Thursday Workshops 2020

These pre-conference workshops give attendees a chance to learn from successful authors in small groups, where they receive one-on-one guidance in specific areas. This page will be updated regularly with workshop descriptions, pre-conference submission instructions, and a list of instructors, so please check it often.

We also have a FAQ page below with basic details.

WHEN: 05/07/2020

WHERE: Utah Valley Convention Center, 220 W. Center St. Provo, UT. 3rd Floor

Attendees may sign up for one or both sessions.

Session 1: 12:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Session 2: 3:15 PM – 6:00 PM

COST: $35/session

 

Historical Worldbuilding

Max attendees per session: 20

Don’t leave the fascinating settings and magical details all to the fantasy writers! Building your historical setting takes just as much effort to get exactly right. With a 4:1 student to teacher ratio and four different historical time period specializations, you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind critique to help you get your historical setting just right. Sign up for 20th Century, Regency, 19th Century General, or Medieval and have a highly-skilled instructor help polish your first ten pages. You will be expected to review the pages for each group member prior to attending the workshop.

If you have registered and paid for this workshop, please click here for your welcome letter and instructions.

First Pages

Max attendees per session: 48

With a 3:1 student-teacher ratio, this fabulous workshop is one of our most popular. You will receive specific feedback on the first ten pages of your manuscript from an author instructor in a small group setting. Manuscript pages will also be shared, in advance, with the other members of your group. You will be expected to review the pages for each group member prior to attending the workshop as the entire group will discuss each person’s work.

If you have registered and paid for this workshop, please click here for your welcome letter and instructions.

Plot Chat 201: Elements of Plot

Max attendees per session: 16

Come learn the art of plot revision! At a 4:1 student-teacher ratio, this workshop will teach you where to start and how to pinpoint problems with plot and character. During this hands-on instruction course, you’ll learn how to break down your manuscript into three parts, and then make sure each part has five essential plot points. We’ll also talk about the obligatory scenes and conventions readers expect to find in different genres, why they are important, and whether your manuscript has them.

NOTE: Participants should have a completed (or close-to completed) manuscript and either a printed or digital copy of their manuscript to edit during this amazing workshop! Attendees will share a synopsis of their work with their group prior to the workshop.

If you have registered and paid for this workshop, please click here for your welcome letter and instructions.

Magic Systems

Max attendees per session: 32

Do you tie down your magic with rules, or take it off the leash and let it roam free? Whether using a rule-based (limited) magic system or a free-roaming (unlimited) one, establishing the believability, originality, and world-building of magic is key to creating stories as methodical and real as Sanderson’s, or as sweeping and artistic as Tolkien’s. In this class, we’ll not only discuss the differing concepts and roles of magic systems, but factor the implications of a magic system into the world surrounding it.

If you have registered and paid for this workshop, please click here for your welcome letter and instructions.

Marketing: Knocking Your Amazon Ad Game Out of the Park (AMS Advanced)

Max attendees per session: 10

Already advertising with Amazon? Feel like you know the ins and outs, but your ads aren’t converting the way you’d like? Or maybe you’re just not sure which ads are working and which ones are eating your budget?

Wondering that maybe, just maybe, if you knew one more tip or trick to try, you could really kick your Amazon ad game up a notch? This hands-on, intensive workshop with two Amazon Ads experts is for you! Bring your computer, your questions, your best ads – and your worst – and get ready to knock your current ad game out of the park! Unique to 2020, our Marketing Workshops will be held classroom-style with a 10-2 student-teacher ratio, with all the tools our instructors need for an amazing workshop!

NOTE: This is an advanced ads class for those self-publishers already doing Amazon Ads on their self-published titles. IT IS NOT ABOUT AD CREATION OR ACCOUNT SET UP. See our beginner workshop for that – AMAZON ADS FOR NEWBIES

If you have registered and paid for this workshop, please click here for your welcome letter and instructions.

Marketing: Amazon Ads for Newbies

Max attendees per session: 10

Struggling to get your book seen? Advertising is critical in today’s crowded market, and Amazon Ads are the easiest and cheapest way to begin. This workshop will cover the basics from ad creation to monitoring and beyond. We’ll also discuss insider tricks to maximize those precious pennies and minutes away from the keyboard. If you’ve self-published at least one book through KDP and you’re ready to reach eager readers through Amazon Ads, this workshop is for you! Also, unique to 2020, this Marketing Workshop will be held classroom-style with a 10-1 student-teacher ratio, with all the tools our instructor needs for an amazing workshop!

If you have registered and paid for this workshop, please click here for your welcome letter and instructions.

Marketing: Building Your Author Platform from the Ground Up

Max attendees per session: 10

This hands-on workshop will cover everything you need to build a strong author platform that will give you staying power in the constantly changing publishing landscape! In this class we will discuss each element needed to grow your brand from the ground up. We will cover topics such as pricing strategy, launch strategy, how to maximize read-through, how to make your backmatter shine, branding your author website, how to incorporate promotional material, and author taglines that will make you stand out. And that’s just the beginning! Whether you’re almost ready to publish or have a few books out but feel like you’re missing the mark, this class will help you build and maintain a cohesive author platform that will serve you well for years to come. And, unique to 2020, this Marketing Workshop will be held classroom-style with a 10-1 student-teacher ratio, with all the tools our instructor needs for an amazing workshop!

What day are the workshops?

Thursday, May 7th, 2020.

Can I sign up for more than one workshop?

Yes! You can do just the first session, just the second session, or both.

I’ve registered for a workshop but haven’t received an email. Help?

All initial instruction letters are posted on the website under our Thursday Workshop page. It is each attendee’s responsibility to go to the site and follow the instructions pertaining to their workshop. Once that is done, if further instructions are needed, they will be emailed to you. All due dates are listed under each workshop on the website.

We will reply with an acknowledgment of receipt within three business days after you send your materials. If you don’t receive acknowledgment, please contact Natalee Cooper at ThursdayWorkshops@storymakersconference.com If for some reason you still don’t hear from us, please email Conference@storymakersconference.com. From time to time, there are issues with email servers, and we don’t want you to miss out if that happens.

What if I don’t get my materials to my mentor by the date?

If you miss your deadline, your instructor is no longer required to read your materials before the conference. Our instructors are offering their valuable time to help us, and our dates are chosen to give them enough time to complete their preparations before the conference. Please be considerate of your instructor(s) and send your materials in on time.

Is there a wait list once a workshop is full?

Yes. Please click HERE to be put on the waitlist.

Can I request my instructor?

With all of the factors that go into creating our groups, accommodations cannot be made. However, please rest assured that we match you as closely as possible to your instructors.

How long is each workshop?

2 hours and 45 minutes.

Where will the workshops be held?

The 3rd floor of the Utah Valley Convention Center.

Will attendees be able to transfer their workshop spot to another person?

No. We have to go to the next person if there’s a waiting list, and with the amount of preparation in most workshops, the deadline may already be past.

Do I have to do work before the workshop?

Yes. We hope you come prepared by following instructions pertinent to your workshop(s). Your initial instruction letter will be on the website and will not be emailed.

Will there be homework?

Yes. And pre-work and work-work and post-work. We’re writers. We’re workaholics. (But really, it depends on the workshop. See each workshop description for details.)

Can I bring my cat?

No. But bring pictures or video, if they’re funny.

May I wear pajamas?

Sure. Come prepared to interact and work in apparel that best meets your needs (we won’t be running the 5k break this year–yay).

Will there be snacks provided? Can I bring my own?

We will have a thirty-minute break between workshop sessions and will provide a snack. Snacks may contain gluten or nuts, and none of them will be certified allergy free. The convention center does not allow us to bring in outside food. There is a small concession stand inside the center for your convenience, as well as places to purchase food near the venue.

Can I bring my kids to the workshop(s)?

We love children, but having them with you during a focused workshop will be a distraction. If you have a nursing infant, you may bring him/her, however, we strongly suggest bringing someone to care for your infant while you are in session.

Will there be a ramp for wheelchair access?

We have elevators that reach the third floor, which is where our Thursday Workshops are located. You will need to use the elevators that are located near the escalators, as the other elevators only reach the second floor.