Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc. 

Note! These are the 2018 Workshop Descriptions!
The 2019 Workshops will be posted soon! 


The Writer's Road Trip offers a three-track conference schedule along with time for lunch. Attend any workshop you choose. Some of the more in-depth workshops extend through two periods. You can download the whole schedule to pre-plan your learning experience. Also, check out the special events that are happening in the Hospitality Suite for those who just want to chat, browse our offerings, or just sit back and chill. Not sure which workshop is for you? Ask on our Facebook Page or email Todd Main at toddmain (AT) neo.rr.com for more information. 


TinyBurst--- FILLING THE SUITCASE --- (What to Put into Your Writing) 
--- Timons Esaias

TimonsEsaiasOnce you've stripped all the bad stuff out of your first draft, it's time to address the important matter of adding Good Stuff: significant details, POV signifiers, colorful characters, theme music and more. For long works Tim will suggest a series of focused "preliminary passes" to make, each addressing a specific issue. We'll get to the heart of craft: how to really write, without using the same five sentences over and over. We will remember our notebooks, and practice the martial art of their use. Malt balls will be available for participation.


TinyBurst--- BABY ON BOARD --- (Writing Children’s Books—From Ages to Stages)
--- Debra Ray Sanchez

DebraSanchezWriting for the children can be rewarding. It can also be frustrating. There are many things to consider when writing for children. This workshop will focus on the basic principles of writing for children. Workshop includes hands-on exercises, if time permits. Also included: 

Age of the Reader: Parent Reading to Child; Beginning Reader, Stage Action/Directions

Type of Book: Picture, Easy Reader, Chapter, Middle Grade, YA

Reading and Interest Levels of Books: Balancing Levels, Interest and Ability, Age Appropriate Material, Ability vs Maturity level

Specific Rules of Formatting: Certain Number of Words Per Page/Chapter/Book, Certain Number of Pages in a Book, For Self-Publishing (font styles, font sizes, page layout)


TinyBurst--- DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS --- (Project Your Personality)
--- Dave Szymanowski

Dave SzymanowskiLearn to develop modified projective techniques to broaden and deepen your character’s personality. This is an interactive class.



TinyBurst--- DETOURS --- (Mistakes Writers Make When They “Think” They’re Ready to Submit)
--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyDo you think you’re ready to submit? Or have you already taken the plunge only to receive rejections or no response? In this workshop, we’ll look at all the little mistakes we might overlook or be blind to in our own pages: POV shifts, passive writing, lack of tension, and being too nice to your characters.



TinyBurst--- COMPACT CAR OR SEDAN --- (Writing a Short Story – Easier Than a Novel?)
--- Kathy Otten

Kathy OttenShort stories by definition would seem to be easier to write than an entire novel: less words, less characters, less complicated. Simple. But writing a good short story is not as easy as it would first appear. Many people struggle to weave plot, characters, conflict, setting, and backstory into a limited number of words.

In this workshop, we’ll look at ways to incorporate seven elements of a full-length manuscript into that tight word count and create a story as memorable as any novel including: 

  • How Short Is Short?
  • Characters
  • Point-of-View
  • Plot
  • Back Story
  • Pacing
  • Dialogue


TinyBurst--- BREAKDOWNS ALONG THE WAY --- (Nightmares and Triumphs: Real Stories from the Road to Publication --- Jamie Saloff

Jamie SaloffThese real-life writing and publishing stories will change the way you see your book’s path. Learn what kept these authors awake at night, why size matters, what costly mistakes they made, (and more), so you don’t have to. With over twenty years experience in helping authors move from manuscript to publication, Jamie will share the insider secrets you need to know to enhance your book’s success, regardless of how you choose to publish.


TinyBurst--- STOP OR YIELD  --- (Comma Trouble)
--- Catherine McLean

Catherine McLeanHate the comma? Love the comma? Baffled by comma "rules?" You need no English or grammar manual to end this comma trauma. Learn the simple guidelines and take a commonsense approach to commas that net effective, smoothly-flowing fiction, storytelling, and dialogue. There will be hands-on exercises to enhance your skill and increase your confidence with comma usage.

IF TIME PERMITS— Get hands-on help and feedback by bringing two copies of up to three sentences of your work on one page, double-spaced, done in 12-point Courier New font. Put your name and email address at the upper right corner. Or—if you've read a book and a sentence's comma usage baffles you, make two copies of the passage (be sure to give the work's title and author's name).


TinyBurst--- ARRIVING ON TIME --- (Time Management. How to Get Your Writing Done)
--- Fritze Roberts

Fritze RobertsIn this session, we’ll discuss how to accomplish your writing goals. Learn how to prioritize, quit procrastinating, and manage the little time you have for writing. Get tips for organizing story ideas and learn how to keep going even when the going is tough.


TinyBurst--- LITTLE RED CORVETTE --- (Red Herrings and the Moon Walking Bear)
--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyGeared mostly toward mystery authors—do you fear your mysteries are too easy to solve? Do your readers know whodunit before you want them to? In this workshop, learn how to lead your reader down the wrong path with believable red herrings and misdirection techniques.


TinyBurst--- DRIVING TRAFFIC: THE NUTS & BOLTS --- (If You Write It… Will They Find It? Help Readers (Even Agents and Publishers) Find Your Work on a Crowded Highway)
--- Susan Gable

Susan GableIf you write it, will they read it? A gazillion books are pubbed every year. How will readers find yours? Marketing isn't a dirty word. And you'll have to market, even to publishers and agents. Learn how to Drive Traffic to your books, whether traditional or indie pubbed.


TinyBurst--- WHO'S DRIVING YOUR CAR --- (Who’s Telling the Story – Viewpoint and POV)
--- Kathy Otten

Kathy OttenPoint-of-view is the central device of fiction. It can be one of the hardest things to learn, and it needs to be right before submitting or publishing your story. In this workshop, we’ll look at the difference between viewpoint and point of view. We’ll explore how deep point of view is one of the best ways to create memorable characters your readers will never forget.

I. Various Points of View: Present Tense, Past Tense, Future Tense

II. Whose Voice Will the Reader Hear?, Who Is Your View-Point Character? How Far Are They From the Action? Head Hopping

III. Switching Point-of-View: Scene Breaks, Wide Angle View, Leave and Stay


TinyBurst--- ROAD TRIP SELFIES --- (Real-Life Perspective For Memorable Characters)
--- Hilary Hauk

Hilary HaukStories help us make sense of life, so it follows that life should inspire our stories. But life’s a messy affair, muddled by emotions and unforeseen events. We’ll pare away at the chaos of the human condition to reveal the elements that drive memorable characters through the mechanics of story.



TinyBurst--- YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE --- (How to Devise a Magic System that Won’t Disappoint) --- Fritze Roberts

Fritze RobertsWhy can’t the wizards in the Harry Potter series solve the problems of violence, disease, or hunger? Why doesn’t Gandalf magically destroy the One Ring? By analyzing some of our most beloved fantasy, we can understand the rules for developing our own magical systems. We’ll discuss what makes magic captivating, and how it can fail in fiction.



TinyBurst--- ROAD SHOW --- (Stage Playwriting—From Page to Stage)
--- Debra Ray Sanchez

Debra Ray SanchezWriting for the STAGE is not the same as writing for the PAGE. It is also not the same as writing for the SCREEN. This workshop will focus on basic principles of writing for live stage performance including: 

  • Elements of a play: Character development, Dialogue & Monologue, Setting

  • Stage Action/Directions: Formatting, Markets

Workshop includes hands on exercises, if time permits.


TinyBurst--- ROAD RAGE --- (Getting Conflict on the Page)
--- Timons Esaias

TimonsEsaiasThis workshop will consist of exercises to remind the writer that conflict needs to be on every page -- and actually in almost every paragraph -- of your fiction. We will get even with everybody who has ever annoyed us in any way, without triggering a Protection from Abuse order. We will develop a Poison Cabinet. Yes, it's gonna get ugly in there. Malt balls will be available for participation.


TinyBurst--- ACCIDENT: TYPE & CROSSMATCH --- (Personality Types)
--- Dave Szymanowski

Dave SzymanowskiHow would you react in a roadside accident? How would your protagonist of antagonist behave? Just as there are different blood types, there are different temperaments. As an author, you may act differently; so, might your characters. Come an explore two different type measurement systems. We will take one type and explore it in depth so that you may glean the amount of information you will acquire to delve more in-depth within your characters.)


TinyBurst--- KEEP ON TRUCKING --- 

After the workshops, meet back in the Hospitality Suite for the silent auction, book signing, announcement of the Writing Contest winners, turn in your opinion survey, and closing remarks.


Download the day's schedule by clicking here. 



If you’re ready, you can sign up using the button below (registration takes place on the main, Pennwriters, Inc. website). Or click the More button to continue learning more about the Writer's Road Trip.


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