Guest Speaker: Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Please join SOLA as we welcome Laurie Schnebly Campbell to the April 21st meeting!

LaurieSchnebly

BLURBING YOUR BOOK

You’ve seen online listings that made you buy immediately, knowing you wanted that book for sure. You’ve seen others that told you “don’t want this one” and others that left you lukewarm. While nobody can (or should) write listings that attract readers looking for a whole different type of book, writing blurbs that turn browsers into buyers is easy to do…with the hands-on techniques from this workshop.
Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves speaking to novelists about issues that draw on her background as an advertising copywriter whose job is to sell via words, and a romance novelist who beat out Nora Roberts for RT’s Best Special Edition of the Year. Her favorite books are those she’s watched blooming in her monthly classes.


The April monthly meeting of SOLA is on April 21st, 2018 and begins at 10am at the East Bank Branch of the Jefferson Parish Library.

March 17th Program

Workshop in a Box: Markicity 101
Webinar by Jessie Edwards, RWA Marketing and PR Manager

Congratulations, your book will soon be in the world for readers to enjoy! Now is not the time to sit back and relax, though–how will readers know your book is available to be enjoyed if you haven’t told anyone about it? In this workshop, we will discuss a basic overview of where to start in terms of marketing and publicity, or “markicity.” We’ll take a look at your most important marketing and publicity tools, community-building strategies, pitching–your book and you, how to determine what to spend your time on, as well as tips for working with a traditional publisher to enhance their efforts.

February 17th Speaker: Charlotte Parker

The Query Letter

You’ve finished your manuscript and edited it to perfection. Maybe you’ve researched agents or editors. What’s next?

The Query Letter.

Charlotte “CJ” Parker, author of the Fugue Macabre trilogy, will walk you through the process of writing the query letter from Dear Agent to patiently waiting for The Call.

January 20th Program: Mastering the Pitch

How many times are you asked “What’s your story about?” If you’re a writer, you get asked this all the time. Do you have a well-honed, snappy reply on hand, or do you flounder in dread, stumble, and change the subject? Or bore your audience to death with a 10 minute ramble of well, so and so does this, then this, then this… <yawn>. Maybe you think you have a good pitch, but want to make it the best it can be.

Wherever you are in your writing journey, every author needs a zippy one or two-line pitch that captures and sells the essence of his or her story.

Join SOLA on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. for some great tips and pointers on how to pitch your story to agents, editors and pretty much anyone who asks about it! We’ll start with a viewing of the RWA webinar “Pitching Tips from Best-selling Authors Damon Suede and Kristin Higgins.” Members Liah Penn and Vicky McHenry will talk with the group about other tips they’ve put together in an informative hand-out. (Note: Liah is a master pitch artist. Vicky has never pitched but is a fiend researcher.) We’ll ask a few of SOLA’s other published authors to show us their pitches.

Bring your notebooks and/or laptops, and we’ll try to squeeze in time to work on our own pitch perfect zingers!

Added Bonus:
In addition to the pitch program, photographer Lauren (Ren) Adkins will be available to members during the break to talk with members one-on-one for appointments. She has been invited as part of the Chapter’s focus to provide a variety of resources to the members.

Bio: Ren Adkins is a fine art and portrait photographer born in Memphis, Tennessee and based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Memphis College of Art in 2010 and an MFA in Photography from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2013. Lauren’s work focuses in thoughtful portraiture and versatile use of color, from vibrant and intense to muted and moody. Lauren is a visual crusader, fiction junkie, and media literacy advocate who loves the art of storytelling and hates talking about herself in the third person.

SOLA Writers Retreat and Workshop

When: February 23 – 25, 2018

Where: Covington, Louisiana

Join published and aspiring authors on February 23-25, 2018 for our 2nd annual writer’s retreat and workshop. Held at the historic Southern Hotel in Covington, LA (about 30 miles from New Orleans), this intimate retreat will inspire writers of all genres. The retreat begins Friday evening with a no-host bar and appetizers, and begins in earnest on Saturday morning. Guest speakers, writing exercises and lots of writing time are built into the schedule. Registration is $95.00 and includes coffee, refreshments, a catered lunch on Saturday, and Sunday brunch. Special room rates are available. Contact the Southern Hotel directly at (844) 866-1907 for room reservation. For more information, please contact the coordinator at liah.penn@gmail.com.

Fill out the form below to sign up!

Click below to pay via PayPal.

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November 18th Program: Hands On Workshop

SOLA will sponsor a critique/brainstorming session.

**Please note that the meeting will take place in the upstairs conference room at the East Bank Regional Library, not the usual downstairs room.

SOLA members are asked to bring the first page of their WIP, a story idea, or both. We will break into groups for a critique and/or brainstorming session. Word sprint exercises will also be an option. Every member will benefit from the feedback from peers and the chance to help fellow writers.

***Please also note that we will be voting on 2018 board members.

October 21st Speaker: Sheryl Hames Torres

Put Your Big Girl… or Boy… Pants On and Get Your Priorities Right

When you chose writing as an occupation, suddenly everyone has advice. Everyone tells you what you should be doing, how you should be doing it, and that if you don’t go by what they tell you, you can’t do it at all!

I’m here to tell you that’s not so and hopefully put your mind at ease a little. You can have it all–just sometimes, not all at once. When and how is strictly up to you.

Bio:

Sheryl Hames Torres started making up stories as a girl to keep her five younger siblings entertained. She says she started writing them down to keep the voices in her head from having her committed. Vibrant settings and dashing heroes soon turned into real life when her family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she met and married her very own Prince Charming. He taught her that sometimes reality is the fairy tale. Now, after more than thirty years together, she and Mark have reared one daughter–an artist and writer–and a son–a musician, mechanic, and automotive “restorer.” With a house filled with love and laughter, music and beautiful creations, lots of shedding fur from a ferociously friendly dog and a temperamental cat who thinks he rules the roost, Sher lives out her fairy tale every day. The Torres’ make their home in Northeast Georgia within three-quarters of an hour of her parents and three of those five siblings where she divides her time between her family, friends, writing and needlework.

And, of course, a lot of daydreaming…

Location Change for September 16th Meeting

Location: Southport Hall

Address: 200 Monticello Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70121

Directions: Find Ochsner Hospital on Jefferson Highway. Pass up Ochsner Hospital heading toward New Orleans until you come to Dakin Street at a traffic light. Take a right on Dakin and go all the way down to River Road. Southport is on the left. The parking lot is huge, and there’s a sign for the hall. Soft drinks will be complimentary.

*See below post for program speaker.

September 16th Speaker: Kishan Paul

Character Development

From daring escapes by tough women to chivalrous men swooping in to save the day, Kishan Paul’s creativity switch is always in the ‘on’ position. If daydreaming stories were a college course, Kish would graduate with honors. Mother of two beautiful children, she has been married to her best friend for over 16 years. With the help of supportive family and friends, she balances her family, a thriving counseling practice, and writing without sinking into insanity.

Her award winning contemporary romance, Blind Love, was released with Samhain Publishing in June 2016 and her suspense/thriller, The Second Wife, was self published in November 2016. The Second Wife is a Maggie Award for Excellence Finalist and an Amazon 2016 Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist. If you want a taste of her work, check out her free contemporary romance novella, Taking the Plunge.

Program Outline

1. Importance of layering your character
  • What is their purpose in the story?
  • Depth (three-dimensional)
  • Not boring or predictable but also not extremely inconsistent
  • AVOID STEREOTYPES
2. Physical features of your character

3. What makes him/her a good hero?

4. Emotional parts of your character

  • Human. Flaws make them lovable and they grow.
  • What makes them flawed?
  • Their past impacts their present (family etc.)
  • What’s their emotional struggle in your story?
  • Obstacles they must overcome in the story and how it changes them
 5. How are they in public? How do others see him/her?

August 19th Speaker: Angela Quarles

Delving into Deep Point of View

Bio

Angela Quarles is a RWA RITA® award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, time travel, and steampunk romance. Library Journal named her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 and Must Love Chainmail won the 2016 RITA® Award in the paranormal category, the first indie to win in that category. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history and combines it with her active imagination to write stories of romance and adventure.

Program

Angela will give an overview of the different points of view available to authors, and then delve into the style known as Deep POV. Are you getting feedback that your story isn’t grabbing readers? Have you had critique partners say they had a hard time connecting with your characters? Have you had one of them say they didn’t feel emotionally engaged? Then this style might help you– it gives a reader a more immersive reading experience and can take your ho-hum prose to a sparkling level. Get reviews that say they stayed up late to finish, or they couldn’t put it down! She will give tips and tricks, as well as examples.