Classes are listed by the instructors last name, on the day that they are currently scheduled.
Not by when they are scheduled.
This list is subject to change

Poisons, Nostrums, and Deadly Toxins

Gregg

Luke

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.

Author Websites 101

Jessica 

Conoley

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.

Never Forget Another Imaginary Friend (or anything else)

Lorin

Grace

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.

3-D Character Creation: Giving Your Characters Depth and Dimension

Rebecca

Talley

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. 

Amping up the Dialogue

Jennifer A.

Nielsen

-Keynote

Effective dialogue should reveal character, entertain, create emotion, and further the plot. This class will examine ways to create more effective dialogue.

Pimping those Children's books: It goes beyond Facebook and Amazon Ads

Tamara

Hart Heiner

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!

Character and Point of View

Christine Amsden

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!

How to be a Healthy Author

Lisa

Swinton

 The wonderful thing about writing is you can do it anywhere. Usually sitting. For long periods of time. Mostly alone.
Write, they said. It'll be fun, they said.
No one mentioned the dreaded expansion of your backside due to the constant sitting. Or the aches and pains that come along with being hunched over a screen. Or the feelings of loneliness and isolation that may follow.
Enjoy this class where we'll chat over how to keep your body and mind in author-fit shape to keep doing what you love: telling stories.

The Power of Newsletters

Tamara 

Grantham

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!

Demystifying Theme

Michelle Pennington

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.

I'm So Conflicted!

Danyelle

Ferguson

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.

Author Branding and Indie Marketing: Whole Book Approach (2 Hour)

Victorine

Lieske

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.

Co-Authoring

Traci

Abramson

&

Danyelle

Ferguson

What could possibly be better than writing friends? Writing WITH friends, of course.

This workshop discusses the ups and downs of co-authoring.

No Short-Cuts: How to Self-Publish

Ali

Cross

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.

Developing Your Writing Voice

Amey

Zeigler

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.

Principles of Print Formatting

KayLynn

Flanders

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.

Understanding Amazon's Algorithms

Victorine

Lieske

Is there anything you can do to position your book for better visibility on Amazon? What makes a book come up higher in the searches? Why do some books seem to rise to the tops of the charts while other books languish? In this class you will learn what will to do, and what not to do, when launching your book, what metadata is, when to set up a pre-order and when not to, and how you can teach Amazon who your audience is. Learn the tips and tricks that top indie authors are doing to make their books more visible in the biggest online store of all.

Location! Location! Location! How to make setting the star of your novel.

Lisa

Swinton

Where you set your book affects your characters. Put them in Manhattan and you're not writing small town. The bright lights of Vegas doesn't come with a beach. You could even consider setting like a character. 

Your setting can be the silent star of your book without your reader ever knowing it. 

But unless you've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, then you'll need to do some research, which can be almost as fun as being there. If you do your research right, your reader will feel like they've been there too. 

Historical romance: Finding the correct balance between story and history

Jen 

Johnson

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. 

Pacing the Emotional Punch

Jennifer A.

Nielsen

-Keynote

Strategies for creating stories that will speak to the hearts of your readers.

Writing White-Knuckle Suspense

Gregg

Luke

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!)

Your Sacred Writing Time

Tamara

Grantham

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

Writing a Fantastic First Chapter

Rebecca 

Talley

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.

Save Your Novel with Save The Cat

Ali

Cross

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.
 

World building in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Christine

Amsden

Whether subtly or drastically different from reality, science fiction and fantasy stories take place in their own worlds. To make these worlds believable, they need internally consistent rules, history, language, and geography. But bringing a world to life on the page requires more than maps; it requires a deep connection to character and plot. In this class, we’ll explore some of the many facets of world building as we strive to bring our imagination to life.

From Spies to Hollywood Stars:
How to Write Larger than Life Characters

Traci

Abramson

We love to explore worlds beyond our own, from the undercover agent to the rich and famous. This class will demonstrate how to create these larger than life characters while still keeping them grounded in a believable world.

Let the Binge-Watching Begin

Amey

Ziegler

Binge-watching is good for so much more than procrastination. This class shows you just how.

The Ballad of the Hero's Journey

Don

Carey

In his book, “The Hero of a Thousand Faces,” Joseph Campbell explores the ideas common to many world mythologies. This workshop introduces the storytelling gold uncovered by Campbell's research. We will discuss how character archetypes and story elements common to all times and cultures can apply to you and your story, no matter what type of fiction you write. There may also be a sing-along.

Editing for Pros

Jennifer A.

Nielsen

-Keynote

This class will examine the techniques to take a manuscript from meh to marvelous!

Mechanics of Microrevision

KayLynn

Flanders

Microrevisions get down to the nitty gritty of your story and help you achieve a well-polished manuscript.

When the Writing Gets Tough:
20 Tips to Keep Writing

Lorin

Grace

Life has a way of disrupting work. With no 9 to 5 and no boss glaring it can be hard to get back to work. I’ve been there too, deadlines, and no way out of my circumstances. Learn tips to keep your author life going when life hands you more than just lemons.

Rapid Release on Your Way to a Six Figure Income

Jen

Johnson

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.

The Un-Put-Downable Novel

Michelle Pennington

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.