May 28 & 29 Conference program

2010 Backspace Writers Conference Agenda

PLEASE NOTE: While the following schedule has been confirmed, due unforeseen circumstances, individual program parts are subject to change

Individual workshop assignments will be posted April 15.

FRIDAY, May 28

Track One (Ballroom A/B) Track Two (Ballroom C)
9:00 – 10:00 Symposium: Crafting the Perfect Hook (Part One): “The Wind-Up” – workshop – Kristin Nelson
10:00 – 11:00 Symposium: Crafting the Perfect Hook (Part Two): “The Pitch” – agent workshop – TBA
11:00 – 12:00 Symposium: Crafting the Perfect Hook (Part Three): “She Scores!” – workshop – Jeff Kleinman, TBA
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 Agent-Author Relationship: Scott Hoffman, Norb Vonnegut, Jeff Kleinman, Elizabeth Letts, Karen Dionne (moderator) Master Class: Social Networking – Donald Lafferty
2:00 – 3:00

Author-Editor Relationship: Gayle Lynds, Keith Kahla, Jason Pinter (moderator)

Author panel: “Writing from the Edge: Sin, Sex, and Similar Taboos” – Rachel Kramer Bussel, J.E. Taylor, M.J. Pearson

3:00 – 3:30 break w/refreshments
3:30 – 4:30

Master Class: “You, too, can plot. Really.” - Gayle Lynds

Insider secrets to creating plots that will make your stories, themes, and characters riveting for agents, editors, and readers

Author panel: “Writing the Authentic Young Adult Voice” – Barb Ferrer, Randy Susan Meyers, A.S. King, TBA –

tips for creating believable younger characters

4:30 – 5:30 Keynote Address – Neil S. Nyren “Myths and Truths About Publishing”
7:00 – 9:00 Spotlight Guest: TBA and group author signing
9:00 – 11:00 cocktail reception

SATURDAY, May 29

Track One (Ballroom A/B) Track Two (Ballroom C)
9:00 – 10:00 Agent panel
10:00 – 11:00

“Buying and Selling: From Publisher to Bookstore” – book seller/sales rep/national buyer panel

Master Class: “Computers for the Technically Challenged” – Sharlotte Giberson-Graham

11:00 – 12:00 Master Class: “Writing the Love Story/subplot” Richard Krevolin Master Class: “Overcoming Writer’s Block” – Eileen Kennedy-Moore
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 Agent panel
2:00 – 3:00

Author panel: “But I Wasn’t Even Born Yet!” – Rebbie MacIntyre, Elizabeth Letts, Stephanie Cowell, Melanie Benjamin

writing realistic fiction outside the present day

Master Class: “The 10 Most Common Mistakes Writers Make” – Jerry Gross
3:00 – 3:30 break w/refreshments
3:30 – 4:30 Master Class: Jonathan Maberry (Topic TBA)

Master Class: “Marketing yourself from day one – how to build your buzz to rack up sales” – Janice Gable Bashman

4:30 – 5:30 Spotlight Guest: Hank Phillippi Ryan


Opening Pages Workshop Format

In small groups of no more than five authors, two agents react to the author’s material as the author reads aloud as though they’d received it as a submission, stopping the reading when the material stops working for them, and then explaining why.

Authors should be prepared for honest, objective feedback. Naturally, if an agent loves the work, authors are welcome to submit their material at the agent’s invitation. But if suggestions for improvement are offered, as is most often the case, authors should not be discouraged. Because these are workshops and not pitch sessions, authors whose materials were not as well-received as they had hoped can apply the suggestions that resonate and submit to these same agents later, according to the agents’ regular querying process.


At the end of each small-group workshop, there will be an opportunity for general discussion and questions. Additionally, the 15 minutes between program parts, and the half-hour mixer provide plenty of time for registrants to speak with all of our attending agents. There’s no need to be shy about approaching agents – remember, agents come to our conferences because they want to help writers, and because they’re looking for great projects!

PLEASE NOTE: Workshops will be assigned on a first come, first served basis according to the genre you specify when you register for the conference. One workshop per person.


What to Bring

Each registrant should bring 15 copies of their their opening two pages to their assigned workshop.

Opening pages should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins. You may start the text at the top of the first page, rather than dropping down a number of lines to begin a chapter in standard manuscript format. Please staple each set of pages together.

All materials should be in 12pt Times New Roman. Be sure to include your name, book title, genre, and contact information on your opening pages. Agents frequently bring their copies back to their offices for further review, and they need to be able to get in touch with you if your project catches their interest.


Where to go

floor plan

The seminars will take place on the Radisson’s second level.

The Track One program will take place in Ballroom A/B. Track Two is in Ballroom C.

Workshops will take place in Herald Square A, Herald Square B, Greeley Square, Chelsea A, Chelsea B, and the PC Boardroom.

Registration begins each day at 8:00 a.m. in the second-floor lobby. When you enter the hotel, turn left, take the elevator to the second floor, and turn left again.