Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October Writing Workshops

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: Megan Applegate
Dates: October 2011
Course Description: This two week course will delve into Austen's methods of characterization and how to apply them to your own writing – the many tiers of a heroine, the depths and drive behind heroes.

Instructor: Erica Barton
Dates: October 1 - 21 2011
Cost: $20
Course Description: Erica will show you:
• How to Build a Blogging Platform
• How to Manipulate Amazon to Get Your Book Pushed UP in the Rankings
• Creating an Amazon Platform for your Books
• How to Quadruple the Growth of Your Email Subscribers
• And much more!

Instructor: Sherry Lewis
Dates: October 1 - 31 2011
Cost: $30
Course Description: A synopsis is one of the most valuable tools in your writer’s toolbox, but to write a successful one, we need to shift gears and forget almost everything we’ve learned about writing a great novel. Learn how to show editors and agents that you understand basic story structure. Wow them with a compelling story filled with sympathetic characters faced with layers of conflict and driven by believable motivation.

Instructor: Sally Walker
Dates: October 1 - 31 2011
Cost: $30
Course Description: Learn the building blocks of fictional storytelling through lessons filled with definitions, explanations and examples leading up to writing exercises with instructor analysis. In this eight-session workshop you will see how to plan story and prevent pitfalls, one page at a time. You will discover the magic of successfully juggling main plot and subplot, Point of View, and the crisp pacing demanded in today’s fiction market. You will learn the “how to” of analyzing and achieving “Scene-and-Sequel,” the fundamental logic of story events.

Instructor: Traci Hall
Dates: October 3 - 17 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: Traci Hall shows how she creates worlds, whether they are futuristic, contemporary or historical; the rules are the same. You’ve heard the saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day? This workshop will show you how to build your world one famous Roman building at a time – from the Ampitheater to the Villa Boscareale, we will learn how the details all add up to a lasting monument.

Instructors: Karen McCullough
Dates: October 3 - 28 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: This workshop is for authors who want to create their own web presence but don’t know where or how to start. We’ll cover all the necessary procedures for creating your own website, from registering a domain name to choosing from the variety of hosting options to actually setting up the pages. Please note: This workshop is for authors who either have no website currently or who want to start all over with a new site. Attendees must be willing to register a domain name (unless they already have a domain name), purchase hosting (if you already have hosting, it must be able to support WordPress), and install WordPress, with the guidance of the instructor. Strictly limited to 15 participants; acceptance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Instructors: Carol Hughes
Dates: October 3 - 28 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: What does Nora Roberts, Stephen King, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Terry Russo, and James Cameron know about writing that makes them the mega stars that they are? How are they able to turn out the constant string of stories that they do while you are barely able to struggle to the final page of your current SIP? Why did TITANIC and AVATAR each gross over $1 Billion in ticket sales in only a matter of weeks? Are you interested in learning the secret techniques that each of these mega stars has 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.

Instructors: Linda Gerber & Jennifer McAndrews
Dates: October 3 - 28 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: What do a jock, a burnout, a geek and a chav have in common? They can each fill a character archetype as found within the YA heroine’s journey. Take the journey with us and learn to identify the twelve basic steps of the journey, the routes teens tend to take, and the archetypes met along the way.

Instructors: Becky Martinez & Sue Viders
Dates: October 3 - 28 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: No matter what method of plotting a writer uses, there are certain elements that need to go into any well told story. The plotting wheel can help the writer make certain they're headed in the right direction with their plot and that the story is moving forward through meaningful action, building tension and good pacing. The plotting wheel can help get a story off to a good beginning, help prop up a sagging middle and provide help to insure there is a satisfying climax and conclusion.

Instructor: Shirley Jump
Dates: October 3 - 28 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: Are your scenes blah instead of blockbuster? Do they lag in the middle, or fall flat at the end? In this month-long intensive online class, you'll learn how to:
o Beef up your scenes
o Add more conflict
o Use every scene to raise the stakes
o Strengthen characterization
o Show instead of tell for maximum bang
o Work with hooks to keep readers turning the pages
o Tighten your pacing
o Create scenes that are unforgettable and powerful

Instructors: Kathy Bennett
Dates: October 3 – November 6 2011
Cost: $30
Course Description: During the class you’ll learn about handguns, rifles, shotguns, ammo, and body armor. We’ll start with the basics, and your questions will direct just how in-depth we’ll delve into the world of firearms, ammo and more.

Instructor: Robyn De Hart
Dates: October 3 - 14 2011
Cost: $20
Course Description: You’re familiar with all the basics, but how do you really apply all those acronyms? This workshop will go deep with hands-on assistance to show you how to build your story through the arc of your character’s emotional journeys. We’ll pay special attention to the character arc and how it relates to theme and the developing romance.

Instructor: Kit Fraizer
Dates: October 4 - 27 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: Cops make great heroes, and in order to get gut wrenching motivation, realistic dialogue and significant backstory, you have to know what makes them tick. Knowing what police officers think, how they feel and how and why they react helps create real believable heroes and give them sympathetic, even gut-wrenching motivation.

Instructor: Grace Conley
Dates: October 4 - 27 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: Interested in learning how L’Engle, Cormier, and Blume gave rise to Meyer, Marr, and Dessen? During this workshop, we’ll cover:
• An overview of modern Young Adult literature
• Principal themes and subgenres in YA
• Handling your approach: YA vs. YA with Romantic Elements
• Voice and the YA Writer
• The different audiences: writing for Tweens vs. Teens (and the Adults who read YA)
• The business side: agents, marketing, and resources for the YA writer

Instructor: Deborah Blake
Dates: October 5 - 27 2011
Cost: $16
Course Description: Author Deborah Blake moves beyond Vampires to delve into a wide range of paranormal folk who don’t need to hide from the sun. From Witches to Weres, Fae to Phantasms, this class will explore the alternatives to over-used supernatural stereotypes and help you to create your own unique paranormal character. The class will include:
• A discussion of current trends
• Suggested reading
• Hints for character building
• An overview of authors who have successfully gone beyond the traditional

Instructor: Catherine Chant
Dates: October 10 - 24 2011
Cost: $30
Course Description: At the end of this workshop you will have a better understanding of what goes into making your author website more appealing and inviting to a visitor and thus more effective for promoting you and your work.

This two-week workshop* will cover the golden ratio of layout design, web fonts and web-safe colors, using white space, user interface considerations and website organization, web graphics for the artistically challenged, and the importance of testing websites with multiple operating systems and browser applications.

Instructor: Paty Jager
Dates: October 17 - 30 2011
Cost: $25
Course Description: This two week course will help you get to know your characters and their backstory to catapult you into the correct spot to start your book. You’ll brainstorm until you find the best first sentence, paragraph, and page that will capture the attention of a reader and draw them into your story.

Happy writing!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Wall of Fame: Marcy Bassett-Kennedy

I'm very excited to introduce our first Warm and Cosy New Voices entry today.  Marcy Bassett-Kennedy's entry went live on September 26.  Congrats, Marcy!

Check out her blurb:

Tara Reilly is determined to be made a partner in her father's real estate development firm. Ecologist Carter Donovan is leading the protest against the most important project of Tara's career. Can she get him on her side without losing her heart?

Find out what happens when Marcy's spunky heroine finds herself face-to-face with a bat at:

Finding Love at Erie's Edge (Warm & Cosy) by Marcy Bassett-Kennedy

Happy writing!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Wall of Fame: Kerrin Hearfield

Today, we have another Contemporary Romance addition to New Voices The Wall of Fame with Kerrin Hearfield hitting the submit button on September 22. Congrats, Kerrin!

Check out her blurb:

Emma McCarthy is sick of denying how she feels for Matt. So she proposes. But in doing so, by acknowledging their one kiss and demanding he give up his past, will she lose her best friend?

If you love the fireworks of a friends to lovers story then you'll enjoy Kerrin's first chapter. Find it at:

Happy writing!


Friday, September 23, 2011

The Wall of Fame: Lorraine Wilson

Fellow Minx, Lorraine Wilson, hit the submit button on her New Voices entry yesterday and joined the Contemporary Romance section!  Congrats, Lorraine!

Check out her blurb:

Chalet girl Holly hasn't come to Verbier to party and she's better at keeping secrets than skiing. Can thrill-seeker Scott Hamilton tempt her off-piste? They both have more in common...and more to keep them apart than they could imagine.

Lorraine's chapter is fun and fresh, with a unique premise and a bar decorated by bras.  Find it at:

Confessions of a Chalet Girl (Contemporary Romance) by Lorraine Wilson

Happy writing!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Wall of Fame: Sri Pammi

We have another New Voices Wall of Fame addition, today!  Fellow Minx, Sri Pammi, hit the submit button yesterday.  She's our second entry in the Passion category and her chapter has a killer first line.

Check out her blurb:

Only one man can help Zara Kennedy escape the marriage orchestrated by her father- Damian Delgado, the man she had once loved and betrayed. But for Damien to help her, Zara knows she has to make an offer he can't resist.

You'll love Sri's sassy heroine and her bargain for her freedom.  Find out what it will cost her at:

The Price of Freedom (Passion) by Sri Pammi

Happy writing!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Beat That Negative Voice!

I'm at the Minxes of Romance blog today, talking about how to conquer the crows of doubt that often circle our writing. You can find my post on how to beat that negative voice for the Mills & Boon's New Voices competition here


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Wall of Fame: Susie Medwell

Today's New Voices Wall of Fame addition is Susie Medwell who submitted on the very first day!  She's not only a brave soul, she's also our first member in the Passion category.

Check out her blurb:

Property tycoon Michel Guinot is out for revenge, but when he discovers that feisty Zara Stone stands in his way, will passion win or will he destroy everything she's fought for?

If you love sizzling chemistry, then you'll love:

Loads of luck Susie and happy writing! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Wall of Fame: Catherine Coles, Romy Sommers & Christy McKellen

It’s only the second day since the launch of the Mills & Boon New Voices Competition for 2011 and we already have not one but THREE entrants on The New Voices Wall of Fame.

CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine, Romy and Christy who all hit the submit button on September 14 and became contemporary romance goddesses.  Ladies, let the nail biting begin! ;-)

And while they’re doing that, here’s a taste of their first chapters:

Blake Hargreaves is an Army Doctor who was seriously injured overseas. Now he's home and trying to come to terms with both the physical and mental scars. The last thing he needs is to be house sharing with flighty, too attractive Sienna Andrews.

Blake Hargreaves is seriously sexy.  Get your hands on him at:

Coming Home (Contemporary Romance) by Catherine Coles


Katie Allerton turned her back on the fairy tale to live life on her own terms. Michael Kelly is the classic Prince Charming, and not at all what she wants. But Fate doesn’t care what she wants, for every Princess must have her Prince.

If you love a kick ass heroine, you’ll love Katie.  Find out if she’s met her match at:

Once Upon A Time (Contemporary Romance) by Romy Sommer


When Hannah inadvertently rescues vigilante Christian, she has no clue what she's getting herself into. At first he seems like the answer to all her problems, but she soon discovers his dark good looks and winning charm mask a troubled heart.

Christian’s gorgeous.  I call dibs and you can envy me that at:

The Darkest Side of the Heart (Contemporary Romance) by Christy McKellen

Loads of luck to the entrants and to everyone else... happy writing!


Monday, September 12, 2011

New Voices Blog Badges Are Here!

There’s only few days left until the launch of the 2011 Mills & Boon New Voices Competition and I’m thrilled to have my internet connection back just in time. 

Today, I’m unveiling the New Voices blog badges for 2011.  These badges can link your blog directly to your entry to help people find your chapter.   You can find them at the bottom of this post along with instructions on how save and insert them into your blog and what to do if they won't centre or fit in your sidebar.  If you have any trouble, please let me know in the comments because I'm happy to help.

From September 13th the New Voices Wall of Fame will be back and YOU can be on it.  The Wall is a great way celebrate hitting that submit button and you shouldn't underestimate that achievement.  Public forums are a scary business and it takes a lot of guts to enter, so i hope you've got a mini bottle of champagne on standby.

The Wall will help people find your entry and last year we formed a mini support group and there were a lot of helpful and encouraging comments left by members of The Wall at other members entries.  So, if you'd like to be on The Wall just leave a comment with your name and the name of your New Voices entry (so I can find it and link it).  Plus, this year you’ll also get a shout out on Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, today is also the official launch of my Twitter account. I’m now an active Twit and you can find me @laceydevlin or click on my crazy new friend below to follow me.  You know you want to ;-)
I’m looking forward to reading your entries and I hope you enjoy the blog badges!


To save a blog badge:
1.Right click on the badge
2.Click‘Save Image As...’
3.Select the file where you want to save the image.
To add a badge to blogspot (ORIGINAL interface):
1.Go to your New Voices entry and copy its address. You can paste this into a Word document for safe keeping if you wish.
2.Sign into your Blogspot account.
3.In Dashboard click the ‘Design’ link (toward top of page)
4.Select‘Add Gadget’
6.The‘From Your Computer’ option should automatically be selected, if not, select it.
7.Click‘Browse’ and find the saved blog badge image.
8.Then click ‘Open’
9.Paste the address of your New Voices entry into the Link box.
10. Click ‘Save’ and you’re done!
To add a badge to blogspot (NEW interface):
1.Go to your New Voices entry and copy its address. You can paste this into a Word document for safe keeping if you wish.
2. Sign into your Blogspot account.
3. Select your blog and then the 'Layout' link on the sidebar
4. Select ‘Add Gadget’
5. Select ‘Picture’
6. The ‘From Your Computer’ option should automatically be selected, if not, select it.
7. Click ‘Browse’ and find the saved blog badge image.
8. Then click ‘Open’
9. Paste the address of your New Voices entry into the Link box.
10. Click ‘Save’ and you’re done!
Why won’t it centre in my sidebar? *wails*:
1.   The image has a width of 200 pixels to fit the average sidebar.  Yours may be larger or smaller.  If this is the case you need to adjust the size of the image in a graphics program.  This can be a program as basic as paint (which can be found on any Windows computer in the Accessories folder on the Start bar so no downloads are necessary to do this).
2.   First you need to know the width of your sidebar.  If you do go to step .
3.   To find the width of your sidebar sign into your blogspot.
4.   Click on ‘Template’.
5.   Click on the ‘Edit HTML’ beneath your current blog template.
6.   You will then get some scary message about only advance users being allowed to play with html but since you won’t be making any changes you don’t need to worry.  Click ‘Proceed’.
7.   You need to scroll down until you find the coding that reads (look for the red because the rest varies per template):
#sidebar-wrapper {
  width: 200px;
  padding-right: 10px;
  float: $startSide;
  word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
  overflow: hidden;     /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
8.   Make a note of the width.  In  the example it’s 200px.
9.   Now open Paint
10. Open your saved blog badge.
11. Click ‘Resize’ on the toolbar.
12. Where it says ‘by’ select “Pixels”
13. Where it says ‘Width’ type in the width of your sidebar.
14.   Save the image and you’re done!
15.   If you’re still having trouble and curse all electronics the world over, feel free to leave me the address of your blog and a way of contacting you in a comment (or email me directly) and I’ll send the modified image along.

© 2013 Lacey Devlin

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