Speeches and Workshops

If you've read the bio on the back of my books, you know that in addition to writing, I'm also a frequent speaker. For me it's both a pleasure and a privilege to share my experiences with readers and writers. Whether designed for general audiences or tailored specifically to writers, all of my presentations include a healthy dose of humor. After all, who doesn't enjoy a laugh or two?

I've included descriptions of my most popular presentations below. For more information or to discuss scheduling one of these workshops, send me an email with "SPEECHES" in the subject line.

General Audiences

Glamour, Grit and God: The Life of a Writer -- Have you ever wondered what a writer's life is really like? Join Amanda Cabot for a light-hearted look at her life. She will discuss the writing and publishing process, explaining how she turns the seed of an idea into a full-length book, what happens after a book is contracted, including the seemingly mysterious processes of titling books and developing cover art, ending with an explanation of the role God has played in her life and her writing career.

A Step Back in Time -- What's the enduring appeal of stories about times gone by? What challenges does an author face when creating those stories? Join Amanda Cabot for a look at the three types of historical fiction as well as the fun and the frustration involved in research. She'll also give you insights into the many steps needed to turn an idea into a finished book and the lengths to which publishers go to create the perfect cover.

An Introduction to Carousel Fever -- Whether you call them merry-go-rounds or carousels, once you've caught the fever, you'll be back for another ride. Join Amanda Cabot for a look at the way carousels have shaped American life and language. Featuring pictures and music from some of the country's antique carousels, this presentation is suitable for all ages.

Of Oysters and Authors -- What do oysters and authors have in common? According to author Amanda Cabot, more than you might think. Join her for a look at the similarities (and differences) between a bivalve mollusk and homo sapiens.

Workshops for Writers

Great Beginnings or How to Hook an Editor -- Have you heard that an editor can make a decision based on the first three pages? It's true. Using examples to illustrate her points, Amanda Cabot will give you a look at great and not-so-great beginnings for novels. By the end of the workshop, you'll understand the common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Even more importantly, you'll know how to hook an editor.

Like Fine Champagne: The Art of Sparkling Dialogue -- Does your dialogue taste more like spoiled milk than fine champagne? If so, join Amanda Cabot for a workshop filled with examples of techniques for enlivening your dialogue and creating a book that will live in readers' memories.

What's the Point of Point of View? -- If you think POV is a lane on the highway, this workshop is for you. Amanda Cabot will remove the mystery that frequently surrounds point of view, helping you understand the uses of each type of POV and showing you how to choose the right one for your book.

Surviving Rejection and Other Detours on the Writer's Path to Success -- It's an unfortunate fact of life that most writers will experience rejection at least once in their careers. Join multi-published and multi-rejected author Amanda Cabot for a workshop designed to help you understand and cope with rejection. Hint: chocolate plays a key role.

Getting to 'The End': Techniques for Finishing the Book of Your Dreams -- You have a brilliant premise. You've written an opening that is guaranteed to hook an editor. Your book will be a best-seller, if only you could finish it. But somehow life has intervened and the enthusiasm has faded. Join Amanda Cabot, who juggled a sixty-hour a week job and building a house long-distance at the same time that she wrote two books a year, for a workshop that provides concrete techniques for finishing that book. You'll learn how to:
        o Determine why writing, both in general and in terms of your current project, is important to you
        o Create a 'culture of writing' that keeps that project first on the radar screen
        o Make, rather than try to find, time to write
        o Overcome middle-of-the-book blues
        o Write even when the muse has vanished.

Butterflies in Formation: Techniques to Tame the Fear of Public Speaking -- If you view public speaking with less enthusiasm than you'd approach surgery without anesthesia, this workshop is for you. Amanda Cabot will show you how the Three Cs (confidence, content, and composure) can help make everything from book signings to formal presentations more enjoyable -- and more effective.

The Balancing Act of Writing Historical Fiction -- If you write historical fiction, you know it's a tough act, balancing the story line and historical details. The challenge is heightened by reader expectations, which differ depending on the type of historical fiction you're writing. Amanda Cabot will help you categorize your book at the same time that she presents concrete ways of striking the proper balance to intrigue both editors and readers.

Before You Sign: The Savvy Writer's Guide to Contracts -- Does the thought of reading, much less negotiating a contract make you either shudder or roll your eyes? If so, this is the workshop for you. Amanda Cabot, who's negotiated more contracts than she wants to admit, provides a layman's view of the most important clauses in agents' and publishers' contracts along with advice about which clauses can be negotiated and which ones should make you question whether or not this is the right agent or publisher for you.