For the past several days, I had the pleasure of being down in Virginia Beach for the 5th Annual Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference. I won’t lie–it was a lot of work. I was invited to come to give 6 presentations (on 5 topics, one of them twice) over the course of the 2 days and one evening of the conference. I was honored to do so, although I did need to refine some talks that I’d given previously elsewhere, so there was a fair amount of prep time involved.
Still, I think it went pretty well. I started out with an evening session on “Creating the World in a Short Story.” The thrust of this session is that a writer has only 20 pages or so in a short story to do nearly everything expected in a novel–populating a world with credible characters, creating a vivid setting, showing a compelling plot, etc. That presentation included a writing exercise that I thought produced some interesting results.
The next day I had three sessions back to back: “Get Published!”, “Crossing the Border from Fact to Fiction”, and “Show AND Tell.” On Saturday I reprised “Get Published!” and also added “From Idea to Story”. The titles of these sessions pretty much tell you what they’re about. I think I enjoy doing “Crossing the Border” best.
I was NOT the only presenter at the conference, although it felt like it sometimes. HRW assembled a fun lineup including some terrific writers: Kevin Maurer, Lisa McMann, Lydia Netzer, and Jeanne Larsen, among others. A good crew, and I was pleased to be included.