Jen, Mel, and Sue agree what a pleasure it was to teach at this fantastic conference! With attendance topping 150, the secret seems to be getting out about the high quality of presentations, and the personal and helpful atmosphere. Favourite highlights were blue pencil sessions, panel presentations, and the keynote by Adam Dreece entitled, “The Power of No, Damnit, I’m Doing This!”
Writers and editors alike left inspired, encouraged, and yet wondering why, with price tage of only $80 for three days of workshops, more people weren’t there. In order to ensure a full house next year, we encourage all our readers to go to the Creative Ink Festival facebook page or website to keep in touch and be ready to pounce on the 2019 early bird registration rate! The Burnaby Delta Hotel conference room holds 600… we can fill it!
Writers are you coming to the Creative Ink Festival in Burnaby on the May long weekend? If not, why not? This growing festival for writers and readers is the best bang for your buck in town! With three full days of workshops, panels, blue pencils, and readings, there is something to spark the most recalcitrant muse. Plus you get to hang out with amazing authors such as Kevin Hearne and CC Humphreys.
All three Pulp Lit editors will be there, along with our amazing Communications Director Jasmin Nyack who will take charge of the table. We are very busy with panels and presentations this year, but we’ll always make time to chat in between. Here are Mel’s, Jen’s, and Sue’s scheduled appearances:
1:00pm: Designing Character Backgrounds Brenda Carre (M), Chadwick Ginther, Kevin Hearne, JM Landels, Randy McCharles You have an idea for a character, now you have to figure out how to flesh out the character. Come listen to our panelists discuss how to do this.
1:00pm: Blue Pencils Rhonda Parrish/Susan Pieters /Sylvia Taylor (red)
2:00pm: Research C.C. (Chris) Humphreys (M), Eileen Kernaghan, Susan Pieters, S.G (Sandra) Wong Research isn’t just for non-fiction writers. Every piece of fiction, no matter the genre, will contain details which, if not accurate, will throw a reader out of a story. But how do writers do research? When do they start? When do they stop? How do they wade through the quagmire of overwhelming information and choose just the right pieces to weave into their stories?
4:00pm: Slush Pile Confidential with JM Landels Learn what goes on behind the scenes at a literary press. What is the slush pile, how does it work, how long should you wait for a response? Learn what catches an editor’s eye and what can turn them off your story, and, once it’s accepted, what steps it goes through to become a published work.
4:00pm: Find Your Writer’s Voice Adam Dreece (M), Kevin Hearne, Linda DeMeulemeester, Susan Pieters What does that even mean? How do you find it and when will you know if you have found it? How do you make it one that stands out from all the rest?
7:00pm: Blue Pencils S.G. (Sandra) Wong/JM Landels/Ellen Michelle
8:00pm – 10:00pm: Dealer Spectacular Meet and Greet
10:00am: Beyond Social Media JM Landels (M), Tod McCoy, Kristene Perron, Jonas Saul, Sylvia Taylor Creative Book Promotion goes beyond Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all of those social media resources. What can be done to promote yourself and your work in other areas of the internet or in person?
10:00am: Creating Tension Mel Anastasiou (M), Dwayne Clayden, Tyner Gillies, Lisa Voisin Top Agent Donald Maass says there should be tension on every page. How do we accomplish that? How do we get our readers hooked on the anticipation of what will happen next? How do we keep them invested in what happens to our characters? What happens in our world of the novel?
11:00am: Feeding Your Muse Mel Anastasiou (M), C.C. (Chris) Humphreys, Michele Fogal, Jim Jackson, KT Wagner The creative process can often be a tricky one, and it is easy to fall into ruts or hit a blank wall. Our panelists will discuss how to develop ideas, create compelling subject matter, and what do next when you find yourself stuck, not knowing what to do for your next piece of art, writing or other creative project.
12:00pm: Real Life Superwomen Lisa Gemino, Sandra Wickham, JM Landels and Kristene Perron What do you get when you put an MMA fighter, a pro fitness competitor, a mounted combat expert and a stuntwoman together on one panel? A rousing discussion about the realities of being a “strong woman” and how that compares with their portrayal in fiction. Join authors Lisa Gemino, Sandra Wickham, JM Landels, and Kristene Perron as they KAPOW the stereotypes and share the truth about the lives of superwomen.
1:00pm: Writing Fight Scenes Kristene Perron (M), Kevin Hearne, C.C. (Chris) Humphreys, Tyner Gillies, JM Landels, TG Shepherd Join panelists for tips on writing effective fight scenes. Learn what to include, what to avoid, how to make them fit your story and dispel some myths and fallacies about fighting. Battles may break out among panelists.
4:00pm: Pitches JM Landels – Pulp Literature
6:00pm: Storytelling on the Fly Krista Wallace (M), Adam Dreece, Manny Frishberg, JM Landels, Kristene Perron Writers know that nasty little editorial voice that wants to control every idea, every sentence, every word. Come and share some laughs with these writers as they send that nasty voice away kicking and screaming. With only a few prompts, they will create a story together, one sentence at a time. It WILL have a beginning, middle and an end. It WILL NOT make much sense. There WILL be mirth.
6:00pm: Red Pencils Sue Pieters/Rhonda Parrish/John Mavin
7:00pm: Live Action Slush–General Edition Manny Frishberg (M), Mel Anastasiou, Randy McCharles, Rhonda Parrish, Susan Pieters, Krista Wallace (Reader) Our panel of editors and publishers listen to anonymously read story openings and comment on why they would or would not wish to consider the complete work. Bring the 1st page of your manuscript (please leave your name off the page!) to be read aloud and receive comments from our panel of authors and editors. This event is both fun and educational — don’t miss it!
11:00am: Pulp Literature Presents CC Humphreys, JM Landels, Mel Anastasiou, Susan Pieters, Brenda Carre, Tyner Gillies, Kristene Perron, Krista Wallace. Join Pulp Literature editors and authors for a glimpse into what’s new at the press and enjoy readings from issues past, present … and future!
12:00: How To Finish What You Start Mel Anastasiou (M), Chloe Cocking, Jim Jackson, Randy McCharles, Jane Whittingham Whether you’re an artist, writer or crafting aficionado, everyone can have problems finishing what they started. Panelists share tips on the best ways to maintain your momentum and make it all the way to the end.
1:00pm: Publishers Panel Mel Anastasiou (M), JM Landels, Tod McCoy, Sylvia Taylor Publishers and editors discuss industry trends, their working relationship with authors and agents, the impact of ePublishing on their business, and audience questions.
3:00pm: Live Action Slush-YA and MG Randy McCharles (M), Susan Pieters, Sylvia Taylor, Krista Wallace (Reader) Our panel of editors and publishers listen to anonymously read story openings and comment on why they would or would not wish to consider the complete work. Bring the 1st page of your YA or MG manuscript (please leave your name off the page!) to be read aloud and receive comments from our panel of authors and editors. This event is both fun and educational — don’t miss it!
3:00pm: Red Pencils JM Landels/Tod McCoy/Jonas Saul
4:00pm: How to Create a Killer Opening Adam Dreece (M), Tyner Gillies, Dwayne Clayden, Sue Pieters We hear it over and over again. Your opening needs to GRAB people. How exactly do you do that? How do you get your first pages to jump out at editors, agents, publishers and readers?
Plus we will be presenting the results of the Festival’s first ever flash fiction contest. The winner will receive professional editing and publication in Pulp Literature.
Phew! And those are just our scheduled appearances. There are so many more wonderful writers, editors, and general gurus presenting this year that you’ll fill your creative cup to overflowing Plan to be there — you won’t regret it!
On a panel at this year’s Creative Ink Festival, three of us talk about planning processes for strong narrative structure.
The first describes himself as a “pantser”. He writes what comes next, and doesn’t worry about outlines. He thinks hard about his story and its turnings; he doesn’t write it all down.
The second is a “move sections around” writer, who, like Truman Capote, believes in the scissors over the pen. She writes great scenes, trusting her inner writer that they’ll fit into the plot and move it forward. Her inner writer doesn’t let her down.
I’m the third writer on the panel. I’ve tried pantsing and moving scenes around. These approaches brought me no success, because I needed to strengthen my understanding of storytelling. I read, digested, applied and analyzed everything available on narrative structure. Now, I outline everything. Story, scenes, character arcs for everybody. I do this partly because I want to go to my drafting desk ready to write, partly because I love outlining like the first Greeks loved Prometheus’s gift of fire, but mostly because the criticism that I used to get from editors was, I can’t tell what this story is about.
As I gaze at the two gifted writers beside me I reflect that each of our approaches to story planning involves a confident understanding of narrative structure, and careful use of available writing and planning time. What a pleasure to know that some aspects of writing come naturally to each of us, and that the rest may be learned.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant week in your writing career.
At the wonderful Creative Ink writing festival I sat on panels on creating tension and suspense. I have been thinking ever since about ways to accomplish these. And, from the point of view of time management for writers, if we can create suspense and sustain tension as we plot and draft, then we save a crazy amount of hours on revisions.
First, it’s worth taking the time to develop a protagonist the reader will care deeply about. We’ve heard of the Monkeysphere — the theory that humans can only keep a certain number of people close to their hearts. Along with family members and friends, we appear to have room for fictional characters as well. Right, Netflix?
To develop engaging characters, it’s worth taking the time to list flaws and balancing strengths. I see so many flawed protagonists in our subs box, but few of them achieve the balance that helps the reader take them to their hearts. Balance involves developing
inner and outer longings.
kindnesses and sacrifices.
falls and redemptions.
Look at the extraordinarily flawed and engaging Lisbeth Salander, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She’s not all flaws; in fact, her ferocious loyalty, physical strength, and world-beating intellect balance all the imperfections that make us love her. Looking at my submissions inbox, it seems that there’s a lot of great work on developing flaws in characters, but not much attention to the strengths, as if somehow strengths were old-fashioned.
Once we create that engaging character, half our work in sustaining tension is done for us as the readers bring their own anxiety for the protagonist to the page. The stakes, depending on our genre, may be survival, love and belonging, power, or freedom. These same stakes resonate with us all, through a character readers can believe in and take for our own.
I hope you’ll have another brilliant writing week. Cheers, Mel.
Well, not the last day entirely — you’ll still be able to purchase passes at the door for $100. But today’s your last day to get them online for only $80. This is an amazing deal for three days worth of workshops, panels, pitches, blue pencils, and rubbing elbows with industry professionals.
All three senior Pulp Lit editors will be there (a rare chance to find us all on the same continent at once) and we’ll be doing an Hour Stories Session, and many panels and workshops — some involving swords! Plus you can find us and our marvellous crew at our sponsor table in the vendors’ hall, and at the reading and booksigning where we will launch Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries.
In addition to Guests of Honour Eileen Kernaghan and Ken Scholes there are so many amazing speakers and writers attending that we can’t list them all. Instead, go to the Creative Ink website and check them out yourself. Whatever you do, don’t forget to register today and save yourself $20 to spend in the bar.
Chris will be on hand at the launch to give a reading and sign books, but in the meantime, let us whet your appetite with a snippet of the poignant ‘Where the Angels Wait’ from all the way back in Pulp Literature Issue 1.
Granada, Andalusia, Spain. August 1986.
Sitting on the edge of the bed now, listening. A door opened, shut, someone has come and gone, that much is certain. They’ve hidden them, and he must find them.
Unless they didn’t leave.
No reply. He has to start. The drawers? Too obvious but he tries a couple. The cushions? He pulls them off the sofa, feels down the back and side, moves carefully because if they are there what state might they be in? He finds a crumb covered coin, nothing else. On the high shelves then, at the back of the cupboard, rolling in dust? Or in a jar in the bureau, pickled, floating like onions? With others? Alone? Alone, yes, has to be.
He starts to move quicker. Grapes on the table, that’s frightening. Eat one? Too risky. Time’s nearly up, pull back the sheets, grope under the pillows.
He lies back down. “There’s no one there,” he says, challenging the dark.
He sits up. He knows where they are. His father is in the doorway, making it look small, and he has them exactly where they should be.
“Looking for these?” Dad says, and starts to squeeze his eyeballs from his face.
Off the bed, groping for a light, blundering in an unfamiliar dark to a wall, a door, a switch, filling the room with yellow, running to the window, pulling back the thick curtains. He thrusts his head out into fierce sun and furnace air and the heat brings him back. He remembers where he is.
It takes him longer to remember why.
Six PM. Jet lag muzzles his head like a warm, wet towel and he can’t figure if home is ahead of Granada or behind. No, behind, it’s nine in Vancouver now. Gwen will be getting Sunday breakfast. French toast. Wearing her blue smock to protect her church clothes. If he was there they’d eat, then she’d take the smock off.
“Coming?” she’d ask.
“Nothing to confess,” he’d say.
He’ll call, catch her before she goes, but after a shower. He wants to make sense when he speaks to her. Before the shower though…
The Creative Writer’s Delight package is jam-packed with rewards for writers:
The Writer’s Boon Companion, a 30 day pocket guide to writing
a critique of up to 1000 words of your short story or work in progress.
A print subscription to Pulp Literature
Allaigna’s Song: Overture
Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries.
plus, full membership to the Creative Ink Literary Festival from 31 March to 2 April 2017 in Burnaby, BC. Don’t miss this amazing conference for writers, readers, and artists! There are only 3 available.
All these awards plus a festival membership for only $150!
Additional back issues or years of Pulp Literature can be added for $25 per four issues.
Is there a reader in your life you’d love to surprise and delight? Or a hard-to-shop-for writer perhaps. Our Readers’ and Writers’ packages on the Something Novel Kickstarter Campaign may just make your holiday shopping a delightful breeze. But hurry, these are limited rewards!
The Readers’ Delight – $80
Earlybird Reader’s Delight – $65 till November 6th Limited Reward The best kind of gift is the one that lasts all year. A subscription to Pulp Literature gives avid readers a book-sized issue for every season, with short stories, novellas, comics, poetry and novel exerpts to delight them all year long in both print and ebook formats. But that’s not all! They will also receive both novels: Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries, and Allaigna’s Song: Overture .
Until Sunday November 6th all this is available at the $65 level instead of $80
Limited Reward For the reader who also writes, or the writer who also reads (and don’t they all?), you can add The Writer’s Boon Companion 30-day writing journal, plus an editorial critique to all the goodies of the Reader’s Delight above for only $20 more. With all the wit and wisdom of a steam-powered robot, the Boon Companion will guide you or your writer friend through a month of writing … and after that you’ll be able to pick your favourite 1000 words to send to our editors for a critique. Feedback is priceless, but all this is only $100.
Limited Reward Creative Ink is the hottest new literary festival in town, and it’s back again from 30 March – 2 April 2017. This is the place to glean valuable writing, marketing, and publishing advice, get your manuscript blue-pencils, pitch a novel, and schmooze with fellow writers. A three-day pass is normally $80, but you can add it to the Writer’s Delight rewards for only $50 more. But hurry, this one’s almost gone!
Calling all writers and readers in the BC Lower Mainland! This weekend is your chance to network and learn from a friendly and talented group of authors and publishers at the Creative Ink Festival. For a mere $80, enjoy three days of programming and social events aimed to get you involved, inspired, and enlightened in your creative projects. Jen, Mel and Sue are excited because this is the first time in three years all three editors will be teaching at the same conference. Hot tip: don’t miss our blue pencil sessions, where you can tap into our expertise for fifteen minutes! Here’s our schedule:
Friday 6th May 1pm: How to Swim through Rejections panel with Sue plus Ella Beaumont, ER Brown, Melanie Dixon, Claire Humphrey 2pm: Hiring the Right Editor with Sue, Jen & Mel 4pm: Getting Started panel with Sue plus Galen Dara, Christel Bodenbender, Caitlin Hicks & Matt Hughes.
Saturday 7th May 9am: Blue Pencil sessions with Sue 10am: Blue Pencil sessions with Mel 11am: SF Noir with Mel plus Robert J Sawyer, Randy McCharles and Tom Wright 4pm: Blue Pencil sessions with Jen 6pm: Stress Management for Creatives panel with Mel & Sue plus Danika Dinsmore, Aviva Bel’Harold, Devon Boorman & Claire Humphrey 7pm: Pulp Literature Reading Event with Sue, Jen and other Pulp Lit authors 8pm: Group autograph session
Sunday 8th May 9am: An Editor’s Dream panel with Sue plus Katrina Archer, Ella Beaumont, & ER Brown 9am: What To Do When the Creative Well is Bone Dry panel with Jen plus Aviva Bel’Harold, Mel Anastasiou, Dani Duck, Rhea Rose, Jessica Steiner 1pm: Real Life Superwomen panel with Jen plus Kristene Perron, Lisa Gemino, Sandra Wickham, and Setsu Uzume 4pm: Live Action Slush panel with Jen plus Mark Teppo, Matt Hughes, Tod McCoy, Randy McCharles, Ella Beaumont and Ian Alexander Martin
Check out the full schedule for all the other fabulous panels and presentations too. And of course you can visit us at the Pulp Literature book table at any time in the vendors’ hall, which is open to the public. Attendees, don’t forget to look in your conference bag for a coupon entitling you to a free eBook or $5 off a print issue of Pulp Literature. See you there!
There’s an exciting new literary festival in town, and Pulp Literature is thrilled to be a part of it!
The Creative Ink Festival for Writers, Readers, and Artists is the brainchild of writer, fitness guru, and all around ball of energy Sandra Wickham. This one day event on Saturday April 25th is a fabulous chance to see presentations, panels, and readings by dozens of authors, editors, artists and other creative folk, get your work-in-progress blue-pencilled for FREE, and get inspired for that next project, all for the WOW price of only $25.
This is a great way for new writers to get their toes wet at a fun and friendly conference. It’s a chance to network, learn more about the business of writing, and come blinking out of the solitary writers’ caves in which so many of us tend to spend our working days.
What will the Pulp Lit team be up to?
Visit us: Come by our booth where you will find Sue and Jen, as well as authors Laura Kostur, Kimberleigh Roseblade and Kris Sayer floating between our booth and Academie Duello’s. We have free ebook issues for Creative Ink attendees only, as well as 20% off all subscriptions, print or ebook!
Blue Pencils: Free blue pencil sessions by a host of authors and editors are on offer. Sue will have sessions between 10am – 11am, and Jen will be available 11am – noon. Email Sandra to book a session now.
Readings: Join us at 4:30 for Pulp Lit readings by Sue, Jen, and special guest authors.
Workshop: Jen will present David vs Goliath: Writing the Mismatched Fight Scene at 6pm. Come and learn how to write fight scenes that thrill and satisfy, in this interactive workshop involving swords, knives and office furniture.
There’s a full day of programming on offer for writers, readers, artists and publishing professionals, and member bags full of free books and other giveaways. All for amazingly low price of $25. Prices go up to $30 at the door, so register online this week. Come out and support this fledgling festival and help it grow to a full three day weekend next year.