first email to an editor, and more.

     Amy Megill is a local Houstonian and the owner of Editor Amy. She is a passionate and seasoned professional editor with over fifteen years’ experience, and she has a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University. Amy thrives on helping writers meet and exceed their goals. She offers copyediting (her specialty), developmental editing, proofreading, manuscript evaluations, and query letter coaching. When she’s not editing, Amy enjoys spending time with her husband, parrots (six!), and dog. Her biggest pet peeve is the comma splice.

11:45 am – 12:45 am                  Break Out #2, Room B

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Mary Ann Faremouth, The Benefits of Putting Pen to Paper in your Personal and Professional Life

     As a national recruiter for 30+ years, the author of multiple award-winning books, nationally syndicated columnist, professional speaker and podcast host; Mary Ann will discuss how writing has helped her overcome many challenges in her personal and professional life, as well as, the benefits of writing skills in the workplace and life in general.

As a national recruiter for 30+ years, the author of multiple award-winning books, nationally syndicated columnist, professional speaker and podcast host; Mary Ann will discuss how writing has helped her overcome many challenges in her personal and professional life, as well as, the benefits of writing skills in the workplace and life in general.

11:45 am – 12:45 am                  Break Out #2, Room C

Panel, Diversity: How do you do it right?

     Join this group of amazing authors as they discuss the issue of diversity in writing. How do you create an inclusive world for your novel? How do you honor cultural representations when you are not of the cultures you are including? Come learn how to integrate a healthy and respectful view of our diverse and vibrant world into your writing.

Panelists:

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Kim-Ling Sun

Writer

Award-Winning Educator

     Kim-Ling Sun grew up in Singapore before immigrating to Texas where she attended University of Houston and graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English. As a mixed-race Chinese American writer, her life experiences living in the margins inform her work.

     She is an award-winning educator who has 20 years of teaching experience, with 12 years teaching in community colleges. She is a published poet, community activist, and a freelance writer covering topics related to the Asian American community, education, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Best Colleges. Her creative writing can be found in Raising Mothers, OPAWL Pandemic Stories Zine, Poets Against Walls. Emmy Perez’ Digital Texas Poet Laureate Project, and the chapbook Faceless Brown Masses: A Blackout Response to Flatiron Books.

     In Fall of 2023, the release of the Texas Writer’s Lab Anthology will include some of her recent work.

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Mack Little

Writer

Houston Writers Guild Board Member

     Mack Little holds an undergraduate in English Literature from the University of Dubuque, Iowa and a Masters of Information Science from the University of North Texas. Born in Conyers, GA, Mack has gone on to live, as a University Student in Seville, Spain and, as a soldier, in Wurzburg, Germany. Her studies and career have taken her and all over the United States. Mack is the Membership Director of the Houston Writer’s Guild. While Progenie is her first novel, she co-authored “Disaster Planning: a How-to-Do-It Manual”, published by Neal Schuman. She has also authored several articles for professional library journals.

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Saborna Roychowdry

Writer

Reader's Favorite

     In 2004, Saborna Roychowdry's short story Bengal Monsoon appeared in New York Stories magazine and received a Pushcart Prize nomination. Saborna's debut novel, "The Distance," was published in the U.S. by Istoria books. "The Distance" received a starred review from Publishers Weekly in 2013. Her second novel, Everything Here Belongs to You, was released in June by Texas based publisher, Black Rose Writing and received a starred review from Indie Reader. Kirkus Reviews called her book, A heart-wrenching family drama, as powerful as it is delicate. The novel was well-received in other publications in the U.S. and elsewhere, including the Sublime Book Review and Readers' Favorite. On September 1st, 2022, her book won 3rd Place/Bronze Medal in the prestigious Reader's Favorite International Book Awards contest,  Saborna was born and raised in Kolkata, India, and moved to the U.S. for undergraduate work in chemistry. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and twin daughters.

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm                  Lunch & Networking - Included in Ticket ; Venue Catering

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm                   Workshop Session Facilitator - Kevin J Anderson

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Kevin J Anderson, “Effective Kickstarter Campaigns”

     Publishing takes money. You don't have to fund everything yourself. If you are an indie and want to learn how to use kickstarter to help you raise the money to publish your book, this session will provide specific tips and strategies for making the campaign effective.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm                  Break Out #3, Room A

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Patrick Fant, Writing for Radio

     Join the pageantry of writing high-velocity foolishness for radio. This session will explore the techniques for organizing ideas that later become scripts intended to be heard, not read.  Learn to develop a taste for sonic seasonings within the cadence of words set in motion.  Exercise your ability to play again and to reconnect with all the ways you can scratch that itch with new enthusiasm.  Learn to hear it before you see it, and do it all within the time-limited, attention-challenged setting of what’s left of radio.

     Pat Fant, Chief Operating Officer, RFC Media, LLC ~ Houston

As architect and captain of some of the most influential major-market radio stations of our time, Pat Fant has become recognized as an influential figure in the business of high-profile radio. For over three decades, Fant has designed and built the enduring powerhouse brands that have dominated the major media markets of Dallas and Houston (KLOL & The BUZZ/Houston) and as VP/GM KTXQ/Dallas & KRBE/Houston.  He is a 2011 Inductee into The Texas Radio Hall of Fame and his station KLOL was Billboard’s Rock Station of the Year, while American Women in Radio & Television named him Radio GM of the Year. 

      Fant is a Beaty Award winner for broadcasting and holds both the New York Festival and Pro Max Award for broadcast marketing.  Pat Fant is also a radio comedy writer with his syndicated weekly commentary The Otis Advisory. Fant holds two US process patents, including one for the Art Casket introduced with the co-release of the KISS Kasket with Gene Simmons at License 2000.  Fant's collegiate studies took him to University of Houston and Rice University's Management Program.  Today, Fant's RFC Media is the leading publisher of brand-built digital audio channels for business, including the format channels for TuneIn, NASA's Third Rock Radio - America's Space Station, as well as a full line of syndicated broadcast programming heard today on affiliated radio stations in the USA, Europe and Canada. 

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm                  Break Out #3, Room B

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Ronel Golden, Marketing Your Book

     Marketing your book is neither a pastime, nor an impossible feat. In this session, Ronel will explain and provide practical tools to help you:

 

Create a Vision

Set Goals

Develop an Optimal Process

Execute

Measure Success

Realign to Improve Outcomes​

Ronel Golden is a communications advisor to corporate executives and philanthropic leaders, and author based in Houston, Texas. Born in the Netherlands and raised in South Africa and Europe, Ronel draws from her diverse global personal and professional experiences when she writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work inspires individuals to face their demons and embark on transformational journeys that will impact themselves and others.  

 

In her historical fiction romance, Nicole, Ronel tells the story of a searching white ballerina and a strong-willed Indian boy who grow to love each other amidst the turmoil of late Apartheid South Africa - an environment that will pull them apart and push both towards the brink of death. In her soon-to-be released self help book, The Getting Out Guide, Ronel helps victims of abuse understand what they're dealing with in simple terms and gives them a proven, practical, step-by-step roadmap for getting out and moving on. 

 

You can connect with Ronel on Instagram at Ronel Golden (@ronelgolden) • Instagram photos and videos or LinkedIn at Ronel Golden | LinkedIn.     

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm                  Break Out #3, Room C

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Brenda K Preuss, Critique Groups and Why They Are Good

Brenda K. Preuss, M.Ed. is a retired school teacher who has “eleven-ty” part-time jobs, including three businesses to keep her busy and out of trouble.  Her book, The Care and Feeding of a Teacher was published after much critiquing in 5+ HWG Critique Groups.  She eventually settled into a routine with three groups, two of which she created.  If you can’t find a critique group you like, create your own!  Brenda will help you get it started. She is currently maintaining a rigid, dedicated morning pages practice (as per Julia Cameron’s, The Artist Way) every single day, going on 28 years!  

     She’s got another hybrid memoir/rant simmering on a back burner in a storage box upstairs and in her mind, it wants to be dragged out and published. The book is called, Don’t Wear a Cap—Dating Instructions for Men.  She may revive pieces of that as she visits your critique groups in her new volunteer position as Director of Critique Groups for the Houston Writer’s Guild.  Her philosophy of critique groups is that they should be a safe, fun, warm, inviting environment where a budding writer can thrive.  The writing and the writer must be gently encouraged to grow with constructive, useful feedback and praise that Brenda believes improves the writer, their process, and ultimately, their writing.

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm                  Poetry Competition

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Fern Brady, Renga Poetry Competition

     The Renga is an ancient Japanese poetry form originated by Samurai poets who would compete in groups. Some of the poems developed in the competitions would have over 1000 stanzas. Most unfortunately were lost as they were not preserved being a fun game rather than for serious poetic purpose. Individual poets do write Renga today and the accepted length is 36 stanzas thanks to poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).

     The Renga consists of alternating stanzas of 3 lines and 2 line sets with the 3 line stanzas using the syllable count of traditional Haiku – 5/7/5 and the 2 line stanzas having 7 syllables each.

     Participants will be randomly placed in groups and given the challenge of completing a group Renga poem. Then the groups will present their poems and honorable judges will determine a ‘winner.’ This is a time to unwind and unleash our creativity at the end of a long conference day.

Saturday Add-on Opportunities

Agents/Editors:

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Stacey Kondla

Agent

The Rights Factory Agency

     Stacey is open to receiving pitches across age categories and across genres - a hard no to politics, erotica, and self-help. Not interested in memoirs that are rooted in despair or sexual abuse.

Her specific wish list includes:

Young Adult Epic Fantasy and Science Fiction - preferably non-colonial inspired stories and fresh settings, mythology inspired fantasy leveraging myths that have not been overused in the current market (please no Greek or Celtic mythology), authors from marginalized communities encouraged to pitch to her please.

Adult Historical Fiction - no war fiction please, would love to see historical fiction from around the world, give me historical fiction that immerses me in the setting, culture and time period, and give me all the feels. Would love to see more historical fiction written by authors from marginalized communities.

Gothic Fiction - for YA or Adult - must be a fresh spin on gothic fiction that I haven't seen before but that also uses traditional gothic tropes in interesting new ways, love the psychological aspect of gothic fiction, slow descents into madness, and all the ghosts.

Non-Fiction Science proposals – Stacey is a science and nature nerd and is looking for stellar proposals in the vein of Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake and Monarchs of the Sea by Danna Staaf, biological science and trade-friendly topics preferred, seeking authors who are experts in their subject matter.

A life-long bibliophile, Stacey’s experience includes working as a Field Representative for Scholastic Book Fairs, managing at Chapters/Indigo stores, freelance editing, and serving on the organizing committee of When Words Collide (A Festival for Readers and Writers). She joined The Rights Factory in 2018 and represents fiction and nonfiction authors across age categories and across genres. Stacey is drawn to strong narrative voices, innovative storytelling, feeling all the feels, laughing all the laughs, and also the dark and the weird.

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Kelly Colby

Editor

Cursed Dragon Ship Press

     Kelly is looking for submissions of complete, previously unpublished manuscripts in the speculative fiction genre that have series potential. Speculative fiction encompasses horror, fantasy, and science fiction—and all of the niche categories under those large umbrellas. She’ll only consider full length novels between 40K and 100K words. Also, she’s not currently publishing for young children. Please don’t pitch her anything intended for an audience younger than high school age.

     Kelly Lynn Colby owns one hat, but wears many. She’s a writer, a freelance editor, a publisher, and a podcaster.

     Kelly has tried to write mundane stories, but magic always sneaks its way in. The result? The YA epic fantasy duology The Recharging (complete) and the paranormal thriller series Emergence (book three in 2023). The first is safe for young readers while the second is better for adult eyes. She’s learned a ton from her short stories as well which you can find in a plethora of anthologies.     

     As the Editorial Director and Publisher at Cursed Dragon Ship Publishing, Kelly is privileged to work with a menagerie of speculative fiction writers. She’s the host of “20 Questions with your Favorite Author” and the DM on the streaming D&D adventure “Writing 

Wrongs” where the players are writers.

     A strong believer in the writer community, Kelly participates in writing seminars and pop culture conventions all over the country. Her latest adventures include attending professional at Dragon Con in Atlanta, speaker at a high school’s publishing event in Houston, and a panelist at Superstars Writing Seminar in Colorado Springs.

     When she’s not traveling the country, Kelly writes and edits and answers an inordinate number of emails at her cluttered desk, coffee shops, and parks, mostly in Houston, Texas. You can follow her adventures on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram @kcolbywrites or subscribe to her blog at kellylynncolby.com. She’s seen even more frequently on her business site at https://curseddragonship.com.

Consultations:

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Aimee Ravichandran

Social Media Expert

Abundantly Social

     Aimee has graciously agreed to review authors’s social media platforms and websites and provide feedback on how to maximize these tools and enhance your branding in a one-on-one 15 minute session. If you struggle with how to use social media and build a brand, this is the perfect opportunity to get personalized feedback on your specific sites, not just a class about it. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to have Aimee share her expertise with you!

     Aimee Ravichandran grew up in San Antonio, Texas where she attended UTSA and graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology. During that time, she began working with Sandy Lawrence, former CEO of Perceptive Public Relations. It was in this position that she learned the ins and outs of social media and developed a great understanding of managing dierent types of business’s social media accounts.

     Excited in this new path, she went on to take courses and attend numerous sSocial Media Examiner webinars learning about social media marketing and consulting. After an 8 year career working for Sandy, who is shifting gears, Aimee has merged Perceptive Public Relations into her own company, Abundantly Social. She has many author and publisher clients for whom she works tirelessly to build audiences and expand their social media presence and reach.

Sunday, October 8, 2023 -- 10:oo am to 12:15 pm (CST)

10:00 am – 12:00 pm      Closing Workshop by Kevin J Anderson

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Kevin J Anderson, 11 Tips to Increase Your Writing Productivity

12:00 pm – 12:15 pm      Closing Remarks

Writer's Room

     Writing Coach and Developmental Editor, Max Regan, offers ongoing workshops and programs for writers of all genres.

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     For more information and to register contact Max Regan at hollowdeckpress@mac.com.

     Upcoming sessions offered by Max Regan:

Beyond Bootcamp

July 17, 2023 - September 23, 2023

October Boot Camp

October 1, 2023 - 10, 2023 Time taught by Max Regan via Zoom

First Sunday of the Month Salon Reading

First Sunday Monthly

Taught by Max Regan via Zoom

For more information and to register contact Max Regan at https://www.hollowdeckpress.com.

Workshops by Max Regan

Beyond Bootcamp

     For tuition information head to https://www.hollowdeckpress.com.

     Get weekly assignment sheets and craft notes while sending in pages to Max for his review. A great system of accountability as well as gaining feedback from a powerhouse writing coach and editor.

October Boot Camp

  For tuition information head to https://www.hollowdeckpress.com.

     Daily assignment sheets with craft notes. Write 1,000 words each day to send to Max. A great way to push your writing to a whole new level and generate text for your project.

The Bootcamp is an easy, email-based class for folks who want to generate some creative text and get a little support and feedback along the way. The daily craft notes in the July class support writers in both generating NEW texts (as we do in every Bootcamp class) as well as editing and revising older texts. In the July class we welcome drafts in ANY genre, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, fragments, wild ideas, journaling, lists, free writing, anything you choose!

     This 10-day intensive is designed to invite you to PLAY, to experiment wildly and practice writing daily. You might already have idea, story or project underway or you might be starting from scratch, writers of all interests and levels of experience are welcome. Students will receive 3 writing prompts from me everyday via email, as well as some craft notes on keeping your writing practice going. Each Bootcamp class has NEW daily exercises and you can use these prompts, change them or ignore them entirely and do your own thing; it’s completely up to you. Each student will generate 1,000 typed words each day for 10 days, and email their daily work to me by 12:01 (your local time) each night. I will print out and read the work each night and, when the 10-day class is over, I will schedule an optional 50 minute phone session with each student so we can discuss the work together and talk about the next steps for you as a writer.

     This cost of this follow-up phone session is included in the price of the class.

First Sunday of the Month Salon Reading

     Free admission!
     To Register please email Max at hollowdeckpress@mac.com

     Join this free session every first Sunday of the month. Bring short 5-minute writing pieces to share and receive feedback from Max as well as the other authors in the room.

See other courses that are added to the Fall Class Schedule at https://www.hollowdeckpress.com.

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo
In Person and Virtual Write-Ins 2023

     Check back in July 2023 for Camp NaNoWriMo listings!

     Virtual Write-Ins via Zoom: The following write-ins will be held via zoom. The link to the room will go live on the HWG website in the Writers Room page 15 minutes before the official start time. You can access the link on the website anytime.

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