Getting Your Query Through the Slush PileGina Mulligan


Gina Mulligan will present on “Getting Your Query Through the Slush Pile" on Nov. 7 at 11 a.m.

Description: You've finished your novel or crafted a nonfiction book proposal and are ready to find a literary agent. You know a query letter must be professional and error-free, but how do you create a letter that grabs an agent’s attention among thousands in the "slush pile?" In this hour, you’ll learn what makes the perfect opening, techniques to streamline your story description, and ways to enhance relevant bio information no matter your writing experience. Plus, leave with a proven list of resources to help you find reputable agents to help launch your writing career.


If you’d like to send in your query in advance, Gina will randomly select several to talk about during the presentation: send to


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We are offering two writing workshops on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, and Sands Hall’s is at 3 p.m. Join her to learn some craft essentials.

Description: A story is a story, whether it’s one you’ve imagined or one you’ve lived. And while there are huge differences between how writers of fiction and nonfiction get that story down on the page, there are also some very useful similarities. In this workshop, novelist and memoirist Sands Hall outlines aspects of craft essential to the fiction writer—including plot, character, point of view, and scene—and, with the help of published examples, shows how these ideas can be applied to memoir and creative nonfiction. Whatever your genre, you’ll come to recognize these areas of craft, and build confidence in utilizing them in your own work.

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Craft Essentials for Writers of Fiction and Memoir – Sands Hall


On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 3, check out the first of our two writing workshops this day. Vanitha Sankaran’s workshop takes place at 1 p.m.

Description: Asking a reader to read a work of historical fiction is to invite that reader into a new world, one that is different from our own, but still was, and is, real. Unlike sci-fi and fantasy writers, though, we have the advantage of research and preserved sources. From letters and diaries to maps, music, and paintings, historical fiction authors can literally publish real-world artifacts in service of the story.

This workshop will use published samples to explore how the historical record can determine the structure of a given tale. At the end, you will have a few more tools in your plotting toolbox for your own work.

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The Structure of Historical Fiction: How We Write What We Write - Vanitha Sankaran



Writing to and from "The Other" (Poetry, Prose, Scriptwriting) – Indigo Moor


For opening night, Gold Rush co-director Indigo Moor will present on “Writing to and from ‘The Other’” (Poetry, Prose, Scriptwriting) on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.

Description: Locked in our skin, we hold a singular view of the infinite complexity of the human experience. Age, religion, ethnicity, social class, and even geography can limit our understanding of characters. Yet, as writers, we attempt to write to *others* or from their viewpoints. We have seen some of these attempts fail, sometimes spectacularly. Creating characters whose age, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc. differ from our own can be difficult and produce fear in writers.

This reading/workshop will explore tools that help writers produce realistic, intricate characters that do not rely on stereotypes. The object of this workshop is to instill the participants with the necessary tools to connect with people (and objects) they do not now—to find the elements that make them real.

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How To Write With Page-Turning Tension - Jordan Rosenfeld

We’ll close our online Gold Rush workshop weekend with a wonderful presenter, Jordan Rosenfeld, who will leave us with tips to make our readers turn the pages with suspense, on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m.

Description: Tension in novels, stories, and even memoirs is like the connective tissue that allows muscles to attach to bones, and thus flex their might. It’s the heart of conflict, the backbone of uncertainty, the hallmark of danger. It keeps readers guessing, and characters on their toes. When it’s present, stories leave readers breathless and wanting more. In this workshop, writers will learn four key elements of page-turning tension, essential of creating plot tension, how to balance scene elements for maximum tension, and more.

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