Wednesday, August 24, 2011

September Writing Workshops



I hope you'll forgive the delay in my posting the workshops for this month.  I'm still without internet access after the house move.  I'm also without a washer and TV.  It's expensive to have all your electronics break at once.  Luckily, I started this post yesterday because right now there is a guy talking loudly to himself (well, to someone I can't see) right behind me.  Ah, the joys of internet cafes...


Please note that all course descriptions are in blurb form. There’s often more information at the official websites. The September writing workshops in order of start date and length are:


Instructor: Carol Hughes
Dates: September 2011
Course Description: Interested in learning the secret techniques that mega stars have in common? It's not as hard as you think – not if you know the simple-to-master writing secrets that they know and haven't shared with you.

Instructor: Diana Rowe
Dates: September 1-22 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: Whether he’s in a contemporary or historical novel, readers thrive on getting a closer glimpse of a sexy cowboy. Conversely, who doesn’t like a bad boy, and no one oozes bad and sexy more than a biker. This workshop will take you behind the rodeo and ranching scenes, including a greenhorn’s guide to the rodeo and its organizations; what is a real cowboy; cowboy jargon; rodeo’s specialized equipment; cowboy superstitions and omens; livestock; rodeo cowboys and their various occupations; and, if time permits, a brief overview of ranching.

Instructor: CJ Lyons
Dates: September 1-28 2011
Cost: $30 for Non-members
Course Description: Thrillers are hot! And romance thrillers, Thrillers with Heart, are sizzling! What is the difference between mysteries and thrillers? How to add romance without slowing the pace? Explore the fascinating world of thriller fiction with award winning author CJ Lyons.

Instructor: Linnea Sinclair
Dates: September 1-30 2011
Cost: $30
Course Description: Writing Guru Dwight Swain said that it‘s the author‘s job to manipulate the emotions of the reader. There‘s no better way to do this than for the author to put his characters through one roller coaster episode after another, taking the reader along for the ride. But how much conflict, how much character angst is too much? How can an author keep the action from becoming cartoonish? Bantam Spectra author Linnea Sinclair answers those questions and more in this fun and fast-paced (because torturing students is good, too!) workshop that explores the importance of conflict in today‘s commercial fiction novels.

Instructor: Cindy Carroll
Dates: September 1-30 2011
Cost: $30
Course Description: Writing scripts and writing novels are two completely different things. Just because we can write books doesn’t mean we can write screenplays. Is That Hollywood Calling? is a quick and dirty month long course on the differences between writing books and writing scripts. If you want to unleash your inner screenwriter this is a great place to start as a primer. For novelists it covers how writing a screenplay can cause light bulb moments for some of those often quoted snippets of writing advice like show don’t tell and keep it active. It also covers how thinking like a screenwriter can help improve your novel writing.

Instructor: Mary Pollard
Dates: September 1-30 2011
Cost: $30
Course Description: This 4-week online workshop covers four topics: nominalizations, passive voice, vague -ing words, and weak verbs. These four problem areas spell rejection with editors. MM the Queen of English will show you how to fix these fatal flaws BEFORE you send your manuscript to an agent or editor.

Instructor: Paty Jager
Dates: September 5 - 16 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: Using lines from Brad Paisley’s song “I’m Still a Guy” we’ll explore the male line of thought and how to use the information in your work to make your hero stand out in the reader’s mind. We’ll use interactive activities to help you get into your hero’s head and have his actions and dialog ring true.

Instructor: Beth Henderson
Dates: September 5-18 2011
Cost: $20 for Non-members
Course Description: Some writers settle into one niche and stay there, comfy, and content to write only one type of story. Others do the opposite and write in more than one genre, or niche within a genre. They tend to be more prolific. And prolific equals one very golden result: success. If you have been tempted to write in a different category or genre or niche lately, this is your chance to see which one – or more – is a good fit for you.

Instructor: Kathy Bennett
Dates: September 5-30 2011
Cost: $25 for Non-members
Course Description: Kathy Bennett offers a class that is different every time she gives it. She brings twenty-one years as a Los Angeles police officer to her four week, twenty-six lessons course, A Cop's Life A - Z. No two classes are ever the same because each is individualized to give the students want they want to know. There are no written assignments. From 'A' for Arrest and 'B' for Burglary to Z, Kathy answers all the writer’s questions about the details of a cop’s life. If you want to know what it’s like to ride in a patrol car, this is the class for you.

Instructor: Amy Atwell
Dates: September 5 - 30 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: Wishes. Dreams. They sound so much more exciting than the drudgery of actions and plans. But writing a novel doesn’t just happen. And selling a book proposal isn’t an accident. Achievements like these require planning and work. Dedication over time. Writers without a plan often lose track of their goals. In this class, attendees start with their wishes and dreams—no matter how big or improbable—and use a systematic approach to uncover the necessary actions to make those dreams a reality. Join us, and move beyond wishing to achieve!

Instructor: Catherine Chant
Dates: September 5 - 30 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: “Microsoft Word for Writers” will focus on teaching you the aspects of the Word program that are most useful for writers. Lessons included in this workshop are: Proper manuscript formatting, creating a manuscript template, customizing toolbars and much more!

Instructor: Dee Lloyd
Dates: September 5 - 30 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: To keep the reader eagerly turning pages from the first word to the last, a Romantic Suspense novel needs engaging characters, a believable and complicated plot and fast-moving pace. This workshop will give you some of the tools necessary to achieve this goal. It will also point out some of the pitfalls to avoid. It will conclude with some do’s and don’t’s from an acquisition editor’s point of view.

Instructor: Nicki Salcedo
Dates: September 5 - 30 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: This workshop will give you a new perspective on the old admonishment “Show, don’t tell”. Learn that “showing” and “telling” are partners in creating vivid stories with good pacing. Bring out emotion, conflict, and sensory details, while blending exposition and dialogue to create a balanced narrative. Try exercises to improve narrative and examples of when to “tell” and when to “show”. The goal is to end storytelling and bring back the lost art of creative writing.

Instructor: Susan Palmquist
Dates: September 5-30 2011
Cost: $25 for Non-members
Course Description: One thing that can label you as an amateur writer is head hopping. In this class you’ll learn all about point of view, what it is and how using it correctly can make your manuscript stand out from the crowd.

Instructor: The Grammar Divas
Dates: September 6-20 2011
Cost: $20 for Non-members
Course Description: In today’s buyer’s market, anything you can do to enhance your manuscript’s appeal puts you one step ahead of everyone else trying to sell. By taking a look at your writing with a fresh eye, you’ll discover ways to make the most of your writing’s appearance, readability, and impact. The Grammar Divas share episodes of popular writing improvement shows such as Dream Words, This Old Sentence, Extreme Makeover: Paragraph Edition, Trading Spaces, Fun Shui, and Designed to Sell. You leave the workshop with decorating ideas, remodeling projects, and prose improvements that can make your manuscript appealing to a potential buyer… an editor!

Instructor: Jacqui Jacoby
Dates: September 12-18 2011
Cost: $25 for Non-members
Course Description: This workshop will teach writers how to portray tough chick heroines. It will discuss how to build a tough chick heroine from the inside out, how there is more mental to the physical and how we can make these heroines jump off the page. What kind of women make up the tough chicks and what are they like in their everyday lives? What drives them to become tough? What kind of hero must stand beside her and who are the villains will she face?

Instructor: Shannon Donnelly
Dates: September 12- October 9 2011
Cost: $30 for Non-members
Course Description: Both showing and telling are valuable tools for any writer--writers need both narrative passages as well as dramatic scenes, so each has its own place within any writer's skill set. In this workshop, we'll use writing examples to figure out the truth hidden in the advice to "show, don't tell." Learn how "show, don't tell" really means "show more with dramatic scenes, and tell only when you need to move the story along."

Instructor: Eliza Knight
Dates: September 12-30 2011
Cost: $25 for Non-members
Course Description: There is a plethora of information available online for anybody who wants to look. As a writer of historical fiction, you will often find yourself needing this information. But how do you go about getting it? This class will teach you the ins and outs of conducting research online. Do you need to find just one little nitty gritty detail or a vast amount of information that directly correlates to your plot? Do you need to know what street Carlton House was on? Or how many guns were on the HMS Impregnable?

By the end of this class, you should have a grasp on how to get this information. I will also discuss how to mesh your research into your story so it flows and doesn’t feel “textbook.” Have you ever read a book, where it feels like the author is just regurgitating fact to you, instead of seamlessly mixing it into narrative or dialogue?

Instructor: Joanie White & Dara Edmonson
Dates: September 13-16 2011
Cost: $20 for Non-members
Course Description: Many romance novels feature a main or secondary character with a disease, an injury or a chronic illness. Others use the backdrop of a medical facility or conveyance or have a character who works in the medical field. In order to get the details straight—a critical necessity for today’s savvy reader—an author must be able to access credible medical information. Why is it so imperative to be accurate? How much detail is too much? What are the best and most credible plain speak websites to find the information you need to create plausible medical situations?

Instructor: Beth Daniels, Aka Beth Henderson aka J.B. Dane
Dates: September 5-30 2011
Cost: $25 for Non-members
Course Description: The skies are filled with airships, the ground crowded with ladies in corsets with parasols and men in top hats or derbies leaning on walking sticks. Everyone owns a pair of brass goggles and is up on all the latest in steam powered clockwork technology, the discovery of new lands, and possibly conversant with the paranormal as well. Or considering ways they can take over the world, or at least get it eating complacently out of their hand.

Is this the Age of Victoria? Not exactly. It's definitely the World of Steampunk. And if you are interested in writing for this subgenre, born of the Romeo and Juliet like liaison of the Historical and the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genres, then researching and writing your story will be a melding of the ways as well.  The key is knowing what you can use that actually was and what you can warp, morph, twist, tweak, alter, reconfigure, and dream up in connection with it.

Instructor: Kit Frazier
Dates: September 5-30 2011
Cost: $25 for Non-members
Course Description: The use of body language adds a rich, colorful layer to fiction, and invites the reader to participate in the story. Your hero may shield his feelings, your heroine may try to soften an emotional blow. Your villain will often happily gallop into a bold-faced lie. But the body always tells the truth. Body language builds reader anticipation - it’s the up-climb on the fiction roller coaster.

Instructor: Angela James
Dates: September 21 - October 16 2011
Cost: $49
Course Description: Ideas, tips and tricks for polishing and self-editing your manuscript. Tips are delivered in daily individual lessons along with examples and assignments to help you get the post out of your workshop experience Discuss things such as: Dialogue tags, whether all forms of “to be” are really evil, just what you’re doing to your life expectancy with your use of that exclamation point, how to avoid overwriting, basic punctuation and formalizing and finalizing your manuscript before you hit send.
 
Are you taking any courses this September or is it all about the competitions?

Happy writing!


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1 comment:

Suzanna Gilwen said...

That's quite a list. Thanks for posting - I'm going to have fun trying to decide which one to do.

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