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At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference, Priscilla Goudreau-Santos will lead the workshop "Crafting Your Message: Beginning an Interactive Publicity Campaign."

You’ve worked hard on your book and now it’s time to let people know about it. Get them talking about you with a marketing and publicity campaign that includes press releases, media interviews, social media and more. Since most authors are more comfortable writing their book than marketing it, this workshop will talk about the platforms and techniques that are critical to selling your book. Whether you’re an author with a book being released by a traditional publisher that may not have the resources for publicity, or you’re self-publishing and responsible for your own publicity, this workshop will help you lay the foundation for a successful book launch with your own efforts.

Priscilla Goudreau-Santos is a publicist and marketing specialist who specializes in promoting authors and their books. She’s a Jacksonville, Florida, native and University of Florida graduate (Go Gators!) and served as assistant public relations director for a major hospital, as marketing director for a regional commercial real estate firm, and as news reporter for The Florida Times-Union before beginning her own firm in 1996. She moved to Charlotte a year and a half ago and loves being part of the vibrant book community. She is the new WNBA-Charlotte Publicity Chair. Priscilla is also a writer. That’s what inspired her to begin her business and to work with authors. Her articles have appeared in numerous local and regional publications and one day she hopes to pen a novel.

Registration for the NCWN 2014 Fall Conference is now open.

 

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wish they had?
Have patience, persistence, confidence, and curiosity–oh, that’s four.

Did you have a teacher or mentor who had a big, positive impact on you?
I’ve worked with many creative, talented people. Most recently, my mentor and friend, Lynn Thompson with Thompson Writing & Editing in Jacksonville, FL, has been a wonderful motivator. She holds my feet to the fire to build the framework for a great campaign–all the details behind the glitz. And, Carin Siegfried with Carin Siegfried Editorial has been a huge help to me in Charlotte with her knowledge of the book industry and the book community. She is the new President of WNBA National and also just published her own book, An Insider’s Guide to a Career in Book Publishing.

Who is your literary hero?
Wow, that’s a tough one! There are so many authors that have had an impact. I really like Barbara Kingsolver (Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer) and just finished The Unexpected Waltz by Kim Wright and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Author Khaled Hosseini is definitely a literary hero because he offers a window into a world we know little about and he can break your heart and leave you changed.

If you could live in any literary world for the rest of your life, where would you find yourself?
It would be fun and probably involve fantasy. Maybe Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum universe without all the money problems or cars blowing up. Actually, it might be more fun to be Janet Evanovich.

If you could have written one book that someone else wrote, which book would it be?
That’s really hard because there are so many choices! Author Maria Semple did a great job with Where’d You Go Bernadette and because I like nonfiction, too, Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise would be fun to write.

Many writers are solitary creatures. Coming to an event like Fall Conference can be a little intimidating, navigating the exhibit hall and ballroom events. Any advice for working the room?
Relax and have fun! Also, take breaks and go outside.

Who gave the best reading or talk you've ever been to? What made it so good?
Again, tough question because I like to hear others speak. There was an event at Park Road Books in Charlotte featuring a number of new authors that was excellent. About six authors talked about their books and process. Drew Perry, author of Kids These Days, was very genuine and really funny.

Any advice for attendees who sign up for the Open Mic?
Breathe deeply and enjoy!

The city of Charlotte was founded on two established Native American trading routes. Now, of course, it's the 2nd biggest banking center in the country. Fall Conference will boast an exhibit hall packed with vendors. How do you approach an exhibit hall at a conference such as this? To shop, to chat, or both?
Absolutely, you’ll want to browse, buy and talk with people that you know as well as meet new friends.

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but of course most of us do. What is one—or some—of your favorite book cover(s)?
The first that comes to mind is Kim Wright’s The Unexpected Waltz. The colors are vibrant and the photo of a woman in a ball gown and high heels reflects what the story is about–even down to the requisite three to four-inch heels. I also like the covers for Khaled Hosseini’s books: The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed.

What do you hope attendees takeaway from the conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?
That they understand the basics of an interactive media campaign and have confidence in putting one together using all of the tools for success.

What is your guilty pleasure read?
Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I also like John Sandford, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Carl Hiaasen and am a big fan of the late Robert Parker.

What makes you cringe when you see it on the page?
A misspelling or poorly constructed sentence.

Caffeine of choice? (English Breakfast, Caramel macchiato, etc.)
I like them all but usually stick to coffee, tea and diet coke.

***

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference runs November 21-23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel. Registration is now open.

 

CHARLOTTE—On Friday, November 21, from 12:00-1:30 pm, the Charlotte Writers’ Club will host a Pre-Conference Tailgate prior to the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Fall Conference.

Three noted authors will provide instruction and guide participants through a series of writing prompts. Conference attendees and the general public are welcome: admission is free.

“The idea is to get folks excited about writing and to warm up our creative muscles,” said Charles Fiore, Communications Director of NCWN. “That way, we hit the ground running once conference registration opens later that afternoon.”

The Pre-Conference Tailgate, sponsored by the Queens University of Charlotte MFA in Creative Writing Program, will take place in the Crown Room at the Levine Center, 2201 Wellesley Avenue, on the campus of Queens University. Parking is free and plentiful in the parking decks adjacent to the Levine Center. For a campus map, click here.

The event will be facilitated by the following members of the Charlotte Writers’ Club:

Creative Nonfiction with Gilda Morina Syverson: author of the memoir My Father’s Daughter, From Rome to Sicily, scheduled for release in December 2014 from Pegasus Books in conjunction with Divine Phoenix. She is the author of two poetry books, Facing the Dragon and the chapbook In This Dream Everything Remains Inside. She has been teaching memoir classes and workshops for the last fifteen years at Queens University of Charlotte.

Poetry with David Radavich: poet, playwright, and essayist. Among his poetry volumes are Slain Species; By the Way: Poems over the Years; and Greatest Hits. His latest collection is The Countries We Live In. His plays have been produced across the United States, including six Off-Off-Broadway, and in Europe. David is immediate past-president of the Charlotte Writers’ Club and currently vice president of the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Screenwriting with Patrick Lee: author and screenwriter. He wrote the original screenplays James Barry; Night of the Cyclone starring Kris Kristofferson; and Rutanga Tapes. Patrick worked as a journalist and media consultant in South Africa. He is the author of two novels: Discards, published by Penguin SA, and The Flies of August. He currently is working on Concealed Carry, a sequel to The Flies of August.

The North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Fall Conference opens at 3:00 pm on Friday, November 21 and runs through Sunday, November 23 at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel in Uptown Charlotte. Fall Conference offers workshops and master classes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, lectures and panels on publishing and finding an agent, and the opportunity to have your manuscript reviewed by literary agents and editors.

The faculty includes poets Anthony S. Abbott, Morri Creech, and Alan Michael Parker; fiction writers Kim Boykin, Moira Crone, and Aaron Gwyn; and creative nonfiction writers Cynthia Lewis, Rebecca McClanahan, and Amy Rogers. Allan Gurganus will give the Keynote Address. Saturday’s luncheon features Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina’s seventh poet laureate. Cost varies, scholarships are available. Register now at www.ncwriters.org.

The Charlotte Writers' Club (or CWC, as their members affectionately call it) provides a great opportunity for writers of all forms—and there are so many—to meet and discuss the latest trends, commiserate on projects, find critique groups, and participate in contests and workshops. This club aims to help writers develop their craft and keep the words coming. The CWC sponsors a wide range of activities that nurture writers, including contests, critique groups, monthly meetings, and periodic workshops. For more information on membership and joining the Charlotte Writers' Club, click on Membership.

A community of writers in-residence and online, the Low-Residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte brings together experienced and emerging writers for intensive seven-day residencies on campus twice a year and connects students and teachers online through the rest of the year as they work on their writing in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. It is designed to benefit committed writers who want to hone their craft without uprooting their lives. With courses of study in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and writing for stage and screen, the MFA program offers an immersive experience over four semesters of intense study and writing.

The Queens University of Charlotte MFA in Creative Writing Program is also an “All-Day” Friday Sponsor and the sponsor of Saturday night’s Annual Banquet featuring the inimitable Wilton Barnhardt.

On-site registration for the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2014 Fall Conference will open Friday, November 21, at 3:00 pm. Click here for conference details.

 

At the North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference, writers can sign up for "All Shapes and Sizes: A Workshop on Novel Structure" with Chantel Acevedo. Whether you outline, or let the muse take you where she will, every novel must have a thoughtful structure to it. We’ll be discussing the fundamentals of how to structure your novel in this workshop. We’ll talk about scene building, the “tent poles” that hold your novel up, pacing, character motivation and more.

Chantel Acevedo has received many awards for her fiction, including the Latino International Book Award and an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literature Fellowship. A Cuban-American born and raised in Miami, Florida, Acevedo has spent time in Japan and New Zealand as a Fulbrighter, and currently resides in Auburn, Alabama, where she teaches at Auburn University. She is the editor of the Southern Humanities Review, the founder of the annual Auburn Writers Conference, and the author of two additional novels, Love and Ghost Letters (St. Martin’s Press) and A Falling Star (Carolina Wren Press), as well as a novel for young adults, Song of the Red Cloak. A new novel, The Distant Marvels, is forthcoming from Europa Editions.

Register for Fall Conference now!

 

What are you reading right now?
Carlos Zafón's The Prisoner of Heaven.

Where is your favorite place to write?
The little white writing desk in my bedroom.

If you weren't a writer, what kind of job would you like to have?
I'm also a professor and editor, but if I weren't any of those, I'd work in a bridal store. I just love all those beautiful dresses and excited people on the threshold of this big event.

Who has influenced your writing style the most?
Lately, Zafón has been an influence. But certainly, Cristina Garcia and Julia Alvarez have been major influences.

If you could switch places with one fictional character, who would it be?
Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I've always wanted red hair!

What do you hope attendees takeaway from Fall Conference, especially if they sign up for your workshop, panel, or Mart?
My workshop is about structuring the novel, so I hope they come away with a renewed sense of the project they're working on, and a possible way "through" it.

Charlotte is known as both "The Queen City" and "The Hornet's Nest." Does one of those nicknames ring more true for you than the other?
I've been only once, briefly, but I just loved the little crowns on the signage. Parts of town reminded me of London, strangely, so definitely it's "The Queen City" for me.

Sunday's "Brilliant at Breakfast" panel discussion is titled, "The Many Paths to Publication." What's the first thing you ever published?
A sci-fi story that was published in a magazine for high school writers. The magazine was called Beginnings, but I can't recall the title of the story!

Give us three adjectives you hope critics use to describe your next book.
Moving, Page-turning, Educational.

What is the most frustrating or rewarding part of the writing process?
It depends on the day. Some days, the drafting is a pleasure, others, it's torture. Same goes for revision, trying to get published, marketing, etc.

What’s one piece of advice no one gave you when you were starting out, that you wish they had?
You don't have to stick to one genre. Sometimes, a story is actually a poem. Go with it.

If you could mandate that everyone in the world read one book, which one would you choose?
Toni Morrison's Beloved.

Describe your ideal literary festival. Who would give the keynote address? Who would be the featured readers? What else?
It would be quirky. I'd have John Green interviewing Marilynne Robinson, and those kinds of mix-ups. Toni Morrison would be the keynote. And maybe we'd have a seance and summon Shakespeare, and lay to rest all the rumors about his authorship.

Do you steal hotel pens?
Every chance I get.

***

The North Carolina Writers' Network 2014 Fall Conference runs November 21-23 in Charlotte. Registration is now open.

 

 
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