We will kick off the day with a poem by Derry’s Poet Laureate, Robert Crawford.

10:00-10:45 Travel Writing for the Fearless with Dan Szczesny

Travel Writing for the Fearless – From the other side of town to the other side of the world, bringing a sense of place to your writing requires more than knowing geography; you have to be comfortable with discomfort. Immersing yourself in another culture is never easy. Explore how to be a fish out of water – the pitfalls, dangers and joys of exploring another culture – and how to turn that experience into an accessible travel essay or travelogue. Be prepared to bring your own travel adventure – or one you want to take – to the discussion!

10:45-11:00 Book signing with Dan Szczesny

11:00-11:45 Creating Realistic Characters For Your Fantasy World with Heidi Heilig

Laypeople often think that fantasy is the opposite of reality, but all fantasy writers know that the wildest flights must be grounded in reality to be believable. So why are there still more elves and orcs than people of color? Let’s explore the craft of creating realistic, inclusive diversity in fantasy worlds.

11:45-12:00 Book signing with Heidi Heilig

12:00-1:00 Lunch Break : If you’d like to stay for lunch, you can purchase a sandwich and take part in a themed table discussion with one of the following moderators: Dale Phillips(Crime Writing), Ginger Johnson (Setting), Robert Crawford (Poetry),  Carol Gordon Ekster (Picture Books), Kelly Sennot (Newspaper Writing), Erin E. Moulton (Publishing), Adi Rule (Agents). All table moderators who have books published will have them available for purchase in the book store or at their table.

1:00-1:45 Anatomy of a Picture Book with Nicole Tadgell

Have you ever wondered how picture books are created? Join a master illustrator to learn about the process from story spark through completed project.

1:45-2:00 Book signing with Nicole Tadgell

2:00-2:45 Middle Grade Magic with Paul Durham

Join Paul Durham to learn the ins and outs of middle grade fiction. Why write for the 8-12 age group? What makes it so special? What are the key differences between the middle grade and young adult markets? How do you combine plot structure, character and setting to create magical middle grade literature?

2:45-3:00 Book signing with Paul Durham

3:00-3:45 The Writing Process with Katie Bayerl, Adi Rule, K.R. Conway, Francisco X. Stork and MarcyKate Connolly (Moderator: Erin E. Moulton)

Let’s talk writing process. This panel is designed to bring us into the writer’s room and the writer’s head space. We’ll learn about how book ideas arrive and how they come to fruition. We’ll also find out about weird rituals that writers might have to get their muses talking and, finally, we’ll touch on the process of publication.

3:45-4:00 panel book signing in childrens room.

Water Street Books will be selling books in the children’s room for the entire day!

Speaker book signings will take place in the childrens room.