Swancon WriterStream: Saturday 23 April


The Swancon Thirty Six WriterStream is aimed at writers who are seeking to take the next step in the business of writing, with advice on how to become a writing professional and providing support in the writing process.

Featuring many of the Swancon guests including internationally acclaimed editors Ellen Datlow and Jonathan Strahan, British writer Justina Robson, and Australian authors Sean Williams, Simon Haynes, Kaaron Warren and Juliet Marillier, this stream is a must-see for anyone looking for support in the writing process to write on a professional level.

Membership info is here. You may attend the WriterStream when you purchase either a full or day membership.

9:30am POD – future or dead end?
Simon Haynes, Stefen Brazil
Is the traditional taboo on self-publishing beginning to disappear in the world of e-pubs and print on demand.

10:30am Nobody cares about your dinner – get interesting or GTFO.
Tansy Rayner Roberts, Jonathan Strahan, Joanne Anderton
Marketing your writing through social media or irritating your friends and family for fun and profit?

11:30am The mid-list crisis and the cult of celebrity authors
Ellen Datlow, Justina Robson, Kirstyn McDermott
Is the space for mid-list authors diminishing? Do the next generation of authors need to be celebrities already? Or at least young and attractive?

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Lunch

2:00pm Ellen Datlow: Interviewed by Kaaron Warren

3:00pm Filthy Lucre; writers and money
Ian Nichols
J K Rowling is a billionaire, and there are other writers out there who are multi-millionaires through their writing. How likely is it that you will become rich from writing? The depressing facts are that it is not very likely at all. This paper discusses the results of an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey into writers’ income, “Don’t Give Up Your Day Job,” and also discusses some of the basic economics of writing.

4:00pm Freelancing ain’t easy
Nick Evans, Sean Williams, Jason Nahrung
Can you turn non-fiction into a revenue stream?

Romancing the West
Swancon Thirty Six welcomes Romancing the West to WriterStream.

Romancing the West will run a second stream of our WriterStream, all about writing romance, including paranormal romance. This will include a writing workshop by Swancon invited guest Juliet Marillier and a presentation on novel structure by JD Cregan.

8:30am Romance Writers 1: sizzling sex
with Nicole R Murphy
There are few scenes harder to get right than a sex scene. It needs to sizzle, it needs to be sensual, it needs to be intimate and emotional and it needs to actually be anatomically possible. This workshop will look at how you use character, setting and language to create a scene that will satisfy both character and reader while also being true to the creed of every scene needing to move the story forward.

9:30am Romance Writers 2: finishing the story
with Kaaron Warren
One of the hardest things about writing short stories is finishing them. I have dozens of stories in my filing cabinet. One page, two pages, three pages, four. None of them finished.

I haven’t put one in that file for a long time, now. Once I start a story, I know I’m going to finish it, one way or another. I do have some tricks for this. Firstly, for working my way to the ending; secondly, for figuring out what that ending is; and thirdly, for polishing it to a level I’m happy to send it out into the world.

That’s what we’ll be working on. Bring along a short story idea or a story you’ve started.

10:30am Romance Writers 3: old bones, new flesh
with Juliet Marillier
Romance and fantasy grew up together, intertwined through history like a vine and its tree. They were part of traditional storytelling in the form of myths and legends, folklore and fairytales. We may no longer tell stories around the fire at night, but the life lessons contained in those traditional tales are still relevant in our vastly changed culture, and the mode of telling them still rings deeply true for us. In this workshop we’ll look at the strong themes and dynamic characters of folklore and fairytale, and discover how we can tap into old sources to create new work. The workshop is equally relevant for fantasy and romance writers.

We’ll focus on three traditional tales: “Vasilisa the Fair”, “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”, and “Bluebeard”. Through group discussion and practical exercises, we’ll tease out the elements of these stories that are relevant to today’s time and culture, and investigate ways we might use some of them in our own work. Be prepared to let loose your inner crone and unveil the skeletons in your closet.
Participants are expected to plunge enthusiastically into practical work. This will include robust group discussion, lots of writing and optional role-play / improvised drama.

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Lunch

2:00pm Romance Writers 4: the structure of the novel
with JD Cregan
In this one hour workshop the principles of story design (audience engagement, the inciting incident, progressive complications, crisis, climax and resolution) will be explored. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and develop a story outline for a novel using the ideas and information provided.

3:00pm Romance Writers 5: research – not just a load of dusty old books
with Anna Jacobs
Anna Jacobs is the author of 53 novels, 36 of them historical. She does a lot of research, not only for her historical novels, but also for her modern stories. In this session she will go through some of her own research techniques, what she does before, during and after writing a novel, storage and retrieval of information (a crucial and often neglected aspect), how to give information in a story without stopping the flow. She’ll also discuss two other sorts of research essential to a novelist, ie: market research and research into one’s own capabilities as a writer.

4:00pm Romance Writers 6: arousing your reader
with Nikki Logan
All authors of commercial fiction seek to arouse their readers. Arousal leads to engagement and engagement leads to sales. Whether it’s through the heart-stopping chill of a good thriller, the intellectual arousal of a good mystery, the emotional arousal of a romance or the sensual arousal of erotic fiction. Understanding what arousal is and how it can work for your writing will help writers to deliver ‘emotional punch’. This craft workshop will identify the types of arousal, why it is an effective engagement tool and how to recognise it in your writing.

All Swancon members are welcome to attend the Romancing the West program items, while Romancing the West day members will have full access to Swancon events. Get your memberships here.