2019 Master Classes

Master Classes

2019 Master Class Sign-Up

Bart Baker

“Adapting Your Book Into A Screenplay”

If you haven’t already thought twice about turning your book into a screenplay, and if you’re still determined to write a screenplay from your novel, or if you know your book would make an awesome movie, this three hour intensive is for you!

Writers who want to adapt their novel or nonfiction book into a screenplay will get a crash course in the mechanics of taking 300 to 500 pages of novel and condensing the expansiveness of a book down to a lean 100 pages of screenplay. In this workshop we will go over the basics of structuring a screenplay and then taking what is important in your book—the through line of the story and the characters and using that as the basis for writing your screenplay.

We will also discuss specifics: what you should lose and what you should keep. Why “killing your babies” is the most difficult aspect of transferring your book into a screenplay, along with what makes a good movie, and what in your book fits that, voice of the writer and their books. Each writer will come out of this master class with enough understanding of the daunting, yet doable, task of taking your great work and structuring it into something filmic. Additionally, time permitting, we will discuss in specifics (if possible with each writer) what you should lose and what you should keep.

Savannah Brooks

The Research of Writing: Strategies to Strengthen the Foundation of Your Manuscript

In prose, it’s often plot that engages readers—but it’s character development and setting that enthrall them. This session will focus on how writers can delve into the world of research to strengthen the foundation of their manuscript. Looking at award-winning works from both fiction and nonfiction, we’ll discuss various strategies for weaving in fascinating layers of information, giving your book a competitive edge for market and maybe even drawing in your own strange obsessions. Attendees should bring a WIP if they wish to focus on their manuscript specifically. Bring writing utensils, whether notebook/laptop/iPad/pen &paper

Caroline George

“Author Apocalypse: How To Survive The End of the Publishing World”

Based on her hit “Almost An Author” article, Caroline leads an engaging, informative workshop aimed to teach attendees about the changes within the publishing industry, digital opportunities, and ways to compete with a saturated market. In this 3-hour intensive, Caroline focuses on social media and author branding. She helps attendees determine their personal brands, learn the ins and outs of platforms like Instagram, and create a list of strategies to use in their careers. Attendees will feel equipped to survive the end of the publishing world—and thrive!

Nikki Terpilowski

“How To Get A Book Deal With A Traditional Publisher (There are no guarantees.)”

Getting a book deal is not as hard as you might think. There are some tried and true steps to achieving the goal of becoming a published author. You just have to complete them. In this master class, we’ll discuss what you need to do to give yourself the best possible chance of getting a book deal. Attendees will need pen and paper for note taking. Also, come with a list of questions about publishing, agents, and the process of achieving your goal!

Bill and Sharon Hopkins

“From Seed to Fruit: Your Manuscript from Start to Finish: Tips From Putting Your Ideas Together, to a Completed, Polished Manuscript Ready to Publish”

This in-depth class will take you from plot idea to finished book. It is aimed toward fiction writers who are aiming to have their novel either published traditionally or self-published.

You’ve always wanted to write a novel, right? Of course you have or you wouldn’t be reading this. So, we’ll start with the fundamentals of any well-written fiction story.
IDEA—Where do you get your ideas? Real life? Fantasy? Science fiction? Murder mysteries? There are so many ideas floating around you’ll never run out of them. Really! We’ll offer how to nab a few.
PLOT—Okay, how do you start? How do you keep going? Is there really such a thing as the sagging middle? We’ll tell you how to keep your story moving forward, and we’ll tell you when to shut it down and try another idea.
CHARACTERS—How many are too many? What should you name them? When should you introduce them in the story? How much backstory should you use? Should you describe each one of them in detail?
FORESHADOWING – “If he had only known . . .” is clumsy foreshadowing. We’ll show you how to sneak foreshadowing into your story and make it interesting. In fact, we’ll show you how foreshadowing can be a hook that will catch your readers and won’t let them go.
POINT OF VIEW—First person? Third person? And why you never use second person. We’ll present the pros and cons of the other two POVs. Or maybe there are more points of view!
TENSE—Present? Past? Future? We’ll familiarize you with different ways to tell a story.
BEGINNING, MIDDLE, END—How to tell a story.
RED HERRINGS—What?! Are they good for supper? Or should you drag one through your story?
CAUTION: MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW! During this in-depth workshop, we’ll tell you the story of the bridle and halter. And the revolver and the pistol. We hope you join us!

Karen Sargent

“The Keys to Writing an Irresistible Query Letter”

If literary agents are the gatekeepers to the publishing world, the query letter is a key that unlocks the gates. Writing an irresistible query letter isn’t impossible, but it does take some magic. Learn the tricks to get an agent’s attention and a request for materials. Karen will share before and after query letters that resulted in her clients signing with literary agents. You will leave with a formula to write your own irresistible query. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop to this class.

Ellie Searl, Publishista® 

“Do-It-Yourself Book Formatting and Design: How To Format Your MS Word Manuscript to Convert Into A Professionally Formatted Book”

If you’d like to learn how to use the components of MS Word to convert your manuscript into a professionally formatted book, this is your class. Most writers are familiar with some aspects of MS Word, but they aren’t as familiar with the myriad of options offered by Word for book design. There are other book design programs available, such as Adobe InDesign, but it’s not necessary to use an elaborate system to produce a beautifully formatted book for independent publishing. This master class will show you how to format your book according to your style and design aesthetics.
You will need a laptop computer and a recent version of MS Word. I will be using a PC version of Word, but the instruction can be adapted to the Mac version.
As time permits, the following will be covered in this intensive class: designing, inserting, using, and/or managing . . .
1. Setting style options                             13. Widows and orphans
2. Line spacing; Margins; Justification 14. Columns and tables
3. Title page; Copyright page                  15. Bulleted and numbered lists
4. Running headers; Page numbers      16. Headings; Scene breaks
5. Page and section breaks                      17. Borders
6. Downloading and using fonts            18. Inserting text boxes
7. Navigation; Search and replace         19. Inserting photos and captions
8. Paragraph options; Tabs                      20. Footnotes and Endnotes; Index
9. Chapter headings                                  21. Converting to pdf
10. Table of Contents                                22. Sizing the cover
11. Condensing and expanding text to 23. Converting print book to ebook,
fit; hyphenation bookmarks, & URL links
12. Superscript and subscript                 24. And whatever else comes up!

Claudia Shelton

“A Focused Look at Writing Romance”
This master class is comprised of lecture, power point, hands-on work and roundtable discussion as we wind our way through not only writing the romance novel, but delve into shopping your manuscript, the audience and the market. After a short review of what makes a romance a romance, in terms of the genre, we’ll expand on items such as: categories, sub-genres, “heat” levels, word choices, timeframes and time periods. And, then we’ll talk about the formulas for writing romance—some may be for you, some may not. From the beginning, worksheets will be provided for you to document who you are as an author and what you see yourself writing. These two things alone can be of great help as you brand yourself in the romance genre. Whether you’re working on your first manuscript, changing genres/sub-genres or are a well-established author hoping to reinvent yourself, there are tips to learn from this workshop,