OCLS Writers Conference

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The annual OCLS Writers Conference is back in person for 2023!

Make 2023 the year you finish and publish a novel. The OCLS Writers Conference will provide the tools and knowledge you need to reach your writing and publishing goals this year. Authors and publishing professionals will teach workshops on both craft and business topics. Free basic headshots will be provided by our Melrose Center Photography Instructors.

This conference is free to the public, but registration is required for all attendees. 

Register here.

Please see other upcoming writing workshops at www.ocls.info/writerscorner.


10:00 — 10: 30 AM

  • Check-In & Register for Headshot Time Slot

10:30 AM

  • 10 Things to Cut from Your Manuscript Right Now - Kerry Evelyn - It’s the little things that make difference between a mature and immature writer. Bring a chapter from your manuscript and put your readability to the test. Learn what to cut and how to tighten your prose to take your writing to the next level.
  • Pre-Writing Strategies - Jennie Jarvis -  Whether you are writing a novel, screenplay, short story or any other form of narrative content, the stuff you do before you type in "Chapter One" can determine your writing success. We will cover various strategies for the work you can get done before the work begins, including outlining, idea development, setting a realistic writing schedule, and more!

11:30 AM

  • Getting the Right Pace in Your Scenes and Novels - Michael Mammay - How do you keep a reader interested and keep your story moving? In this session we'll explore pace in both scenes and in your overall novel -- how to write that scene that has people frantically turning the pages, and how to slow it down to give the reader a rest.
  • Storytelling Collaboration - Vivi Barnes, Christina Farley, Amy Christine Parker - Have you ever thought about storytelling collaboration? Gain tips on how to create a writers' room and tap into each others' strengths to help with your own novel as well as group projects. Discover how to take your project to the next level through idea generation, plotting, editing, peer mentorship and more.

12:30 PM

  • Understanding the Scene - Janice Hardy - Learn the mechanics of scene and its troublesome partner, the sequel, and how to use this pairing to drive your story. You'll also learn how to develop scenes and weave them together to build strong and focused plots, as well as what to do when you story grinds to a halt and you don't know why.
  • How to Edit Like an Agent - Kait Ballenger - Learn how to polish your work in progress to get it submission ready.

1:30 PM

  • Finding, Vetting, and Working with an Agent - Saritza Hernandez - Where do you find a reputable literary agent? How do you vet that person? What even IS a literary agent and why do I need one? Get your answers and learn some tips from literary agent Saritza Hernandez.
  • Top Twenty Must-Have Writing and Publishing Tools - Arielle Haughee - From drafting to formatting to marketing and everything in between. You’ll learn about which tools are worth the investment and others that are the best price…free!

2:30 PM

  • Writing Your Synopsis - Kaitlyn Katsoupis - Learn the do's and don'ts of writing a proper synopsis and how to know what is best to include to catch an agent.
  • Publishing Poetry for Fun and (a tiny bit of) Profit - Mari Ness - Your poems are finally finished. Now what? Discover the pluses and minuses of different publishing approaches.

3:30 PM

  • Ask the Agents & Editors Panel - Saritza Hernandez, Kaitlyn Katsoupis, Arielle Haughee

Free Headshots

Photography instructors from the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity will be providing free digital headshots to attendees between 1:30pm and 3:30pm in the Melrose Center photography studio on the 2nd floor. Attendees will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. Signup will begin at 10 a.m.

You must bring a USB flash drive to store your photos. Do not wear a solid black or white shirt. Please be photo-ready when you arrive to the studio; there will be no space for grooming at the studio.

Contact Us

All questions and inquires should be directed to events@ocls.info. If you would like to present a workshop or schedule an author appearance at one of our library locations, please fill out the Present an Event form.