The Craft of Writing Speakers

Science Fiction/Fantasy Conference

June 9th, 2018

To get your stories published you need to think of your writing as a business.  The end of the story is the beginning of what it takes to bring it into the public eye.   Here are some topics and speakers who can help you do just that!

Topics include:

  • Is This Actually a Story? – Melinda Snodgrass
  • Copyrights & Contracts for Writers – Sherri Burr
  • How to Score a Movie Adaptation – Zachry Wheeler
  • Book Cover Aesthetics: The Good, The Bad, and the Fugly – Fiona Jayde
  • Steps to Self Publishing – Robin Cutler, Director of Ingram Spark

Is This Actually a Story? 

by Melinda M. Snodgrass

Melinda will show you how plotting techniques she uses in Hollywood to write for television can improve your writing and help you meet deadlines

Melinda M. Snodgrass is a recovered lawyer, a screenwriter and novelist with novels available from both Tor Books — The Edge of Reason, The Edge of Ruin and the Edge of Dawn, and Titan Books; The Imperials series- The High Ground and In Evil Times. The Hidden World, the third book in the series, will be released on July 4th 2018, and she is working on the fourth book, The Currency of War. She also co-edits and writes for the Wild Cards book series with George R.R. Martin, and is the executive producer on the upcoming Wild Cards TV series.

Melinda is an FEI dressage rider who owns two Lusitano horses — her stallion Vento da Broga, and her new young horse Donhador.


Copyrights & Contracts for Writers

by Sherri Burr

What writers need to know to protect their copyrights and negotiate their contracts. Burr, the award-winning author of “Entertainment Law in a Nutshell” and “A Short & Happy Guide to Financial Well-being,” will explain the legal requirements of copyrights and how to register them. She will also review contract terms and negotiation strategies.

Sherri Burr is the Regents Professor of Law and Dickason Chair in Law Emerita at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she joined the faculty in 1988 after having received degrees from Mount Holyoke College, Princeton University, and the Yale Law School. An internationally renowned lecturer, Burr has spoken at universities on five continents. Burr has published 26 books, dozens of scholarly works, and hundreds of newspaper articles for the general public. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her books, speeches, and television show ARTS TALK, which she produced and hosted for 19 years.


 The Steps to Self Publishing

Presented by Robin Cutler

Director of IngramSpark
Ingram Content Group Inc., Lavergne, TN

The largest growth segment in the book industry today is that of authors who are publishing their own work(s). Some authors are making this decision out of necessity but many are deliberating choosing this path because of the freedom and control that self-publishing provides. But to do it successfully, one also has to become the business owner of their own work. In this session, you’ll gain insights about authors who have successfully launched their own publishing businesses while learning pitfalls to avoid as a new self-published author. This session is sponsored by IngramSpark.

Robin Cutler is committed to helping independent publishers easily get their content into the hands of readers around the globe. To help make this happen, Robin Cutler leads the development of IngramSpark and continues to support and refine the platform to better serve independent publishers around the world.

Robin began her career in publishing over 30 years ago in university publishing when she designed the first of over 1000 titles. After serving as Assistant Director at USC Press and Executive Director of University Relations at the University of Wisconsin, she started a trade imprint, SummerHouse Press, and served as its CEO. Robin most recently worked as Vendor Manager for Amazon/CreateSpace.

Robin has broad knowledge of indie, academic and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation and distribution, on-demand models, marketing and author strategies. Robin is a leader in the independent publishing space, and when not developing new programs and services for IngramSpark, she can often be found sharing her expertise at industry events around the world.

She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. Robin is an avid reader and enjoys writing, cooking and collecting art from her travels.

Follow Robin on Twitter at #rcutlerspark and be sure to check out IngramSpark on Facebook, on Twitter #ingramspark and visit the website at



Book Cover Aesthetics: The Good, The Bad, and the Fugly

Explore book design principles from the perspective of readers to discern what can make or break a cover, what can make a good cover great or turn it fugly. Join award winning book cover artist Fiona Jayde to explore the differences between pretty, shiny, and marketable cover designs.

Fiona Jayde is a space pilot, a ninth degree black belt in three styles of martial arts, a computer hacker, a mountain climber, a jazz singer, a weight lifter, a superspy with a talent for languages, and an evil genius. All in her own head.

She was the Winner for Best Fantasy and Best Contemporary Romance covers (RONE Awards, 2013). Four time nominee (Best Fantasy, Best Young Adult, Best Sci Fi and Best Paranormal cover) at RONE Awards, 2014. Finalist for Best Fantasy cover at Ariana Awards. Finalist for Best Paranormal cover at RomCon Under The Covers awards. Mutli-time “cover of the month” winner at Cover Love.

How to Score a Movie Adaptation!

Zachry Wheeler’s breakout novel Transient is currently in development with Voltage Pictures (The Hurt Locker, Dallas Buyers Club) to become a feature film. This presentation will discuss the process of movie adaptations and offer advice on how you can leverage your own brand to hook the attention of movie industry.

 Zachry  is a science fiction novelist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His breakout novel Transient  is currently in development to become a feature film. Additional works include the Max and the Multiverse series. Learn more at




For a listing of topics/speakers in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Track click here!

Upcoming Events

  1. Loretta Hall: Researching Your Writing Project

    January 12, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - January 19, 2019 @ 4:00 pm


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