• 5/19/2023 - 5/20/2023
  • Boise Center on the Grove
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Annual Idaho Writers Conference 2023: The Author’s Journey

Join us for our annual conference, this year better than ever! We’ll be talking about the author’s journey and exploring both the craft and the business of writing. We’ll kick things off with a special workshop on Thursday featuring Robert Dugoni. He’ll be presenting his nationally acclaimed fiction writing workshop. You can purchase tickets for the workshop and the conference as a package, or choose one or the other. See the workshop page here for more details.

On Saturday night, our keynote speaker will be Craig Johnson the author of the Longmire series. You won’t want to miss out!

The Schedule

Sessions are listed below and will soon be on an app available for download. Choose your path. In the lobby will be a vendor area and Rediscovered Books will be selling titles available from the speakers. In room 430B, pitches to agents and editor manuscript evaluations will be happening all day on Friday and the first half of the day on Saturday (be sure to sign up for those by following this link).

It will be a full couple of days, and after hours there is always the infamous bar con, the time when participants and presenters often network over dinner or drinks in various venues around town. Hook up with your tribe, and check out the informal meetups page to learn more.

Policies and Procedures

By registering for the Annual Idaho Writers Conference, you are agreeing to the policies and procedures listed on this page. Please read thoroughly and make sure you understand them before registration.

Conference Extras

Things that are not included in the conference registration fee include agent pitches and editor manuscript evaluations. There will also be coffee chats available with various presenters. You can register for those and pay for them at the conference.

For Editor Manuscript evaluations, see this page for details, rules, and to sign up. Spots are limited, so book your evaluation today!

Agent ptiches will also be held in Room 430 B. Clicke the button below to learn more and book your slot. Pitches are a great idea to see if your ideas are marketable and to get your work in front of editors for traditonal publishers. We’ll also have publisher consultations available as well. Check it out!

Our Writing Contest

Our writing contest is now open! You can submit your entries from now until March 15th! There are several categories to choose from and you can get some great feedback from professionals. You can also win some great prizes. Check out this page for details, guidelines, and how to enter.

Schedule:

08:00 - 09:00 LOBBY

Registration

Conference Registration and Check In
General Conference Staff General Conference Staff
17:45 - 18:05 Room 420A

Closing Day 1: Does Your Writing Matter?

The writing life isn’t easy, and sometimes you may wonder if you’re wasting your time. Does your writing even matter? Colleen tackles this critical question while sharing experiences from her own writing life.
Colleen Story Colleen Story
09:25 - 09:45 Room 420A

Aspire for More

Carissa Andrews talks to us about the why you should Aspire for More
Carissa Andrews Carissa Andrews
10:00 - 11:00 Room 420A

Agent Panel

A discussion with a panel of agents about how to get your work noticed, what working with an agent is like, and more.
Katherine Sands Katherine Sands
Kevin Breen Kevin Breen
Cristen Iris Cristen Iris
10:00 - 11:00 420B

Writing With the Enneagram

Write stronger, more consistent characters by learning how the Enneagram personality framework can be applied to your protagonists, antagonists, secondary characters, themes, and story arc. This is an intro to the Enneagram and the resources to learn more.writing. Learn how to create killer action scenes, nail-biting drama and romantic moments that will leave your readers swooning for more.
Claire Taylor Claire Taylor
10:00 - 11:00 Room 430A

Write Authentic Not to Market

How to keep your voice authentic and your passion for writing strong when everyone tells you to write to market
Rachel Van Dyken Rachel Van Dyken
11:15 - 12:15 Room 420A

Publishers Panel

Ever wonder what that publisher is thinking, or what they are looking for? This panel will discuss the state of publishing today, tomorrow, and panelists will share information about what they look for when they pick up an author.
Rachel Van Dyken Rachel Van Dyken
Kevin Breen Kevin Breen
Daniel Sandoval Daniel Sandoval
Carissa Andrews Carissa Andrews
11:15 - 12:15 Room 420B

Discover Creative Values with the Enneagram

We take a look at what we want our writing and money to do for us on an emotional level. By examining our creative needs separately from our financial desires, we align and reclaim our career by pursuing meaningful work that gets us paid.
Claire Taylor Claire Taylor
11:15 - 12:15 Room 430A

Stuck, Blocked, or Burned Out?

Everyone’s tossing around the B-word lately. Burnout. And some of us feel a physical recoil when we see that word, so we might be afraid to think about or talk about times when we’re not writing, for fear of someone using that B-word. But there are lots of reasons we might not be writing, and some of them are even about another b-word… beneficial. So come to this talk and learn, when might not-writing be good for me?
Becca Syme Becca Syme
10:15 - 11:15 Room 430B

Master Pitch Theater

If Shakespeare had to pitch today, he might have written thus: To speed-date, or not to speed-date, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the zings and arrows of agent feedback
 or take pens and angst a sea of e-mails and by proposing, send them? To write, to weep
 no more, for by a successful pitch, to say we end
 the heartache, and the thousand natural knocks
 that pitch is heir to: publication devoutly to be wished. Your pitch is a performance. Whether you deliver it in person or on the printed page. Literary agent Katharine Sands shows you how to hone the on-page elements and in-person aspects of the pitch to create the actual script you will use at the conference, and beyond. Pitchcraft™ is an invaluable tool—You will learn what to do--and what not to do--when summarizing your book: the description of your book in 200-250 words; -- How to get an agent from the get-go; start in a logical place, yet from a compelling perch; how to encapsulate in clear core points; ways to create coming attractions that whet the reader’s appetite for more—and how to avoid "Querial Killers": the easy-to-fix mistakes writers make when querying agents. As a writer you are always going to be asked to introduce your work, to share your enthusiasm for your writing, and to get others excited about what is exciting to you. Instruction covers how to take a pitch from ho-um to magnum opus.“Tell me about your work” means: 15 minutes of fame is yours to shine in. This presentation cuts through the mystery of getting an agent to want YOU, to read YOU and to say YES to YOU.
Katherine Sands Katherine Sands
12:15 - 13:45 Choose Your Own Adventure!

LUNCH - On Your Own or With Others

Lunch Time: Time to Eat on your own or Network with others! Connect with authors from your genre and eat at one of the many great places available near the conference center. Need a buddy? let us know!
13:20 - 12:45 Room 420A

Round Table Chat

A round table chat with one of our guest speakers! Get to know them better and ask them almost anything! MAXIMUM 6 PARTICIPANTS. Register at the conference to be a part of this discussion.
Andrea Pearson Andrea Pearson
13:20 - 13:45 Room 420B

Round Table Chat

A round table chat with one of our guest speakers! Get to know them better and ask them almost anything! MAXIMUM OF 6 PARTICIPANTS. Register at the conference to reserve your spot!
Daniel Sandoval Daniel Sandoval
13:20 - 12:45 Room 430A

Round Table Chat

A round table chat with one of our guest speakers! Get to know them better and ask them almost anything! MAXIMUM 6 PARTICIPANTS. Register at the conference to reserve your spot.
Becca Syme Becca Syme
13:20 - 13:45 Room 430B

Round Table Chat

A round table chat with one of our guest speakers! Get to know them better and ask them almost anything! MAXIMUM OF 6 PARTICIPANTS. Register early at the conference to reserve your spot!
Tiffany Yates Martin Tiffany Yates Martin
14:00 - 15:00 Room 420A

Editors Panel

A panel of editors will share what they are looking for, pet peeves, and how working with an editor works. Come learn more from the inside of an editor's mind.
Kevin Breen Kevin Breen
Tiffany Yates Martin Tiffany Yates Martin
Stacey Smekofske Stacey Smekofske
Cristen Iris Cristen Iris
14:00 - 15:00 Room 420B

The Write Frame of Mind

We'll talk about author mindset, manifestation, and what these powerful tools can mean to your career.
Carissa Andrews Carissa Andrews
14:00 - 15:00 Room 430A

Stand Out in the Noisy World

Does your author platform look like everybody else’s? If you’re putting your work out there but nobody’s noticing, it could be that you’re lacking that “niche” that today’s writer needs to stand out from the crowd. In this class, discover how you can use your own unique strengths to develop a book marketing niche that’s totally yours. Determine the theme that unites all of your work, and discover how to use that theme across your entire author platform to draw more readers your way. Walk away with a new understanding of your strengths, a unique tagline that applies to you and your work, and the beginnings of an author platform that may bring you opportunities you never would have imagined before.
Colleen Story Colleen Story
03:15 - 04:15 Room 420ZA

What Does it Cost to Publish a Book?

What does it cost to publish a book? Well, other than"it depends" our panel will dive in to what those costs are, and how much you or your publisher might expect to pay.
Rachel Van Dyken Rachel Van Dyken
Kristen Lamb Kristen Lamb
Kate Baray Kate Baray
Colleen Story Colleen Story
15:15 - 16:15 Room 420B

Writing Books that Market Themselves

Have you ever been told to focus on writing your book first and worry about marketing later? Pretty solid advice, right? If there was something you could do during the writing process that would help you get better downloads, though, would you want to hear it? The answer to this question is almost always YES. In this presentation, USA Today bestselling author Andrea Pearson will take you through craft-centered topics that significantly help books market themselves. She’ll discuss tactics that turn readers off, mistakes authors make with their openings, and villains that readers love to hate. She’ll also teach about various things that catch reader’s attention, plus characters your fans will root for. And all of this with an eye on marketing. If you need a dose of excellent craft added to fantastic royalties, don’t miss Writing Books that Market Themselves by Andrea Pearson.
Andrea Pearson Andrea Pearson
15:15 - 16:15 Room 430A

Seven Productivity Myths and Why You Should Stop Believing Them

When we struggle with productivity, we often find ourselves asking why any one particular method won’t work for us. Or why we aren’t more productive. Or why other people are more productive than us. This workshop is specifically designed to answer those questions. Join Becca Syme, author success coach and writer, for an opportunity to learn about productivity systems and the concept of success alignment. Don’t miss it!
Becca Syme Becca Syme
16:30 - 17:30 Room 420A

Collaborative Writing Panel

Are you collaborating with another author? How does that work, and what steps should you take to make sure it does? Join us to find out from those who know!
Lynn Mapp Lynn Mapp
Brodi Ashton Brodi Ashton
Cynthia Hand Cynthia Hand
Janis McCurry Janis McCurry
Troy Lambert Troy Lambert
16:30 - 17:30 Room 420B

Dark Arts: Writing Unforgettable Villains

Villains are some of the most powerful characters in all of literature. Create them well and they become the substance of legend. Fail to craft them properly, though, and the reader is left with a dull, mustache-twirling plot puppet. Flat, lifeless and...forgettable. This class is designed to train you to dig deep into the human psyche to craft villains readers won't be able to stop talking about. Superlative villains make for high stakes, high tension, and a knuckle-biting, page-turning read (regardless of genre). Virtually any genre can employ (or deploy) the villain, and this class will show you how to use your villain(s) to craft a story readers won't be able to put down.
Kristen Lamb Kristen Lamb
16:30 - 17:30 Room 430A

Sustainable Rapid Release

Have you heard of the rapid release publishing technique? How do you keep doing it over and over again? We'll talk about a sustainable strategy you can use throughout your career.
Carissa Andrews Carissa Andrews
17:45 - 18:05 Room 420A

Closing Day 1: Does Your Writing Matter?

The writing life isn’t easy, and sometimes you may wonder if you’re wasting your time. Does your writing even matter? Colleen tackles this critical question while sharing experiences from her own writing life.
Colleen Story Colleen Story
08:00 - 09:00 Lobby

Registration

Day two registration and welcome in the lobby area.
08:30 - 09:00 Room 420A

Round Table Chat Meridith

A round table chat with one of our presenters where you can ask questions and get to know them better. There is a limit of six participants per session, so sign up early at the conference to reserve your space.
Meredith Bernstein Meredith Bernstein
08:30 - 09:00 Room 420B

Round Table Chat Craig

A round table chat with one of our presenters where you can ask questions and get to know them better. There is a limit of six participants per session, so sign up early at the conference to reserve your space.
Craig Johnson Craig Johnson
07:30 - 09:00 Room 430B

Round Table Chat Rachel

A round table chat with one of our presenters, and a chance to get your questions answered and get to know them better.
Rachel Van Dyken Rachel Van Dyken
09:00 - 09:20 Room 420A

On Your Writing Journey, Choose Your Destination

For authors, defining their aims and their definitions of success is crucial. Editor Kevin Breen will reflect on the different types of destinations writers choose while also sharing examples from his own literary experience.
Kevin Breen Kevin Breen
09:25 - 09:45 Room 420A

Your Author's Journey

Rachel Van Dyken Rachel Van Dyken
10:00 - 11:00 Room 420A

Writing in Multiple Genres

Are you writing in multiple genres? We'll talk about how that works and how to manage that in your writing journey.
Rachel Van Dyken Rachel Van Dyken
10:00 - 11:00 Room 420B

Bring on the Binge: Hot to Plot & Write a Series

Series are HOT, HOT, HOT! Readers want to fall in love with our stories, our worlds, and our characters. What do they want even MORE? For the experience to NEVER END...EVER. When readers fall hard for a cast of characters or a world or a storyline, they want to remain in that dreamscape as long as humanly possible. So let's give them what they want! Series are a fantastic way to build a loyal and evangelical fanbase. Also, statistically, authors who have more titles for sale have far greater odds of making more money. Connect these book titles together into a series? Who can resist just one...more...ride? Another advantage to series? The small screen television business is BOOMING. From HBO to Netflix, to Amazon to the Hallmark Channel and more, producers are on the hunt for series that WOW. Why? Because when they option a series it makes their business way simpler. They already have stories that a)are a proven commodity b) are simpler to translate to the screen and that c) come with the bonus of a ready-made fanbase. Every genre has a breakaway series ignites a fanbase and that very often can also set fire to the small screen audiences as well. If you're not yet excited about writing a series? Check if you have a pulse! In this class we'll cover a LOT of territory: • The different types of series; • How to turn your standalone into a series; • How to plot a series ahead of time;
Kristen Lamb Kristen Lamb
10:00 - 11:00 Room 430B

Finding Sales Success Locally: Indie Author Case Studies

In today's book-selling environment-- with self-publishing pathways, print-on-demand tools, and announcements of major advances from Big Five publishers-- authors may be tempted to hire publicists, invest in online ads, and cast wide nets. This talk will focus on an alternate path: local publishing and sales. Kevin Breen will offer templates of local success and discuss why authors are better served by focusing on selling books in their own backyards rather than global markets.
Kevin Breen Kevin Breen
11:15 - 12:15 Room 420A

5 Star Power Endings

We deconstruct the story elements that play into a satisfying and unforgettable ending to your book or series. We all get stuck on endings, but this presentation includes the questions to ask yourself to get unstuck and deliver a powerful finale.
Claire Taylor Claire Taylor
11:15 - 12:15 Room 420B

Bring on the BINGE: Creating Characters for a Series

CHARACTERS are critical when it comes to creating a series readers want to BINGE. When readers fall hard for a main character or a cast of characters, they want to remain in that dreamscape as long as humanly possible because they CARE. They've become vested in what happens to their favorite character(s). So let's give them what they want! In this class we'll cover a LOT of territory: • How to create a hero/heroine for the disconnected series (e.g. Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles) • Crafting the larger than life character readers can't help but fall for (e.g. Detective Harry Bosch) • Creating a dimensional CAST for your disconnected series • Crafting supporting characters that drive your MC's character arc • How to create a hero/heroine for the connected series (e.g. Harry Potter) • Balance the party • Crafting a larger than life cast of characters that can build your series' momentum And more!
Kristen Lamb Kristen Lamb
11:15 - 12:15 Room 430A

Blogs and Newsletters

A lot of writers are asking this question these days: Do I really need a blog/newsletter? If so, why? Learn how a blog can help you grow your readership/newsletter list, and what you must have for your blog to succeed. Then find out the two can work together to broaden your reach on the market and open new doors in your writing career. Finally, discover if a blog is right for you where you are in your writing career today.
Colleen Story Colleen Story
12:15 - 13:45 A Place of Your Choosing

LUNCH

Take a break and dine alone, or go out and network with your peers. Choose from a number of great restaurants within easy walking distance of the conference venue.
13:20 - 13:45 Room 420A/B

Round Table Chat Kristen

A round table chat with one of our presenters where you can ask questions and get to know them better. There is a limit of six participants per session, so sign up early at the conference to reserve your space.
Kristen Lamb Kristen Lamb
13:20 - 13:40 Room 420A/B

Round Table Chat - Craig

A round table chat with one of our presenters where you can ask questions and get to know them better. There is a limit of six participants per session, so sign up early at the conference to reserve your space.
Craig Johnson Craig Johnson
13:20 - 12:45 Room 430A

Round Table Chat - Colleen

A round table chat with one of our presenters where you can ask questions and get to know them better. There is a limit of six participants per session, so sign up early at the conference to reserve your space.
Colleen Story Colleen Story
13:20 - 12:45 Room 430B

Round Table Chat - Rachel

A round table chat with one of our presenters where you can ask questions and get to know them better. There is a limit of six participants per session, so sign up early at the conference to reserve your space.
Rachel Van Dyken Rachel Van Dyken
14:00 - 15:00 Room 420A/B

Marketing Strategies from Top Authors

Is there a secret sauce combination that keeps bestselling authors at the top of the charts and pushes everyone else down? What exactly are those top authors doing to find the success that many others are somehow missing out on? Discover the answers to these questions by attending Andrea Pearson’s presentation on marketing strategies from top authors. As a popular conference presenter and co-host for the successful Six-Figure Authors podcast, Andrea has had a lot of opportunity to interview and interact with six- and seven-figure authors. For this presentation, she asked authors the question, “What one thing would you attribute your success to?” She gives those answers here, plus the nitty gritty unglamorous details that many don’t want to hear.
Andrea Pearson Andrea Pearson
14:00 - 15:00 Room 430A

Beats and Micro Beats - take your writing to the next level Part 1

In a novel, pacing is everything. Not using beats correctly can destroy a book. But more powerful than a beat is a term I call the micro beat. In this class you'll learn what a micro beat is by watching video. I'll teach you how to identify the moments on screen that brings you to the edge of your seat, and how to apply those techniques to your writing. Learn how to create killer action scenes, nail-biting drama and romantic moments that will leave your readers swooning for more.
Devri Walls Devri Walls
15:15 - 16:15 Room 420 A/B

Finding and Working with Editors

How do you the right editor for you? How does it work when you find them? Come find out.
Tiffany Yates Martin Tiffany Yates Martin
15:15 - 16:15 Room 430A

Beats and Micro Beats - take your writing to the next level Part 2

In a novel, pacing is everything. Not using beats correctly can destroy a book. But more powerful than a beat is a term I call the micro beat. In this class you'll learn what a micro beat is by watching video. I'll teach you how to identify the moments on screen that brings you to the edge of your seat, and how to apply those techniques to your writing. Learn how to create killer action scenes, nail-biting drama and romantic moments that will leave your readers swooning for more.
Devri Walls Devri Walls
15:15 - 16:15 Room 430B

The Final Polish

Making Your Prose Serve Your Story: Even if your story is compelling, well paced, and gripping, what sets a good book apart from a great one can be the prose itself. With concrete, specific examples, authors will learn how to tighten up the flab of useless verbiage, unnecessary modifiers, dueling descriptions, spoon-feeding, and more to make their style as tight as their storytelling. Plenty of specific examples and optional “live edits” help attendees see firsthand how to apply these techniques to their own WIPs.
Tiffany Yates Martin Tiffany Yates Martin
16:30 - 16:50 Room 420A/B

Contest Awards Announcement

The announcement of the award winners for the annual IWG Writing Contest
17:00 - 18:20 Room 420A/B

Keynote: The Author's Journey Derailed

Craig Johnson Craig Johnson
18:30 - 20:30 Lobby/Reception Area

Raffle and Reception

Organizer:

General Conference Staff

frequently asked questions

Can I Register the Day of the Conference?

Yes, you may register the same day as the conference.

Are group discounts available?

Possibly. Contact us with your group information and we can help set up a special rate for you.

Can I bring my spouse or partner?

All attendees must pay to attend the conference, so you will need to purchase a separate ticket for your spouse or partner who wants to attend.

What COVID precautions are you taking at the conference?

The Idaho Writers Guild will comply with any local or CDC recommendations. At the moment, masks are not required, but recommended for those who are at risk. As the situation is fluid, we reserve the right to change our policy as the date of the conference approaches.

How do we interact with presenters?

Our presenters love writers and they want to meet you. However, please do not dominate their time. Be courteous, especially if others are waiting to talk to them. Also, understand many of them have busy schedules, so don't distract them in the hallway and keep them from getting to their next class.

How do I approach editors and agents?

There are a lot of editors and agents at the conference: presenting and not presenting. The only way to pitch them correctly is in a pitch session. Please, no unsolicited pitches, and above all, do not hand them a printed or digital copy of your manuscript without being asked to do so. It will get you noticed, but probably not in the way you want to be.

Where do I park?

Parking is at a premium in downtown Boise, especially on Friday. We recommend you either plan for the expense of parking in the parking garage, carpool, or explore public transportation options. Bonus points if you bike in!

How do I meet people if I am an introvert?

The easiest way is to overcome your fears and introduce yourself to people. However, if you need help meeting others from your genre, grab a board or staff member. We'll help you find con buddies and hopefully from there you find your writing tribe. We're all in this together.

  • Time : 08:00 - 18:00 (America/Boise)
  • Registration Deadline : 5/19/2023

Purchase Ticket

IWG Member (Full Conference) ( Unlimited tickets)
$197.00
$ 0
Non-Member Ticket (Full Conference) ( Unlimited tickets)
$249.00
$ 0
IWG Member Friday Only ( Unlimited tickets)
$99.00
$ 0
IWG Non-Member Friday Only ( Unlimited tickets)
$125.00
$ 0
IWG Member Saturday Only ( Unlimited tickets)
$99.00
$ 0
IWG Non-Member Saturday Only ( Unlimited tickets)
$125.00
$ 0
Student Full Conference (ID required) ( Unlimited tickets)
$97.00
$ 0
Student Ticket Friday Only ( Unlimited tickets)
$49.00
$ 0
Student Ticket Saturday Only ( Unlimited tickets)
$49.00
$ 0
IWG Member Full Conference and Robert Dugoni Workshop ( Unlimited tickets)
$289.00
$ 0
IWG Non- Member Full Conference and Robert Dugoni Workshop ( Unlimited tickets)
$389.00
$ 0
IWG Member Robert Dugoni Masterclass ( Unlimited tickets)
$97.00
$ 0
IWG Non-Member Robert Dugoni Masterclass ( Unlimited tickets)
$157.00
$ 0
0.00
$ 0.00

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