Missouri Breaks

The 94th Annual Missouri Writer's Guild Conference April 3-5 in Cape Girardeau is shaping up to be a terrific weekend…and I'm not just saying that because I'm one of the lecturers. Speakers are still being added, but folks on tap include Simon & Schuster editor Kate Angelella and writer Harvey Stanbrough, who has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and just about everything else except the Booker, the Nobel, and The Oscar (but I'm sure they'll be calling him any minute now). Here's some more info from the conference organizers on the Sunday "Master Classes."

Spend the night at Drury Lodge for $85 and attend a Sunday Masters Class for $65
from 9 to noon! If you have a busy weekend, you can just come to Cape for Sunday morning and attend a master's class. These are smaller sized classes where you have intense
instruction from a writing professional. Many of these are taught in workshop
format where you will be doing some writing and learning both!
Here's the four fantastic classes we are offering:

Class Number One: Lee Goldberg's "Breaking Into TV Writing — The Crash Course."

TV writer/producer Lee Goldberg ("SeaQuest," "Monk," "Diagnosis Murder," ) will
teach you how to watch TV the way professional television writers do — how to
recognize the "franchise" of a show, the four-act structure, and the unique
conflicts that drive the weekly storytelling. These are essential skills that
are not only important in understanding TV, but also in writing the all
important spec script that will be your calling card (but many of the lessons he
teaches can also be applied to novel-writing). This three-hour seminar combines
a free-wheeling lecture and discussion with clips from television shows that
highlight the key points. You'll never watch TV the same way again after this

Class Number Two: Harvey Stanbrough's "Writing Realistic Dialogue Workshop" 

Harvey's classes are often STANDING ROOM ONLY. He's that good! This is a
discussion of the necessity and excessive use of tag lines and brief descriptive
narrative passages; the physical and abstract nuances of Implication; the use of
sentences vs. sentence fragments; the use of dialect, including truncated and/or
phonetic spellings; mechanics; and conveying emotion through dialogue.

Class Number Three: Barri Bumgarner's "Let's Write! Workshop"

Barri Bumgarner is a teacher like no other. She is enthusiastic, fun, and
encouraging. Anytime you have a chance to take a class with Barri–seize the
opportunity. This class is a session designed to inspire and get ideas
formulated, design characters, plots, and even do a bit of writing!

Class Number Four: Annette Fix's "Memoir Workshop"

Annette Fix has written a fantastic memoir, The Break-Up Diet, and this is not
easy to do. She brings her story to life through humor and also includes
universal themes. If you are writing a memoir or ever thought about writing one,
you don't want to miss this workshop.
Don't delay! Sign up today! www.mwgconference.org (We've heard rumors there's a
storytelling festival in Cape that weekend, too. So there's lots of things to

5 thoughts on “Missouri Breaks”

  1. Your seminar sounds terrific, and I wish I could be there to attend. Isn’t there a way for this to be put on-line for a modest fee? With viewers able to play it two or three times? And to stop it so they could make notes? Pilar Alessandra has something similar (but I’m not sure about the video). Anyway, you could reach a lot more persons and help out those who can’t travel to State-side.

  2. Oh, Grrrrr, I am incredibly jealous! Harvey has been a great friend for a number of years. I wish, wish, WISH I could go to this!

  3. I too wish I could attend, unfortunately I’m in Colorado. I second the online/video/dvd thing, I bet they could make a killing.

  4. Used to take me an hour and a half to drive to Cape G, but now it would be almost three. I think I did this conference once, when it was held in Sikeston, Mo. Hope yours gooes better.


Leave a Comment