As I mentioned last week, I’m speaking at the 2011 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Conference in September.
Actually, I’m speaking twice.
I’m teaching a Friday morning Master class on publishing contracts and also a Saturday afternoon seminar called “Fair is Foul and Foul is Fair: Copyright, Infringement and Fair Use.” The Master classes require pre-registration, but the Saturday class is open to all regular conference attendees.
The conference brochure describes the Master class:
Practicing attorney Susan Spann will examine Contracts and Copyrights: How to Read and Understand a Publishing Deal. During the first part of the workshop, Susan will walk you through a basic publishing contract, explaining the various terms and issues writers should consider before signing. Then, audience members can ask questions about copyright, contracts, and other legal issues. Her teaching style is active and she uses real-world examples to avoid dry terminology and explanations.
It also has biographical information, which I cut off because I do enough shameless self-promotion here (and also because if you want to read the rest you can click through and read it on the RMFW website – made you look!).
That’s an accurate description for one paragraph (which is probably good, since I wrote it). In addition, I intend to cover some basic terms of agent-author agreements, why publishers want to hang onto certain rights even if they may not ever use them, how to know when your rights revert to you (and, perhaps more importantly, when they don’t), and plenty of other issues.
And yes, “real world examples” means war stories. Lots of war stories (with names omitted or changed to protect the allegedly innocent).
The copyright and fair use class will deal with basic copyright (what is it, where does it come from, and what rights does it include), infringement (or “how not to become a defendant”) and the fair use doctrine. One hour isn’t enough time to tell you everything, but if a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, I’ll try to get your photo on the Post Office wall – or help you keep it off, if that’s your style.
Last year was my first time at the Colorado Gold conference – as a writer only, and not a presenter – but I’m delighted to be going back and even more to be sharing my skills with the group. As conferences go, this is one of the best I’ve attended and I recommend it to writers at any level of skill and experience.
If you’re going, hop into the comments and let me know – and make sure to say hi in Denver!