Two literary insiders team up to help budding authors craft novels that will catch the eye of agents and publishers. Shelly Lowenkopf and Toni Lopopolo began the bootcamps in 2010 in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area. The latest edition is “Bare Knuckles Bootcamp” which brings their accumulated knowledge and street creds 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’re looking for a few good writers who have the stamina and imagination to reach the level of marketable authors,” Ms Lopopolo said. “We wanted to hone the skills of more talented area writers.” The camp is a three-day intensive limited to ten writers who must submit up to ten pages and a synopsis in advance to be accepted.
The bootcamp will delve into: your opening page (velocity vs. set up); refining point of view; how to avoid fatal story errors; and an area where many writers never do enough, revision, revision, revision. Other areas covered include: creating charged dialogue; how to create your character’s defining moment; how to make your story win every round; and, much more.
“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.”
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 was 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 from 1981 to 1990. She 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 1991, 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, Shelly Lowenkopf, and many others.
The bootcamp is presented by the Pacific Institute for Professional Writing, a California 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit,
CALENDAR INFORMATION: WHAT: Bare Knuckles Bootcamp
WHEN: May 3-4-5
TIME: Friday: 5:30 to 8:30 pm – Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
PLACE: Private home in Santa Barbara