#CAC18 Story. Production. Beyond.   #SeriousAuthors

Jessica Page Morrell


Each year we offer writing craft sessions from the best editors and authors in the publishing industry.

This year we are excited to announce that we have Jessica Page Morrell as the teacher of the Master Writing  Craft Sessions.

Jessica understands both sides of the editorial desk–as a highly-sought after developmental editor and an author. Her work also appears in multiple anthologies and The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines.  She is known for explaining the hows and whys of what makes for excellent writing and for sharing very clear examples that examine the technical aspects of writing that emphases layering and subtext. Her books on writing craft are considered “a must have” for any serious writer’s toolkit.


CAC18 Writing Craft Sessions and Workshops presented by Jessica Page Morrell

If you are not registered for CAC18, you may register for only the Master Classes taught by Ms. Morrell by clicking here.

  • Learning from the Greats – Sunday Morning Writing Craft Master Class 9:30 – 12:30, April 22, 2018

Although writers can feel inundated by all the writing advice available in our current times; dissecting, reflecting, and even emulating great writers can be a powerful tool. It’s especially helpful to study the best in the genre you write in. This workshop teaches writers how to deconstruct and analyze elements of craft. It will demonstrate how to study the balance of narrative and dialogue; how POV shifts in an ensemble cast; how figurative and descriptive language are used in varying kinds of scenes; how pace and action are entwined; the benefits of first and third-person viewpoint, and the subtle variations of each. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the techniques used by a variety of authors including Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Elmore Leonard, Marilyn Robinson, Ray Bradbury, Anne Patchett, and others. We’ll also cover work habits, language, and sentence potency, and we’ll synthesize the best commandments on writing from the best and brightest.

  • The Anchor Scenes of Fiction – Sunday Afternoon Writing Craft Master Class 1:30 – 4:30, April 22, 2018

The task of a novelist or screenwriter is to tell a story so riveting that it will hold a reader’s attention for hundreds of pages or a viewer’s attention for several hours in a theater. This requires an intimate knowledge of your characters and thorough understanding of plot, the sequence of events that take readers from beginning to end.  Your structure will reveal the protagonist’s struggles to solve problems and achieve goals. This, in turn, brings emotions to life and explains the importance of what a character is trying to achieve and what stands in his way.

These events won’t hang together without a compelling structure that underlies the whole—the essential scenes that every story needs to create drive, tension, conflict, climax, and resolution.  We’ll illustrate and come to understand the anchor scenes needed in fiction and film: Inciting Incident, First Plot Point, and Mid-point Reversal, Point of No Return, Darknight of the Soul, Climax, and Resolution.  We’ll discuss how the protagonist stars in these scenes, how they’re emotionally-charged, build the plot, and illustrate character growth.

  • Subtext: The Quiet River Beneath the Story – 1.5 hours Regular Session

For most writers subtext is the most elusive of all writing techniques. However, life is often lived between the lines, and scenes often simmer with the unspoken beneath dialogue and action. In this workshop, subtext will be explained with examples from various genres. We’ll also discuss nonverbal communication and how to render it onto the page and how to hint at lies and secrets in scenes so that dialogue scenes are enhanced. We’ll cover how metaphor and visual clues create subtext.  Mostly we’ll investigate all the ways to insert subtext—the unspoken, innuendo, gestures, pauses, misdirection, colors, clothing, setting details—in other words, the nuanced moments that are not directly represented.


    • KaffeeKlatch Session – an informal session where we discuss Q & A – Simple Steps to Solve Story Problems. Ballroom Saturday, (9 – 9:50)

    Click here for more information about the 2018 Chanticleer Authors Conference