PreCon Preview: The Write Brain

BlogHer Original Post

BlogHers are always interested in intensive programming about the craft of writing. So, for the second year we have an entire track focused intently on that, including a first-ever “double-wide” session on content development. And in addition to the ever-popular sessions on pitching your work for publication, we’re also offering a panel on how to write for the small screen. Yep: we’re exploring your Write Brain.

Friday morning’s first session is on Essential Writing and Editing Skills. I’ll be moderating this session; joined by Jane Byers Goodman and K.T. Bradord. Our experience spans a range of writing and editing venues -- collegiate, popular, commercial -- yet we readily agree on what’s essential to good writing and effective editing. No grammar or usage question too small, no editorial brain-twister too complicated! Bring your essential writing and editing challenges and we’ll vanquish them together.

Friday afternoon’s session, Essential Blog Content Development Workshop, will basically leave you with no more excuses about running out of ideas, or how to make the most of them, or when to find the time to publish them on your blog. Or at least those excuses will be sitting there next to all sorts of great ideas you’ll get from the panelists in this hands-on, extended workshop. In “Ideation,” the first third of the workshop (1:15 – 2pm), Britt Bravo will lead you through exercises on “ideation,” helping you take stock of yourself, your readers, and the content that will meet your goals. On the other side of this work? A list of blog posts you never knew you had in you. In the second part, “Creation” (2:15 – 3pm), Elizabeth Soutter will dish out practical, take-home instructions (yes! not suggestions, instructions!) that will change the way you write. Finally, in “Manifestation” (3:15 – 4pm), Julie Weckerlein helps you harness the material and direction you’ve cultivated in the first two sessions, and figure out how to transform it in a sustainable blogging practice. A must-not-miss session for anyone ready to take the leap.

Saturday’s first two sessions are regularly repeated as BlogHer panel topics, and for very good reason: huge numbers of us are looking to extend our writing from our blogs into other venues, be they print or online media, short or long form feature writing, or books (e- or print). 

First, moderator Julie Ross Godar and panelists Barb Dybwad, Nicola Bridges, and Stephanie Wood will dish the dish at How to Pitch Freelance Editorial Work from Some Busy Editorial People. As some very busy editorial people themselves, they know, and are eager to share, how to find the editors you need to solicit, how to figure out (and finesse) the submission process, and how to cast your work in the best light.

Got a book in you? Unsure about just what elevator pitches and query letters make the cut, and why? Wish you knew what to do (and not) if you ever were face-to-face with a literary agent? Come to How to Pitch a Book, and let moderator (and publisher) Ellen Gerstein and panelists author Carleen Brice, former agent, current publisher Colleen Lindsay, and former agent, current author Sarah Maizes help you get your work in front of the right people in the right way.

We close The Write Brain track with a topic that’s new to many of us (so much so, it’s in the title!): Uncharted Territory: Video Storyboarding and Scripting for the Writer. Enormous amounts of video is being produced for the web. But you may be surprised to know that your writing skills have a role to play in video. Corinne Leigh and Sarah Lane will show you how writing fits into video scripting and storyboarding, and what kinds of shifts you need to make in what you write when your words are meant to be said aloud to a camera. They’ve been there, and they’ll show you how to do that.

We’re hoping that no matter what you’re trying to write, or for what venue, you’ll find something that suits your fancy in The Write Brain track.

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