This January I will be flying out to Seattle, Washington to teach a one-day workshop for Clarion West! I'm so excited to take my teaching on the road.
Strange People: Creating Alien and Fantastic Characters | Sunday, January 14th | 10 AM - 4 PM Characters are the lifeblood of any work of fiction, but only in speculative fiction are they not always human. This workshop will explore what it takes to develop complex, interesting characters within a speculative context. How can a character from another world still be relatable to readers? How does the world they come from tie into character creation? What makes an alien truly alien?
In this workshop, you’ll explore all these questions and more through discussion, examples, and imaginative writing exercises. You will come away from the class with techniques for developing new characters and revisiting old ones. Interested? Register here!
I’m an instructor and editor with WriteSpace, an awesome grassroots literary organization here in Houston. Please find information about my work with them below.
Scrivener 101 | Saturday, December 2nd | 1-4 PM | $40-$55 How many of us have wasted time scrolling through a three hundred page Microsoft Word document looking for one specific scene? The powerful, designed-for-authors writing software Scrivener has a solution for this. How many of us have deleted pages of material only to realize later that we want it back? Once again, Scrivener to the rescue. Or maybe you just want to organize your story notes in one place? Or write on a simple blank screen as clean as a sheet of paper? Scrivener can do all these things and more.
In this workshop we will learn the fundamentals of using Scrivener software for writers to discover how it can streamline your drafting and editing process. As powerful as Scrivener is, it can be overwhelming to new users, so we will start simple and learn through hands-on experience. By the end of the workshop, students will walk away with an understanding of Scrivener’s basic functionality, and perhaps a whole new approach to writing. Interested? Register here!
Speculative Fiction Critique Session | Saturday, February 24th | 1-4 PM | $40-$65 Are you a speculative fiction writer who has wondered what a critique from a professional editor is like? Do you wish you could have an editor’s support and feedback, but you don’t feel ready to incur the cost? Or, are you just starting out and would like to know what’s important to keep in mind as you begin to work on your novel or short story?
In this three-hour workshop we will embark upon a fast and fun, yet in-depth adventure in which we explore the fundamentals and subtleties of dozens of craft elements essential to composing great speculative fiction stories. By the end of our session, attending writers will have attained greater clarity about what questions good writers ask as they work, as well as a clearer sense of what editors and agents look for when they receive a pitch or a submission. Interested? Register here!
Novel-Writing Workshop | Ten Thursdays beginning March 8th | 6-9 PM | $335-$395 Do you struggle to keep your stories under 6000 words? Have you ever received feedback comments in short story workshops like, “I want more!” or “This feels like the start of something bigger”? Have you reached the point at which you feel ready to immerse yourself in a piece of writing, rather than dole your stories out in bite-sized chunks, but you’re not quite sure how to venture into a longer form?
If so, then this is the workshop for you. We will focus exclusively on writing the novel, studying the particular challenges and expectations that arise when writing long-form fiction. We’ll talk about building structure and juggling subplots. We’ll look at ways to avoid the dreaded “sagging middle.” And we’ll attempt to answer that age-old question: Should I outline or not? In addition, writers will have the opportunity to see either their completed manuscript, or an excerpt, critiqued, depending on where they are in the process. Writers with no completed novels are welcome, as are writers of all genres. Interested? Register here!
Using Tropes Effectively (and Fighting Cliches!) | Saturday, March 17th | 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM | $40-$65 The infamous pop-culture wiki TV Tropes defines a trope as “a storytelling shorthand for a concept that the audience will recognize and understand instantly.” How many “storytelling shorthands” can you name off the top of your head? And how many of those have worked your way into your writing?
While tropes are a necessary part of storytelling, as writers we want to ensure that we are using them properly--that is, that we’re using the tropes, and not letting the tropes use us. In this workshop, we will learn to become more aware of tropes in writing and examine the ways that we can subvert and play with tropes to great effect. Interested? Register here!
These are workshops I've taught through Writespace in the past. Watch this page or the Writespace website, as I may be teaching them again!
Worldbuilding Writing a Great Antagonist Young Writers Workshops (Teens & Tweens) Tension: How to Build It, Keep It, and Increase It Fiction for Beginners Crafting Effective Prose How Do I Get Started? Q&A Science Fiction & Fantasy Advanced Fiction