Saturday – 3 hour Workshops

Winning the Reader’s Heart: Building Characters Who Are True to Life

Angela Ackerman

What makes a compelling character, one that your readers can’t get enough of? This session looks at character creation, and how to explore the layers of humanity that ignite reader fascination & empathy. Learn how to ground a character in the real world by asking questions that get to the heart of who they are, and the wounds, fears, and needs that will drive them throughout the story.

If you want to gain a deeper understanding of what makes your character tick so you can write their every action, decision, and choice in a way that lines up with who they are, this is the workshop for you. This session includes time to work on your characters, so bring your current protagonist, antagonist or love interest for further development, or if you like, start planning someone new!

1 1/4 hour Workshops

The Realities of Going Indie

Karen Casey Fitzjerrell

Having complete creative control over how your book is presented to readers can be intoxicating. This workshop will cover some of the Musts, Maybes, and Myths an author would do well to consider before Going Indie. Why do word counts, count? Beta readers or professional editors? Copyrights? What are the costs? Do authors really need a website? Is Indie better than traditional publishing?


What Makes A Compelling Read

Karen Casey Fitzjerrell

Whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, memoir, mystery, romance – there are a few rules of thumb that will make your writing stronger, cleaner and more compelling. Plot, Character development, Pace, Point of View are just a few of the topics that will be covered in this workshop. Bonus Topic: what is the single most important personal quality authors need to nurture as they write?


Diving Deep into Deep Point of View

Rhay Christou

With information coming at us from all sides, the world has become a here and now kind of place. No wonder authors, agents, editors and readers want to feel that same kind of immediacy with stories. They scream for deep point of view. And I mean deep!!

And that’s what we’re going to do this Dive into Deep Point of View workshop

What You’ll Learn:

With a plethora of examples, assignments, we’ll explore, discover, and unlock the mysteries of deep point of view.


Diving Deep into Developmental Edits

Rhay Christou

Diving deep into developmental edits is an intense workshop for writers who have made words shine and lines glisten but want to go deeper. This workshop is all about beginning to see your work as an editor and learning how to analyze what you have on the page, so you can make the big decisions that will take your novel from fine to powerful.

Having read your entire work in progress before the workshop writers will:

This workshop will have you working, thinking, getting immediate feedback and to unlock the some of the mysteries of developmental edits.


TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF MYSTERY WRITING

Harry Hunsicker

More people read mysteries and thrillers than any other genre except for romance. In this workshop learn how to get started writing your own mystery. Topics covered include what makes for a compelling story, how to brainstorm a page-turning plot and write a killer opening chapter, the difference between a mystery and a thriller, and maximizing suspense and conflict.


SETTING AS CHARACTER

Harry Hunsicker

Many great novels are remembered for the feeling they evoke through their setting and strong sense of place. In this workshop, we’ll explore the work of several authors and their use of setting as well as how to create a strong sense of place in your own work.


Strengthening Your Writing Voice 101: An Interactive Writing Workshop

Jenny Martin

Sure, you might know the basics of fiction writing…you’ve got to have plot, dialogue, description. But are you ready to dig deeper, delivering the kind of prose that lingers, snags an agent’s attention and stays with the reader long after the book has been closed? If so, join author Jenny Martin for Voice 101, in which you’ll discover ways to hone and perfect your own, unique style. You’ll walk out feeling empowered, inspired and ready to write!


Strengthening Your Writing Voice 102: An interactive Writing Workshop 

Jenny Martin

Are you struggling to garner interest in your pages? Wondering what’s holding back your prose, and keeping you from progressing to the next level? If so, just author Jenny Martin for hands-on, intensive workshop, in which you’ll dig deeper into the specific elements of your own writing voice. You’ll have the opportunity to try out new techniques and discover the keys to writing profoundly memorable fiction. You’ll walk out with a brand-new vision and lots of ideas, ready to revise!


Make Your Novel World Real: Build a Story Bible

Amber Royer

Have you ever wished you had a reference guide to your own story world?  You can quickly build one, using a few simple writing exercises.  Or you can go in depth and create an entire Story Bible, a document made up of detailed lists about how things work in your story world, details of your characters statistics and backstories, and more.  If you can answer questions about your fictional people, plot and world, you will be well on your way to crafting emotionally engaging fiction that feels real to the reader.  Look at how to frame those questions to interview the characters in your story world, discover important details about your setting, decide what does and does not belong in your story, and examine why certain events need to happen in your plot and how they will cause your character to arc. 


Write it Short

Amber Royer

Want to write but think you don’t have time? In this course, participants will explore a sampler of short forms: flash fiction, short stories, poetry, personal essays and nonfiction articles. They will focus on how to be pithy and how to introduce all the needed story elements in a limited space – and get ideas on where/how to sell the finished projects.


Battling the Basics 

Sarah Hamer

Writing is like chasing cats. Unless you have a can of tuna fish, chances are they’ll all go in different directions. So, getting the basics of writing — structure, characterization, dialogue, tension, pacing — right is a huge step, even for more advanced writers. We’ll work our way through eight different cats, one by one, then get them all together at the end.


For Your Children’s Children

Sarah Hamer

Ever thought about writing your OWN story? Memoirs and autobiographies are the perfect way to connect with your family, to tell your story your way, and to create a lasting memory of who you are.

For Your Children’s Children is packed with lectures, assignments, and opportunities to discuss, share, and explore. This hands-on course will help you write your life story to share with generations to come.


Building a “World” Readers Won’t Forget

Jessica Capelle

Worldbuilding is a term that many think of only with science fiction and fantasy, but every story features a unique world created by the writer, even if the setting already exists. This workshop will take you through the process of making your story’s world feel real, whether it takes place down the street or across the universe. Jessica Capelle will give you tips for setting up the rules that govern your world and will affect your characters and plot. She’ll also show you how savvy writers use small details and voice to maximum effect to immerse readers quickly while avoiding the dreaded “info-dump.” Examples from multiple genres and hands-on exercises will help you apply these tips to any story you write.


Stop the Block and Get Back to Your Story!

Jessica Capelle

No matter how long you’ve been writing, there will be times when it feels like wading through quicksand. But you’re not always stuck or blocked for the same reason. Jessica Capelle will discuss common reasons writers get stuck and how to pinpoint what’s holding you back. She’ll also take you through some unusual writing prompts and give you creative solutions to help you blast through that blockage and get the words flowing again. This is a very interactive workshop, so come prepared to play, brainstorm, and generate ideas!


Conflict: It’s Not an Arguement

Shirley Jump

Are you struggling to increase the conflict and tension in your scenes? Is your book feeling flat, or editors and readers are saying there isn’t enough conflict? This interactive workshop will cover the difference between conflict and tension, how to create conflicts that aren’t just arguments, and developing conflict from your characters. Conflict is what keeps the engine of the plot moving, and keeps the reader turning the pages. 

If you are in the middle of a book and feeling stalled, this workshop will help you get the novel back on track. Attendees are encouraged to bring a printout of a current scene in their book and some highlighters for an interactive session. Level: Beginner to Intermediate


The Basics of Scene & Sequel

Shirley Jump

Scenes are the building blocks of your book, and sequels are the glue that bring those scenes together. The trouble is knowing how to create an effective sequel that keeps the pacing and tension running, but also gives the characters and readers a little room to breathe. Learn the best balance of Scene and Sequel and how to use them to easily ramp up the tension and conflict in your novel in this interactive class with New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump. This workshop will also answer the questions of how Scene and Sequel work with an easy exercise to show new writers the basics of this story building block. Level: Beginner to Intermediate