FALL 2018 SEMINARS

Our industry and craft-focused seminars are one time, three hour classes. At Writing Workshops Dallas, we care about the craft of writing as much as we care about the business of writing. We know how hard won your work is. Our mission is to get your work in shape and out into the world so that it can find a readership beyond the workshop table or your critique group. We're proud of our talented instructors, all widely published and experts in their field, who have a strong desire to help writers navigate the many paths to seeing their work into the world, from surviving the first draft, to revising, and eventually publishing. We offer a rotating schedule of seminars and are always adding new topics. If you would like to suggest a seminar topic, feel free to use the Contact Page to let us know what you'd like to see on the schedule.

All returning students receive a discount. Our refund policy is simple: If a writer enrolls in one of our seminars and can't make it we will send you the link to the Live Stream along with all seminar materials so that you can watch the seminar at your convenience within 30 days of the seminar date.

SEMINARS

Special NaNoWriMo Prep Seminars

5 NaNoWriMo Prep Seminars in the Month of October

It’s NaNoWriMo time! From experience, we know that writers who prepare for NaNoWriMo reach their goal of 50,000 words, and we’re here to help you stay focused with five craft-focused seminars the month before NaNoWriMo begins so that you are ready to go when November 1st rolls around. These special seminars will be led by Tex Thompson, Jaye Wells, JR. Forasteros, and Blake Atwood. To register for one of our NaNoWriMo Prep seminars below, just click the registration button under the seminar and add it to the cart. All Seminars will meet at The Drawing Board in Richardson. Seminars include:

  • Dialect to Die For with Tex Thompson - October 25th

  • Writing Villains Who Beg Your Readers to Root for Them with JR. Forasteros - October 28th

  • How to Find Your Plot: A Storytelling Seminar with JR. Forasteros - Live Stream Recording Available

  • Masters of the Universe: World Building for Speculative Fiction Writers with Jaye Wells - Live Stream Recording Available

  • Scrivener 101: How to Start Using Your New Favorite Writing App with Blake Atwood - Live Stream Recording Available

Note: You can attend these NaNoWriMo seminars a la carte or buy a bundle and receive a discount. Each individual seminar is $50, or you can buy discount bundles of 2 or more Prep seminars:

  • First Package: 2 seminars at $80

  • Second Package: 3 Seminars at $120

  • Third Package: 4 Seminars at $160

  • Fourth Package: All 5 Seminars at $200

Dialect to Die For

A Special NanoWriMo Prep Seminar

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 6:30PM TO 9:00PM

When it comes to dialect, we often hear that 'less is more'. So how do you render a good Scottish brogue, or Southern drawl – and for that matter, how can you give a non-English-speaking character a voice that's distinct but still readable?  In this class, we'll examine how to represent accents and speakers of other languages in a way that captures their voices without reducing them to verbal tics, gimmicks, or stereotypes.

Instructor Tex Thompson is a ‘rural fantasy’ author, egregiously enthusiastic speaker, and professional ruckus-raiser. She is the author of  Children of the Drought – an internationally-published epic fantasy Western series from Solaris, as well as an instructor for the Writers Path at SMU and ‘chief instigator’ of WORD – Writers Organizations ‘Round Dallas. Now she’s blazing a trail through writers conferences, workshops, and fan conventions around the country – as an endlessly energetic, catastrophically cheerful one-woman stampede. Find her online at thetexfiles.com and wordwriters.org!

Fee: $50 | Live Stream Available!

  • Tex Thompson, Presenter

  • Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 6:30PM to 9:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

How to Write Science Fiction that Sells

Sunday, November 4, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Anyone can write tales about robots and aliens, but does that really make it science fiction? The truth is modern readers and publishers of written science fiction are much more sophisticated and demanding than those in the days of bug-eyed monsters and scantily clad space pirate queens. Come join our discussion about how you can avoid these worst tropes and stereotypes, why you don't have to be a scientist to write good science fiction, get tips and shortcuts for researching the science in your story and learn why written science fiction is quite different than what you watch on TV and in movies.

Instructor William Ledbetter is a Nebula Award winning author with more than sixty speculative fiction stories and non-fiction articles published in markets such as Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Analog. He's been a space and technology geek since childhood and spent most of his non-writing career in the aerospace and defense industry. He lives near Dallas with his wife, a needy dog and two spoiled cats. His new novel "Level Five" is available from Audible Originals. Learn more at www.williamledbetter.com

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • William Ledbetter, Presenter

  • Sunday, November 4, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.

Claiming Your Territory: Fiction or Memoir?

Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

This seminar will explore the formal and expressive possibilities—and limits—of fiction and memoir to address the question: Which genre might best serve the stories you want to tell, including the stories from your own life? The Nobel Laureate novelist Saul Bellow once said, “Fiction is the higher autobiography.” We’ll debate this claim and also consider the recent emergence of autofiction, a hybrid literary form that blurs if not erases the boundary between actual and imagined events. How might you exploit such boundary ambiguity to express your own felt experience, your voice, and the truth of your narrative? And what is truth in a literary context? Using, among other sources, the novelist Paul Auster’s compilation of true stories from NPR’s “National Story Project,” we’ll look at real-life narratives and then consider short fiction that corresponds to those narratives in plot and theme. As we analyze the qualities anchoring each genre, we’ll expand our sense of how the eye (perception of experience) and the mind’s eye (imagination) animate each one. We’ll generate our own fiction and nonfiction in the class, experimenting with how various elements—such as shape, voice/tone, and selective imagery—realize our intentions. We’ll also discuss:

  • The challenge of memory

  • The history of the tradition of blended literary genres

  • The classic writing advice to write what you know

Instructor Eden Elieff: Eden is a writer of fiction and nonfiction, a teacher, and private writing coach. She has published work in literary journals, the Dallas Morning News, and also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • Eden Elieff Presenter

  • Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.


Surprising Beginnings, Startling Endings

Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

We all know that beginnings and endings are tough to write. Kurt Vonnegut says we should begin a piece as close to the end as possible; essayist Ryan Van Meter believes that great endings resemble pieces of music. In this Sunday seminar, we will discuss and practice techniques for finding compelling conclusions, and the introductions that spawn them. Not sure where to start? How to stop? Let’s find out together.

Instructor Amy Bernhard is a writer whose essays appear in The Rumpus, VICE Magazine, Catapult, Hazlitt, Redivider, The Toast, Ninth Letter, The Iowa Review, and The Colorado Review, among others. She presently teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Texas-Arlington and The University of Iowa.  She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program, and her work has been awarded grants from The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and the Virginia Center for the Arts.

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • Amy Bernhard, Presenter

  • Sunday, December 2, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.


Legal Issues For Writers

Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Doesn't matter if you write books, articles, or screenplays, every writer must negotiate a minefield of legal issues on the road to publication or production.  Attorney Mike Farris, an expert in this field, will guide you through that minefield, addressing common questions that all writers have, plus some you may never have thought of.  Topics will include:

  • How, and why, to register your copyright

  • What is copyright infringement?

  • What is the “public domain”?

  • Defamation, invasion of privacy, and the right of publicity

  • The agency agreement

  • The publishing contract

  • How to obtain life rights

  • The option/purchase agreement for film rights/screenplays

  • How to protect your work when pitching to film producers

  • Collaboration agreements and works-for-hire

About Attorney Mike Farris: Mike was lead attorney in the Fifty Shades of Grey litigation in Fort Worth that resulted in a $13.25 million judgment in favor of his client.  He negotiated the sale of film rights to The Free State of Jones for his client The University of North Carolina Press, which was made into a major motion picture starring Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey and directed by multi-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross. Film rights to Mike's Hawaiian true crime book, A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow, have been optioned by Aaron and Jordan Kandell, two of the writers on the Disney hit Moana. Mike's latest true crime book is Poor Innocent Lad: The Tragic Death of Gill Jamieson and the Execution of Myles Fukunaga, set in the Territory of Hawaii in 1928-1929. Mike is also the author of seven published novels, including thrillers such as The Bequest and Manifest Intent, and the Hawaiian historical fiction Isle of Broken Dreams.

Fee: $60 or $45 for former/current students | Live Stream Available!

  • Mike Farris, Presenter

  • Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM

  • Seminar meets at The Drawing Board at 75 & Campbell: 1900 Jay Ell Dr / Richardson, TX / 75081

  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.