La Jolla Writer’s Conference 2015 Wrap up


A really great year at the LJWC! Here’s bestselling author Andrew Peterson and I team teaching “The Villain Drives the Story.” This was so much fun. I’ve never done a PowerPoint presentation with another author like this before, but it was a big success with a lot of positive feedback.  The students loved hearing a male and female point of view on this topic and it was fun for us presenting with another teacher.

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I also loved teaching a writing workshop. I believe this is the first time I’ve done it with adults, and I was thrilled that everyone was fully committed. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and they were all eager to learn. I was impressed with the bravery of many; some rewrote their work and chose to share it — each time, it was so much better.


My Query workshop is always packed and popular. Over a little less than two hours, I teach them what a query really should look like. I asked my friend and author Jeff Garvin to find me some very recent queries because looking at one from ten years ago is not always as helpful. After they saw how queries should be written, some of them wrote theirs in class. Others volunteered to project theirs for the class to comment on.

What I love about this workshop is that everyone walks out with a better query than they had before. And sometimes we can find weak spots in their story that needs to be addressed. It’s so valuable to have a roomful of minds all focused on your work in a safe, supportive atmosphere. As I always tell them, you want to make your mistakes in this room, not out there in the publishing world.

LJWC 2015 My college students

My college crew. Some of them did a private read and critique with me and they are all writing SFF. I suggested they form their own email critique group because they’re around the same level and I thought their personalities would click — and they’re all very tall! Can’t wait to see them next year and see their growth.


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