Author and mentor/ coach David Hazard is offering two free workshops in May and June, in conjunction with View.
“My goal is to build a sustainable writing program through View,” Hazard said. “I’ll start out by covering some of the basic forms people are writing in generally… narrative writing techniques for use in fiction and nonfiction, historical narratives, memoirs, etc. We’ll also cover basic essay writing for self-help and other books. We’ll get into writing classes for playwriting, and eventually poetry.”
“We want to create a program which is accessible to the everyday writer and which brings with it high standards,” said Hazard whose resume boasts almost 35 years in publishing.
Hazard has personal aspirations to acquire a lakefront property and create a writing habitat. He sees people coming to a bed and breakfast there, to work with him as a professional writing coach for a week or two at a time.
One such workshop is already scheduled for September 8-13, 2013 in the Adirondacks. To read more about it, and/or to register, go to www.itsyourlifebethere.com.
Hazard is currently working on a series of nature essays set in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. He’s also writing a book on developing one’s creative consciousness.
A resident of Marcy, Hazard has family roots in Long Lake and Indian Lake.
A student of journalism and public relations at Utica College, Hazard went on to work in public relations for a time.
This, he said, gave him well-rounded exposure to the two sides of communication, which is invaluable in his current profession.
“So much of what writers do is a complete misfire,” he said, “because they don’t know and understand their audience. What I do is study the audience with you, and make sure that what you’re writing really connects with your audience.”
While on staff with Chosen Books of Virginia, Hazard was exposed to marketing, promotion and the business side of writing, in addition to editing. Hazard has written and published over thirty books and coauthored others.
Hazard authored a twelve-book series of morning and evening readings entitled Rekindling the Inner Fire, and another series entitled Healthy Body, Healthy Soul, about alternative health and wellness.
“I’m heavily influenced by eastern spiritual practices,” Hazard said. “I show people how to use these practices in the service of creativity, to open up their creative minds.”
Hazard’s mentors in the publishing industry recognized his gift for discerning how to fix problem areas in manuscripts with which he worked.
He gained a reputation back in the 1980’s as a “Manuscript Doctor,” and was assigned as a mentor/coach to gifted authors who needed his skills.
Hazard has created whole lines of books for various publishing companies. This involved analyzing the needs in the readers’ market and designing a series of titles with outlines.
The publishing companies would then hire authors who would write on those topics.
In these professional capacities, Hazard enjoyed the privilege of working with a broad range of authors.
Hazard now sees himself filling another niche- that of mentor/coach for aspiring authors. He sees that the gap between publishing companies and authors has widened into a gulf which needs to be bridged.
From the 1980’s onward, Hazard said, publishing companies have focused on getting out a lot of product, rather than on developing new writers. New writers require a lot of ‘hand-holding’ and publishers don’t want to make that investment, he said.
For generations, the tradition was that editors were mentors.
They used to work closely with authors, coaching them through the writing process, and even helping them make transitions in their careers, when their ‘voices’ or subject matter changed.
But that is history, according to Hazard.
The results of this change, Hazard said, are that new authors find it virtually impossible to get a hearing with a publishing company or even an agent.
“The American reader still wants quality,” said Hazard, when discussing the huge increase in self-published books. “Much of what is self-published is unfiltered and undeveloped. Writers need help defining their concepts, as well as whom their writing is for and what it will do for them.”
Hazard will present “Success at Publishing and Self-Publishing” on Sunday, June 9 at 3 p.m. at View. Space is limited, so early sign-up is recommended at www.viewarts.com.