Now Write! at Genre-La 2/23/18

Now Write! Editor Laurie Lamson will be at West Coast Writers’ Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference.

Friday, Feb 23, 3:15pm
Great Beginnings Openings – Your First Line, First Page, First Three Pages

You hear from editors and agents that if the first paragraph of your story isn’t strong enough, they won’t read the first page, let alone the first fifty. Separate fact from fiction and remain true to your story. Writing a first line that will grab an editor and immediately announce your authority as an author.  A unique opportunity for you to learn how real pros consider the merits of the material and the intent of the author, then offer improvements covering everything from glaring grammar errors to story-structure flaws to the overall storytelling and more.  Bring 5 copies of your first 3 pages. Selected pages will be read aloud, so the audience can follow along and learn how the panel reviews and may suggest improving the samples.  Sara Anne Fox (Moderator), Mike Robinson, Whitney Davis, Deanna Brady, Laurie Lamson (Panelists.)

Friday, Feb 23, 5:45pm
Writing Secrets from Masters of the Speculative Genres

Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror provides rare access to writing secrets from masters of the speculative genres.   Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson will lead a creative writing workshop using an exercise from the “Ideas and Inspiration” chapter from one of the most celebrated contributors.

 

RIP The Scariest Guy in America: Jack Ketchum

RIP Dallas Mayr aka Jack Ketchum

I was deeply saddened to learn that Jack Ketchum passed away on the morning of January 24, 2018.  He left quite a legacy of real-life horror inspired by his deep humanity.  See below the conversation I had with him at Center for Fiction and more about his work.  He will be missed.

A Conversation With the Scariest Guy In America

NowWriteSFFHorIconLaurie Lamson, editor of the new Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror book of writing exercises, had a conversation at Center for Fiction in New York City on April 15, 2014 with one of the contributors:  Jack Ketchum.

You might think a true-life crime and horror speculative fiction author, who Stephen King has referred to as, “the scariest guy in America”, would be intimidating.  But meeting and speaking Laurie&Dallassmwith Jack Ketchum was quite the opposite.  He is a warm and caring person who uses his skill as a writer to exercise (and probably exorcise) his imagination, expose evil in the world and entertain audiences with a fascination for the darker side of life.

He was generous in sharing his insights about craft and answering a lot of thoughtful questions from the audience:

More about Jack Ketchum

JackKetchum-Copyright_Steve_Thornton
photo by Steve Thornton

Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for novelist Dallas Mayr.   As a teenager, he was befriended by Robert Bloch (author of Psychowho became a mentor to him. He supported Ketchum’s work, just as his work was supported by his own mentor, H.P. Lovecraft. 

Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a private garbageman, a lumber salesman, a copywriter, editor of the paleontological magazine “Fossils,” and as a literary agent for Scott Meredith, Inc., where he served as agent for author Henry Miller. He also worked in off-off Broadway and summer stock as a reviewer, playwrite and director.

offseasonIn 1980, Jack Ketchum published his first novel Off Season, about a real-life family that lived in a cave and had a lifestyle of murder, cannibalism, and incest.  Mainstream reviewers hated it, but fans felt otherwise.

His next publication was Hide and Seek and more of his successful novels include She Wakes, Cover, Road Kill (aka Joyride), Only Child (aka Stranglehold), Ladies’ Night, and Triage (a collection of novellas) with fellow writers.  In 1990 he published Offspring, the sequel to Off Season.

TheCrossingsHe concentrates mainly on real-life monsters, but also writes otherworldly and surreal stuff, like a dark Western novella The Crossings, and “The Haunt”, a short supernatural tale.

So far, Jack has won the Bram Stoker Award for his short stories “The Box” and “Gone”, and his collections Closing Time and Peaceable Kingdom.

thelostSome of his most powerful novels have been turned into films: RED, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, THE LOST, THE WOMAN, OFF SPRING.

Two short stories were made into short films: “Mail Order” and “Olivia”.  By the way, you can hear Jack read an excerpt from “Olivia”.  He also wrote a book that is auto- and biographical of influential people in his life called Book of Souls.

Celebrating Susan Vreeland 

The life of New York Times best-selling author and Now Write! Fiction contributor Susan Vreeland will be celebrated this week in San Diego (see details below.)

Susan Vreeland is the internationally-known author of art-related historical fiction and four of her books are New York Times best-sellers.

Lisette’s List presents one woman’s yearning for art at a time when her family’s collection of paintings had to be hidden in the south of France from Nazi art thieves.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany reveals the talented woman who conceived of and designed the well-loved Tiffany leaded glass lamps.

Luncheon of the Boating Party depicts Renoir’s masterpiece, the personalities involved in its making, and the joie de vivre of late nineteenth century Paris.

Life Studies is a collection of stories of Impressionist painters told by people who knew them, as well as contemporary individuals encountering art in meaningful ways.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue traces an alleged Vermeer painting through the centuries.

The Passion of Artemisia illuminates Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

The Forest Lover follows rebel British Columbia painter Emily Carr in her encounters with native peoples and cultures.

What Love Sees tells the love story of a blind couple who refuse to accept limitations.

Four of these books have been winners of the Theodor Geisel Award, the highest honor given by the San Diego Book Awards.

All are welcome this Thursday, September 21, 12:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, San Diego.

Genre-la Speculative Fiction Writers’ Conference

Education and Inspiration for Writers of Speculative Fiction

Next weekend (Jan. 27-29) is the 2017 Genre-LA™ Creative Writers Conference in Culver City, California, (location details) where more than 30 published masters of the genre, literary agents, editors, publishers, best-selling authors, industry experts, Hollywood veterans, educators, and publishing professionals will share their experiences and secrets to help take your writing to the next level and guide your career on the path to success.  Save up to $100 on a Single Registration: http://www.wcwriters.com/club.  

Now Write! Panel: Special Techniques of Expert Speculative Fiction Writers and Filmmakers

Get inspired and learn how to take your writing to the next level with this Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror panel, Friday, Jan 27, 5:45-6:45 immediately followed by networking cocktail party at the Conference.  Have fun taking your imagination where it needs to go to write effectively in these mind-bending genres.

Filmmaker/educator/former studio exec and two-time Now Write! contributor Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein will discuss intriguing ways to give sentience to ordinary objects.

Acclaimed writer/producer/director Pen Densham (Outer Limits, Twilight Zone TV Show revivals) will talk about his unique approach to creative mashups “Writing Into the Spiritual Unknown.” (Check out Pen’s FREE Creative Person’s Success Manual and his awesome screenwriting book Riding the Alligator.)

Special guest Pamela Jaye Smith, award-winning producer/ director/author and mythology expert.  She will discuss how to use myth, magic and metaphysics in your stories.  Let her be your guide into the geography and psychology of these other realities and learn ways to use them to give your stories internal integrity and unique power.

Moderated by Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson.

NOW WRITE! WORKSHOP: A Creative Writing “Incubator”

  • crumpled-paperWant to write a book but not sure how to get started?
  • Having trouble completing a novel, story, memoir, or screenplay?
  • Overwhelmed with ideas?
  • Or maybe you’re just feeling stuck?

This workshop is for you!

Sunday, October 16, 2016, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

Honor and empower the writer in you.

Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson will lead a creative writing “incubator” workshop designed to give you:

  • The kick-start you need for a specific project or just to get you writing in general.
  • Help developing your unique voice and staying motivated as a writer.
  • Deeper understanding of the overall culture purpose of storytelling.
  • A break from the inner critic and a nonjudgmental, idea-inspiring approach to feedback.
  • Thought-provoking creative writing exercises to get your juices really flowing.

The result: you will improve both your craft and your relationship with yourself as a writer.

photo by Renee RobynQuiet the inner critic and get your creative juices flowing.

You will be guided through some of Laurie’s favorite exercises from the Now Write! series to quiet the inner critic, get your creativity flowing and work on key elements of writing.

A safe creative environment will be established through a non-judgmental approach to feedback to avoid premature criticism that tends to stifle good writing.

This interactive Master Class is limited in size, so you receive a maximum amount of individual attention in a workshop environment. Become a better more empowered writer.  Get personal attention on your work and career– insight you will not receive anywhere else!

Workshop Leader: Laurie Lamson

Laurie April 2016Laurie Lamson is a professional writer, filmmaker and editor. Many of the videos of her educational and corporate scripts won multiple awards. She has written several screenwriting projects on assignment and has three of her own scripts in development with producers.

She created the Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror book, was co-editor of Now Write! Screenwriting and Now Write! Mysteries books. She was also telecon host for three years for the International Screenwriters’ Association.

Laurie is a lifelong student of creative and dramatic writing whose natural evolution is to help educate and inspire fellow and sister writers. She edited three writing exercises anthologies published by Tarcher/Penguin: Now Write!Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, Now Write! Mysteries and Now Write! Screenwriting.

As a screenwriter she has three projects in development with producers. As a filmmaker she directed, co-produced and co-wrote the short romance Eternal Waltz, the award-winning reggae music video “Live and Learn,” the feminine comedy Family Values In The Goddess Years, and a variety of other short projects.

Hosted by West Coast Writers and Greater Los Angeles Writers’ Society.

Sunday October 16, 2016
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Early bird Registration
$99 all segments, half day

Week of Event Registration
$149 all segments, half day

Location
DoubleTree by Hilton
Los Angeles – Westside
Hermosa Beach Room
6161 West Centinela Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230

Register Now and Save
Class size is limited.