THURSDAY NIGHT - GAMING
Co-founder Mike Hance opens the Heritage Center’s multi-purpose room to host a night of board, dice, and card games. From mild to wild there’s something for everyone.
Starting at 8PM
FRIDAY EVENING - JACK KETCHUM: AN INTIMATE MOMENT
Join Jack as he reads from some of preferred works, answers questions and tells of experiences influencing his keyboard.
Beginning at 7PM
FRIDAY NIGHT - MOVIE NIGHT WITH ERIC RED
Spend Friday night under the stars with Eric Red enjoying 100 Feet, and Body Parts – two favorite movies he scripted and directed, followed by a Q&A.
Beginning at 9PM
SATURDAY MORNING - WRITE-IN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HAUNTED CAPITAL PRIZE MINE
Take a trip to the bottom of the Capital Prize Mine where tables and chairs offer attendees a place to sit and write in a truly unique setting.
* additional fee
SATURDAY NIGHT - MIXER UNDER THE LUCHA RESTAURANT
The Lucha cafe has is hosting the Ghost Town Writers Retreat mixer. Official drinks, based on recipes found in the 2018 program will be available. Come enjoy a drink with fellow attendees and faculty.
GETTING YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR: WHAT PUBLISHERS AND AGENTS ARE LOOKING FOR
Sara Megibow, Becky LeJeune (m), Sara Katsuri, T.B.A.
It’s that frustrating question – “What are those in the business of publishing looking for?”
Here’s your chance for direct answers. Join in a frank Q&A session with agents and publishers to get your answers, learn some tips, and get some insight.
FINDING THE PERFECT STORY STRUCTURE
There are a million ways to outline a novel, and all of them are intimidating. Starting with character design and development, there is a different way that traces its roots all the way back to the movie Casablanca. This two hour class will focus on character development, the traditional seven point story structure, and the Hollywood Formula.
Can you really make someone do the unthinkable? When hypnotized, will you really act the part of an automaton? Is it even real?
Get these answers from active hypnotist Ronin. Learn how far you can push the human psyche and see what altering the hypnotized’s perception of reality can really get you.
HISTORICAL TORMENTS: AZTEC, EGYPTIAN, AND MEDIEVAL EUROPEAN TORTURE TOOLS AND METHODS
W.J. “Wild Bill” Cherf, David Fitzgerald, Hollie Snider (m)
Hollie, David, and Bill take you on an excursion to the torture devices and techniques historically used in three distinctly different cultures.
HISTORICAL SWORDFIGHTING: IN CONCEPT AND PRACTICE
Richard Marsden (m), David Fitzgerald, Dana Fredsti
Fencing? No! An actual swordfighting exhibition provided by historian Richard Marsden, David Fitzgerald, and Dana Fredsti.
Learn the difference between fencing, theatrical sword play, and actual fighting techniques used to wield these deadly lengths of forged metal.
USING FORMAL GOAL-SETTING TECHNIQUES FOR SUCCESS
How to use formal goal setting as a way to manage what you can control and what you can’t in your writing, your career, and your life. Making lists and writing down dreams isn’t the sign of an obsessive mind — it’s a promise you make to yourself, and a way of telling the universe what you want out of life. We’ll talk about: identifying aspects of your career you can control and those you can’t, breaking down goals into smaller tasks that are easier to accomplish, and making sure that your short-term goals are stepping stones to accomplishing your long-term goals.
THE GRINDING OF GEARS: TAKING STEAMPUNK TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
Chaz Kemp (m), Carolyn Kemp, Shelly Goodman-Wright
Join Chaz, Carolyn, and Shelly for a discussion of steampunk and alt-history world building in places other than the crowded streets of London.
FROM PRINT TO MEDIA: TURNING YOUR PROSE INTO AUDIOBOOKS AND MOVIES
Jack Ketchum (m), Eric Red, Dana Fredsti
Eric, Jack, and Dana walk you through the steps, trials, tribulations, and humorous stories of taking printed work to other media formats.
WRITING RACETRACK - THE BEST SPRINT DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
What’s this? A fast writing contest? With a prize presented by author / screenwriter / director Eric Red? Sounds easy, right? No tricks, right? Wrong.
W.J. “Wild Bill” Cherf
Join Egyptologist W.J. “Wild Bill” Cherf as he teaches the process a body went through in preparation for the next life.
Morgen L. Thomas, MA (m), James Aaron, Zaina
You know those “intimate” questions you have for your character but can never find a good resource for? This panel will cover unconventional relationships – both healthy and not – and offer some interesting stories and perspectives authors can pass on to their characters. Panel consists of a sociologist, a BDSM educator, and a former BDSM sub.
BRYAN & BAXTER
Bryan and Baxter
Join Bryan and Baxter for an amazing hour of history, ghost stories, and firsthand accounts of Denver’s paranormal past. They entertain and educate with humor and 26 years of investigative experience. Hear the folklore and the facts of Denver’s haunted past. Truth is often stranger than fiction…
Witches can fascinate us, terrify us, even make us fall in love. The witch character in fiction has long been an obsession, but the colorful tales spun in books, movies, and television tend to be far removed from the reality of witches and witchfinders. Why is the witch such an enduring figure through the ages? And what is the witch really about? This lecture will cover the history of witchcraft in England and America, the rise of the witch hunts, and tools of the “trade.”
MAKING MONSTERS YOU CAN BELIEVE IN
The scariest monsters you can write are ones that could actually exist. Science writer/novelist Matt Bille leads us through zoology, cryptozoology, paleontology, and literary examples of all these to illustrate how to create monsters that will have readers looking over their shoulders or out to sea and thinking, “That could really be out there.”
PARANORMAL TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Learn what was used throughout history to connect with spirits, gods, and even nature. Tools from ancient times to today will be discussed in-depth.
THE BUSINESS OF WRITING
Once the book is finished and released, it’s no longer about you and the page; it’s about you and your readers … and you and the IRS. Join award-winning, multi-published author Shelley for tips on how to manage your career over the long term, including time management and productivity, business management, drafting a business plan, and thinking about tax structures. You’ll also discover ways to make money from secondary lines of business, and begin thinking about how to plan for your literary estate after you’re gone.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF BLOOD AND GUTS: TRAUMA TALES WITH AN E.R. NURSE
Get inspired, ask your most grisly questions, and enjoy some chilling tales and gallows humor from the E.R.. Your host is a registered nurse specializing in E.R. trauma care for over twenty years.
THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS
We’ve all heard that term, but what does it mean? Join this panel as the concepts of subtle detailing in fiction gives a stronger view of what a touch of enviroment in the right place can do to a scene.
W.J. “Wild Bill” Cherf
With our modern cultural hang-ups and all too perfect image of Egyptian culture, we tend to believe their religious and medicinal practices depended upon magic, that heka—“magic,” is an extremely old and long-lived belief system. Cherf will end the presentation with a blood-chilling example.
WRITING FROM THE WOUND
Jack Ketchum (m), Amity Green, Scott A. Johnson
In this panel, authors Amity, Jack, and Scott will teach you to use life, love, loss, and experiences too to inject reality and emotion into your scenes and characters.
OBSESSIVES, STALKERS, AND SERIAL KILLERS
Morgen L. Thomas, MA (m), Jack Ketchum, Lucy A. Snyder
What makes a someone obsess about another? How does it go from innocent passion to something more sinister, and oftentimes dangerous? Join Morgen, our resident sociologist, as she, Jack, and Lucy discuss serial killer mentality and what aspects of it make for good fiction.
Stephen Graham Jones, Eric Red (m), Scott A. Johnson
Night sets and the moon rises. Fabric tears and suddenly you’re running free through the woods.
Eric, Scott, and Stephen discuss the historical aspects of lycanthropy, their presence in both prose and film, and the future of the werewolf.
PAPERBACKS FROM HELL
Paperbacks from Hell chronicles the history of the horror paperback publishing boom that started in the early Seventies with the release of Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and The Other and died in the early Nineties as serial killers lured horror publishing into their murder basements.
AM I ALIVE?: CREATING BELIEVABLE THREE-DIMENTIONAL CHARACTERS
Lucy A. Snyder (m), Mike Arnzen, Scott A. Johnson
I’ve got a character who’s important…the central character to my story, but everyone just says he’s/she’s flat.
We’ve all heard this. We all hate this because it doesn’t offer an answer.
Listen as Lucy, Mike, and Scott discuss how to bring a character to life, giving them history, quirks, baggage, dreams, and more.
* signup required
* limited space
Becky LeJeune, Sara Megibow, Sara Katsuri, Brett Savory, T.B.A.
Is that book done? Are you ready for the next step in the publication process? If so, take the opportunity to put that manuscript in front of our attending agents or publishers.
BUILDING A BETTER WORLD
Lucy A. Snyder, Mike Arnzen (m), Stephen Graham Jones
Get ideas on creating lively and layered stories by creating a better landscape for your characters to interact in. Discussion covers the five-standard senses…and that dreaded sixth that oftentimes defies definition.
Eric Red, Jack Ketchum, Hollie Snider (m)
Vampires inhabit the deepest recesses of our minds – they terrify us yet seduce us with promises of immortality. They are one of the most popular villains in film and fiction, and more recently the brooding hero. But what is a vampire? And where does its power over mere mortals come from? This lecture will cover the history of the vampire in Europe, the modern “romance” of the vampire, and the methods to defend ourselves against these masters of the night.
* signup required
Sign up to participate in public readings on Georgetown’s gorgeous outdoor library stage located in the center of town.
TAROT AS MUSE
The mysterious images of the tarot spark the imagination and open up new perspectives. In this workshop we’ll introduce the basic symbolism of the cards, play with intuitive interpretations, and brainstorm with the oracular image. We’ll provide a variety of tarot spreads for writers, and we’ll practice a spread based on an old actor’s technique that will propel dull scenes into tense drama.
CRITIQUE GROUPS: HOW TO CREATE, MAINTAIN (and survive)
Henry Snider(m), Mike Hance, T.B.A.
A writing critique group…somewhere authors can share their prose and get much-needed feedback. This is the goal so many writers have yet most wither and die in under a year – oftentimes leaving members angry, hurt, and wondering what happened.
Our panelists will delve into how to create a writing critique group, and how to form it into what you and your peers are looking for. Along the way learn common mistakes made that cause groups to struggle.
Handouts include information for both physical and virtual writing groups, and a checklist for attendees that wish to create their own.
Panelists include Henry Snider – co-founder and former president of the award-winning Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group (active 1996-2013, president 1996-2009) and co-founder of Fiction Foundry (2012-present), and Mike Hance who has run the Denver Writers Meet-Up since 2010.
KITCHEN TABLE WRITING
Anne Randolph (m), Thea Hutcheson
The essence of Kitchen Table Writing is to allow the pen to guide. It is a time to begin your next chapter, develop a character, sort out a challenge, or describe the tree outside your window. Free your writing spirit and let what needs to come through your subconscious erupt on the page.