Michael MaupinSt Paul, Minnesota, United States
The most important thing about any type of writing is telling a great story—creating a hook at the beginning, pulling the reader through the story and leaving the reader fulfilled at the end. I’ve been writing and telling stories since I was 13, when I started keeping a diary, and have been a freelance writer since 1992. Having worked as an editor interacting with freelancers, and being a writer myself, I understand both what is expected and how to meet those expectations. I’m also the owner of StoryShed Media, a digital startup publishing company for eBooks, and I currently write a blog, www.completelydark.com, originally about narrative in filmmaking. My parents died in 2008, so I switched the blog’s focus to family stories and trying to make sense of life while still being “completely in the dark.” Writing cannot be done in a vacuum. Writers need to ask good questions and listen carefully to the answers, continually networking, selling themselves and their writing expertise. Freelance writing, like any business, requires a plan, perseverance and follow through. But one of the most important skills a writer can have is being a good listener. Here’s a bit of what we’ll cover in our PivotPlanet session(s): • How to trust yourself when writing and editing • How to be creative when developing your ideas • How to hone an ear for language, and proceed from draft to edit to rewrite • How to network with writers, editors and publishers • How to have some fun, too
I‘ve worked professionally as a writer, book and magazine editor and screenwriting teacher. Along with freelance writing, I have published a novella, "The Crowded Room: A Novella by Jeffrey Dunne," which was chosen in 2005 by the Independent Publishers Book Awards as a semi-finalist in the juvenile and young adult fiction category and is available at amazon.com. My feature-length screenplay "The Wandering Moon" was a finalist in the Barry Morrow Screenwriting Fellowship, and was featured in a public reading held by the Minnesota Screenwriters’ Workshop in 1999. My work as an editor has been with large corporations and small independent publishers. As a teacher, I designed the curriculum for a beginning screenwriting class at Independent Feature Project-Minnesota (IFP-MN), which I taught for ten years at IFP-MN’s Minneapolis office. Fall semester 2008, I was adjunct faculty at Minneapolis Community & Technical College’s Cinema department, teaching “Introduction to Cinematic Storytelling.” In addition to a B.A. in English and American literature, I have a post-graduate certificate from the Denver Publishing Institute at the University of Colorado, Denver.