MiniCon WEBsiteLogo7

Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc., October 5, 2024

Zem Zem Banquet & Conference Center
2525 West 38th Street, Erie, PA

WRT Virtual RelayThat



Click Here to download the full 2024 schedule (coming soon). 


TinyBurst--- PITCH---
--- Debra Rae Sanchez or Melanie A. Billings

Debra Rae SanchezMelanie Billings

 Sign up for this event at the Registration Table. Pay a small fee at the door. Share 10 minutes, one-on-one, with Debra Rae Sanchez, editor and translator from Tree Shadow Press,  or Melanie A. Billings from the Wild Rose Press, for possible publication. 


TinyBurst--- PITCH DOCTOR ---
--- Catherine McLean

Debra Rae Sanchez

 Our own Area 1 Pitch Doctor, Catherine McLean, will be available in the Hospitality Suite (see sign at Registration Table for times) to help writers understand what a pitch is and to create, revise, refine, and even practice that pitch.




--- 2024 WORKSHOPS ---


--- EXCEEDING THE SPEED LIMIT --- (Writing Action Scenes) --- 

--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyReaders love action scenes, but for writers, they can be a source of stress. How much detail should we include? Do we need to learn martial arts in order to write an authentic fight scene? The answers might surprise you. In this workshop, we’ll explore scenes that work and a few that don’t. And why.



TinyBurst--- BEWARE THE HIGHWAY MEN --- (How to Write a Marvelous Mystery) --- 

--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyAre you thinking about trying your hand at mystery writing? Or maybe you already have one started and need some help. Award-winning and best-selling mystery author Annette Dashofy offers insight, tips, and tricks for keeping your reader second-guessing and turning the page. We’ll touch on the various genres and sub-genres in crime fiction as well as discussing sleuths, villains, and red herrings.



TinyBurst --- AI ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE  --- (Help on Your Journey) 
--- Susan Gable

Susan Gable

Worried about AI taking over the writing (or entire) world? It's time to embrace change and learn how to make these powerful tools work for you. AI isn’t here to replace writers, it’s here to enhance your creativity and productivity.

• Ever wondered how AI can transform your writing process without taking all the fun out of it? It can even restore the fun in writing. (Really!)
• Looking for innovative ways to brainstorm and generate fresh ideas? Wish you had a brainstorming partner at 3 am?
• Want to learn how to create stunning visuals to complement your stories – and use on social media?
• Do you hate writing blurbs or synopses?
• Curious about how AI can boost your productivity and creativity?
• Ready to explore the future of writing with cutting-edge tools?
• Do you wish you could afford a virtual/personal assistant?

Join USA Today Bestselling author and technogeek Susan Gable for "AI Roadside Assistance: Help on Your Journey," where we'll embark on an exciting adventure into the world of AI-powered writing tools! This interactive workshop will provide hands-on demonstrations, practical tips, and real-time exercises, showing you how to seamlessly integrate AI into your writing process.

Come prepared with an open mind and a (free) Chat GPT account set up, as well as access to the app on your cell phone or computer to participate in the class activities and get the most out of the session.

Attendees bearing pitchforks and rotten tomatoes will be asked to remain outside.


TinyBurst --- TUNE UP  --- (A Writer’s Best Tune-Up: The Freelance Editor) 
--- Susan Helene Gottfried

Susan Helene Gottfried

In this workshop, we’ll talk about the different types of editing, why you need them, who will most benefit from which (and when) and more! How do editors differ from beta readers or critique partners? Why are they so darn expensive? Other than resolving questions of grammar and consistency, what else do editors do?

Join freelance editor Susan at West of Mars for a discussion and get ready for your pre-road trip tune-up.


TinyBurst--- MAY I SEE YOUR LICENSE? --- (A Fictional Characters Anonymous Workshop)

    --- Hana Haatainen-Caye

Timons EsaiasPull up and find a parking spot in the circle of 12 where your character can introduce themself to other characters, all looking to find solutions to the problems they’re facing. Think AA meeting without the alcohol.

Characters will interact with each other in this group therapy session and learn new things about themselves their creators didn’t even realize existed. But arrive on time! Once the parking lot is full the gate closes.


TinyBurst--- MORE THAN A SPEED BUMP --- (How to Regain Your Muse After Circumstances Take it Away)

    --- Hana Haatainen-Caye

Timons EsaiasFrom running out of gas to a flat tire to a fender bender to a head-on collision, how do you find the strength, the courage, and the motivation to get behind the wheel again and start typing?

In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to jumpstart your battery and get your creative juices flowing so you can get back on the road again.


TinyBurst--- WHERE AM I? --- (Discover the Map to World Building for Different Genres)
--- Chuck Kienzle & Janet Pierce

Catherine McLean Janet Pierce CircleDoes Geography overwhelm you? Do you ever forget landmarks, or lose your way? In this hands-on workshop participants will be given a road map (handout) that illustrates eight signposts of World Building. The PowerPoint presentation will provide examples for the driver to follow. Then each person will apply what they’ve learned to their own work in progress. This will enable the writers to create a world that is believable and engages readers. A Q & A at the DMV will help the drivers put their pedal to the metal and surge ahead to writing success.


TinyBurst--- THE MECHANIC IS IN --- (Pitching)
--- Catherine McLean

Catherine McLean

 Learn how to put together "the basic story pitch" which can be tweaked into the pitch for an agent or editor (face-to-face or for a query letter) and even expanded into a story's back cover copy or for's book summary.



TinyBurst---THE POWER TRAIN --- (Paragraphing)
--- Catherine McLean

Catherine McLean

 This often glossed-over writing technique can be honed to enhance a story's pace and flow, heighten tension, suspense, and urgency, and deliver impacting dialogue. Learn how your writing can influence a reader's experience as they read.



TinyBurst --- ROAD SIGNS  --- (Recognizing Road Signs of the Past in Historical Fiction Writing)
--- Janet Pierce

Mary SuttonThe GPS of Historical Writing for your time period relies on accurate research in order for the writer to arrive at the story’s destination. Road signs guide a driver along the way. In this workshop, writers will examine how to use the road signs of the past and present to accurately describe and label characters, actions, and settings on their writing journey.

Signposts of world-building such as the culture and geography of the time-period will help writers figure out how to be authentic as well as sensitive in their writing. After each concept, participants will pair with others to discuss applying the workshop ideas to their own writing journey. Then we will share this information as a group. A road map handout will be provided. This workshop is for novice to experienced writers of historical fiction. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to the session and examine their own WIPs through the lens of ideas presented. My PowerPoint will include Internet sites and writing examples for discussion.  


TinyBurst --- LEAVE THE MAP BEHIND  --- (Put on Your Pants: Tips for Successfully Pantsing Your Way to a Complete Novel)
--- Mary Sutton

Mary Sutton

If the idea of writing a detailed outline, or performing extensive research, before beginning your novel scares you, you’re not alone. It is possible to write a novel, “from the seat of your pants”—as long as you have some guiding principles.

This class talks about some of them and how you can successfully apply them to your writing.


TinyBurst---  EXTENDED WARRANTY --- (Writing Social Justice Poetry) ---

   --- Patricia Thrushart 

Fritze Roberts

In this workshop, participants will learn about social justice poetry and apply a method for transforming their reactions to societal issues into their own social justice poems. The workshop, which is for those 18 and older, includes descriptions and definitions of social justice poetry and a brief look at its deep-rooted history, an exploration through example of the two primary perspectives from which poets enter social justice writing, effects of social justice poems, and a set of activities that can be used to generate a well-thought-out social justice poem.


TinyBurst---THE MILESTONES OF THE POETIC JOURNEY --- (Sensory Writing) ---

   --- Patricia Thrushart 

Fritze Roberts

No car trip is complete without a celebration of key milestones—crossing a state line, stopping at a favorite restaurant. A well-written poem has milestones too—key sensory words that draw the reader into the moment. In this session, attendees will explore using sensory language to connect with their readers, with ample opportunity to write using the ideas discussed. An ekphrasic exercise at the end of the workshop will provide the participants with a chance to use techniques introduced during the session. A helpful list of sensory words will be provided.