Register by August 9, 2018!

The Facebook group, 10 Minute Novelists is pleased to announce the first ever conference for 10 Minute Novelists. For two glorious days in August 2018, we hope to uphold our collaborative, supportive atmosphere at an accessible and affordable event, filled with fun activities, social networking, and learning experiences for everyone. 

OUR SPEAKERS INCLUDE Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, Janice Hardy and Katharine Grubb. 

What will Donald Maass be speaking about? Click here to find out!


We have a limited number of partial tickets: Friday/Saturday only, AND Saturday only. A box lunch is included in both days.

THIS TICKET IS THE FINAL COST FOR THE CONFERENCE. Your hotel accommodations are NOT included in this price. Please bear in mind that guests of the Embassy Suites will receive a free buffet breakfast each morning of the conference and a free cocktail/snack hour each evening.

TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. They are, however, transferable to other 10 Minute Novelist Members. If you purchase a ticket and are unable to attend, please contact Katharine Grubb about transfer options.

Click this link to view our conference schedule.

Click this link to view our conference FAQs.

What To Expect from Donald Maass at 10MinCon

The first ever 10 Minute Novelists Writing Conference is proud to host Donald Maass, all day, Friday, August 10, 2018, at the Embassy Suites, in Cincinnati, OH.

What our attendees are going to hear that day will change their writing forever!

Mr. Maass will be spending the day speaking from his book The Fire in Fiction.  He will address multiple aspects of novel writing, from the characters to the setting, to the plot, analyzing each piece carefully, demonstrating what can grip the reader the most.

Are you really satisfied with your opening pages? Mr. Maass will point out common errors, explain what kinds of protagonists are the strongest, and how to make them alive for your reader.

As the book progresses, Maass will delve into conflicts. He will challenge authors to really dig deep into the drives of their protagonists, create complex inner conflicts, and reveal their hearts.

Additionally, Maass will address the antagonist. Through examples, he will reveal common mistakes writers make with their antagonists and challenge authors to make them richer, sympathetic, and engaging.

By the end of the day, the participants will have addressed:

  • Three kinds of protagonists that appeal most to readers
  • How to build rich characters
  • Intriguing antagonists
  • Scene-sculpting for maximum tension
  • World-building
  • The development of the narrative voice
  • Creating an attractive reality for the reader
  • Increasing tension in every scene
  • The significance of stories for humankind
  • And how to tell a story with new passions.

This day-long seminar will be intense, but the advice Mr. Maass will give could make the difference between a mediocre one and a great one.

If your manuscript needs help (and whose doesn’t it?) You can’t find a better opportunity than this to learn what to do to fix it.

Join us! Click here to register! 

Your Never Ending Writing Improvement Program by James Scott Bell

By James Scott Bell

Mr. Bell will be speaking at 10MinCon on August 9, 2018. He is a popular speaker and author. Join us at the conference to meet Mr. Bell in person. Click the image to visit Mr. Bell’s website. 

In Japan, after World War II, the concept of kaizen was introduced into their industrial culture. It resulted in a huge boom in technology and manufacturing that rebuilt Japan and made her prosperous.

It’s a simple idea. It means ongoing quality, and systems set up to test quality all the time. And, every day, striving to do something better.

Why should a writer do any less?

You are responsible for designing your own writing improvement program. One that never ends.

To do that, you have to look at both yourself and your fiction. And you have to take the “critical success factors” of each and figure out ways to make them better.

See registration tab above for how you can register!

But most writers don’t think in a kaizen type of manner. We are artists, after all! We want to frolic in the tulip fields of the imagination! We don’t want to get weighed down with things like, yikes, strategic planning! We could have gone to engineering school if we wanted to do that kind of thing.

Come on there, Bunkie. It’s not that difficult.

Here’s the idea. Even if you improve an area only 10%, if you do that with each factor you are improving yourself in an exponential fashion. That’s how to get intentional about your career.

The Five Characteristics of Successful Writers

Here are the five areas in which you need to excel if you’re going to make it in the writing game:

  1. Craft knowledge
  2. Discipline
  3. Perseverance
  4. Risk
  5. Market sense

Let’s break these down.

Craft knowledge

Mastery of the craft, the tools and techniques of fiction, is, of course, essential to your success. If you don’t know how to put together a scene, or show instead of tell, or construct crisp dialogue, or any of the other nuts and bolts, it’s over. You won’t write salable fiction.

Keep learning your craft. Do it systematically. At the start of my career, I created a Writing Improvement Notebook (see The Art of War for Writers for details of what’s in this notebook). Do the same. Make it your own, use it. Spend time in it every week.


This means, simply but powerfully, a quota of words. Every week. I split my writing week into six days and go for 1,000 words a day. But I track it weekly, so if I miss a day I know I can make it up later. I take Sundays off from writing, to recharge my batteries. (Discipline is also about working smarter, not just harder).

Produce the words. There is no substitute for this. Even if your quota has to be small because of your circumstances, pick a number that works, and stretches you just a bit. Then go for it, week in and week out.


“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

Old “Silent Cal” Coolidge wasn’t given to many words, but these are the choices. You’ve got to stay in this deal for the long haul and determine that from the start. Or right now.

You have to know this business is practically all about setbacks and overcoming them: rejections, waiting, criticism, lack of sales. Just determine you’re not going to stop. Ever.

The worst that will happen? You’ve written a lot of fiction. You’ll have spent a good portion of your life in wonderful dream worlds you’ve created. You can live with that!


You have to stretch as a writer. Not so far that you tear all your muscles. You don’t try to pole vault twenty feet if your personal best is ten.

But to write for all you’re worth you need to go a little further. You need to reach further than your grasp. Take risks with your characters, plots, settings, research. Go deeper. Because if you don’t, you’re just producing what people can get elsewhere. Vanilla.

Market Sense

Headline: publishers and agents want to make money. In fact, they need to make money, or they go out of business.

It’s not a bad thing to make money. If you want to write and not get paid, you can skip this part. But if you do want to make some lettuce as a writer, you should constantly be asking this question: who on Earth would pay good money to read what I’m writing?

Whether you self-publish or seek a house contract, you need to have an answer!

Make it your goal to assess yourself in each of these areas, and then make a plan to improve in each one this coming year. And the year after that. And the year …

That’s kaizen, friend.

James Scott Bell will be a featured speaker at the 10 Minute Novelists Conference August 9 – 11 in Cincinnati, OH. A winner of the International Thriller Writers Award, Jim is also the author of several bestselling books on the craft of writing, including Plot & Structure and Write Your Novel From the Middle. To receive updates on Jim’s books and appearances, please visit this page on his website.