The DFW Writers Conference, sponsored by DFW Writers Workshop, has grown to be the premier writers conference in the southwest. Our goal is to provide writers with excellent education, networking, and industry exposure at the best value.
Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24
Where: Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth
The Fort Worth Convention Center spans 14 blocks of the city’s Central Business District. The Convention Center hosts a wide range of events including: conventions, conferences, corporate meetings, sporting events, concerts, trade shows, banquets and consumer shows.
1201 Houston Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102-6432
Phone: (817) 392-6338
The following website gives helpful information on the convention center, getting around and things to do: www.fortworth.com/meetings/convention-center
There are two unique workshops designed to help you get the most out of DFW Writers Conference.
The DFW Writers Conference has been working on ways to make our education program more interactive and hands-on. Less listening to lectures and more conversing and collaborating. We want writers to bring their real-world writing challenges to the conference and leave with solutions, or at least a plan of action.
As part of that, we’re going to bring back two unique DFWCon workshops from last year: “So Here’s My Problem” and “So Close and Yet So Far: Getting Good Writers Over the Hurdle.”
Both of these workshops put writers at a table with a support team of agents, editors and published authors so they can work together and do some serious problem solving.
In the “So Here’s My Problem” workshop, any writer at any skill level can bring any problem or question related to their writing or the business of publishing. You can ask for help with your cover letter, or your pitch, or a few pages of your manuscript. You can ask the panelists to help with voice, or character development, or plot structure. It’s up to you. Our team of industry experts will do their darndest to help.
The “So Close and Yet So Far: Getting Good Writers Over the Hurdle” workshop is designed for writers who have been querying and submitting their work and have received multiple rejection letters. Part clinic, part support group, it is not for writers who are just starting out and are still working on their manuscript. The participating writers will share their tale of woe and seek advice from the experts on how to move forward. Writers can even bring their rejection letters for show and tell, though it’s not required.
Here’s how these will work. Because of time constraints we’ll have to limit the number of participants who can bring their challenges in front of the panelists, so advance registration will be required. We’ll put up an online form well ahead of the conference. We’ll let conference registrants know by email newsletter when it’s time to sign up.
Each petitioner will have an allotment of time to present their case to the panel and hear feedback. The petitioners are to listen to the feedback and not debate it, and may speak only to respond to direct questions from the panel.
These workshops proved very popular at the 2015 conference. One big difference for 2016: the rooms will be big enough to allow an audience. We’ll have a table set up at the head of the room for the panelists and petitioners, and theater-style seating in the rest of the room so others can listen and learn. So, you can learn a lot from these workshops even if you’re not the one in the hot seat!
No registration is required for observers.
We’ll run the workshops multiple times to give lots of attendees a chance to petition the experts for help.
We’re excited to announce three special guest speakers who have graciously agreed to come to the2016 DFW Writer’s Conference!
In alphabetical order:
Golden is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, Of Saints and Shadows, and (with Tim Lebbon) The Map of Moments. He has also written books for teens and young adults, including Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence, honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA’s Best Books for Young Readers. Upcoming teen novels include a new series of hardcover YA fantasy novels co-authored with Tim Lebbon and entitled The Secret Journeys of Jack London.
Kunkel is the president of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He has served as president of American Journalism Review and as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. He is the author or editor of five previous books, including Genius in Disguise, Enormous Prayers, and Letters from the Editor. Recently, his book, Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of the New Yorker is causing quite a stir in literary circles.
McKelvey, a fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, is a correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. She is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review and the author of Monstering: Inside America’s Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War. She is now a White House reporter for the BBC.
There are over 50 classes to chose from at the DFW Writers Conference. Here are some of them:
“The Seven Deadly First-Page Sins,” taught by Laura Maisano and Tex Thompson
, senior editor at Anaiah Press, and Tex Thompson, author of the Children of the Drought series, have teamed up to teach this class. This dynamic duo helped last year’s attendees trim and build their manuscripts with Prose P90X, and this year they’re up to shenanigans again. The class tackles the toughest part of getting an agent or editor to read on–the first five pages. Time to make your sample pages the best they can be to increase your odds of request!
The Seven Deadly First-Page Sins
There’s no one right way to begin your story – but there are plenty of wrong ones. In this class, we’ll take you on a cautionary tour through the pits of page-one hell, complete with agent pet peeves, reader turn-offs, and “thanks but no thanks” editorial deal-breakers. Don’t let your manuscript suffer in form-rejection torment: let veteran editor Laura Maisano and author Tex Thompson guide you through the slush-pile inferno and lead your story toward the light!
“Writing the Odd, Publishable Poem,” a class by Joaquin Zihuatanejo
is a poet, writer, teacher and World Poetry Slam Champion from Dallas, Texas. He has been called by critics “one of the most passionate and poignant performance poets in the country melding equal parts poetry, story telling, and comedy into a crowd pleasing display of verbal fireworks.” His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Mas Tequila Review, Di-Verse-City, The San Diego Poetry Annual, Manteca, An Afro-Latino Anthology, among others. Here’s what Joaquin has to say about his class:
Writing the Odd, Publishable Poem
In this interactive workshop, we will look at what goes into making a poem that forces an editor to lean into it because it is just so wonderfully odd. Walking that line between esoteric academic poetry and accessible poetry that borders on the narrative or spoken word is a very complicated thing to do well. In this workshop we will look at poets who do this exceptionally well and examine how they are doing it. There is not a great deal of room on that digest size or pocket digest sized anthology page, so in this workshop we will find ways to make the best use of the space we have to work within as poets. But we will find ways to do it that are odd, engaging, and above all publishable.
“Freelance Editing 101,” a class by Leslie Lutz
Leslie Karen Lutz,
will teach this class for the comma geeks. Yes, that’s you, the one in the corner who just noticed the misplaced apostrophe on the takeout menu. And let’s not forget the writer sitting next to you, that friend from workshop who always knows how to fix a broken scene or improve a flat character. Why not put your inner sticklers at the center of a brand new career?
Whether you want to quit your day job or just make a little money on the side, freelance editing can help you take all that hard work you’ve been doing as a writer and turn it into income.
Titled “Freelance Editing 101,” this class will teach you the basics of today’s editing marketplace.
The workshop will be taught by Leslie Lutz, a local editor and the founder of the North Texas Chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association. She started editing in 2010 and has now edited over forty titles for small publishers, editing companies, and various authors. She earned her Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington in 2013.
In this course, you’ll learn about the four different types of editing and which one fits your personality and skill set. Don’t like correcting punctuation? Perhaps developmental editing is right for you. Got an ear for rhythm and an eye for style? Line editing could be your new passion. Love a well-placed hyphen more than a good donut? Maybe you really are suited for the role of copyeditor or proofreader. In this workshop, we’ll try to get a sense of what kind of editor you are and how you can turn those skills into a business.
We’ll also cover several other topics to help you get started:
- Finding your clients
- Setting your rates
- Estimating how much time a project will take
- Using the most popular editing tools
- Writing a great editorial meme
- Maintaining a positive editor-client relationship
- Honing the art of diplomacy
- Writing an editing contract
You don’t have to work at a major publishing house for ten years in order to break out on your own as an editor. Come find out if this career is for you.