2017 Workshop Descriptions

JANUARY

Course: Story Bootcamp - Start fast! Keep it humming. End with authority.

Instructor: Peter Andrews

Dates: January 3-31

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

In the first week, the bootcamp will focus on getting a good start. Students will develop loglines, workshop their first five pages, and explore plotting. In the second week of the class, the instructor will hold a productivity clinic, stress test protagonists’ arcs, and find the juice in conflicts. The third week will focus on connecting the dots between scenes and chapters and practicing dialogue sprints. In the fourth and final week, students will have the chance to share and critique ideas for endings and to prepare to withstand the dreaded mid-novel slump.

 

No slackers! This is a highly interactive class that depends on commitment and participation.

 

About Peter Andrews:

Peter Andrews is a full-time independent writer, and he has worked as a speechwriter, a Web producer, and a radio producer. He writes the popular How to Write Fast blog (http://howtowritefast.blogspot.com/). He teaches writing at Westchester Community College, the Hudson Valley Writers Center and the Westchester Center for the Arts. He has authored two books, sold dozens of short stories, and published over 200 articles explaining technology to lay audiences.

 

FEBRUARY

Course: How to Write Humorous Characters

Instructor: Ally Broadfield

Dates: February 6-March 3

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Characters are the key to adding humor to any story, so in order to add (or increase) humor in your writing, you need to focus on how you develop your characters. We’ll study what psychologists have identified as the Big Five Model of Personality to help create relatable characters, consider some common romance tropes and which character flaws fuel them, discuss the importance of backstory as it relates to your character’s flaws, and how these flaws are used to complete your character’s arc for a satisfying ending to your story. We’ll discuss examples from television, movies, and books to reinforce the lessons.

About Ally Broadfield:

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, as well as middle grade and young adult literature.

 

 

MARCH – 1

Course: SERIALIZING: Using the Structure of Episodic Television

Instructor: Ines Johnson

Dates: March 6-31

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Shows like Scandal and The Walking Dead pride themselves on the jaw dropping final few seconds of the show which have viewers eager to tune in the next week. Never hear another complaint about a cliffhanger ending again when you learn to plot your serialized novel like a season of a television show. Let veteran television writer, Ines Johnson teach you her twelve-point method to structure each episode of your serial. Then go further by planning the 6 to 12 episodes of the season of your story.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Ines Johnson:

Ines Johnson is a television writer turned romance novelist. She currently teaches college level courses in scriptwriting and story development. Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you'll love her books! Ines is best known for her charming fairytale retelling romance Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story. The Cindermama series features single mothers who’ve given up on love after kissing toads, but they each get a second chance at love with a prince charming. Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she's contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations. Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

 

 

MARCH – 2

Course: MARKETING 201 – Book Tours (two-week intensive)

Instructor: Ines Johnson

Dates: March 20-31

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Book Tours are an excellent and cost effective way to spread the word about your new release and gain exposure. However, they can be a costly endeavor for new writers whose dimes have gone to copyedits and covers. Learn how to DIY your blog tour in six steps which include building a media kit, targeting the right bloggers for your book, tailoring your email to each blogger to break through their slush pile, how to keep records of which sites you’re visiting along with what and when to give them materials, promoting your tour on your social media sites, and following up to ensure you’ll be invited back. Using these techniques with each of my book releases, I was able to launch into the Amazon Top 100 during my release week.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Ines Johnson:

Ines Johnson is a television writer turned romance novelist. She currently teaches college level courses in scriptwriting and story development. Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you'll love her books! Ines is best known for her charming fairytale retelling romance Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story. The Cindermama series features single mothers who’ve given up on love after kissing toads, but they each get a second chance at love with a prince charming. Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she's contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations. Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

 

 

APRIL – 1

Course: DEVELOPING AN ACTIVE VOICE FOR EMOTIONAL IMPACT

Instructor: Kat Duncan

Dates: April 1-30

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

This workshop contains a great set of lessons with loads of ideas for improving your writing. You're going to learn how to use the active voice. Not only will we learn about the technical (grammar) parts of active and passive, but we'll take a look at writing that is technically active but feels passive. And then I'll show you lots of options for handling all of the above. We're also going to focus on the emotional impact of our writing so we can build tension and control pacing. And on top of that I'm going to show you my special technique for creating figurative language and action-emotion word combinations that will liven up your manuscript.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Kat Duncan:

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.

 

APRIL – 2

Course: CANDID CONFESSIONS OF AN AUTHOR

Instructor: Alexa Bourne

Dates: April 3-28

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Have you ever wondered what happens after the contract is signed? Alexa Bourne takes you on a candid tour of her world from the moment she received THE CALL until long after the book hit the cyber shelves. She'll give you the inside scoop on all the behind the scenes work that the readers and unpublished authors don't get to see. She'll give you the pros & cons, ups & downs, that accompany each step of the process, and she'll share how she handled (or struggled with) each one. Join us for a sneak peek into the life of an author!

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Alexa Bourne:

Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense (both with and without paranormal elements) and contemporary romance (set in the UK!), and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.

 

When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website, www.alexabourne.com.

 

 

MAY

Course: GREAT BEGINNINGS: Hooking the Reader in the First Two Chapters

Instructor: Susan Palmquist

Dates: May 1-26

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

They say we only get one opportunity to make a good first impression and that’s oh so true when it comes to the opening chapters of your story.  Before you can pull a reader into your story, you’ve got to dazzle an editor or agent. Sometimes two or three chapter is all you have to convince them that they should read your complete manuscript.

 

In this workshop, you’ll be learning all the do’s and don’ts of how to start with a bang, easy ways to make the reader fall in love with your characters and have them turning the pages and then begging to see more.

 

We’ll be covering everything from characterization, plotting, dialogue and point of view and how to polish those first precious chapters to make them near perfect.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Susan Palmquist:

Susan Palmquist writes under her own name and also her pen name Vanessa Devereaux. She’s the author of 100 plus books, including writing how tos, mysteries and romances and a bestselling author of erotic romances and erotica. She pens six ongoing series. 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. And as of fall 2016, has her own critique and tutoring site.

 

 

JUNE – 1

Course: ENDINGS THAT BUZZ – Answering the story question with clarity, emotion, and power.

Instructor: Peter Andrews

Dates: June 5-26         

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Endings are your last chance to make a good impression. A great ending can close the sale with an editor, satisfy a reader, and get people talking. Learn the four essentials of a strong ending. Find out how to reach "The End" and what to do if you paint yourself into a corner. Test your finale and discover how to finish your story in a way that will resonate with readers.

 

This class will be interactive as students bring questions and will work with the instructor and peers to find, enhance, and polish endings. We will also work backward, developing engaging endings and working through the essentials of building the stories they deserve.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Peter Andrews:

Peter Andrews is a full-time independent writer, and he has worked as a speechwriter, a Web producer, and a radio producer. He writes the popular How to Write Fast blog (http://howtowritefast.blogspot.com/). He teaches writing at Westchester Community College, the Hudson Valley Writers Center and the Westchester Center for the Arts. He has authored two books, sold dozens of short stories, and published over 200 articles explaining technology to lay audiences.

 

JUNE – 2

Course: CONFLICT HURTS   

Instructor: Melinda Curtis

Dates: June 6-22         

SPECIAL PRICE: $35 (Please see Pay Link marked "Conflict Hurts Special Price" on Pay Page)

 

Description:

Conflict hurts - not just to your characters - but it's painful to create and carry through on a page. However, conflict drives story and holds an editor's attention, which means it sells books. And conflict compels readers to turn the page, which helps create an emotionally satisfying read and repeat purchases. Writers need conflict!

 

Bring your story idea to this interactive online course and learn how to create compelling conflict and stronger plots, one element at a time.

 

Takeaways from this interactive course:

  • Developing story goals that are hindered by conflict

  • Better understanding of internal and external conflict

  • How to deepen character and create emotionally satisfying reads

  • How to develop "bumpers" for your characters so they act consistently throughout your narrative

  • How to summarize and present your story in a way that catches the attention of editors and agents

 

Participants will come away with tools they can use to build, refine, or edit their stories. Sign up today!

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Melinda Curtis:

Melinda Curtis is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling hybrid author of over 35 books and novellas. She bears scars from editor rejections and bruises on her forehead from head-thunks while trying to learn conflict. Join her for this user-friendly course that will add much-needed, actionable tools to your writer toolbox. Conflict doesn’t have to hurt!

 

 

JULY – 1

Course: PUMPING UP THE SEXUAL VOLUME: Writing Sex Scenes that Sizzle

Instructor: Sorcha Mowbray

Dates: July 10-23

PRICE: $15 YRW members/$20 non-members

 

Description:

Have you ever read your sex scenes and thought, eh? Do you pick up other author’s books and wish you could write those scorching hot love scenes? Maybe you just want to turn up the sexual heat a notch or two in your own writing? Then this is the class for you.

 

In Pumping Up The Sexual Volume we are going to talk about how to develop a sex scene step by step, give you some tools to accomplish just that, and maybe answer some naughty questions along the way.

Once this class is done you should be able to write sizzling hot love scenes that include:

  • Simmering sexy kisses

  • Ovation worthy oral sex

  • Mind boggling intercourse

 

And it will all be done with purpose. This class is lecture/discussion based, so get your fingers warmed up for questions and your muses ready and raring to go!

 

CAUTION: This course is about sex. I will use graphic language and we may discuss sexual acts that you personally are uncomfortable with. Everyone has their comfort zone. I will do my best to keep the discussion on topic and pertinent to the class, but if you write inspirational or sweet romances—this is probably not the class for you. Consider yourself warned.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Sorcha Mowbray:

Amazon best-selling, multi-Published erotic romance author Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband. She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!

 

JULY – 2

Course: CREATING A BOOK TRAILER

Instructor: Ines Johnson

Dates: July 5-28

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Book trailers are visual depictions of a book’s storyline, sometimes made by fans, which are a great way to get readers enthused. In this workshop veteran screenwriter turned romance novelist, Ines Johnson, will teach you the four simple steps of writing copy to persuade a potential reader to pick up your book. Then we’ll investigate software to turn that copy into a visual book trailer. And finally, we’ll share our trailers on streaming sites like YouTube and Vimeo.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Ines Johnson:

Ines Johnson is a television writer turned romance novelist. She currently teaches college level courses in scriptwriting and story development. Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you'll love her books! Ines is best known for her charming fairytale retelling romance Pumpkin: a Cindermama Story. The Cindermama series features single mothers who’ve given up on love after kissing toads, but they each get a second chance at love with a prince charming. Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she's contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations. Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

 

AUGUST

Course: GARGOYLES, SHIFTERS, SUCCUBUS & MORE: Writing Believable Non-Humans  

Instructor: Tina Gerow

Dates: August 7-25

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Everyone who reads paranormal loves all the non-human characters.  After all, vamps, shifters and all the rest are characters who draw us in and keep us there.  But they aren’t just humans with fangs or fur.

 

Many authors who have been quite successful writing human characters and have had a difficult time making the jump to a non-human character, have often found they had forgotten to factor that important “otherness” or “differentness” in when creating this new character.

 

Join us for an exploration of how to blend in that “otherness” to create those unforgettable paranormal characters your readers, agents and editors will fall in love with.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Cassie Ryan:

Cassie Ryan (a.k.a. Tina Gerow) started her published writing career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners, Brit Blaise suggested she try her hand at erotic romance, she gave it a shot! After all, she’s not a girl to turn down a challenge of any type. So, she pulled out all the stops and wrote the first several chapters of what would become CEREMONY OF SEDUCTION. After hearing Audrey LaFehr from Kensington speak on a new erotic romance line shed started called Aphrodisia, at RWA Nationals, Cassie sent in her partial and went back to writing. So, when Audrey fished her partial out of the slush pile and offered her a three book deal, Cassie Ryan was officially born. Cassie lives in Phoenix, Arizona and besides being a write-a-holic, is a frequent speaker on several writing and motivational topics.

 

 

SEPTEMBER – 1

Course: TOOL TIME: NOTE APPS FOR BUSY AUTHORS

Instructor: Sorcha Mowbray

Dates: September 4-17

PRICE: $15 YRW members/$20 non-members

 

Description:

Note: this class is also useful to pansters or writers who are not heavy plotters!

 

Have you heard about or seen various note taking apps on your phone or tablet? Ever wondered how you might use those for writing? Maybe you considered using one to jot ideas down on the run? How about plotting a book? What about writing a book?

 

In Tool Time: Note Apps for Busy Writers multi-published erotic romance author, Sorcha Mowbray, reveals how to utilize two of the most popular and FREE note taking apps available. And the tips she gives you can be applied to almost any note taking app with similar functionality.

 

Once this class is done you should be able to:

  • Understand the basics of note taking apps

  • Know how to structure your notebooks

  • Even create your own series bible

 

This class is lecture/discussion based, so get your fingers warmed up for questions and your logical side ready and raring to go!

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Sorcha Mowbray:

Amazon best-selling, multi-Published erotic romance author Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband. She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!

 

 

SEPTEMBER – 2

Course: THE CULTURE OF WAR, WEAPONS & VIOLENCE DURING THE REGENCY

Instructor: Merien Grey

Dates: September 5-30

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

Working as an intelligence professional for over a decade, one aspect I always had to consider was how the cultures and peoples I observed placed value on life. I was required to determine everything from how desensitized they were to violence and suffering, to how far they would go to preserve a life or how easily they would take it. Character research in fiction is done via many of the same basic principles. Where characters are concerned, watching one make life and death decisions or if and how they use a weapon, can be as telling as watching them give a tender caress or make love. If done subtly, a reader can discern more about a character in a few seconds of violence, or how the character reacts to violence, than in several paragraphs or even chapters’ worth of backstory.

 

This class covers the culture of war and violence just prior to and during the Regency. This workshop covers classes of weapons and various individual weapons for the purpose of representing them and their use accurately. To cover a weapon without covering how, why and to what degree of ferocity it was employed provides only a small portion of the story. I will cover how people who lived during the Regency looked at violence, how they came to feel that way, which weapons they might use for any number of confrontations and why. When taught online each section provides a list of programs, videos, photos and references. In person, I bring my own weapons collection and let attendees handle various period weapons. Upon closing the class in person or online, I give each participant a free pass to ask about one class related aspect specific to their work in progress, at their convenience, off loop, to round out the subject matter and make sure every student takes something useful away from the class.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Merien Grey:

Merien 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 presenter, her occupations ranged from soldier to bartender to a 911 operator for police, fire and medical aid. The last few years she been an active volunteer with several RWA chapters, to include board member, board liaison and conference committee chair positions. She has used that time to gain an understanding of literary romance culture and to teach about her experiences before she entered the world of romance fiction. Her debut release A Treasure in the Darkness is scheduled for Fall 2016. Merien lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier with her husband, incorrigibly lazy dog and a little one who rules the land with an iron hand at least until bedtime.

 

 

 

OCTOBER

Course: LIVING THE LIFE OF A WRITER: IS IT ALL REALLY GLAMOR & BON-BONS?

Instructor: Tina Gerow

Dates: October 10-27

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

There’s a lot more to being a writer than putting words on the page while sitting at home in your pajamas, or at Starbucks with your latte! Join us for a no nonsense discussion of the ins and outs of what’s actually involved in navigating and thriving in this crazy business called publishing.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Cassie Ryan:

Cassie Ryan (a.k.a. Tina Gerow) started her published writing career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners, Brit Blaise suggested she try her hand at erotic romance, she gave it a shot! After all, she’s not a girl to turn down a challenge of any type. So, she pulled out all the stops and wrote the first several chapters of what would become CEREMONY OF SEDUCTION. After hearing Audrey LaFehr from Kensington speak on a new erotic romance line shed started called Aphrodisia, at RWA Nationals, Cassie sent in her partial and went back to writing. So, when Audrey fished her partial out of the slush pile and offered her a three book deal, Cassie Ryan was officially born. Cassie lives in Phoenix, Arizona and besides being a write-a-holic, is a frequent speaker on several writing and motivational topics.

 

 

NOVEMBER

Course: CRAFTING THE SHORT STORY AND NOVELLA     

Instructor: Susan Palmquist

DATES: November 1-30

PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members

 

Description:

With the growth of the online market and e-books, there are more opportunities for writing short stories. This workshop is for those writers who want to give the shorter format a try, or for the beginning writer who wants to use short story writing as a stepping stone to novel writing. The workshop covers such things as differences in writing in long and short forms, finding the right story for the shorter format, plot, characterization, mistakes most writers make, and markets for short stories.

 

For more information or to register: http://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/#!workshops/cctds

 

About Susan Palmquist:

Susan Palmquist writes under her own name and also her pen name Vanessa Devereaux. She’s the author of 100 plus books, including writing how tos, mysteries and romances and a bestselling author of erotic romances and erotica. She pens six ongoing series. 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. And as of fall 2016, has her own critique and tutoring site.