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2022 Killer Nashville Master Classes

2:00-5:00 P.M., Thursday, August 18, 2022

$65 for registered attendees / $119 for unregistered participants

Tickets are available during registration or added on via this form.

How to Write the Successful Novel / Jaden Terrell

Do you dream of writing a novel but don’t know where to start? Have you started a novel, but aren’t sure how to finish? Have you written one or more novels that feel flat or lacking in depth, but would like to learn how to create a deeper, richer book next time?

If any of this sounds like you, this course can help. Based on the assumption that you are the expert on your novel, the How to Write a Novel course will lead you through a series of open-ended, non-prescriptive questions and exercises that take you all the way from the seed of an idea to a finished book. They can also help you move through a “stuck” spot in your story.

You’ll learn: How to create a strong foundation for your novel; create memorable characters and a compelling plot; keep yourself motivated; defeat your inner critic; and much more.

Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, this nuts and bolts workshop will give you practical, step-by-step strategies to take you from the initial idea to a completed first draft.

JADEN TERRELL is a Shamus Award finalist and the internationally published author of the Nashville-based Jared McKean PI series. She’s also a proud Mad Catter and the author of a cozy cat mystery, Trouble Most Faire. Terrell’s short stories, which range from cozy to noir, have appeared in several anthologies, and she’s a contributor to ITW’s The Big Thrill and to Now Write! Mysteries, a collection of how-to essays for writers of crime fiction. Terrell is the recipient of the Killer Nashville Builder Award and two awards for service to the Southeast Mystery Writers of America. She offers workshops, coaching, and courses for writers. You can read more about her at

Book Promotion: Where to Start, and What to Prioritize / Elysse Wagner, Books Forward

Promotional opportunities are endless and can feel overwhelming! Having represented over 1,300 books in 22 years, literary publicity firm Books Forward breaks down the tools you need to introduce your book in the marketplace and elevate your author brand. In this publicity seminar, Books Forward’s campaign strategist Elysse Wagner will help YOU learn how to:

  • define your author goals
  • choose the social media platforms right for your brand
  • build relationships with booksellers and librarians
  • secure media coverage
  • reach consumers directly
  • complement your publisher’s efforts
  • and maximize opportunities with your own network.

A live Q&A will follow the workshop.

This session goes from 2:00-4:00 P.M. or until no one has additional questions, whichever comes first.

ELYSSE WAGNER helps authors determine the most effective promotional path for their book releases, and for crafting their brand. Prior to joining the Books Forward team, Elysse worked as a content strategist in the nonprofit sector. She is also a seasoned book blogger and social media influencer, amassing a following of more than ten thousand avid readers who value her savvy book recommendations. She was even a trusted reviewer for Books Forward authors and championed the company’s talented writers before joining the Books Forward family. She lives in Dayton, Ohio, with her husband, Nick, and their yellow lab, Murphy. You can read more about Elysse at

Tough Love for Writers: Take Charge of Your Writing Career / Steven Hutson

Today’s publishing environment offers new and unprecedented opportunity for new writers to make their mark. New business models and whiz-bang technologies make it easier than ever, to get a book on the market. But here’s the other half of the equation that no one talks about: As we crank out more and more new titles each year, the pool of retail buyers remains unchanged. (How many books can you read in a year?) Today’s market is more competitive than it has ever been, and far too many new authors rush in without educating themselves. If you seek guidance in Internet chat rooms and message boards, you’ll find a pile of bad advice from angry people with no credentials. They want to turn you into a victim, by making you suspicious of everyone and everything. You might have had a bad experience with an agent or editor, but they’re not responsible for the success of your career. You are. You’re not just writing a story; you’re building a business. The industry hasn’t changed as much as you think. And you might be looking for love in all the wrong places. In this interactive workshop, we will examine the workings of the publishing industry. Why do some books succeed, while so many fail? Bring your questions, your thick skin, and your hard-learned lessons. Many teachers will fill your head with unearned praise, unrealistic expectations, and pat answers. Steve will tell it like it is. Topics will include: Why you’re not getting published; working with an agent; let’s read that publishing contract; who do you  trust?; before you jump into self-publishing; the market; pitching your manuscript; it’s who you know; educating yourself; managing expectations; it’s harder than you think; what not to say to a publisher; following trends; protecting your work (copyright); and how to build your brand.

STEVEN HUTSON was a storyteller almost from birth; poems, articles, business letters, advertising copy, and lame excuses. But like most writers, he kept a day job; in-between gigs he found gainful employment as a clerk typist, vitamin buyer, waiter, forklift operator, lifeguard, bookkeeper, grocery manager, printer’s apprentice, and meat cutter. Oh, and he went to college for a while with a major in business. But the muse didn’t give up on him, and in time he had a couple of books published. One thing led to another; he edited dozens of books for others and managed a writers’ conference for several years, making many valuable contacts along the way. He has mentored hundreds of aspiring authors, he speaks often at writers’ events, and he writes two blogs. Swimming, gardening, and cooking keep his hands busy in-between. He lives in sunny Southern California with his wife Ruth and son Bradley. Read more about Steven at

Tickets are available during registration or added on via this form.