Point of view (POV) is about so much more than first or third, past or present. Stories are built not only on characters, but on the voices telling their stories. We’ll discuss point of view options ranging from classic to experimental and how each choice will impact your prose. Please, bring your own story ideas and ask questions!
Author Websites 101
A play-by-play of the necessary components for your author website. This workshop begins with the basics like: choosing your url, why your site needs to be responsive, and what a hosting provider does for you. As your career grows so will your website. Walk away with an Author Website Checklist and a plan for site maintenance and expansion throughout your career.
No Short-Cuts: How to Self-Publish
Self-publishing is not a short-cut to publishing--it's a publishing choice. A choice to run your own business from A-Z. Come chat with full-time indie author Ali Cross about what self-publishing involves, what a day-in-the-life looks like, and whether or not self-publishing is right for you.
I'm So Conflicted!
Conflict shouldn't just be something making your characters' lives difficult. It should affect them personally and make them question their motives and goals. Join us to discover how to dig deeper into your characters' conflicts and their responses to overcome them.
Principles of Print Formatting
Come learn how a professional designs the interior pages of a printed book, with principles you can apply to whatever software you choose. We'll talk about layout principles, typesetting basics, and design resources you can use to make your pages shine.
The Power of Newsletters
Experts agree that the best way to reach your audience is through consistent newsletter marketing—but how do you navigate the trenches of selecting a newsletter service, writing catchy subject lines, and creating a lasting drip campaign? You’ll learn how to put everything on autopilot so you can do what you love best—write!
Short Stories: Snacks to Showcase Your Skills
Jane Alvey Harris
Explore the bite-sized realm of world and character building in the short format. Themes and emotions take center stage while plot and character step back a pace or two as we explore the appeal of presenting readers with a satisfying snack instead of a whole meal. Discover why rules are few and imagination is Queen when writing short stories!
Pimping those Children's books: It goes beyond Facebook and Amazon Ads
With children’s books, you have to know where to find the Gatekeepers (a.k.a., librarians and parents) and put your book in front of them. Be ready to learn librarian conventions, hardcovers, AR lists, Lexile Measurements, teachers guides, school presentations, and more!
Rapid Release on Your Way to a Six Figure Income
How one hybrid author created a pen name, rapid released 24 books in a year, and made 50k dollars. I will go over book pricing, launches, and the theory behind rapid releasing. I'll share what I loved and didn't love about this market and the mistakes I made on the way.
Author Branding and Indie Marketing: Whole Book Approach (2 Hour)
Confused about what an author brand is? Want to know what things an indie author should be doing to market their book? Victorine will go over how to create an author brand and how to use this brand to sell your books. You’ll learn how to test ads and how to test your blurb, and when to scale up an ad. We will talk about AMS ads as well as Facebook ads. Learn the tips and tricks to make your book sell.
Poisons, Nostrums, and Deadly Toxins
Looking for a creative way to kill your characters? Tired of the same old gun, knife, or blunt instrument? In this class you will learn about the major kinds of poisons and where to find them, and how to use them to add intrigue to your writing. Class is taught by a clinical pharmacist with 30 years experience and 11 best-selling suspense novels. WARNING: This class is potentially hazardous to your characters' health.
Class on plotting with Anne-Marie Meyer
Amping up the Dialogue
Effective dialogue should reveal character, entertain, create emotion, and further the plot. This class will examine ways to create more effective dialogue.
Demystifying Theme Learn how to use theme to enhance and elevate your writing. This class will provide an in-depth study of its importance, how to develop a theme for your story, and practicable tips on how to apply it through the plotting, drafting, and editing stages.
Just the Facts Ma’am/Sir
Hollywood, media, and books are full of myths about what police officers can and cannot do. Just say NO to writing bad police-involved scenes and join me for this exciting class that will help you avoid mistakes. Send your questions ahead of time to so I can answer your most pressing concerns in class.
3-D Character Creation: Giving Your Characters Depth and Dimension
Characters breathe life into your story. Well-designed characters suck readers into the world you’ve created and invite them to suspend their disbelief as they take their journey through your pages. Learn how to delve a little deeper to create characters that leap off the page and make your story riveting and memorable.
Whether subtly or drastically different from reality, science fiction and fantasy stories take place in their own worlds. These worlds need rules, history, language, and geography. This class will discuss these topics and more as we strive to create believable worlds for our stories.
Save Your Novel with Save The Cat
Lots of people swear by it—some people swear against it. Why not find out for yourself. Ali Cross is an Expert Cat with a nod from Blake Snyder’s team to teach you everything you need to know to get started outlining the best novel you’ve ever written—with the help of the Save the Cat Beat Sheet.
Never forget another Imaginary Friend (or anything else)
Keep a master character bible available everywhere you go using free Airtable web-based software and apps. Every imaginary friend you have ever had in one easy to search data base. Never name a secondary character the same thing again. Also, an introduction to Airtable’s other organization tools. Organize anything. Character Bible template provided.
Your Sacred Writing Time
Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to write? Have you planned a novel but can’t find the time to finish it? In this class, we will discuss how to make the most of your sacred writing time. Find out the best tips and tricks for making room in your life to accomplish your writing goals—and still have time for life
9 Tips for Writing a Creeptastic Thriller or Horror
While there are key differences between thriller and horror, both genres rely heavily on tropes and techniques that can make your story stand out to a reader. Together, we'll discuss some of those elements, including the "shard of glass," unforgettable villains, and how to throw a reader off-balance with humor.
First Five Pages:How to Hook an Agent or Editor
First impressions mean everything when submitting to an agent or publisher. As a writer, your job is to convince them to read more. In this two-hour master class, we'll discuss critical introductory elements an industry professional is looking for, address how to apply them in your manuscripts, and break into groups to apply what we've learned.
Writing for YA: The Fountain of Youth
Jane Alvey Harris
Technically, Young Adult fiction’s protagonist is a young adult. But what about those of us who will always be teens heart? Learn how to tap into the raw, contemporary realism your manuscript will need. In this session, Jane will provide strategies for keeping your writing fresh and your voice eternally youthful.
Middle Grade Humor for Middle Aged Adults
What do eight-year-old boys find humorous? I guarantee it’s not the same thing that twelve-year-old girls do. It’s important to know your target audience—but how to do you weave in humor about body functions and social mishaps when you’re a middle-aged adult with table manners? Learn how to do your research and nail your comedic delivery!
Historical romance: Finding the correct balance between story and history
Diving down research rabbit holes is the joy and curse of every good historical fiction author. But there are so many details, so many must include tidbits of Information, sometimes we lose sight of why the reader is reading our book. This class will help any author decipher how much is too much or too little and will share plot arcs and outlines that will help organize a structure that works for any romance set in a different time.
Writing White-Knuckle Suspense
Ever wonder why some pages burn with the intensity of whitewater rafting while others are like floating down a gentle, meandering brook? What makes a page-turning novel? Suspense writing all comes down to the six key elements. Learn how to use those elements to create gripping, white-knuckle suspense in any genre. (I'd tell you what they are, but that would ruin the suspense!)
How to Raise Both Your Real & Book Babies to be Great Without Losing Your Mind & Waistline
Families, books, and sanity with Anne-Marie Meyer
Editing for Pros
This class will examine the techniques to take a manuscript from meh to marvelous!
The Un-Put-Downable Novel
We all want to write a story that readers can't put down. This class will help you master pacing with key strategies to keep the reader turning the page and losing sleep. Compel your readers' attention with strong hooks, intentional prose, escalating conflict, and even formatting.
Pacing the Emotional Punch
Strategies for creating stories that will speak to the hearts of your readers.
Writing a Fantastic First Chapter
You don’t want to spend months, or even years, working on your novel only to have it rejected by an editor or by readers because your first chapter didn’t showcase your talent. You want your first chapter to shine! Taking the extra time to include all the necessary elements may make the difference between an editor, agent, or reader devouring your manuscript or tossing it into the trash (figuratively or literally). You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Developing Your Writing Voice
Have you read a book that just grabbed you from the beginning with its wit and snark? Or its beautiful and lulling prose? What is Voice? How can you draw in readers with Voice? How can you develop your writing Voice? Learn five exercises designed to unlock what's in your heart and to unleash your Voice on the page.