The JordanCon Writers track is a place to come learn about the art, craft, and business of writing. We have topics that range from traditional to self publishing, editing to different aspects of writing, panel topics to workshops. Of note, click on the below links to find out more about our two annual pre-reg required workshops.
The first few pages of a book are important! JordanCon’s Got Slush is a live anonymous reading of submitted book openings by real acquiring editors and publishing professionals, and an analysis of what they liked and what they didn’t.
The Annual Workshop is a chance to get peer and professional critique from attendees and our guests. It happens Friday Night after the dinner break, and tends to run a couple of hours.
JordanCon Annual Pitch Critique
Knowing how to pitch your book can be vitally important too. In this no-stress pitch critique, industry pros and editors listen to your pitch and tell you frankly what they liked about the pitch and what dragged it down, helping you to hone your hook, summary, and catch. No pre-reg needed, just come and raise your hand.
Don’t just hear and talk about writing, do it! A semi-guided flash-fiction writing sessions Sunday afternoon where prompts are provided, you get a short amount of time, and then we share our stories. Always a blast to see what creativity we have in the track.
Something new for 2019, we will be holding topic specific Writing Classes in parallel with the Writers Track. There will be limited space, and signups will be in the Writers Track. Keep an eye on our social media to find out exactly what we’ll be offering. The workshops will be one on Saturday and one on Sunday for 1 hour each.
The JordanCon Writers Track Director, Richard Fife, also edits an annual anthology of short fiction. The first was published in 2019. Click the links below for more information about a specific anthology.
Selected Panel Archive
Here is a selected example of other panel headers we have done in years past. We try to keep it fresh and not repeat ourselves from year to year, but that isn’t to say that just because we’ve run a panel before, we won’t again.
- “Keeping a Long Series Fresh”
- A panel on writing sequels
- “Business Realities for the Aspiring Writer”
- A discussion of the business of writing, especially for self pub
- “Keeping it Short”
- A discussion of short fiction and the differences and challenges it represents.
- A discussion on the creation and distribution of eBooks
- “Schmoozing 101”
- A discussion on how to market and present yourself
- “Folklore and Fairytales”
- Discussion on incorporating legends from the real world into your fiction.
- “Religion in your World”
- A discussion on using religion as a narrative and worldbuilding tool. RECORDED!
- “Violence for Writers”
- A discussion and demonstration of fight scenes.
- “Pacing and Plotting”
- A discussion on how to find that beat of a story, when to let things calm down, when to ramp them up.
- “The Hero’s Journey”
- A lecture/discussion on the classic “Hero’s Journey” analysis of stories and how to apply it to your own writing.
- “Flawed Worlds”
- A discussion of “gritty” world building and adding depth to a story through flawed worlds and characters.
- A discussion of the very different craft involved in writing screenplays.
- “Collaborative Writing”
- A discussion focused on books with more than one author and how that even works.
- “Editing and Polishing”
- One of many panels we’ve had about how to clean up a manuscript after the first draft is written.
- “Write what you don’t know”
- A discussion about how to research topics you might not have a strong understanding, or how to strengthen an already strong understanding.
- “Game Writing”
- A discussion on how to write for table-top games, and even some discussion of system creation.
- “Terrible Writing Advice”
- A fun panel where authors talk about the worst advice they received or have heard others say, and why it was bad.
- “Sensory Writing”
- A discussion about using more than just “sight” in your description.
- “Tropes: Rule of Cool”
- A discussion of how the “Rule of Cool” trope can carry an unbelievable scene, and just how far to push it.
- “Query Letters”
- A dicussion on how to write a good query letter, dos and don’ts.
- And many many more.
How to Edit
April 26, 2019 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
A look at what goes into editing, the different types of editing, and how to self-edit.
Panelists: Chris Kennedy, Merethe Walther, Melissa McArthur, Toni Weisskopf, Brent Weeks
Funny Haha, Not Funny Hehe
April 26, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
In depth discussion of humor, how to craft it, and how to not push it into the unfunny.
Panelists: John G. Hartness, Faith Hunter, Lydia Sherrer, Merethe Walther, Will Kenyon
Critique and Writing Groups
April 26, 2019 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
How to give and take criticism, and discussion on writing groups.
Panelists: Foster Bridget Cassidy, Darin Kennedy, Morgan Smith, Peter Ahlstrom
April 26, 2019 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Annual JordanCon writers workshop. Sign-up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe6ovWHfPU2YYbQIpsHS-9V6EXXJyHz-0I_eU12BcrBVw28qg/viewform?usp=sf_link.
Panelists: John G. Hartness, Michael G. Williams, Amy DuBoff, Merethe Walther, Ashley Chappell, Melissa McArthur, Faith Hunter, Cecilia Dominic, Anna Grace Carpenter, Toni Weisskopf
April 26, 2019 10:00 pm - 11:00 pm
The prior panel and this one have all shared guests.
Panelists: Ellie Raine, Robyn Huss, Venessa Giunta, JD Jordan, Ashley Chappell
Support your Writer
April 27, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
No writer is an island. Discussion of balancing life with writing, with a focus on family, friends, work, and time management.
Panelists: Ellie Raine, Faith Hunter, Mark McCray, Brent Weeks, David B. Coe
Story Structure and Lexicon
April 27, 2019 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Our panel goes goes down the long list of different terms and concepts used in writing to fill in the gaps of what you know, or think you know, so we can all be on the same page.
Panelists: Nicole Givens Kurtz, Robyn Huss, Venessa Giunta, Anna Grace Carpenter, Lydia Sherrer
JordanCon's Got Slush
April 27, 2019 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Editors go through pre-submitted anonymous book openings and give their honest reactions. Submit your work here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSer87mYYbqIVFqiJxSRuYTCiL9YoXVFV6g9y6We-WwyVNh-Cg/viewform
Panelists: Merethe Walther, Chris Kennedy, Melissa McArthur, Karen Ahlstrom, Peter Ahlstrom
Writing to Sight
April 27, 2019 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
When the visual is critically important, how do you get it right?
Panelists: David B. Coe, Cecilia Dominic, Brent Weeks, Robyn Huss, Milton Davis
Learning and Writing the Near East: Myth, Memory, and Assumptions
April 27, 2019 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
An Academic lecture and discussion with Dr. Sargon Donabed.
Panelists: Sargon Donabed
April 27, 2019 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
No panel, but the room is free to those who want a quiet place to write.
April 27, 2019 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
A great improv game where we take questions from the audience, and the panel has to answer you at a word at a time.
Panelists: Misty Massey, Ellie Raine, Cecilia Dominic, R. Kyle Hannah, Peter Ahlstrom
Mental Illness, On & Off the Page
April 28, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am
A talk both about properly portraying mental illnesses, as well as a look at common mental health issues among writers and how they cope.
Panelists: Cecilia Dominic, Ellie Raine, Melissa McArthur, Will Kenyon, Nicole Givens Kurtz
Annual Pitch Critique
April 28, 2019 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Our annual event where Industry Pros help you doctor your elevator pitch.
Panelists: John G. Hartness, Chris Kennedy, Venessa Giunta, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Peter Ahlstrom
Flash Fiction - YA
April 28, 2019 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Flash Fiction Writing with a focus on YA Themes
Panelists: Foster Bridget Cassidy, Blue Cole
Plotting, a How-To
April 28, 2019 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Come hear from plotter writers about their process, then we'll plot a story together! Bring something to write with.
Panelists: Faith Hunter, David B. Coe, Melissa McArthur, Lydia Sherrer, Brent Weeks