Fiction Writing Bootcamps

24 September 2011

Two Publishing Pros to Offer Fiction Writing Bootcamps throughout Southern California
Two literary insiders have teamed up to help budding authors craft novels that will catch the eye of an agent and publisher. Shelly Lowenkopf and Toni Lopopolo began the bootcamps with small groups this past spring in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area. Now they are expanding to a larger area of Southern California, bringing their accumulated knowledge as Executive Editors with Macmillan, St. Martins, Bantam and Dell, along with Ms. Lopopolo’s literary agency work, to help writers achieve their dreams of publication.

“We saw an enormous growth from the attendees at our first two bootcamps,” Ms Lopopolo said, “and we wanted to hone the skills of more talented area writers.” The camps are three-day intensives limited to eight writers who must submit up to ten pages and a synopsis in advance to be accepted.

Currently there are three camps opening this fall:

September 23-25 in Santa Barbara at Café Luna          
          – How to Read like a Writer & How to Become Your Own Best Editor      

October 14-16 in Pasadena, CA Location to be announced
– The Ten Most Common Mistakes First Novelists Make

November 11-13 in Solvang, CA Location to be announced          
– The Real Story on How to Get Published

“So many people dive into writing without understanding that novel writing is not like a thesis for an English Lit class,” Shelly Lowenkopf said. “To be published, a writer must meet a high standard, one that is achievable IF you know where the bar is. Toni and I have been raising that bar for years and will now pass on our experience to new writers.”

To learn more about the bootcamps and the curriculum, visit:

Background on Lowenkopf and Lopopolo:
Shelly Lowenkopf has held major editorial positions with Sherbourne Press (Editor-in-Chief); Dell Publishing (Director, Los Angeles office); Clio Books (Editor-in-Chief); Ross-Erickson (Editor-in-Chief); and, Capra Press (Advisory and Acquisitions Editor). He has seen over seven hundred books and hundreds of short story and essay projects through the publishing process.  Currently a freelance consultant and teacher, his clients include novelists, retired and active academics, and the humorist creator of one of the most popular television series of all time.  For over 30 years, he has been a fixture at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, running his famous nightly Pirate Sessions.

Lowenkopf taught courses in short story, novel, dramatic writing, editing, genre fiction, and revision at the graduate level in one of the most prestigious writing programs in America at University of Southern California, where he was given a Lifetime Teaching Award.  He is a past regional president of the Mystery Writers of America; His most recent book, The Fiction Writer’s Companion, is a guide to terms, concepts, and forms related to storytelling.

Literary Agent, Toni Lopopolo, brings a book publishing resume that began in 1970 in the publicity dept of Bantam Books, where she helped publicize authors such as Philip Roth, Barbara Cartland, Isaac Asimov, and Louis L’Amour.

She next served as Library Promotion Director at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, until Houghton Mifflin offered her a position in Boston as Marketing Manager, Paperback Books. Her big campaigns included Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins.  When Macmillan offered Toni the title of Executive Editor, she moved back to New York City and published Judy Mazel’s Beverly Hills Diet, Elvis 56 by Al Wertheimer among other hits. Next St. Martin’s Press made an offer she couldn’t refuse and Toni became Executive Editor there from 1981 to 1990 and published Hot Flashes by Barbara Raskin and Rich and Famous by Kate Coscarelli plus Elsa Lanchester, Herself, by Elsa Lanchester, On The Other Hand by Fay Wray as well biographies of Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy, and many other titles. She has taught fiction and narrative non-fiction writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.
In l991, Toni opened Literary Management and has sold books for authors Sol Stein, Lee Silber, Lillian Glass, Steve Duno, Nancy Baer, Flo Fitzgerald, Judith Smith-Levin, Howard Olgin, Jeanette Baker, Larry Seeley, and many others.


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