Designed for both new and returning writers, A Novel Idea 102 will follow the once-a-month format. Sessions are held on the third Saturday each month from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Landis House, 67 North Fourth Street in Newport.

2016-2017: A Novel Idea 102 Session Schedule

September 17: Query Letters and Pitch Sessions with Cathy Jordan

What to expect when asked, “What is your story about?” Learn how to construct a query letter, and how to craft an elevator pitch. Who are the agents and editors you’ll be contacting and what do they want? How do you contact them? Find out whether you might or might not need one.

October 15: Critiquing Your Manuscript with Ann Stewart

Open your first chapters—what the agents and editors usually ask for first when submitting—to constructive input. You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

November 19: Social Media with Heather Heyford

Build your writer platform. What is your visibility as an author?  How do you get the word out? Remember you are your brand (what is it and how do you go about it). When and how do you develop a viable website. How/why/when to do blogs, what is a blog tour, and why/how to participate? Do the bloggers find you? Do you go to them?

December 17: Writing a Marketing Plan with Maria Snyder

Once you are published, then what? Do books sell themselves?  What about interviews and book reviews? Learn the importance of a nonfiction hook and how to do successful book signings. Business cards, banners, bookmarks, postcards; what else does an author need to promote themselves?

January 21: Traditional vs. Self Publishing and critiquing with Lawrence Knorr

Understand the difference between vanity press, traditional, and self publishing. This includes the issue of hybrid publishing—how to combine traditional with self publishing. Can you establish yourself with traditional publishing then go into self publishing or the other way around?

In the event of inclement weather, this session will be moved to February 18.

March 18: Legal and Business Issues of Writing with Michelle Haring and Harvey Freedenburg

What is the secret of balancing the creative part of your writing with the business part? Don’t get caught in a bad contract. Learn how to negotiate with agents and publishers. What materials do you need for taxes, or for travel expenses?

April 15: Acting the Book with Lori Myers

Present yourself through a full-fledged “acting” class. Authors need to do readings and conduct interviews. This class will give you the opportunity to face your audience (community). The class will also include a short section on meditation/relaxation.

May 20: Writing Nonfiction with Lori Myers

Learn the key elements in writing quality nonfiction. Articles, memoirs and biographies should read like a great story. How do you contact a publisher? How do you make money writing articles while working on the great American novel?

June 17: Writing Genre Fiction with Maria Snyder

Mystery, Romance, Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror…the list goes on.  How to cross genres. If you’re writing children’s books and erotica, you’d need to have a pen name, but is it necessary if you are writing Christian fiction and secular romance?

July 15: So You Want to be a Writer with Laurie Edwards

Finish your story! Overcome writers block and discover how to stay focused.

August 19: Thoughts from Editing the Anthology, Wrap Up and Path Forward with Cathy Jordan

During one of the final classes, students will have an opportunity to ask questions on the entire course. Don’t leave with unanswered questions.

September 16: Conferences with Heather Heyford

Get the most bang for your buck at conferences. What is the right conference for you? Learn how to prepare, what do when you arrive, and how to rub elbows. What about critique groups; are they helpful, and how do you find the right one?