Quill Track Programming

Updated June 28, 2012

The Quill Track is chock full of programming of every kind — practical workshops, panel discussions on industry topics, Q&As with authors and agents, and of course discussions of Harry Potter!

Programming times, rooms and panelists are subject to change.

Accio Books! How Digital Publishing Has Made Gatekeepers Of Us All
panel: Cecilia Tan, Mark Oshiro, Lev Grossman, Erin Pyne, CJ Creel, Kaza Kingsley
Friday, 12-1 p.m., Venetian III

With the advent of the e-book and the ease with which writers can self-publish to platforms such as Amazon Kindle, many authors are bypassing the traditional book publishing model in favor of self-publishing. This panel will discuss new avenues for publishing, and the pros and cons of going the traditional route, vs. self-publishing.

After the Apottercalypse: The State of Fantasy Post-Potter
panel: Lev Grossman, Beth Revis, Aimee Carter, Michelle Hodkin
Saturday, 2-3 p.m., Venetian III

JK Rowling’s work has changed the whole genre of fantasy. But how, exactly? What does fantasy look like, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harry? Who are the new voices, and how are they different from the old ones? What are the trends? What are we reading that’s cool? What are YOU reading that’s cool?

Crafting the Character Arc
workshop: Jennie Jarvis
Saturday, 10:30-11:30, Tuscan I

Many writers think that, just because they have their basic structure in place, their stories are destined to succeed. The problem with many narratives can often come in those places between the plot points. Ensuring that the story is moving forward in every scene often comes in the shape of the character arc. This craft seminar will give writers a tangible guide for creating a goal-driven story that never drags its feet!

Digital Publishing is not Self-Publishing
presentation: Saritza Hernandez
Friday, 2-3 p.m., Tuscan I

Digital Publishing has become a term often used synonymously with Self-Publishing. While the two worlds may crossover, they are not interchangeable! Just because the eBook is available via Kindle it doesn’t mean it is self-published. Join e-pub agent Saritza Hernandez for an illuminating discussion of digital publishing, where it differs from self-publishing and what role the literary agent plays in this new landscape.

Dystopia in YA Fiction
panel: Beth Revis, Veronica Roth, Aimee Carter, Ben Schrank
Saturday, 3-4 p.m., Venetian III

Dystopic novels are all the rage in YA, and even the latter Harry Potter books dealt heavily with dystopic themes. This panel of authors, editors and publishers will discuss the genre’s popularity and appeal, as well as what makes a good — and a bad — dystopia.

Friendship is Magic: Relationships Beyond Romance in Harry Potter & YA
panel: Libba Bray, Beth Revis, Erin Pyne
Friday, 5-6 p.m., Venetian III

There’s a lot of focus on romance in YA these days, from deep swoony romance to love triangles where fans root for their preferred love interest. But sometimes, watching the relationships between friends and family members grow across a book series can be even more memorable than a romance. How do the friendships, family relationships, and the friendships-that-are-like-family in our favorite books influence our lives as readers, fans, and booklovers?

From Fanfic to Pro
panel: Aimee Carter, Lindsay Ribar, Kele Moon, Diana Copland
Friday, 3-4 p.m., Tuscan I

Many successful authors got their start where you are — in Harry Potter fandom, writing fanfiction. Join panelists Aimee Carter, Lindsay Ribar, Kele Moon & Diana Copland for a discussion of how fanfiction (and fandom!) shaped them as writers, and the journeys each one took to achieving professional publishing success.

How to Self-Publish to Kindle (and market yourself)
panel: Erin Pyne, Connie Neal, Valerie Frankel
Friday, 1-2 p.m., Venetian III

Navigating the world of publishing can be tricky, and sometimes it makes more sense for an author to publish their work directly, quickly and digitally. But how do you do it? Join this workshop featuring three seasoned authors who will go through the steps to self-publishing both digitally and “on paper,” including and especially to Amazon.com. Plus, learn how to monetize your book, and market yourself as an author.

Katniss, Bella, and Hermione: Finding the Balance Between Asskicking Prowess and Emotional Realism in the Girls of YA Fiction
panel: Veronica Roth, Lindsay Ribar, Beth Revis, Libba Bray, Michelle Hodkin, Aimee Carter
Friday, 12:30-2 p.m., Tuscan III

You’ve got Katniss, the champion fighter whose hard life has left her with little room for romantic emotions; and you’ve got Bella, who lives for love but trips over her own shadow and needs supernatural boys to save her. With literary role models like Hermione in the mix – Hermione, known for both her sensitivity and her asskicking skills – why are there still so many high-profile heroines who tend toward one extreme or the other? This panel will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of extreme portrayals of these various female protagonists, and what kind of heroines we want next from the YA market.

NaNoWriMo: An Introduction
presentation: Krista Domin
Saturday, 5-6 p.m., Verona

This will be a discussion on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) What is is, how to get started, what to do when you get writer’s block, and other tools and tricks will be discussed. This is ideal for those who have not participated, or have not been able to finish!

No Closets: What Professional Writers Learned Writing Erotic FanFic*
panel: Ravenna C.Tan, Saritza Hernandez, Kele Moon, Diana Copland
Saturday, 6-7 p.m., Venetian V

Erotica has never been hotter, with the growth of Digital Publishing, increased ownership of e-readers, and M/M romance, much of it written by and targeted to a female audience, gaining popularity. Did you know that many HP fandomers are at the forefront of the industry? Join this panel of authors, publishers and agents for an in-depth discussion of industry trends, tips & tricks and how a foundation in — and continuing involvement in — writing slash fanfiction and HP fandom has shaped their careers.
*Please note this panel will admit 18+ only

Publishing 101: Ask an Agent
panel: Lindsay Ribar, Joanna Volpe, Saritza Hernandez
Friday, 11-noon, Venetian III

What do agents really want to see in a query letter? What genres and types of stories are they looking for? What are their pet peeves? Our panel of literary agents will answer these questions and more — come with your burning questions!

Publishing 101: The Author-Agent Relationship
panel: Veronica Roth, Joanna Volpe
Friday, 2-3 p.m., Venetian III

Join author Veronica Roth and her agent Joanna Volpe for a discussion of Veronica’s Divergent series and how it went from idea to the page, to agented, to published! Come with lots of questions — Veronica and Joanna are excited to answer them!

Publishing 101: How to Get Published
presentation: Carlie Webber
Saturday, 12:30-1:30, Tuscan I

Curious about what it takes to get your novel published? Not sure how to get the attention of an agent or publisher? Come to this session, where Carlie Webber, junior agent with the Jane Rotrosen Agency, will demystify the language of commercial publishing and answer your questions on everything from crafting stellar queries to how your book gets into readers’ hands.

Query Me This: How to Write a Killer Query Letter
workshop: Carlie Webber, Lindsay Ribar, Joanna Volpe
Saturday, 1:30-3 p.m., Tuscan I

The key to getting a literary agent for your work is to write a good query letter. Join Ascendio agents Lindsay Ribar, Carlie Webber and Joanna Volpe for a workshop that will go over query letter basics, with hands-on tips and critique from the agents. Participants should come to the workshop prepared to write a sample query letter; pen and paper will be provided, but authors should have their novel summary and bio details handy! Attendees are welcome to bring a previously composed query letter to work on, should they wish.

Say Yes to Gay YA: LGBTQ and Diversity in YA Fiction
panel: Joanna Volpe, Libba Bray, Lindsay Ribar, Carlie Webber, Mark Oshiro
Saturday, 11-12:30 p.m., Tuscan III

In September 2011, an editorial in Publisher’s Weekly sparked a discussion about gay characters and diverse characters in YA and middle grade fiction across the industry and Internet. Out of that conversation came a startling statistic: less than 1% of YA novels have LGBTQ characters. Join Quill Track panelists for a discussion of LGBTQ in YA fiction, the disparity between the popularity of slash fiction in fandom vs. the distinct lack of gay characters in mainstream publications, and what writers and the industry can do to see more diversity in books published.

Schools of Magic: A Staple in Fantasy
panel: Lev Grossman, Cecilia Tan
Friday, 3-4 p.m., Venetian III

J.K Rowling was far from the first, and won’t be the last, to write a fantasy using a magical school setting. From A Wizard of Earthsea’s Roke to the Unseen University in Discworld, from Jane Yolen’s Wizard Hall to Tamora Pierce’s Carthak University, the magical school or university is a staple in fantasy literature. Why? In books intended for a young audience and featuring young protagonists, school may seem a logical setting for the age group, but there are many more reasons why an educational setting lends itself to fantasy storytelling. Lev Grossman sends his main character to Brakebills in upstate New York, while Cecilia Tan hides her Magic University inside Harvard.

Tweet Me, Follow Me, Ask Me, Share: How Authors Are Harnessing the Power of Social Media to Build an Audience
panel: Beth Revis, Ben Schrank, Aimee Carter
Friday, 4-5 p.m., Venetian III

A new generation of authors are making themselves accessible to readers like never before: through social media. Fans can have a Twitter conversation, get questions answered on Tumblr, access exclusive updates on Facebook and read candid, personal blogs from their favorite authors. Aspiring writers are building a following on social media before querying agents and publishers, using a foundation of online followers as a springboard to a book deal. Join Quill Track panelists for a discussion of the new frontier of author-reader-fan relations.

You Can Publish That?*
workshop: Saritza Hernandez
Saturday, 5-6 p.m., Venetian V

The GLBTQ romance genre is one of the fastest growing in the digital publishing industry and a great place to dip your toes into. If you currently write slash fanfic, your original works could be sold to publishers who can allow you to make a handsome income and keep writing about the things you love! This workshop will allow authors to have their “slash” (femme and male slash) book proposals reviewed by a literary agent who will provide guidance on how to achieve publication. Ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a complete manuscript to pitch, but would like to speak one-on-one with an agent.
*Please note this workshop will admit 18+ only

Wielding the Red Quill: Editing Strategies for Writers and Beta-Readers
workshop: November Snowflake
Friday, 4-5 p.m., Michelangelo

Looking for strategies to enhance your revision skills or help you become a better beta? Go beyond basic SPAG in this session that will focus on concepts and practices to help you better revise your own or others’ writing. From the vagaries of voice to the quicksand of continuity, this workshop will cover topics designed to help you polish your writing or beta project to a high sheen.

A Writer’s Guide to Harry Potter, part 1
workshop: Susan Sipal
Friday, 11-noon, Michelangelo

In this two-part writing workshop, Muggle writers can learn from the skills which have made J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series more than beloved, but truly an absolute obsession among millions. Using Ms Rowling’s phenomenally popular series as a base, delve below the surface of her prose to determine what made her writing so magical for so many. Learn about giving the reader more, the value of subtext, using mythic themes and structure to advantage, plotting a trail-of-clues mystery, and the business of self promotion. This is not a workshop about writing fantasy (magic), but rather about how to learn techniques from a bestseller in order to improve your own writing and style.

A Writer’s Guide to Harry Potter, part 2
workshop: Susan Sipal
Saturday, 9-10:30, Michelangelo