Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fun Things from Anne Hillerman of the Write On Four Corners family

Happy summer, everyone! Hope your writing is going well. We are pleased that Tania Casselle, a 2011 faculty member, has agreed to share a writing tip in this issue. Tania and her novelist husband Sean Murphy will be offering manuscript critiques this year in conjunction with the Hillerman Conference for those in the market for good advice on their writing. Also please remember our mystery short story contest deadline is August 15th.
Finally, send us your news for our next newsletter. We're happy to help fellow writers and our former students share their accomplishments.
Anne Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg

Are you working on that short story?
The deadline for the Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Contest is August 15. WORDHARVEST welcomes our new co-sponsor, New Mexico Magazine, which will publish the winning entry and give the writer $1,000. To qualify the story:
Must be 2,500 words or less
Must be set primarily in New Mexico
Must be a mystery
Must be postmarked no later than August 15, 2011
You'll find the entry form and complete rules here
New Mexico Magazine's new editor, Dave Herndon, has graciously agreed to join us at the Tony Hillerman Conference on a panel: Pitches, Synopses, and Queries to Seduce an Editor/Agent. Fellow panelists will include St. Martin's Press editor Peter Joseph, author Bill O'Hanlon, and literary and film agent Liz Trupin-Pulli. Don't miss it! Their talk will be Saturday, November 12. You'll find more information by clicking on the complete conference schedule.

Writing Tip: Look for the True Beginning of a Story
From Tania Casselle
"To find the true beginning of a story, read your work out loud. Notice the first place that you feel hooked in, the first place with vital energy. One of the most valuable things I learned as a magazine editor was that the REAL story often starts at the bottom of page one. That's where it 'drops' and gets juicy. The previous paragraphs could be cut, because they were just the writer warming up, flexing muscles to ease into the piece. Sometimes it's just a question of changing the order of the story's unfolding so you start at the strongest point possible. Often, the best place to start is in Media Res (in the middle of things) so the story kicks off with some immediate action or forward thrust, without any explanation of how we got here. (You can fill in back-story details later, once you've drawn your reader in.) Hemingway's Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber is a classic example - you're dropped into a conflict between the characters, and only later find out what triggered it."
(Casselle has been a writer and editor for more than 20 years, contributing to magazines, newspapers and online media. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee for short fiction, and her stories have been selected for several anthologies including the forthcoming Online Writing: The Best of the First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press). She has received the Raymond Carver Short Story Award, the Virginia Woolf Asham Award, and numerous other awards. She's the author of Insiders' Guide to Albuquerque (Globe Pequot Press, 2010) She and Sean Murphy, winner of the Hemmingway Prize, will offer critiques as part of the Tony Hillerman Writer's Conference.)

2011 Hillerman Conference Schedule
Thursday, Nov. 10
Pre-conference writing workshopA Writer's Toolkit: 7 Essentials for Success with Sandi Ault
Evening opener: A Spy's Guide to Santa Fe with author Edward Held, Director of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.

Friday Nov. 11, The Craft of Writing
Breakfast talk with novelist Jo Ann Mapson
Presentation: The Plot Thickens: Keep Readers Turning Those Pages with best-selling author Douglas Preston
Lunch talk author Steve Wolf on Comet: How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life.Presentation: The Art and Craft of Narrative Non-Fiction with Hampton Sides
Panel Discussions: Creating GOOD Bad Guys: with Joe Badal, Steve Havill, John Vorhaus and Sandi Ault
Building Tension: with Jo-Ann Mapson, David Morrell, Sean Murphy and Hampton Sides
Book signing with the day's speakers
Flash Critiques: Writing with the Stars with David Morrell and Sandi Ault

Saturday Nov. 12, The Business of Writing
Presentation: The Changing Face of Publishing with Edgar nominee David Morrell
Tony Hillerman Prize Luncheon: A conversation with Editor Peter Joseph and Tricia Fields, 2010 Tony Hillerman Prize Winner
Presentation: Harnessing the Beast: Organizing your Manuscript with Steve HavillPanel Discussions: Non-fiction, Fiction and True Storytelling: with Don Bullis, Doug Preston, John Vorhas, Sally Denton and Virginia Scharff Pitches, Synopses and Queries to Seduce an Editor/Agent: with author Bill O'Hanlon, St. Martin's Press editor Peter Joseph, New Mexico Magazine editor Dave Herndon, author Bill O'Hanlon and agent Elizabeth Trupin-PulliReception and book signing Dinner, Presentation of the Tony Hillerman/New Mexico Magazine Short Story Prize. Keynote speaker Douglas Preston: The Monster of Florence, or How I Fell into One of My Novels
We are also offering one-on-one critique sessions for first chapters, short fiction, synopses, and non-fiction essays with the dynamic team of Sean Murphy and Tania Casselle. Conference registrants receive a discount on critiques and on the pre-conference workshop. Our on-line registration is up and running with a variety of options including one-day passes. The conference welcomes beginners and experienced writers.

Hotel Santa Fe offers style, convenience
Hotel Santa Fe hosts the 2011 Hillerman Conference

Hotel Santa Fe, our headquarters for the 2011 Tony Hillerman Writers Conference, is Santa Fe's only American Indian-owned hotel. Located in historic downtown Santa Fe and adjoining the new Railyard District, the hotel offers easy access to museums, galleries, shops, nightlife, and restaurants. It sits on three lushly landscaped acres adorned with Native American sculpture.
Rates for conference attendees, valid November 9-13, 2011:
Hotel Santa Fe Suite $115
Deluxe Hacienda Suite $189
The rates (single or double occupancy) include parking, Internet access, use of on request in-town shuttle, pool and hot tub. All rooms and suites are furnished with hand-crafted, Southwestern-style natural pine furnishings and granite bathrooms. To reserve call 800-825-9876 or 505 982-1200 or email stay@hotelsantafe.com. Please ask for the WORDHARVEST or the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference room rate.

Thank you to our colleague Karen S. Elliott for her proofreading. Jean and I at WORDHARVEST highly recommend her. Karen shares grammar, punctuation, and proofreading tips you can use on her blog. Please contact her there.

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Anne Hillerman and Jean SchaumbergWORDHARVEST

See more at www.wordharvest.com
Connie Gotsch www.conniegotsch.com Host Write On Four Corners KSJE FM, Farmington NM www.ksje.com Author two award winning youth novels ‘Belle’s Star,’ and ‘Belle’s trial,’ based on the life of a real dog and written from her point of view. Available from Artemesia Press at http://www.apbooks.net and amazon.com, and Anazon,com Belle’s Star was a New Mexico BookAward in 2009 and 2010; First Place for Juvenile Fiction New Mezxico Press Women and National Federation of Press Women Communication Contests 2010’ Silver Mom’s Choice Award 2010.
Belle’s Trial’ won First Place for Juvenile Fiction in the 2011 New Mexico Press Press Women’s Commuication Contest, and a Silver Mom’s Choice Award for 2011. The book received an Eric Hoffer Award nomination for 2011.

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