At the end of this year, I will be giving a talk, about plotting novels and desiging scenes, at Burlesque Press's Hands On Literary Festival and Masquerade Ball, in New Orleans.
The conference is still accepting proposals for readings, presentations, and panels. So you should propose something and come to New Orleans! It's a stunningly beautiful city, with world class cuisine and culture, and the bars stay open late.
Plus the conference itself is looking really good. The working list of speakers is posted here.
You can also simply book a registration for the conference itself, and come to listen and talk to the writers and critics in attendance, or get a ticket for the masked ball on new year's eve, where there will be masked dancing, comedy, and a champagne toast at midnight.
And the event's relatively small scale should make it much easier to start conversations with these writers (unlike, say, among the crowded halls of AWP).
My own talk will attempt to explain some of the mysteries of plotting a good story and a good scene. This is what I spend a great deal of my PhD doing: working out better ways to teach the craft of fiction.
The talk will offer tips on writing a novel that is both literary and gripping–how to structure a story around surprises and turning points.
How to turn your book, in other words, from something that people find “kind of interesting” to something they really want to keep reading. I will use a couple of helpful diagrams to demonstrate each of my ideas. I will also share plotting disasters from my own past.
For more details, have a look at Burlesque Press.
PS Full disclosure: as previously mentioned, I am personally connected to the director of the Press. So I am not unbiased.