Yukon Writers’ Conference: Encore!

It’s been two years since the last Yukon Writers’ Conference, which launched several local authors. This Thanksgiving is another, thanks to Northern Writes, the partnership of Barb Dunlop and Marcelle Dube.

Early this year, the pair started to organize funding from the Cultural Industries Training Trust Fund and local business support to offer two days of intense discuss about making a living as a writer.

“Past events have focused on writing craft,” says Dunlop. “It seemed like an appropriate time to address the business end of writing.”

Topics include how to make money, sell to New York and attract agents, alongside the basics of writing saleable fiction for both traditional paper and emerging e-book markets.

The goal is to provide a venue for writers, whatever stage they’re at in their career, to explore the business and profit-making end of writing. Registration is through the Whitehorse Public Library.

The presenters, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, understand the business of writing.

A look at Kathryn Rusch’s website lays plain how authors can use electronic media to create a platform for their writing and attract new readers by giving away short, meaningful writing samples.

Rusch works alternately under the pseudonyms Kris Nelscott, mystery writer, and Kristine Grayson, romance writer. Her website www.kristinekathrynrusch.com offers regular stories and excerpts, writing tips, business approaches and industry information.

Her novels, published in 14 countries and 13 languages, have appeared on various bestseller lists.

Equally busy is her husband Dean Wesley Smith, a name Trekkies will recognize from his movie novelizations and original books adapted from all five of the Star Trek television series.

His short stories are in 20 different anthologies and his science fiction and horror peers have rewarded him with the World Fantasy (1989), Bram Stoker (1990) and Nebula (1997) awards.

When the couple collaborate, as they have on four books, their joint penname is Sandy Schofield. Together they operated Pulphouse Publishing and edited the original Pulphouse Magazine. Smith also founded Tomorrow Speculative Fiction, which, upon its sale to editor Algis Budry (1931-2008) in the 1990s, went on to become a pioneer publication in the realm of webzines.

Rusch and Smith have been looking forward to a Yukon visit for years. Dube first approached them at the Oregon Professional Writers workshop in 2004. “It’s taken this long to coordinate their schedules!” she says.

Past presenters “rave about their Yukon experience,” adds Dunlop. “Many went on to become ambassadors for the territory in the writing world.”

Dube and Dunlop encourage local writers to come ready with questions. The sessions run consecutively to avoid time conflicts for the delegates. “There will be ample time for questions and answers and opportunity to network,” says Dunlop.

Space is limited, so they encourage early registration, either through [email protected] or at the front desk of the Whitehorse Public Library.

Delegates are asked to be aware the event, which will start Friday, October 7 at the Westmark Whitehorse, is scent-free.

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