Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Breakout Novel Intensive: Coming to Kentuckiana Soon!

So, y'all know I'm a (kind of) closet novelist-wannabe. And loyal readers of this blog know that Roommate is the Big Kahuna of Writers Retreat Workshop (WRW), from which I recently returned (We met there, in fact, in 2002, and we've been BFFs ever since).  This year's WRW was especially good-- a great batch of passionate writers, some exciting visiting staff, and of course a core group of returning staff and students that keep this writers' boot camp vibrant each year.  

Through my friendship with Roommate and my affiliation with Writers Retreat Workshop, I've gotten to know some fabulous people in the fiction-writing biz: writers, editors, publishers, mentors, and teachers.  One of the best teachers of fiction-writing I've met is Donald Maass, head of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in NYC and author of a number of books on writing, including Writing the Breakout Novel and Fire in Fiction. His agency's client list features best-selling authors like Todd McCaffrey, Anne Perry, and Jim Butcher. Don is not only an excellent teacher, but he's a really good guy and a good friend.

Lorin Oberweger, writer, program director, and independent editor, is also a dear friend and a fantabulous cheerleader when it comes to inspiring creative-types.  And this year Lorin's company, Free Expressions, is bringing Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel Intensive Workshop to our neck of the woods, September 19-25.

From the website:

This retreat and workshop includes:
  • All meals and comfortable, private sleeping accommodations with private baths.
  • Morning classes with Donald Maass, geared toward building students’ specific projects using concepts covered in his popular, Writing the Breakout Novel book and workbook.
  • A private thirty-minute consultation with Donald Maass, who will read the first fifty pages of each student’s manuscript.
  • A private consultation with Editor-in-Residence and Program Director Lorin Oberweger.
  • Opportunities to confer with other professional writers on staff.
  • Afternoon and evening writing time and voluntary critique groups.
  • Group follow–up discussions and pitch practice with Donald Maass.
  • Complimentary copy of the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.
In order to ensure an intimate and productive environment for our students, enrollment is strictly limited to thirty–five writers. Participation is on a first-come, first-serve basis, so please register early.

If you enroll by July 15, you receive $75 off.  For more information, visit the Free Expressions website.

If you're a fiction writer or if you've got a fire in your noggin about being a fiction writer, this is truly an amazing opportunity.  As an aspiring novelist, I can't tell you how valuable it is to have the chance to have a Big Time New York Agent read 50 pages of your novel.  Usually it takes a barrage of query letters (that you've edited and adjusted a dozen times) just to get an agency to give you the time of day (no offense to my agent friends).  For a lot of us, this service is almost worth the price of the entire workshop.

Not only are Don and Lorin a power duo of teacher/mentors, but the always awesome Roommate is on staff too.  If I could take the time off from work, I would be there for the whole thing; as it is, I'm certainly going to try to capitalize on my friendships with these folk to take advantage of some of the after-work and weekend activities.  I hope to see you there.

Brief gripe: How can the Sheraton Louisville call itself the Sheraton "Louisville" if it's in Jeffersonville, Indiana? Ugh, that bites my butt. 


Lolo said...

Maybe because it FACES Louisville? ;-) Thanks for posting!

Jules said...

I know it's not your genre- but do you have any hints about non-fiction events coming to the area any time soon?

M said...

If you're writing narrative non-fiction, Jules, then this could still be the event for you. I've come across many a memoir/historical non-fiction writer at these workshops who learn a lot from what Maass teaches. You might want to think about attending. If you're not sure, go to the free-expressions.com website and shoot Lorin Oberweger an email and ask her what she thinks. I trust that she will give you a solidly honest answer.

But I will keep my ear out for other opportunities for non-fiction writers!

Jules said...

Thanks so much!