2020 Workshop Descriptions

2020 WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

https://www.yosemiteromancewriters.com/workshops

 

FEBRUARY

Course: Creating Unforgettable Worlds: World-Building in Speculative Fiction

Instructor: Midnight Voss

Dates: Feb. 3 – Feb. 29

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

For the writer of any genre of speculative fiction, world-building can be the most vexing or the most rewarding aspect of writing. How to build the world? What to do with all of these details? When to stop building? How to make the world clear and alive for your reader without bogging them down in details? All of these questions and more play a part as you, author/god, create the world in which your characters live, love. act and die.

In this workshop, you will learn the main strategies for world-building, guiding principles that will keep your world building relevant and lively for both you and the reader, and different methods for working details about your world into your novel.

We’ll help you set up organization for your worlk-building, in addition to providing a number of activities to flesh out the culture and mechanics of how your world works. Together, we can create worlds that your readers won’t ever want to leave.

About Midnight Voss:

Midnight Voss has been writing since she was eight years old. More recently, she has worked for several years as a successful ghostwriter and taught and worked with writers on academic and personal projects for over a decade as an instructor and a consultant. Together, she and Ivy Quinn co-authored a dragon-shifter urban fantasy, Frozen Ashes and Smoldering Shards, which appeared in the USA Today Bestselling Sirens and Scales boxset. She prefers to live in fantasy and dystopian worlds rather that contemporary and has taught world-building classes for Maryland Romance Writers. Currently, she is collaborating with Ivy on a revised and expanded edition of Frozen Ashes and starting Lavender Dusk, an f/f vampire series, and an m/m and f/f “Southern Pack” shifter series through Sapphic Alliance Fiction.

 

MARCH

Course: MAKING IT PRETTY – Part One (Weeks one thru four)

Instructor: Kayleigh Sky

Dates: 3/2 – 3/27

PRICE: March only: $20 YRW members; $25 non-members

            March and April: $30 YRW members; $35 non-members

Quality editing is an often expensive, but necessary, cost of business for indie authors; however, even traditionally published authors are confronting the need for upfront editing. You don’t want your name on the cover of a poorly edited book, but editing is costly. So what if you could reduce your investment by doing some of your own editing?  What if you could give yourself the competitive edge you need to grab the interest of an agent or acquisitions editor? Well, you can. By applying what you learn in this workshop, you can elevate your manuscript to the top of the slush pile or leapfrog over developmental and content edits right to line edits and proofreading. Sound like a good idea? Then let’s dive in.

Week One

  • Introductions

  • Pantsing or Plotting – Who cares and does it matter?

  • The Read Through

Week Two

  • The Big Picture

Week Three

  • A Big Decision

Week Four

  • Chapters

  • Scenes

 

*Resources

            > Books

            > Editing software

            > Writing tools

            > Blogs and newsletters

 

OBJECTIVES

In this workshop you will learn the different components of story, how they fit into an exciting, coherent, and emotionally satisfying whole, how to avoid common problems and mistakes, how to polish your story until it shines, and where to find the tools and resources to make your job easier. At the end of this workshop, you will be able to apply what you’ve learned to thoroughly and effectively self-edit a completed manuscript.

Each weekly topic will include a written lecture, with examples where appropriate, and a list of resources. (A summary of resources will be provided at the end of the workshop as well.) Each weekly lesson will conclude with a checklist of points to remember and suggestions and/or prompts for practice.

BIO

My name is Kayleigh Sky. I’m a hybrid author, published with Pride Publishing and my own imprint, Kiss Drunk Books. I write mm romance and gay fiction in a variety of subgenres and was nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Lambda Literary Awards (Gay Romance) for my book No Luck. I also own Story Smitten, an editing service for romance authors. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and the Bay Area Editors Forum. In 2018, I earned a certificate in Copyediting from the UC San Diego Extension.

 

APRIL

Course: MAKING IT PRETTY – Part 2 (Weeks five thru eight)

Instructor: Kayleigh Sky

Dates: April 6 - 30

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

Quality editing is an often expensive, but necessary, cost of business for indie authors; however, even traditionally published authors are confronting the need for upfront editing. You don’t want your name on the cover of a poorly edited book, but editing is costly. So what if you could reduce your investment by doing some of your own editing?  What if you could give yourself the competitive edge you need to grab the interest of an agent or acquisitions editor? Well, you can. By applying what you learn in this workshop, you can elevate your manuscript to the top of the slush pile or leapfrog over developmental and content edits right to line edits and proofreading. Sound like a good idea?

Then let’s dive in.

Week Five

  • Dialogue

Week Six

  • Bits and Pieces

Week Seven

  • All Gussied Up

Week Eight

  • Endings

 

*Resources

            > Books

            > Editing software

            > Writing tools

            > Blogs and newsletters

OBJECTIVES

In this workshop you will learn the different components of story, how they fit into an exciting, coherent, and emotionally satisfying whole, how to avoid common problems and mistakes, how to polish your story until it shines, and where to find the tools and resources to make your job easier. At the end of this workshop, you will be able to apply what you’ve learned to thoroughly and effectively self-edit a completed manuscript.

Each weekly topic will include a written lecture, with examples where appropriate, and a list of resources. (A summary of resources will be provided at the end of the workshop as well.) Each weekly lesson will conclude with a checklist of points to remember and suggestions and/or prompts for practice.

BIO

My name is Kayleigh Sky. I’m a hybrid author, published with Pride Publishing and my own imprint, Kiss Drunk Books. I write mm romance and gay fiction in a variety of subgenres and was nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Lambda Literary Awards (Gay Romance) for my book No Luck. I also own Story Smitten, an editing service for romance authors. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and the Bay Area Editors Forum. In 2018, I earned a certificate in Copyediting from the UC San Diego Extension.

MAY

Course: PSYCHOLOGY 101 FOR WRITERS

Instructor: Margaret Bates

Dates: May 3 - 30

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

This workshop focuses on some basics in psychology. The first half will look at how to write characters from neurodiverse backgrounds as well as those who deal with mental illness with sensitivity and accuracy. The second half will look more deeply into forensic psychology, how it ties into the legal system, and in how one can use forensic psychology to help influence and shape their writing, especially for individuals who may be writing romantic suspense.

BIO

Margaret Bates was Magna Cum Laude in psychology as an undergraduate at Duke University. During her undergraduate work, she spent six months as an intern at a state hospital for schizophrenics in La Paz, Bolivia. During her graduate work, she spent five years working toward a Ph.D. in developmental psychology with an emphasis in autism intervention therapy and was everything but dissertation at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Currently, she   is finishing her Master’s thesis in industrial/organizational psychology at The University of Baltimore with a focus on workplace ostracism and its effects on meaningfulness in life and healthy psychological functioning.

 

JUNE

COURSE: WRITER WELLNESS, A WRITER’S PATH TO HEALTH AND CREATIVITY

Instructor: Joy Held

Dates: June 1 – 26

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

Good self-care is the new multi-vitamin! Writers should still take a multi-vitamin, and Writer Wellness is a complimentary plan to help you stay on target for writing and life. WW is a lifestyle technique for anyone who loves to create with activities to stimulate creativity and health by encouraging regular journal writing, exercise, relaxation, good nutrition, and creative play. Regardless of style, genre, or writing goals, Writer Wellness is the perfect writer’s companion.

The workshop will offer three activities per key area (journaling, exercise, relaxation, nutrition, and creative play) for participants to try then respond to discussion prompts posted in the course. This interactive workshop will present ideas any writer can put into practice, tweak, and maintain throughout a writing career with the goal of better health and expanded creativity for many years. Discover the Writer Wellness Warrior in you and be well, write well.

BIO

JOY E. HELD, A.A.S., B.A., M.F.A. is an author, freelance editor, Yoga Alliance Registered yoga and meditation teacher, college English professor, certified Journal to the Self educator, and workshop presenter with over 500 articles published in trade magazines, newspapers, and literary journals. Her historical romance novel Message to Love was published in 2010 by The Wild Rose Press. She has degrees in education, journalism, and writing popular fiction. www.joyheld.com.  

 

AUGUST

Course: POV: IT’S NOT JUST A POINT OF VIEW

Instructor: Shannon Donnelly

Dates: Aug. 3 - 31

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

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 4 ½ 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.

 

SEPTEMBER

COURSE: WHEN TWO AUTHORS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

Instructors: Midnight Voss and Margaret Bates (Ivy Quinn)

Dates: Sept. 1- Sept. 30

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

Description:

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Stephen King and Peter Straub, Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith – Although writing is often a solitary exercise, bringing the strengths of two writers together can be extremely rewarding.

In this workshop, we will cover the basics of collaborating, from initial conception through drafting and editing. Learning to use your cowriter as a source of ideas, as well as learning to settle differences of opinion regarding story direction, will be key to your successful novel. Finally, while this workshop will primarily be geared towards structuring and planning the co-writing process, there will be some tips along the way for pantsing-style writers for those who need a more spontaneous approach but want to avoid writing your partner into a corner.

 

About Midnight Voss:

Midnight Voss has been writing since she was eight years old. More recently, she has worked for several years as a successful ghostwriter and taught and worked with writers on academic and personal projects for over a decade as an instructor and a consultant. Together, she and Ivy Quinn co-authored a dragon-shifter urban fantasy, Frozen Ashes and Smoldering Shards, which appeared in the USA Today Bestselling Sirens and Scales boxset. She prefers to live in fantasy and dystopian worlds rather that contemporary and has taught world-building classes for Maryland Romance Writers. Currently, she is collaborating with Ivy on a revised and expanded edition of Frozen Ashes and starting Lavender Dusk, an f/f vampire series, and an m/m and f/f “Southern Pack” shifter series through Sapphic Alliance Fiction.

About Ivy Quinn:

USA Today Bestselling Author Ivy Quinn has been a writer for close to fifteen years. She also works as an editor and proofreader. Ivy writes across all pairings, including female/female, male/female, and male/male. She was one of the bestselling authors featured in the Sirens and Scales boxset in January of 2018 as well as in the Once Upon a Rebel Fairy Tale boxset in October of 2018. She will soon be writing two series, Fanged Fairytales and Vegas Shifters, for Sapphic Alliance Fiction.

 

OCTOBER

Course: KNOCKING OUT NOVELLAS QUICKLY

Instructor: Margaret Bates (Ivy Quinn)

Dates: Oct. 5 – Oct. 30

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

Description:

This month-long workshop will show you how to quickly write the first draft of novellas — 30-40k word stories in 7-10 days. Learn how to understand your writing schedule and the best times for writing, tricks for concentrating, how to outline, and strategies for getting it done and making sure you get through a novella when other things are pressing on you and responsibilities clash with your writing.

 

About Ivy Quinn:

USA Today Bestselling Author Ivy Quinn has been a writer for close to fifteen years. She also works as an editor and proofreader. Ivy writes across all pairings, including female/female, male/female, and male/male. She was one of the bestselling authors featured in the Sirens and Scales boxset in January of 2018 as well as in the Once Upon a Rebel Fairy Tale boxset in October of 2018. She will soon be writing two series, Fanged Fairytales and Vegas Shifters, for Sapphic Alliance Fiction.