2-Hour Intensive Classes
Diving into Deep Point of View by Rebecca Blevins
What is it about some books that pull you in so far that before you know it, you hear birds chirping and discover you’ve been up all night? The answer lies in how to effectively use a deep point of view. We’ll study examples of this technique from popular books, then we’ll discuss varying levels of shallow (toe dipping) to medium (wading) to deep (sitting in a hot tub) POV and apply them in our workshop portion of the intensive.
Please bring at least ten pages of your manuscript to work with, preferably on a laptop. It’s best to bring scenes you want to add depth to, so those ten pages can be from any portion of your manuscript and do not need to be consecutive.
If You Build It, They Will Come: Making Setting Work for your Characters and your Readers by Ally Condie
Setting gives context, grounding, and dimension to your story. It can be as important as a character; it brings your reader in and establishes a place and time both connected to others and uniquely belonging to your work. How do you keep it strong without letting it overwhelm your novel? What are the ways setting informs plot and character (and vice versa)? Whether you’re writing speculative, contemporary, or historical fiction (or something in between), we’ll look at settings in our own work and those of others and think about how we can answer these questions and others regarding our own works-in-progress.
The Anatomy of Action by Jared Garett
This is my new and updated workshop on the bones, flesh, and skin of well-crafted action scenes. We will spend the majority of our time on the operating table, diagnosing flat or boring action and analyzing effective action. Then we will ask participants to provide action scenes that we can workshop together as a class.
50-Minute Breakout Classes
20,000 Free Books Under the Sea by Johan Twiss
One of the biggest hurdles a new author faces is building a readership. There are over 3,000 new books published every day. How do you break through that chaotic mass of literature?
In this class, we will discuss some different methods and services you can use to give away 20,000+ copies of your book on Amazon.com. How to use this to hit best-seller lists, build a readership, and make a profit in the process.
This is NOT a get rich overnight promotion. I’ve tried, tested, and spent money experimenting with these promotions so that you don’t have to. The main goal is to build a readership whereby tens of thousands of readers will find your books and then give your books a try. Then, if you’ve written a fantastic book and/or series, you will have a new reader for life.
Crafting the Siren’s Song by Anika Arrington
Agents and editors are always looking for “great voice.” But how do we achieve that? In this class we will unpack both narrative and character voice along with some practical ways to refine our writing into the siren’s song that can’t be put down.
Creative Nonfiction for Children by Christy Monson
This children’s literature class merges the art of writing with the fun of research. Enjoy the exploration of real facts and present them to the reader with creative literary devices such as setting, tone, and voice—the best of both worlds. Let the story emerge from your research. Extract meaning through factual details. Bring your interests, your curiosity, and your writing skills together to create a synergistic experience!
DIY Cover Design Basics by Johan Twiss
So you want to make your own book cover. Maybe your budget is too tight to hire a cover artist or the idea of making your own cover excites you.
In this class, we will discuss some of the basics of cover design, color composition, free and inexpensive tools you can use, and where to get stock images that won’t break the bank.
Finding Your Courage: When is it Time to Share Your Talent? by JoLyn Brown
We all get trapped in the idea that we aren’t good enough at our craft to share our writing with others. How do we know when we are ready to take that next step? This class will explore reasons why authors don’t feel ready to publish, how they can take smaller steps to build up their courage and skills, and how they can tell if they are ready to enter the publishing world. Part checklist, part facing inner demons, this class is for writers who doubt themselves.
Funnels, Caves, and Freebies, Oh My! by Liz Adair
Being a successful indie author means learning how to market. There are lots of different ways to get your book in front of readers, and in this class Liz will talk about five of them that won’t break the marketing budget.
Get Them Begging for More by Nicole Brouwer
Writing a precise yet powerful query can be a daunting task. This class will illuminate how to craft the perfect letter, full of all the right stuff. Come learn how to give agents a true taste of your manuscript and leave them feeling desperately hungry for more.
Good Notes: The Ins and Outs of Critique by Anika Arrington
Being a member of a critique group can be tough. What makes a good comment? Who do I listen to? What do i do with all these notes. With advice compiled from sources like Pixar’s Ed Catmull, Brandon Sanderson, and years of personal experience (both in and out of the college setting) I’ll go over some strategies for giving and making the best use of those good notes.
Helping Readers Suspend Disbelief by Loralee Evans
This class will offer a number of pointers on how writers can help their readers suspend their disbelief and keep it suspended throughout the story; to feel the tension of the conflicts, to see the characters (good guys and bad guys) as real people, and the situations they are in as plausible.
How Scrivener Totally Rocks & Will Make Your Writing Easier & Faster by Annette Lyon
What exactly is Scrivener, and why do so many writers love it? Learn how to use the program to maximize writing time, organize your work and research, map out characters, keep track of progress, export your files, and more. Whether you’re working on flash fiction, an epic novel with several POVs, a project with a ton of research, or a giant thesis with so many parts that it’s an organizational headache, this software is for you. After this Scrivener crash course, you’ll understand what everyone’s talking about.
How to Take a Child on a Visual Journey by Kevin Grew
We will be delving into the mind of a child so we give them, as an illustrator/author the best experience in reading. We will take a journey through art in kids’ literature and find out what kids respond to and what will help them stay engaged in the stories they are reading. From simplicity in the art form to the hyper realistic art.
Putting Your Writing on a Diet: Cutting Out the Fat by Tanya Mills
Learning how to write lean, powerful, and musical prose. Cutting out the fat and focusing on powerful verbs and nouns, while keeping rhythm in mind.
Recording and Marketing Audiobooks by Tanya Mills
A primer on getting your book into audio format and marketing it to increase your fan base.
SEO for Writers by Joseph Stevenson
How to organically rank your books better in online stores like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more! Learn up to date clean methods for book promotion that will push your books to the top of search results.
Show, Don’t Tell: 8 Ways to Do It Well the Micro and Macro Way by Annette Lyon
Make room in your toolbox for this one! What does “show, don’t tell” really mean, anyway? More importantly, why does it matter? And how can you do apply the concept to your writing in concrete ways? We’ll cover 4 ways to show instead of tell on the micro (line and paragraph) level, then 4 more ways to show on the much broader macro level. These 8 techniques will take your writing from “meh” to “wow.”
Strong First Pages by Rebecca Blevins
You have the most amazing book idea ever, and all you have to do is start writing. Should you begin with a prologue? What does it mean to start with action (there’s a secret to that one) or to make your characters earn emotion? In this class we’ll learn how to make your first page so strong it’ll wrestle your readers to the ground and hold them there until they’ve been pinned–er, hooked.
Telling stories with Photos (are my pictures worth 1000 words) by Lance Jackson
So you want to tell your story with photos but don’t know where or how to begin. What type of camera and other equipment do you need? What do those technical photographic terms mean and why are they important? How is telling a story with pictures different than telling a story with words? We will discuss these topics as well as how you can develop your photographic story and lead your viewers through it using concepts including balance, rule-of-thirds, framing and perspective. We will also provide other guide lines, examples and suggestions for those interested in trying their hand at photo journalism.
The Invisible Author ~Positive and Negative Aspects of Ghostwriting~ by Julie Crimin Davies
What is it like to hear someone praise another author’s article—when you’re the actual author? Is ghostwriting a form of plagiarism? Does a writer earn more from a ghost article or book than from a piece bearing their name? How is using a “nom de plume” different from being a ghost? Will ghostwriting hurt an author’s chance to be published? How easy is it to become a ghostwriter?
“It depends,” says Julie Davies, who has written books, articles, policy manuals,…and even love letters within this secretive and mysterious form of writing since the 1980’s. She’ll share what she has learned about connecting with clients; protecting her work, keeping her identity secret while promoting her business, how and what to charge for ghost work, the types of projects available for ghostwriters; tracking agency pieces, and when it can be beneficial or detrimental to be a ghostwriter.
Using Symbolism in Fiction by Angie Lofthouse
Symbolism is all around us. Using it in your writing can be a powerful way to engage the reader and make your stories more meaningful and memorable.
Write is a Verb by Valerie Ipson
Conquer the blank page through tricks like pre-writing, “writing from the middle,” James Scott Bell’s Ten Card method, and more. Learn tips for increasing word count by creating a working writing environment, addressing resistance, and using accountability partners and critique partners to motivate. Discuss current technology helps for the writer such as Scrivener and speech recognition software.
Writing as a Spiritual Practice by Raven Chiong
“In order to have self-expression, we must first have a Self to express.” (Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way”)
2017 marks Raven’s thirteenth anniversary of stream of consciousness writing every morning. What started out as a writing assignment has transmuted into a non-negotiable spiritual practice that has become a way of life. In this class, Raven hopes to inspire participants to deepen their journey by beginning their own Morning Pages. Prompts will be given, with opportunities to both read and witness. Please come prepared to sit in Circle and bring old fashioned pen and paper!
Your Suspense Toolbox by Kristine Frost
This class gives various ways to keep the reader interested by using different aspects of suspense writing such as cliff hangers and macro suspense.