Central Coast Writers Conference Goes Online

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

August 12, 2020

The annual Central Coast Writers Conference will continue this year with all classes and speakers in real time via Zoom.

Proving that the pen is mightier than COVID-19, the 36th annual Central Coast Writers Conference sponsored by Cuesta College will return this year offering an online event on September 24-26.

“As always, our conference is ideal for writers of all ages and experience levels,” said CCWC Executive Director Teri Bayus. “Our presenters are fabulous, experienced, and the best in their industry when it comes to teaching screenwriting, novel writing, beginning writing, poetry, business, and more.”

Attendees of the “Best Conference in the West,” as named by The Writer magazine in 2019, will still be able to enroll in master classes on that Thursday and choose from more than 100 workshops on Friday and Saturday via Zoom, a cloud based video conferencing tool, and never have to get out of their pajamas.

“You’ll have opportunities to engage with other writers, presenters, and staff from all over the country, if not the world, all from the comfort of your own home.” Bayus said. “It’s an introvert’s dream!”

Master Classes are $150 per course path. They include:
• Pre-Writing Your Novel with Bryan Young — go from zero-ideas to having a novel ready to write.
• Finding, Faking or Forgetting Your Voice with George Yatchisin and Chryss Yost — tools to develop your poetic voice.
• Nonfiction Success Skills and Strategies with Felicia Slattery — explore the income potential of building a complete business around your book and area of expertise.
• How To Write A Perfect Television Pilot with Linda Aronson — learn how to create and interweave a multiple-plot serial that run across a season’s worth of episodes.
• Stoking the Creative Fires: the Nine Stages of Writing with Phil Cousineau — explore the history of creativity, from painting and writing to photography, movies, and business with an emphasis is on the practices, exercises, and sparks that enable us to sustain a creative life in any chosen field.

The $225 registration fee for Friday and Saturday includes a recorded copy of every class, excluding master classes, for all attendees to expand the learning experience.

“We’ve never been in a position to record and then offer every single solitary workshop before,” Bayus said. “Because it’s all on Zoom, it’s easily recorded and everybody who signed up has access to it all afterwards. You are literally getting 110 writing workshops.”

Workshops are taught by big hitters in the writing world including Ricky Roxburgh, Natalie Obando-Desai, Jonathan Maberry, Katya Cengal, and Doug Richardson.

“I’m bringing back some of our old favorites,” Bayus said. “Because this year is so different, I wanted to make sure that I gave everybody a little bit of the old to remind them that what the conference was like, and then a little bit of something new.”

Thursday night features a keynote with former Cambrian Christopher Moore author of seventeen novels, including the international best-sellers “Lamb,” “Noir,” and his latest, “Shakespeare for Squirrels.” Discover the elements you need to find success as a writer, and how you control only one of the three.He will also do a real time Q&A where zoomers can ask him anything.

Friday opens with a Jordan Rosenfeld keynote based on her book- “A Writer’s Guide to Persistence.” She will share how to focus on writing that means something to you while being curious, purposeful, and resilient. Learn to love revision, create boundaries around your writing, and how to go deeper into the work when rejections fly.

Classes go from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday followed by a virtual networking kind of “bug on the wall” event where multiple members of the staff will talk, and people can listen in and ask questions.

Saturday classes are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a closing keynote by Monica Piper who will talk about losing the stress and finding the funny moments in life and in your writing. Piper wrote for “Roseanne,” for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, “Mad About You” and “Veronica’s Closet” before become the he head writer and producer of the “Rugrats” for which she won an Emmy.

“Over the past several months, we have learned how important human connection is, even if it is only online,” Bayus said. “This will give you an opportunity to meet up close, but not from the back of a classroom. There is an element to Zoom that is more intimate because you are in their house; they are in their natural habitat, they haven’t put on their game face. It’s more honest. Their dog might walk into the room, you can look at what’s on their bookshelves or the walls behind their head.”

For more information and to register, go to www.CentralCoastWritersConference.com or contact Teri Bayus at centralcoastwritersconference@gmail.com.

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