2018 Workshop Descriptions




Instructor: Ines Johnson

Dates: March 5-28, 2018

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



In this practical workshop, veteran television writer and screenwriter instructor Ines Johnson will guide novelists through a series of steps to designed to take a manuscript from the written word to the visual world of the screen and teleplay. Using a number of books that have been adapted successfully, and some not so successfully, into movies and television series, Ines will show authors how to break their novels down to their story core of the word and logline, and translate their plot points into the beat sheet of the screen.


About Ines Johnson:

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!

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.





Instructor: Susan Palmquist

Dates: April 2-27, 2018

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



Are you struggling with creating your characters or are you getting rejection letters but you’re pretty sure you have a storyline that rocks?


It isn’t always the plot readers remember the most about a book but a character or characters that captures their attention; holds their interest, and forces them to read on to find out what happens.


They’re the people in your story who beckons to the reader from page one and says I’ve got this story to tell you, do you want to come along for the ride?


This workshop isn’t so much a how to create a great character but  will offer you a set of ten exercises for you to try in order to help you flesh out lifelike three dimensional people every time you sit down to write.


Once you’ve tackled all ten of them, you’ll know your character like your best friend, and may even know them better than you know yourself.


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.






Instructor: Peter Andrews

Dates: May 1-22, 2018

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



The most valuable thing you have to offer as a writer is yourself —your knowledge, insights, perspectives, and experiences. By mining what you alone have to offer, you’ll fulfill your potential and connect deeply with your readers.


In this course, students will learn out to:

  • Identify and assess what they uniquely have to offer readers,

  • Put a focus on the issues that matter most to them and conveying the emotional truths that make these matter to others, and

  • Select projects that fit their voices, skills, and interests so they can connect more effectively with readers.



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.






Instructor: Cassandra Carr

Dates: June 3-22, 2018           

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



Have you ever finished the first draft of a book and thought it was missing something, but you weren't sure what? That "what" is probably layering - the process of adding details to your story, from character traits to body language to descriptions of the environment surrounding your story. Each type of layering will be described, complete with examples, and then you'll have the chance to try your hand at layering your own work, with critiques from me on how you did.


About Cassandra Carr:

Cassandra Carr has been writing her whole life and has been published since March 2011. She lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration and daughter, Too Cute for Words. Cassandra writes in a variety of genres, pairings, and heat levels, so there's something for everyone, and more than one dozen sites have named her books "Top Picks" or "5 Star Reads".






Instructor: Sorcha Mowbry

Dates: July 9-22, 2018

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



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.


About Sorcha Mowbry:

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!





Course: THE ALPHA MALE: FROM ABE TO ZEUS (two week intensive class)

Instructor: Laurie Schnebly

Dates: August 6-17, 2018

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



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 them 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 Laurie Schnebly:

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.





Course: MAKING YOUR ALPHA FEMALE SHINE (two week intensive class)

Instructor: Laurie Schnebly

Dates: August 20-31

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



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 one shows how to create what readers enjoy most in an alpha female, including her hidden weaknesses...and her hidden strengths.


About Laurie Schnebly:

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.





Course: WRITE THE Efffing BOOK

Instructor: Mary Thompson

Dates: September 1-28, 2018

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



You have an idea. It's a great one. You know you can turn it into a book that will sell like crazy. But you just don't know where to get started. 


This workshop will take you through the process of plotting out your novel in a way that even (brave) pantsers will want to try. We will dive into who your characters are, what they really want, and why they think they can’t have it. We will plot the major points of your novel, and you will walk away with a plan that gives you enough detail to get started, whether you are a plotter and want to have each piece in place or a pantser who likes finding the surprise inside your story. 


By dissecting popular novels, we will explore multiple examples of how to take your idea from something small to something spectacular.


About Mary Thompson:

Mary E. Thompson writes scintillating stories with a side of hope. Her steamy, small town stories give readers hope and keep them coming back for more. As an indie author of over 30 stories, Mary knows how to not only start, but also how to finish a book. She's developed her plotting process through years of experience in figuring out what works for her, as well as coaching other authors into getting their book started. 


When Mary isn’t writing, reading, or helping other authors, she’s doing her best to raise her daughter and son to be good people and living out her own real life romance with her amazing husband. Visit her at http://maryethompson.com to learn more. 






Instructor: JoSelle Vanderhooft

Dates: October 9-30, 2018

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



Verbose descriptions, redundancies, and other forms of overwriting can bog down a good story and be the difference between a good book and a truly excellent one. Freelance editor JoSelle Vanderhooft will teach you secrets for line editing that will help you shorten sentences, get rid of repetition, learn the difference between a wordy sentence and a long sentence, and more. 


About JoSelle Vanderhooft:

JoSelle Vanderhooft has been editing since 2004. Her clients include publishers such as Dreamspinner Press, Siren/Bookstrand, and Bella Books and individual authors who have been nominated for numerous awards or reached Amazon bestseller status. As an author, anthologist, and poet, her own work has been a finalist for the Rainbow  Reader Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. She lives in South Florida with her family and two marvelous orange kitty cats. Visit her online at www.joedits.com.





Course: STORY CLINIC     

Instructor: Peter Andrews

DATES: November 1-21, 2018

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



Do you have creaking characters or plodding plots? Has your tale lost its zip? Did you pants your way into a blind alley? From time to time, everyone needs help in getting cooperation from their characters and keeping their stories on track and moving forward. This clinic is design to help you figure out what’s wrong and what to do through a series of questions, tips, discussions, diagnostics… and a little handholding. You can bring your own problems to the course and you can learn even more by joining in as others search for answers.


So whether you have a secondary character taking over or are caught in the mid-novel slump, this interactive workshop is for you.


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.