Online Workshops

Summer Special!

For a limited time we are offering a discount: Register for 2 courses and pay only $35 for both! Or register for 3 for $50… or four for $65 – the more courses you schedule, the more you save!

Click a link to go directly to a specific month:

JAN      FEB      MAR      APR      MAY      JUN      JUL      AUG      SEP      OCT      NOV

JANUARY 2015


Funny Business: Secrets to Writing Funny for Novels and Short Stories (2 weeks)

Presented by Steve Shrott
Dates: Jan 5 – 16, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Do you want to write a funny novel or short story? Or perhaps you’d like to add humor to the book you’ve already written? Then this is the course for you. Some of the areas covered include:
• The difference between funny and humorous.
• What makes something fun to read.
• The importance of character.
• The three main places to use humor.
• Specific techniques that will improve your ability to make your novel or short story humorous.
• Joke constructions and patterns that help us get laughs.
• Learning how the masters, such as Janet Evanovich, make their novels funny.
• Editing the humor.

Instructor Bio:
Steve Shrott has written comedy material for many well-known stage and TV performers. He’s also taught “how to” courses on humor at various institutions such as The Learning Annex. Some of his jokes are in The Smithsonian Institute. He has completed two novels and his short fiction has appeared in numerous online and print publications. Several of his stories have been published in anthologies such as “The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping.”

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Whose Head Are We In… The Nitty Gritty of POV

Presented by Susan Palmquist
Dates: Jan 12 – Feb 6, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
One of the first mistakes new writers make is running afoul of slips in Point of View and being guilty of the dreaded head-hopping syndrome. It’s a mistake that shouts amateur writer to an editor and is easily fixed. In this workshop you’ll learn all about POV, what it is, what it can do for every aspect of your story, how to avoid head-hopping, and knowing whose POV to use to tell your story.

Instructor Bio:
Susan Palmquist is the author of three ongoing series, Perfect Pairing, Kalispell Shifters, and Big Sky Ranch.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

FEBRUARY 2015


I Used to Hate Writing the Synopsis but Not Anymore

Presented by Susan Palmquist
Dates: Feb 2 – 27, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
This workshop covers synopsis writing, query letters, blurbs and taglines so writers have a complete package to submit at the end of the workshop.

Instructor Bio:
Susan Palmquist is the author of three ongoing series, Perfect Pairing, Kalispell Shifters, and Big Sky Ranch.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

How to Write Fast Again

Presented by Peter Andrews
Dates: Feb 2 – 27, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Crank up the efficiency and get that novel, short story, article or script DONE. Through exercises, evaluations, tips and technologies, you can learn to write faster. Discover how to break through blocks, get ideas, develop plots, draft and polish in less time without losing quality.

Course Topics:
• Identifying obstacles to writing and remedies
• Questions that help build plots, arguments, scenes and synopses
• Developing your process notebook so you can write for results
• Technology that speeds your writing
• Fast identification of prose problems and checklists for rewriting
• Dealing with distractions
• Measurements that keep you on track
• Writer’s block and how to use it

Instructional Methods: Handouts, group discussions, writing samples, exercises.

Expected Outcomes – by the end of the course, students should be able to:
• Recognize obstacles to writing and avoid them
• Use checklists and questions to create and organize material
• Create stories and articles more quickly
• Adapt and document known processes for writing that fit their style and intent

Instructor Bio:
Peter Andrews writes short stories, speeches, articles, and blogs. He has also worked as a web producer, speechwriter, and radio producer. Check out his blog at howtowritefast.blogspot.com

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

MARCH 2015


Crafting the Short Story

Presented by Susan Palmquist
Dates: Mar 2 – 27, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
With the growth of the online market and e-books, there are more opportunities for writing short stories. This workshop is for those writers who want to give the shorter format a try, or for the beginning writer who wants to use short story writing as a stepping stone to novel writing. The workshop covers such things as differences in writing in long and short forms, finding the right story for the shorter format, plot, characterization, mistakes most writers make, and markets for short stories.

Instructor Bio:
Susan Palmquist is the author of three ongoing series, Perfect Pairing, Kalispell Shifters, and Big Sky Ranch.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Writing the Page Turning Novel (2 weeks)

Presented by Steve Shrott
Dates: Mar 2 – 13, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
In this two week workshop, you’ll learn how to write a novel that hooks the reader from beginning to end. Some of the subjects we’ll cover are:
• Creating ideas that excite the reader.
• Strategies for making your main character compelling.
• What we can learn from thrillers.
• How movies can help us write books that hook.
• Case studies of top writers whose books are page-turners.
• Why you must structure your novel, and how you can do it, even if you’re a pantster like me.

So, if you want to write a book that will keep your reader glued to the page, join us for the fun.

Instructor Bio:
Steve Shrott has written comedy material for many well-known stage and TV performers. He’s also taught “how to” courses on humor at various institutions such as The Learning Annex. Some of his jokes are in The Smithsonian Institute. He has completed two novels and his short fiction has appeared in numerous online and print publications. Several of his stories have been published in anthologies such as “The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Second Helping.”

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

How Not to SQUICK an Editor

Presented by Sascha Illyvich

This course has been moved to May 2015. Click hereto go to the May listing.

APRIL 2015


Intensive Journey Cycle Workshop (6 weeks)

Presented by Robin Matheson
Dates: Apr 6 – May 15, 2015
Cost: $35

Course Description:
To reach a satisfying ending to any story, be it romance or another genre, each step in the Journey requires careful deliberation if your hero or heroine is to pass the Glass Slipper Test.

This course uses the familiar, symbolic world of Fairy Tales to reinterpret 1. the full Hero’s Journey and, 2. crucial psychological factors facing the protagonist at key points in the story. As a story building tool, the course examines the protagonist’s choices and actions and poses a series of questions about each stage in the Journey.

Geared to intermediate and above writers who are looking to develop or revise a work-in-progress, this intensive 6 week workshop includes lectures, charts and examples, plus lots of opportunity for Q&A. A series of assignments will also allow participants to receive feedback on their story.

Instructor Bio:
Award winning author Robin Matheson holds an honors specialist degree in Classical Civilization and English and a Master of Education. She’s taught numerous courses at college, overseas and, more recently, online courses on writing. One of Robin’s greatest passions is traveling. In addition to their home base, she and her family have also lived in South East Asia and South Africa. Visit her at www.robiemadison.com.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Sins Against the Sentence and How to Atone for Them (4 weeks, 11 lessons)

Presented by MM Pollard, acquisitions editor, Black Velvet Seductions
Dates: Apr 6 – 30, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
What is your manuscript? A collection of related sentences that tells a story.

Your story lives or dies on the sentences you write to tell your story. Are your sentences interesting and varied or boring and the same? Do you know the difference between a sentence and a fragment? Can you say why using run-on sentences is a bad idea? When is long too long?

In this four-week workshop, MM Pollard will cover what a writer needs to know to write spectacular sentences that make his reader want to keep reading. In eleven lessons, she will cover the sentence, fragments, fused sentences, comma splices, overly long sentences, flabby sentences, errors in compounding and subordinating, and boring sentences, plus two reviews.

Homework: Yes, there will be homework. MM hopes you think of homework as opportunities for mini-edits by an editor (MM).

Instructor Bio:
In her current position as acquisitions editor for Black Velvet Seductions, as an English teacher for fifteen years, and the MM in Workshops with MM, MM Pollard has helped writers find and correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing in their work.

MM has helped many writers improve their language and writing skills through her fun workshops. Yes, the basics of English composition can be fun! She has presented or will present workshops on Writers Online Classes, Savvy Authors, Orange County RWA, and Celtic Hearts RWA, just to name a few. She is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

MAY 2015


Bigger Stories

Presented by Peter Andrews
Dates: May 4 – 29, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Fire up your readers with twists, turns, shock, and awe. Learn how to demand more from your characters and to create endings that buzz. Don’t hold back. Find out how to take you stories from good to great.

Instructor Bio:
Peter Andrews writes short stories, speeches, articles, and blogs. He has also worked as a web producer, speechwriter, and radio producer. Check out his blog at howtowritefast.blogspot.com

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Some Like It Hot: Writing the Erotic Romance

Presented by Louisa Bacio
Dates: May 4 – 29, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Let’s talk about sex. Whether you’re writing a short story, novella or a full-length novel, an erotic thriller, paranormal or historical romance, the basics of the Erotic Romance remain the same: it’s all about plot and keeping it hot.

And, if one looks at the book offerings available from various traditional and e-book publishers: Readers like it steamy.

The workshop will cover the basics of characterization and motivation, and then delve into the heart: The sex scene(s). When writing about the physical aspects of love, it takes more than the cliché of “putting tab A into slot B.” The love scenes need to come organically from the work that’s being created, and the reader needs to believe in the connection.

When it comes to pacing, workshop attendees will learn how not to give it all up right away. In the second half of the class, we’ll look at how various genres handle the subject and situations. Finally, we’ll close out with tips for publishing, the query process and potential markets.

Adult Content: Note that with the subject matter of this workshop, the language may become explicit. Come with an open mind, and be prepared to learn.

Instructor Bio:
A Southern California native, Louisa Bacio can’t imagine living far away from the ocean. The multi-published author of erotic romance enjoys writing within all realms – from short stories to full-length novels. Releases include the erotic paranormal series The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf; several titles in the 1Night Stand series with Decadent; and For Men with Ellora’s Cave.

Bacio shares her household with a supportive husband, two daughters growing “too fast,” and a multitude pet craziness: two dogs, five fish tanks, an aviary, hamsters, rabbits, hermit crabs and rolly pollies. In her other life, she teaches college classes in English, journalism and popular culture. In addition to writing and editing, Bacio teaches college courses in English, journalism, film studies and popular culture.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

JUNE 2015


How Not to SQUICK an Editor

Presented by Sascha Illyvich
Dates: June 1 – 12, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Looking for tricks to tighten up your writing? Are you seeking to add description without having so much back story? Or are you just looking to write tighter? Ardent Books Managing Imprint Editor Sascha Illyvich will spend the next two weeks teaching writers about editorial pet peeves ranging from POV issues to order of operations in both sex AND dialogue. We will do a little editing practice during that time. Authors will walk away with a stronger sense of editing and craft creation.

Instructor Bio:
Sascha Illyvich is a native of Texas and the publishing industry’s Bad Boy of Romance. He is a house author for Assent, Red Sage, Secret Cravings, Sizzler Editions, Totally Bound, and Decadent Publishing. Sascha is the Managing Imprint Editor at Ardent Books, the Editor for Sizzler Editions Intoxication Erotic Romance line, and a member of the WriteSex Panel: a blog group defining erotica for writers in any genre. His erotic romances have been listed on USA Today, Night Owl Romance, and Road to Romance’s Recommended Read list. He has also been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Writing The Continuing Series

Presented by Susan Palmquist
Dates: Jun 1- 26, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Do you have an idea for more than one book featuring the same characters? If so, this workshop will show you how to cultivate the idea and plan out not only the first book, but future books too. The lessons will take you from brainstorming to creating three dimensional characters, how to keep track of who’s who and what’s what. Examples of successful series books. Pitfalls and potential markets.

Instructor Bio:
Susan Palmquist is the author of three ongoing series, Perfect Pairing, Kalispell Shifters, and Big Sky Ranch.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Essential Sales Skills for Authors

Presented by Ruth Kaufman
Dates: Jun 1- 26, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
To grow readership and succeed in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, learn how to apply 10 sales and marketing strategies gleaned from more than a decade of sales/marketing experience.

Many authors know they need to sell themselves and their projects but don’t know how. I’ve earned multiple national sales performance awards at two corporations, and apply territory management, persuasive speaking and negotiation skills to help authors as they network, submit and promote themselves and their manuscripts.

Instructor Bio:
An attorney with a master’s in TV/Radio, Ruth Kaufman earned national top performer awards at two corporations during more than a dozen years in sales, training and marketing. Responsibilities included negotiating contracts up to seven figures and managing a several million dollar territory.

FOLLOW YOUR HEART, the second standalone book in Ruth’s Wars of the Roses Brides series, released in April. Her writing accolades include a Romance Writers of America®’s Golden Heart® Award, a National Indie Excellence Award and runner up in RT Bookreview’s national American Title II contest.

Acting credits include roles in independent films, web series and national commercials, narrating hundreds of projects and assorted print projects.

Visit www.ruthkaufman.com and www.ruthtalks.com to learn more.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

JULY 2015


Punctuating Your Way to a Contract (4 weeks, 12 lessons)

Presented by MM Pollard
Dates: Jul 6 – 31, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Are you guilty of apostrophe apathy? Has comma chaos taken over your writing? Does simply thinking about punctuating dialogue give you hives? If so, fear not. During this workshop, MM Pollard, editor with Black Velvet Seductions, will use her unique way of distilling information that will have you punctuating like a pro, and editors will notice.

MM throws in a bit of humor to make the lessons much more fun than your jr. high English classes were. Cross her heart!

She will cover in this month-long workshop:
Lessons 1, 2: apostrophe use with singular and plural nouns; to show dual ownership; with numbers, dates, letters, and words mentioned as words;

Lessons 3-8: comma use in introductory words and phrases, in non-restrictive clauses and participial phrases; commas in compound and complex sentences; the dreaded comma splice; dash and parentheses use and how they differ from commas; the comma conventions;

Lessons 9, 10: punctuation in dialogue; comma, period, question mark, quotation marks, em-dash, and ellipses

Lesson 11: those other marks you have no clue how to use but might need to some day because you are a writer now

Lesson 12: review of all punctuation marks covered in workshop

Yes, there will be homework with each lesson. MM was an English teacher for fifteen years, after all.

Reward for doing your homework: MM’s feedback on every assignment turned in. Think of homework as opportunities for mini-edits by an editor.

Instructor Bio:
In her current position as acquisitions editor for Black Velvet Seductions, as an English teacher for fifteen years, and the MM in Workshops with MM, MM Pollard has helped writers find and correct ungrammatical grammar, misused usage, problematic punctuation, and poor writing in their work.

MM has helped many writers improve their language and writing skills through her fun workshops. Yes, the basics of English composition can be fun! She has presented or will present workshops on Writers Online Classes, Savvy Authors, Orange County RWA, and Celtic Hearts RWA, just to name a few. She is sure she can help you, too, master the fundamentals of English composition.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Writing a Short Story for Anthology Call-Out

Presented by Louisa Bacio
Dates: Jul 6 – 31, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Beginning writers are often told to: “Write the story you want to read, not what someone else might want to see.” This class, instead, deals with catering a short story specifically to a publisher’s request for submissions. Regularly, editors and publishers list upcoming anthologies and the types of stories they’re looking to include.

The course will explore current call-outs, and students will be encouraged to write specifically for one anthology and to submit the work at the end of the course. Basic crafting of a short story, such as development, characterization, plot structure & dialogue also will be covered. Since most short stories fall within 2,500 to 5,000 words, we’ll also look at ways to making word choice count and address the editing process.

End Goal: Come prepared to write! Student should write at least one new story during the course and actually send it out for submission. We want to see some publication success with this course.

Schedule:

Week 1: Idea to inspiration
Getting started & plotting

Week 2: Characterization and pacing

Week 3: Realistic dialogue and thematic development

Week 4: Critique process, polishing and submissions

Length: 4 weeks
Level: Mixed

Instructor Bio:
A Southern California native, Louisa Bacio can’t imagine living far away from the ocean. The multi-published author of erotic romance enjoys writing within all realms – from short stories to full-length novels. Releases include the erotic paranormal series The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf; several titles in the 1Night Stand series with Decadent; and For Men with Ellora’s Cave.

Bacio shares her household with a supportive husband, two daughters growing “too fast,” and a multitude pet craziness: two dogs, five fish tanks, an aviary, hamsters, rabbits, hermit crabs and rolly pollies. In her other life, she teaches college classes in English, journalism and popular culture. In addition to writing and editing, Bacio teaches college courses in English, journalism, film studies and popular culture.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

AUGUST 2015


Beginning WordPress

Presented by Pepper O’Neal
Dates: Aug 3 – 28, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
This class will focus on understanding the basic functions of the WordPress backend. It will include: making posts and pages, adding images, copying and pasting from one post or page to another, creating links, connecting your social media links for FaceBook, Twitter, etc., using plugins, widgets, and themes, creating parent and child pages, using menus, and customizing the look and feel of your site. In short, everything you need to set a website or blog and make it uniquely yours. The class lasts four weeks.

Lesson plan for the beginning WP class:
• Navigating the Back End of WordPress
• Understanding Themes: Changing the Look of Your Site Through Themes
• Customizing the Themes: Changing the Header and Background.
• Understanding the Difference Between Posts & Pages: What They Are; How to Use Them
• Adding Images & Links
• Things you can do to Jazz up your site. Using Asides and Widgets
• Working with Plugins: Understanding Plugins, Some Plugins You Must Have, Setting Up FB & Twitter Links on Your Site
• Some Things You Need to Know About the Web and Websites

Instructor Bio:
Pepper O’Neal has a doctorate in education and has taught a number of adult education classes on many different subjects. She currently works as a freelance researcher and author. When she was told by both of her publishers that she needed to have a website, she realized she needed to finally join the age of technology. She also realized she had two options. She could pay someone to design the site for her, or she could to do it herself. As she hates depending on others for things involving her career, she decided to learn how to use the free web-design software WordPress and Joomla. She took classes, hired experts for tutors, and picked the brains of her web-designer friends. After designing her own websites, she decided she liked doing it, and now she designs websites for others.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

Writing From the Male POV

Presented by Sascha Illyvich
Dates: Aug 3 – 28, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
In this workshop, learn the ins and outs of character creation from a side of romance we rarely hear from, the male romance reader/writer! Erotic Romance author Sascha Illyvich shares with us tips on how to create more memorable heroes, avoid some common pitfalls and have more fun with our writing!

What you’ll learn from this class:
•Male Archetypes and how they affect our characters
•How (il)logical men think and why they act the way they do
•How to take any male character from any movie/story and modify him to fit your story
•How to get your man to express his true “self”
•What men REALLY care about and how to work with that for your characters*
•A man’s self view*
•The GAY MALE Viewpoint*
•The Male Cycle of Emotions and how it compares to the female cycle of emotions
•A man’s journey in life
•What men really think

A few extras:
Using character creations sheets (don’t groan!) that have all the relevant information you’ll need, you’ll be able to craft male characters that are just as deep as your female characters. Getting inside the heads of your male characters is the most important aspect of “how to write” them.
Cross gender writing can make or break an author’s career if they cannot portray the opposite gender clearly and accurately. With the growing popularity of M/M romances, it’s becoming increasingly important for males to be portrayed in the proper light! We’ll cover all that here and a lot more over the next week.

Instructor Bio:
Sascha Illyvich is a native of Texas and the publishing industry’s Bad Boy of Romance. He is a house author for Assent, Red Sage, Secret Cravings, Sizzler Editions, Totally Bound, and Decadent Publishing. Sascha is the Managing Imprint Editor at Ardent Books, the Editor for Sizzler Editions Intoxication Erotic Romance line, and a member of the WriteSex Panel: a blog group defining erotica for writers in any genre. His erotic romances have been listed on USA Today, Night Owl Romance, and Road to Romance’s Recommended Read list. He has also been nominated for a CAPA by The Romance Studio.

Register for this Workshop – Closed to Registration

SEPTEMBER 2015


Advanced WordPress

Presented by Pepper O’Neal
Dates: Sep 7 – 30, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Now that you have your website or blog set up, it’s time to get creative. This course will focus on advanced customizing of WordPress sites. It will include: installing WordPress on your home computer and creating a webhost server that is not connected to the internet so that you can test ideas in a risk-free environment, troubleshooting your site when it crashes, creating custom menus, importing and exporting content from different sources, creating user-friendly permalinks, search engine optimization, and using the WordPress community forum. The class lasts four weeks.

Lesson plan for the advanced WP class:
• Setting up WP on your home computer: working with local host for both Mac and PC.
• Working with menus: creating custom menus, putting menus in your sidebar.
• Playing around in the WP Content Folder and troubleshooting: what to do if you crash your site.
• Fun things you can do with your site: embedding videos and adding images from the web.
• Optimizing your site for search engines, part 1.
• Optimizing your site for search engines, part 2.
• Going live, part 1: uploading your practice site to the web.
• Going live, part 2.

Instructor Bio:
Pepper O’Neal has a doctorate in education and has taught a number of adult education classes on many different subjects. She currently works as a freelance researcher and author. When she was told by both of her publishers that she needed to have a website, she realized she needed to finally join the age of technology. She also realized she had two options. She could pay someone to design the site for her, or she could to do it herself. As she hates depending on others for things involving her career, she decided to learn how to use the free web-design software WordPress and Joomla. She took classes, hired experts for tutors, and picked the brains of her web-designer friends. After designing her own websites, she decided she liked doing it, and now she designs websites for others.

Register for this Workshop

Can We Talk: Discuss your writing with confidence

Presented by Ruth Kaufman
Dates: Sep 7 – 30, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Whether published or not, many authors aren’t comfortable talking about their work with agents, editors, other authors or even potential readers. As an actress, public speaker and experienced salesperson, I offer tips and exercises to help authors concisely and effectively discuss and pitch their work.

Instructor Bio:
On any given day, 2011 Golden Heart Winner® and American Title II runner up Ruth Kaufman could be rejected by a literary or talent agent, editor, casting director, producer, client, or, being single, a man. So she co-wrote Find Your Inner Fabulous, a national Indie Excellence Book Award® winner, which provides a roadmap to greater self-esteem even in the face of setbacks.

Her true short story “The Scrinch,” is in St. Martin’s anthology The Spirit of Christmas, foreword by Debbie Macomber. In her pursuit of traditional publication, she’s garnered contest accolades for seven manuscripts and more than a dozen revision letters.

Ruth is an on-camera and voiceover talent, freelance writer and editor with years of award-winning corporate marketing and training experience. She has a JD and MS in TV/Radio, and presents workshops for actors and authors. Learn more at www.ruthjkaufman.com and www.ruthtalks.com.

Register for this Workshop

GROW A BOOK: Turning your story idea into a workable plot (3 weeks)

Presented by Cathy Chant
Dates: Sep 7 – 30, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
Do you have a story idea but aren’t sure what to do next? Have you started writing a story, but now find your plot stuck in a corner? Have you lost interest in your story idea because the plot became boring? Whether you’re a plotter who loves to outline or a pantser who prefers to hit the open road without a map, a broad strokes outline can help you “grow you book” from the seed of an idea into a full-blown story and avoid the pitfall of the unworkable plot.

The lessons in the Grow a Book workshop guide you in creating a broad strokes outline at the “idea” stage, so you get the “big picture” of the story right away and can more easily spot and correct plot problems, such as the sagging middle or superficial conflict, before they become writing roadblocks that waste your time. If you’re stuck in a story, the broad strokes outline can help pinpoint where you might have taken a wrong turn and guide you back to the right course. You don’t necessarily need to write a bad “rough” draft. A little planning can save you a lot of time during revisions. And a broad strokes outline, which only hits the high points of the story to keep you on track, won’t bog you down with so many details you feel stifled. You can still write by the seat of your pants, if that’s your style, but the outline offers you some boundaries so you don’t disappear into the weeds and have to start all over.

As a bonus, your outline quickly converts into a brief synopsis with only a little editing and gives you a head start on your query letter.

The instructor will give feedback on all homework and offer students the opportunity to submit homework privately if they don’t feel comfortable sharing their plot ideas in a public forum. Students who complete all the exercises will have a broad strokes outline and a draft of a brief synopsis completed by the end of the workshop.

NOTE: This workshop was previously entitled “Avoid the Rough: Turning Your Story Idea Into a Workable Plot”

Instructor Bio:
Catherine Chant is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. She worked for fifteen years at Boston College as a computing & communications consultant before becoming a full-time writer. During her writing career, Catherine has been a plotter, a pantser and everything in between–the process seems to change with each project. But what hasn’t changed is the use of a broad strokes outline to keep her on target. Her first novel, WISHING YOU WERE HERE, a young adult rock ‘n’ roll time travel romance, is available at Amazon.com. She has also written two Vampire Diaries novellas for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds program, and is working on a new young adult novel. You can visit her online at http://www.catherinechant.com

Register for this Workshop

OCTOBER 2015


NaNoWriMo Success

Presented by Peter Andrews
Dates: Oct 5 – 30, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
The biggest writing event of the year, November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) can help you build good habits, clarify your commitment to writing, and rediscover the joy of storytelling. It may even catalyze the creation of a wonderful book. Learn how to get the most out of this Ironman event of writing (completing a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days!) through preparation, focus, proven techniques, and attitude. And find out how you can keep the momentum going into the months and years ahead.

Instructor Bio:
Peter Andrews writes short stories, speeches, articles, and blogs. He has also worked as a web producer, speechwriter, and radio producer. Check out his blog at howtowritefast.blogspot.com

Register for this Workshop


Austen to Aliens, Creating the Classic Tough Chick

Presented by Jacqui Jacoby
Dates: Oct 5 – 30, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
As martial artist, Jacqui Jacoby is interested in self-defense and how women are portrayed in the media. At first, it seemed as if it was only Hollywood showing women in a tough light. With heroines such as Sarah Conner of the Terminator movies, and Ellen Ripely in the Alien films, women were the ones saving the day when men were being blown up or eaten.

This workshop covers such topics as how to portray tough chick heroines. We will discuss different types of self-defense techniques and how to build a tough chick heroine from the inside out. 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 what kind of villains will she face?

Instructor Bio:
With her kids grown she manages her career and her own publishing firm Body Count Prodcutions, Inc with several authors requesting representation.

She’s a workshop teacher who has appeared both live and online to give such classes as “From Austin to Aliens: How to Create Classic Tough Chicks” and “Behind the Scenes: The Research Before the Book.”

First Place Winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award in Excellence, as well as the Suzannah and the Dixie for her books, she’s a RWA Golden Heart Finalist and the author of two published novels, with three more finished and slated for publication by the summer 2016.

Register for this Workshop

NOVEMBER 2015


Developing Stronger Characters Through Journaling (2 weeks)

Presented by Cathy Chant
Dates: Nov 2 – 13, 2015
Cost: $20

Course Description:
While exciting events in a book may entertain you, it’s really the characters that grab the your attention and hold it on the page. Strong characters pull you in and keep you invested in the story, turning those pages. Creating a strong character comes from understanding who this imaginary person is inside and out, not just on the surface, and conveying that to the reader. Journaling is a fun way to dig deep enough below the surface to unlock your character’s hidden secrets and bring that character alive on the page.

At the end of this workshop, you will have a better understanding of what makes your main character tick, what drives your character through the story, and how conflict affects character growth and change. You’ll get inside your character’s deepest thoughts and fears to discover what’s missing from his/her life and how to use this to drive your story’s plot to a satisfying conclusion.

The workshop includes exercises with every lesson designed to strengthen the concepts discussed, including several short writing exercises.

Instructor Bio:
Catherine Chant is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. She worked for fifteen years at Boston College as a computing & communications consultant before becoming a full-time writer. During her writing career, Catherine has been a plotter, a pantser and everything in between–the process seems to change with each project. But what hasn’t changed is the use of a broad strokes outline to keep her on target. Her first novel, Wishing You Were Here, a young adult rock ‘n’ roll time travel romance, is available at Amazon.com. She writes rock ‘n’ roll romantic fiction and paranormal YA. She is currently working on her next YA novel and the next book in her Soul Mates series. You can visit her at www.catherinechant.com

Register for this Workshop


**Cancellation and Refunds Policy: No registration fees will be refunded. All payments for a workshop must be received by the registration cutoff date. If you have trouble viewing the PayPal form, please send payment through PayPal to paypal@lowcountryrwa.com. Payments received after the cut-off date can be applied to a future workshop of the Applicant’s choosing.

In the event a workshop is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, such as instructor inability to teach class, registration fees will be applied to a future workshop of the applicant’s choosing.

A Confirmation Letter of Payment will be sent promptly. Invitations to the workshop are sent 2 days prior to the start of class. If you pay for a workshop and do not receive a confirmation letter and an invite please contact the Online Workshop Coordinator immediately.

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