Monday, February 18, 2008

Writers at the Beach Conference: See You There!

I am honored to have been part of the Writers at the Beach, Sea Glass conference since its beginning in 2005. Held annually, it’s a gathering of writers, editors, and agents at the Delaware beach. But it’s more than that: it’s a weekend to delve into your writing, to meet new people, to ponder the vastness of the ocean, to eat some crabcakes, to shop tax-free at outlet malls, and to raise money to help research a cure for an awful—and overlooked—genetic disease, Mitochondrial Disease. Sadly, conference organizer Maribeth Fischer’s two young nephews have died of this terrible disease.

I wouldn’t think of missing this conference.

Registration is filling up fast, but I urge you to check things out and see if this is right for you. (As far as I’m concerned, WRITING + BEACH = PERFECTION.)

Writers at the Beach, Sea Glass conference
Friday, March 14 – Sunday, March 16
Featuring: Workshops, panel discussions, readings, manuscript review, and social networking

Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center
101 North Boardwalk
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971

Among the many writers, editors, and agents attending:
Fiction writers
Robert Bausch
Liam Callanan
Maribeth Fischer
Jacquelyn Michard
Carolyn Parkhurst
Leslie Pietrzyk
Sheri Reynolds
Mary Kay Zuravleff

Erin Murphy
Dave Smith

Nonfiction writers
Mark Drew
Marian Fontana
Erik Hedegaard
Tom Horton
Bonnie Neubauer

Agents & Editors
Flip Brophy, Sterling Lord Literary Agency
Candice Fuhrman, Candice Fuhrman Literary Agency
Mark Gompertz, Senior Editor, Simon and Schuster
Lauren Mosko, Writers Digest
Bill O'Sullivan, Senior Managing Editor, Washingtonian
Doug Stewart, Sterling Lord Literary Agency

Khris Baxter

My workshops & panels:

The first pages: Leslie Pietrzyk, Instructor
Most writers know that they have to "hook" their reader from the start of the story or novel, but how exactly do we do this? What, in other words, are the elements that make a great beginning to a story or novel? In this workshop, explore ways to strengthen your opening pages so that they are, as writer John Dufresne says in The Lie That Tells the Truth, "full of intimation and assurance, the intimation being that here are characters who have something remarkable to tell us-you've never met people quite like these-the assurance that something surprising and unusual, something you just won't believe, is about to happen. Beginning/Intermediate

Marketing Boot Camp
With Louise Crawford, Franklin Parrish, Richard LaMotte, Leslie Pietrzyk, and Lauren Mosko, moderator
195,000 books are published each year, only about 1700 get reviewed (a number that is growing smaller), and most books have a shelf life that is, as one editor commented, shorter than the shelf life of milk. Getting publicity for your work is often the most difficult and discouraging thing a writer has to do. Whether you are self-published, published by a large commercial press, or about to be published, you must, as a writer, know how to market your own work. This involves much more than giving readings or making oneself available for book signings. Marketing your book often being begins with marketing yourself and starts long before the release date. It involves such things as creating a "brand," having a website, blogging, sending out mailings, designing your own advertising, writing press releases and more. In this workshop learn what you must do in order to survive in the publishing world.

Juxtaposition: Writing and Collage ~ Leslie Pietrzyk, Instructor
Get a fresh view on your fiction and/or creative non-fiction through the imaginative use of collage and found objects. This hands-on, exercise-intensive workshop is appropriate for beginners looking for inspiration and for intermediate writers who might be feeling a bit stuck with their project...and everyone in-between! Participants are requested to bring lots of paper/pen AND one small object from their favorite room in their house/apartment.

The Short and the Long of it: Flash Fiction, Short Stories and Novels
with Nathan Leslie, Leslie Pietrzyk, Marisa de los Santos, Anne Colwell
What is the difference between the above categories beyond the number of words and pages? How does the writer determine if his story is really a novel, his novel really a story, his story better told as flash fiction? Is character development less important in flash fiction? Page-turning tension not as crucial in the short story? What stylistically changes when the writer is working on flash fiction verses when she is working on a novel? In this conversation the writers will discuss these questions as well as share the way they approach these various writing tasks.

Honestly, this is just a teeny-tiny sample of what’s available. Here’s the web site so you can check it out for yourself. Hope to see you there!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.