If you’re currently working on a book manuscript or screenplay, you may choose to attend a Mentoring Session all three mornings of the conference. Your work-in-progress will be evaluated by a professional author or screenwriter. Learn in a small-group setting in the mornings and have a one-on-one consultation with your mentor on one of the afternoons. 

Fiction Mentoring: Janice Thompson
Nonfiction Mentoring: Joseph Bentz
Screenwriting Mentoring: Bob Saenz

Each mentoring session is limited to six participants. To apply for a session, email the mentor for that session after you register and pay for the full three-day conference. Applications will be processed in the order they are received. Once the six-person maximum is reached, no more applications will be accepted.

In the subject line of your email, write “SoCal Mentoring Session” and your last name. The instructor will ask you to share more about your work-in-progress and let you know what to do to prepare for the session.

If you’re not currently working on a book manuscript or screenplay, you may choose to attend one of the Morning Continuing Sessions.


Janice Thompson

The fiction mentoring class will cover all of the major components of fiction writing—plotting, point of view, characterization, editing, and the submission process. In this small group setting, participants will have an opportunity to share a few pages from their WIP (work in progress) and receive input from the others in the group. Best of all, this class will encourage you to keep going, no matter where you are in your journey. From novice to pro, there will be something for all in this comprehensive session.

Click here to apply.



Joseph Bentz

This session combines specific critique with helpful instruction on key aspects of the writing and marketing of nonfiction books.

The six writers in this class will be asked to submit portions of their writing project to the instructor and the rest of the group for critique ahead of the conference. The works-in-progress may be in various stages, from fragments to a completed draft.

Using a time-tested format, the instructor will lead the group through a discussion of the critiques during some class sessions. Other sessions will feature instruction, handouts, and discussions on issues such as:

  • Writing a first chapter that propels the reader into the rest of the book.
  • Understanding the particular demands and nuances of various non-fiction genres.
  • Learning from good examples of query letters and book proposals.

Click here to apply.


Bob Saenz

This track will get you started in the right direction for screenwriting. We’ll cover all the basics: concept, research techniques, outlining, character development, transitions, action, dialogue, world building, format, protecting your intellectual property, settings, setups, and payoffs. Tips to ease your way into screenwriting and mistakes you can avoid.

Click here to apply.