Get Fresh in ’15 Presents…

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Session Spotlight: The Dark Art of the Blurb & The Deep Mysteries of the Synopsis

On Saturday 22nd of August at 9:30am as part of the Business Stream, Kate Cuthbert & Ainslie Paton demonstrate the elusive art of blurb and synopsis writing.

Writing a killer synopsis and a cracking blurb can feel harder than writing the whole book. But a poorly written synopsis and a boring blurb can wreck a good book’s prospects.

Synopsis writing is a formula and blurb writing has its own special practices adapted from copywriting techniques.

Kate Cuthbert and Ainslie Paton take you behind the mysteries and reveal the dark arts of synopsis and blurb writing, so you can write content that sells.

Your Presenters – Kate Cuthbert and Ainslie Paton

Kate Cuthbert has written about romance for almost as long as she’s read them. Starting with a Master’s thesis for her MA in Writing, Editing, and Publishing, Kate has written book reviews and romance-focused features for the Brisbane Courier-Mail, All About Romance, Bookseller and Publisher Magazine, the New York Journal of Books, the Australian Romance Reader’s Association, and Booktopia. She is one of Australia’s foremost experts on the romance genre and its place in the publishing world.

Ainslie Paton is a corporate storyteller who’s financed a life writing media releases, scripts, speeches, presentations, advertising copy, websites, videos and stage plays.  She has various hard core qualifications and writes contemporary fiction for both traditional and self publishing.  She’ll release her 20th title in 2015.

Tell us about yourself in 10 words or less.

Kate is Managing Editor at Escape Publishing.  She loves to read.

Ainslie is a self and traditionally published author. She loves to write.

What prompted you to put together this workshop for Get Fresh in 15 conference?

The long answer:  Synopsis and blurb writing is part of the business of being an author.  A writer’s ability to talk about their work in short form can be as important as being able to produce a book.  But it’s a different style of writing to narrative form and it’s easy when you know how.

The short answer:  It’s hard.  It’s good to get help.

What is the best part/aspect of conference for you?

Kate: The Escape After Party and catching up with other editors.  Being with my tribe.

Ainslie: The hotel room – no seriously.  But the Escape dinner and catching up with writer friends is ace.

What will participants take away from this session? (OR what is the key outcome or take-home message?)

After the session participants will have new tools and approaches to use to craft a synopsis that gets attention and a blurb that sells.  There may be references to helicopters, icebergs, hooks and quirks.

Will there be hands-on exercises or audience participation?

Participants will be expected to act out their blurbs and vogue their synopsis.  What?  No, but we do hope it will be fun, informative and useful.

Which members will benefit most from this session?

Aspiring, emerging, and author-publisher authors, or anyone who has spent days trying to write a blurb.  We know who you are.

What is your latest/current/upcoming book release and where can members find out more about you? 

Kate releases like a million books a year, every year with Escape Publishing.

Ainslie has a more modest haul.  She has three releases with Escape in 2015 and will self publish her first series, an Asian Gothic that no one will understand.

Social media links:


Twitter: @Katydidinoz @AinsliePaton

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