Posts Tagged ‘san diego writers conference’

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“Schmoozing and Boozing” at the SCWC

February 2, 2009

From our good friend Ed Decker, SCWC staffer and wildly popular City Beat columnist…

About 25 million years ago, when monkeys ruled the earth, I wrote a novel. That book – which I furiously banged out on a Brother word processor, day and night, until the carpal tunnel spread to my neck, spine and colon – was a giant kettle of crap. And I don’t mean the kind of crap that most first time novelists produce due to inexperience, rather, the kind of crap that exists within the writer’s DNA, the kind of crap that no amount of experience or workshopping can ever flush – this crap was the kind of crap about which the Mother of All Craps could be proud.

“That’s my boy!” the Mother of All Craps was often heard saying about this novel.

Not having a predilection toward delusions of grandeur, I permanently shelved the tome and sought a career in journalism. This way, I could still be an author without having to write, or revisit, or even think about – ugh – books.

Read rest of article

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KYSL SD23: Karen Ronney

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

Karen Ronney recently received top honors at the Parent to Parent Adding Wisdom Awards, taking home five nods for her book Proud Parents’ Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced, and Coordinated Kids.

Karen has been a professional tennis player, and works as a tennis coach for Patrick Henry High School. Her student-athletes clinched the Eastern League last month, and saw a school record for players awarded all-league honors. Congratulations, Lady Pats, and if anyone needs a testament to her expertise on this count, well, I’d say it’s right there for you. What’s that? You need more? What’s the matter with you? Fine, fine. How about being an expert invited to give her perspective for FOX News?

Adding to her credentials is her work as an award=winning journalist, including time with the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, San Diego Union, and Chicago Tribune.

Writers of nonfiction will find her knowledge and wisdom essential in her workshop “Selling Practical Nonfiction: The Package, The Pitch“.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: (Saint?) Judy Reeves

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

Judy Reeves, a beloved mainstay of our SCWC community always finds time to bring us the benefits of her wisdom. The author of A Writer’s Book of Days and Writing Alone, Writing Together, among other instructional materials for writers, Judy brings a more than quarter-century worth of practical writing experience (newspapers, television, PR, books, and more) to San Diego this year for a Read & Critique.

Apparently, she also acts, but that should not come as a surprise. She’s quite comfortable in front of an audience, having taught at UCSD, CSU Fullerton, The Writing Center, The Writers’ Room, and various conferences. So why should a camera bother her?

Her dedication to educating writers won her recognition in 1999 as San Diego Writer’s Monthly Woman of the Year, and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild bestowed upon her the 2001 Odin Award for Community Service.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Midge Raymond

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

Midge Raymond is one of those that, frankly, I don’t know nearly enough about. Then again, that list is plenty long, so my apologies to all.

But there is a lot to be said about her, including her Spokane Prize for Short Fiction, which is attached to the short-story collection Forgetting English, which hit bookstore shelves in November. And will hit Amazon … um … whenever they get around to it.

(Everybody keep clicking that Amazon link. Maybe if they get enough traffic, they’ll get their act together. I don’t know … maybe.)

Ms. Raymond was short-listed in 2007 for the Raymond Carver Short Story Prize (“Lost Art”), and her short stories have appeared in a plethora of magazines and journals, and her dedication to literature shines brightly through the Green Hills Literary Lantern, for which she serves on the editorial board; Metropolitan Writing Works, which she co-founded; and San Diego Writers Ink, for which she teaches. She also travels to teach students the art and science of writing short stories, and she brings exactly that to SD23 with two workshops, “Publishing Short Fiction” and “Revision: From Structure and Theme to Dialogue and Detail“.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Frederick Ramsay

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

So just who is Frederick Ramsay?

Well, for starters, he’s the author of the Ike Scwartz mystery series, including Artscape, which received much critical acclaim, and his latest title, Stranger Room. And he’s willing to take us on a journey through the first century, as in Judas: The Gospel of Betrayal. Indeed, I would feel remiss if I failed to mention that BethEllen McKenzie at MyShelf.com selected Ramsay as the September, 2007 Author of the Month.

His time as a university professor and Episcopal priest have served him well, it seems, and he brings his experience and perspective for a Read & Critique in which I expect our writers will find much value.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Andrew Peterson, all that and he can shoot, too

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

I met Andrew Peterson last year in San Diego. Smart, humorous, and seemingly all-around cordial to say the least, we were thrilled to learn that his debut novel, First to Kill had been picked up by Dorchester Press. This year, he brings his growing experience for aspiring writers with a workshop entitled, “Defining Hero: How Bad Can Your Good Guy Be?

And if that’s not relevant to twenty-first century archetypes, I don’t know what is. Andy will also host a Read & Critique. Make sure to catch this rising talent.

Did I mention he can shoot? Or would that sound like a threat?

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Matthew J. Pallamary, wise mystic

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

Matthew Pallamary is a man of many hats. At least, he would be, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wearing a hat. Then again … never mind.

Ahem. Anyway. Matt’s short story collection The Small Dark Room of the Soul is the kind of book that garners praise from people like Ray Bradbury, so there’s a point to start with. And I can say his novel, Land Without Evil is an excellent read, both cerebral and entertaining, and one not to be missed. (And, just as a bit of trivia, for those captivated by Roland Joffé’s The Mission, this story pertains to the same people, so if you really want, you can put Ennio Morricone’s excellent score on in the background as you read.) And Matt’s memoir, Spirit Matters, hit the shelves last February, coinciding with SD22. So maybe, just maybe, we can say his critically-praised reflection made its debut at the Southern California Writers’ Conference.

(I don’t know, is that asking too much?)

You’ll find Matt accessible, friendly, smart, and, yes, wise. This year he brings his talents to help our writers in a Read & Critique. These are always popular, so make sure to sneak in and claim your seat early.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Bob Mayer

January 28, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Bob Mayer gets my nomination for the hardest-working workshop leader at SD23. Okay, maybe that’s not fair, but the man is bringing us no less than four workshops, and even finding time to review your advance submissions. So, yeah, it sounds good to say it that way.

Bob is a best-selling author with no less than thirty-eight titles to his credit, ranging across a few genres at least. Two of his series (Atlantis and Area 51) are in development for television, and he’s managed to put together The Novel Writer’s Toolkit.

And, yes, four workshops. Did I mention that?

    Outlining and Translating Idea Into Story
    Point of View: Solving Writers’ #1 Stylistic Problem
    Setting & Dialogue: Establishing the Where, When and What
    Troubleshooting the Idea: How to Tell What You Really Want to Write

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Troy Johnson

January 28, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

And let’s say hello to Troy Johnson ….

Hi, Troy!

Let’s see, magazine editor, radio host, Emmy-winning television host … Billboard, Mojo, Rolling Stone, Spin, Paper, San Diego City Beat, San Diego Gay and Lesbian Times … throw in his debut novel, Family Outing: What Happened When I Found Out My Mother Was Gay, and what more can I tell you?

Okay, okay, I’ll sweeten the deal. It’s said that once upon a time, a publicist explained to Charlie Chaplin that the now-famous speech, “Look Up, Hannah“, from The Great Dictator, would cost him a million dollars in box-office revenues. Chaplin allegedly replied, “I don’t care if it costs me five million. It stays in.”

And if you’d like to read the story of how Troy decided to risk the wrath of Wal-Mart, well, don’t let me stop you.

So make sure to hear our modern-day Chaplin explain the delicate art of “Pitching Magazine Editors Story Ideas“.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Phyllis Gebauer, sexy author

January 28, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Once merely a typist, and now a sexy author, Phyllis Gebauer brings her unique charm and talent to San Diego with … count ’em … two workshops: “Putting Story Down on Paper: Dramatic Scenes and Effective Transitions” and “Putting You Into Your Memoir“.

(Note to self: Your transitions are train wrecks; attend this workshop.)

Her writing credentials are outstanding, including books with titles like Hot Widow and Pagan Blessing, short stories, articles, and even film strips. Drawing praise from such luminaries as Ray Bradbury and Thomas Pynchon, Ms. Gebauer’s talent translates well for SCWC workshops; an instructor for UCLA Extension, she was named Outstanding Teacher in Creative Writing in 1992.

The hard thing, of course, is to say, over and over, “Don’t miss it!” Naturally, since we can’t all be in two (or more) places at once, we must necessarily miss something. Still, though, the advice holds. Phyllis Gebauer is simply not to be missed.

–bd