2016 Workshop Descriptions

FEBRUARY

Dates: February 3-28

POV: It's Not Just a Point of View

Instructor: Shannon Donnelly

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Third person, first person, multiple viewpoints, single—all of it can be confusing.  What works?  When to change viewpoint?  And how do you take POV so deep a reader feels everything a character feels?  This workshop covers some basic elements of POV control, including how to make better choices for which character's viewpoint to use and how to write deep POV that compels a reader's attention.  Exercises will be offered to sharpen POV control, one of the most fundamental, and strongest techniques in any writer's tool box.

 

We’ll cover:

           1) Types of POV - advantages & disadvantages to each
            2) Which character's eyes to use
            3) How to know when POV is slipping
            4) POV and tense (past vs. present vs. future)
            5) Changing POV smoothly & effectively
            6) Deep POV - getting inside your characters
            7) Writing Techniques to help
            8) Editing to tighten POV

BIO:

Shannon Donnelly’s writing has won numerous awards, including a RITA nomination for Best Regency, the Grand Prize in the "Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer" contest, judged by Nora Roberts, RWA's Golden Heart, and others. Her writing has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: "simply superb"..."wonderfully uplifting"....and "beautifully written."

Her Regency romances can be found as ebooks on all formats, and with Cool Gus Publishing, and include a series of four novellas.

She also has out the Mackenzie Solomon, Demon/Warders Urban Fantasy series, Burn Baby Burn and Riding in on a Burning Tire, and the Urban Fantasy, Edge Walkers. Her work has been on the top seller list of Amazon.com and includes Paths of Desire, a Historical Regency romance.

She is the author of several young adult horror stories, and computer games. She lives in New Mexico with two horses, two donkeys, two dogs, and only one love of her life. Shannon can be found online at sd-writer.com, facebook.com/sdwriter, and twitter/sdwriter.

 

FEBRUARY

How to Write FAST

Instructor: Peter Andrews

Dates: FEBRUARY 1-26

PRICE: $20/$25

 

How to Write FAST

Crank up the efficiency and get that novel, short story, article or script DONE. Through exercises, evaluations, tips and technologies, you can learn to write faster. Discover how to break through blocks, get ideas, develop plots, draft and polish in less time without losing quality.

 

Using handouts, group discussions, writing samples and exercises this workshop will cover:

·   Identifying obstacles to writing and remedies

·   Questions that help build plots, arguments, scenes and synopses

·   Developing your process notebook so you can write for results

·   Technology that speeds your writing

·   Fast identification of prose problems and checklists for rewriting

·   Dealing with distractions

·   Measurements that keep you on track

·   Writer's block and how to use it

 

Instructional Methods:  By the end of the course, you should be able to:

·   Recognize obstacles to writing and avoid them

·   Use checklists and questions to create and organize material

·   Create stories and articles more quickly

·   Adapt and document known processes for writing that fit their style and intent

 

About Peter Andrews:

      Currently a full-time speechwriter.

      has taught four different virtual courses for IBM and its clients.

      has also worked professionally in PR, as a Web producer and a radio producer. 

      has hundreds of nonfiction articles in print, and has written and produced 30-minute videos. 

      co-wrote one non-fiction book that came out October 2009;  another nonfiction book (ghosted) came out in December 2010.

      wrote a one-act play that was selected for two festivals, with performances in both cases (once in a Manhattan theater).

      has sold dozens of short stories, from 300 words to 5000 words.

      has 12 finals (Oct '09 - Oct '10) in romance chapter contests.

 

 

MARCH

Hardwired for Hot

Instructor: Merien Grey

Dates: March 7-31

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Ever wonder why, we as humans, find the things we do attractive? There are biological reasons we enjoy sex but what about before we get to that part? As humans, we are hardwired to find certain things "hot". This workshop examines the newest innovative theory behind what determines what we find attractive and why. It will cover what catches our eye in the first place and why we immediately have the urge to leave or stay. There will be an extensive list of traits and mannerisms the average human female instinctually finds hot, with scientific explanations why. The material is based on cutting edge anthropological, biological and sociological concepts that are beginning to unravel the mysteries of initial human attraction. 

 

Bio:

 

Merien is always into something and curious about nearly everything. She has multiple degrees specializing in Anthropology, Sociology, English and Communications Technology. She spent a decade traveling the world as a military intelligence analyst learning and observing all manner of people and their behavior. Before becoming an author and speaker, her occupations ranged from bartender to infrared security system instructor and developer to many years as a 911 operator. She currently lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier with her husband, two dogs and a little one who rules the land with an iron hand at least until bedtime.

 

 

 

APRIL

Incorporating Humor Into Your Writing

Instructor: Ally Broadfield

Dates: April 4-29

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Humor is a part of our everyday lives. It can inspire hope, relieve tension, and help connect us to one another. Learning to use humor effectively will enhance your work and may even boost your creativity by challenging you to approach your craft in a new way. Even if your subject matter is serious, the subtle use of humor can help ease tension and give your readers a chance to breathe again after an intense scene. Learning to be funny is one of the most difficult writing skills to master, but as long as you possess a sense of humor, this class will teach you the skills you need to add humor to your stories.

 

Bio:

 

Ally has worked as a horse trainer, director of marketing and development, freelance proofreader, and a children’s librarian, among other things. None of them were as awesome as writing romance novels (though the librarian gig came closest). She lives in Dallas, Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. Oh, and her husband.

 

Ally likes to curse in Russian because very few people know what she’s saying, and spends most of what would be her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She has many stories in her head looking for an opportunity to escape onto paper. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.

 

 

MAY

YOU ARE WHAT YOU SAY

Instructor: Kat Duncan

Dates: May 9-27

PRICE: $20/$25

 

This workshop examines the elements needed to reveal character through dialogue. Using character development techniques you already know such as goals, motivations, and backstory, learn how to reveal strong characters through their words and connect those words to other elements in your story. Successful novels have an increasing amount of dialogue over narration, forcing dialogue sequences to do more and more of the work of telling the story. Learn how to reveal important information about characters, turning thoughts, appearances, and actions into spoken words. Workshop includes lessons on using dialogue to build tension and anticipation, reveal story secrets, enhance setting and hit readers in the gut with emotion. Includes lessons on dialogue tags, and blending dialogue with narration. Examples from bestselling novels offered as models.

About the Instructor:  Kat Duncan is a creation extremist who is doing her best to identify human creativity and free it from captivity, one student at a time. As a young child, Kat once tried to confess the telling of her stories to her parish priest because she thought they fit the definition the nuns gave for telling a lie. With her lies fully sanctioned and blessed by church authorities, Kat writes stories to entertain and enlighten. She is a Fulbright Scholar who spent a year in West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kat has a Master's Degree in Education and over a dozen years of experience teaching students from elementary through college and beyond. Her stories span a range from realistic historicals to quirky suspense. For more information: http://www.katduncanwriting.com

 

 

JUNE

SELF-EDITING: AN AUTHOR’S NIGHTMARE

Instructor: Melinda Williams

Dates: June 6-30       

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Improve, enrich, and master the art of self-editing. Gain knowledge of this daunting task and unleash your dreams. Identify what is takes to make self-editing realistic but transforms the author into a world of success. In this, course we will look at techniques that will maximize the time you as the author edits your work in progress. Master self-editing…. accomplish, unleash, and retain how to perfectly edit your own work.

 

Bio:

Melinda lives in the majestic mountains of Tennessee, but also calls breathtaking Arizona home. She is a published author. She writes articles for Southern Writers Magazine, Native Hoop Magazine, and is an instructor for Savvy Authors. When she isn’t creating a suspense story with captivating characters, she can be found reading, writing magazine articles, or spending time with her husband Vernon and her kids, Shaelee and Erik.

 

As a young child, she loved reading and writing.  Many nights she would wrap up in a blanket and daydream, while creating characters for her own stories. To her surprise, she started writing and creating her very own world, a place where she could go and lose herself with just a pen and paper.

 

​She grew up with the fascination of the American Indian.  Her love for them grew rapidly as she read about them from her history book.  She wanted to show, in her writings, the proud people that the American Indians truly are.  They show honor and respect for all living things.  If she can capture just a small portion of that in her writings then that would be an added bonus for her. Contact her at authormelindawilliams@gmail.com

 

 

JULY

THE ACTUAL HOW OF MAKING TIME TO WRITE - PROJECT MANAGEMENT FOR WRITERS 

Instructor: Merien Grey

Dates: July 4-29

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Are you tired of people telling you if you want to write bad enough you will make time? Most of us would do that on our own if we knew how or even where to start. You are not lazy or unmotivated and you know you want it bad enough. You just need someone to give you some hints on how to actually do it. With a corporate and military background in process, project and time management Merien will give a full hour of specific, do-able proven ways to make minor changes and create more time to write. She will also teach you how to assess your situation and personal practices to see how to get the most out of the time you already have for yourself, your family and your career. 

 

Bio:

 

Merien is always into something and curious about nearly everything. She has multiple degrees specializing in Anthropology, Sociology, English and Communications Technology. She spent a decade traveling the world as a military intelligence analyst learning and observing all manner of people and their behavior. Before becoming an author and speaker, her occupations ranged from bartender to infrared security system instructor and developer to many years as a 911 operator. She currently lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier with her husband, two dogs and a little one who rules the land with an iron hand at least until bedtime.

 

 

AUGUST

ALPHA MALES, FROM ABE TO ZEUS  

Instructor: Laurie Schnably Campbell

Dates: August 1-12

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Readers love alpha males. Maybe not for a real-life marriage, but for a book of romantic adventure there's nothing better. Yet writers sometimes find it tricky to create an alpha male without falling into stereotypes. What MAKES an alpha male? (It's more than just power.) What challenges does he face? (The answers will surprise you.) How can your hero take on solely the alpha-male traits you want? Get ready to find out -- and maybe to fall in love.

About the Instructor: Laurie never understood the appeal of alpha males until she married one. She has to admit there are (numerous) times when he doesn't live up to what a heroine might want, although those are (whew!) balanced by times he exceeds it.

 

MAKING YOUR ALPHA FEMALE SHINE

Instructor: Laurie Schnably Campbell

Dates: August 15-26

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Throughout history, alpha women have drawn their power from more than just a top-dog mate. Still, even a real-life heroine who rules her world, whether that's a business or a family or an empire, can't have ALL the answers. Otherwise there's no story! Completely separate from the Alpha Males class, this session focuses on how to create what readers enjoy most in an alpha female. That includes her hidden weaknesses...and her hidden strengths.

About the Instructor: When her first Alpha Males class led to requests for one on Alpha Females, Laurie spent two years analyzing strong woman -- all the way from Zenobia, Cleopatra's 4th-century descendant, to Angelina Jolie. Is there a difference? Yep.

 

SEPTEMBER

WORLD BUILDING FROM AN INTELLIGENCE POINT OF VIEW

Instructor: Merien Grey

Dates: September 5-30

PRICE: $20/$25

 

As writers we always look for ways to make our jobs easier.  If you are building a world from scratch you have enough on your plate.  One of the things intelligence professionals do is build country studies.  They are very similar to what an author does when they build their world.  It is very easy to take one or two country studies that have a characteristic based on something in your story and find dozens of cause and effect relationships to build conflict.  All you have to do is know where and how to look.  By the time we are done you will know how to build your own country study and how to use the ones already available.

 

Your setting is a character of its own.  It can push characters to kill, love, despair, or feel great joy.  Everything in your story stems from and hinges on the world you build it in.  When the stakes are high (life, love, money, freedom) the first thing any real organization (military or private) does is do a country study or some version thereof. These studies expose where potential conflicts may arise for those wanting to travel in this new land.  As a writer you are after those potential conflicts, they ground your writing in reality and keep the cardboard out of your characters.  This course is to provide you with new insights to how everyday things can change your setting.  There are over forty key items intelligence professionals know before anyone goes near new territory.  You will be given the perspective to look at your world like an intelligence operative would.   Links to real world country studies will be provided along with how to understand them and apply that type of information gathering to your world making it fuller, more believable and roiling with conflict for you to capitalize on.

 

Bio:

 

Merien spent eleven years in the military intelligence.  She learned a lot of things and specifically ways to pick things apart to determine what significance each tiny item has. She is always into something and curious about nearly everything. She has multiple degrees specializing in Anthropology, Sociology, English and Communications Technology. She spent a decade traveling the world as a military intelligence analyst learning and observing all manner of people and their behavior. Before becoming an author and speaker, her occupations ranged from bartender to infrared security system instructor and developer to many years as a 911 operator. She currently lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier with her husband, two dogs and a little one who rules the land with an iron hand at least until bedtime.

 

 

 

OCTOBER

GETTING READY FOR NANO

Instructor: Susan Palmquist

Dates: October 3 - 38, 2016

PRICE: $20/$25

 

Are you thinking about taking the challenge and writing a novel during the month of November? This workshop will act as a primer for doing just that. Think of it as a mini course for writing a novel.

 

During the workshop topics covered will include- getting ideas and narrowing them down. Picking the perfect characters for your story. Creating top-notch dialogue. Dealing with POV. Working from an outline so you don’t get lost mid-way through the month. How to find the motivation to stay the course, even when the Holidays beckon. Setting and sticking with your schedule.

 

Bio: Susan Palmquist writes under her own name and also her pen name Vanessa Devereaux. She’s the author of 80 plus books, including writing how tos, mysteries and romances and a bestselling author of erotic romances and erotica. She pens three ongoing series called Perfect Pairing, Big Sky County and the bestselling Kalispell Shifters. Her books have been bestsellers on all the major book sites, including Amazon, Bookstrand, All Romance E Books(TOP 50 Author), Fictionwise, and Kobo. She’s also a recipient of Evernight’s Reader’s Choice Award.

She’s been teaching workshops for various RWA chapters for the last five years. and has been a writing tutor for four years for an online writing school.

You can find out more about Susan and her work at both www.thiswriterslife.com and www.vanessadevereaux.com

 

NOVEMBER

DIALOGUE: DON’T LET ‘EM SAY WHAT YOU MEAN     

Instructor: Shannon Donnelly

Dates: November 1 - 23, 2016

PRICE: $20/$25

 

We all know great dialogue when we read it—and the best dialogue seems effortless. But good dialogue takes work and a few key ingredients.

 

What do you need to get your characters talking in ways that make for riveting, exciting scenes?

1) Your Characters’ Voices

2) Making it Better Than Reality

3) Subtext: Layering Under the Words

4) Accents, Ye Olde English, and Slang 

5) Internal Dialogue – What’s too Much?

6) Invisible Tags and Punctuation

7) Punch it! – Making it Matter

Bio:

 

Shannon Donnelly's writing has won numerous awards, including a RITA nomination for Best Regency, the Grand Prize in the "Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer" contest, judged by Nora Roberts, RWA's Golden Heart, the Laurel Wreath, the Winter Rose, the Bookseller's Best, and multiple finalists in the Holt Medallion, the Colorado ACE, the Golden Quill, and others.  Her work has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: "simply superb"..."wonderfully uplifting"....and "beautifully written."