SUMMER 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.

Before completing your purchase, you must first receive enrollment confirmation using the Register button below each seminar description to ensure there is still room in the class. 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

Book Marketing 101

A Recipe for Sizzling Sales

Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Is your book marketing strategy a little bland? You’ve invested time, energy, sweat, and maybe some tears into writing your book. But without the right marketing strategy, you and your book will languish, never connecting with the readers (and reviewers) who need to find your work. Using digital tools, you can create a marketing recipe that will get your book noticed without giving you heartburn. In this practical, how-to filled session, you’ll learn to have fun with marketing while attracting and keeping loyal readers. The importance of creating a compelling author website and critical elements for producing a high-quality, marketing-worthy book will be discussed. We’ll also examine the best social media platforms for authors and how to use them to build reader engagement and drive book sales. Using email marketing strategies effectively, building a team of devoted book ambassadors, and establishing a true-to-yourself brand will also be covered. A marketing “recipe book” will be provided to each attendee to help build and execute a successful marketing plan. This seminar will cover:

  • Establish an author brand people love
  • Learn how to engage more effectively with social media communities
  • Build a loyal following of devoted book ambassadors
  • Overcome intimidation in this new marketing world
  • Get the answers to burning questions about book marketing
  • Leave with a recipe for a complete book marketing strategy

Instructor Shayla Raquel is an expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 manuscripts and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Shayla's award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist and lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.

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

  • Shayla Raquel, Presenter
  • Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM
  • Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206
  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar.

Self-Editing Seminar

How to Self-Edit: 50 Essential Tips for Honing Every Manuscript

Sunday, July 1, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

As featured in D Magazine's "Five Things You Must Do in Dallas," this seminar, led by full-time editor and author Blake Atwood, will delve deep (or is it deeply?) into the challenging and robust (poor word choice) process of self-editing. You will learn specific, practical self-editing tips so you can present your most inrediblest (Are you even trying?) work to an editor, agent, publisher, or audience. You will also learn the differences between developmental editing and copyediting, how to know when you should stop self-editing, how to find and work with an editor, what you can expect to pay for professional editing, and what it’s like to work with an editor. This interactive seminar will help writers of all kinds, from novelists to nonfiction authors to poets to screenwriters. 

As an included bonus, every student will receive a digital copy of Blake Atwood’s Don’t Fear the Reaper: Why Every Author Needs an Editor as well as a digital download of the seminar’s tips.

Instructor Blake Atwood is an author, editor, and ghostwriter who has been traditionally published as a co-writer and has self-published three books, including an audio book and Spanish editions of his first book. He also works with editing clients pursuing both paths. He is the host of the podcast, All Apprentices: Quick Editing Tips.

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

  • Blake Atwood, Presenter
  • Sunday, July 1, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM
  • Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206
  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar.

Story Craft: Mastering the Art of Promises & Payoffs in Fiction

Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Great stories don’t happen by accident. The best writers understand the tools of the craft and use them to construct tales that surprise and satisfy their readers. To master these skills, writers must learn how to effectively make compelling story promises in their opening lines and pages as well as deliver surprising yet satisfying payoffs by THE END. In this workshop, you’ll learn about:

  • The tools that make effective and intriguing promises
  • Concrete examples of how bestselling authors use these tools in their stories
  • Delivering on your promises by effectively landing your payoffs
  • Tips for revision and working with these tools with your critique partners
  • How to apply these principles to your own work in progress with hands-on exercises

Students will also receive worksheet templates they can use for current and future projects. This class is for writers at all levels. 

Instructor Jaye Wells is a USA Today-bestselling author of nineteen speculative fiction books, including her most recent novel, High Lonesome Sound. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Learn more about Jaye at www.jayewells.com

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

  • Jaye Wells, Presenter
  • Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM
  • Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206
  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar.

The Ones We Love to Hate: Writing Villains Who Beg Your Readers to Root for Them (and Make Your Heroes Better Too)

Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

JR. Forasteros, author of Empathy for the Devil, will give you the secrets and strategies to write villains and antagonists who make your stories shine, ratchet up the tension, and make for compelling drama. A hero is only as interesting as their opponents. But how do we keep villains from feeling like 2-dimensional, moustache-twirling cardboard stand-ins? This seminar will help you understand what makes a great opponent for your protagonist. You'll learn to diagnose stories that aren't working. JR. will help you find the right amount of villainy to make your hero earn their applause. Topics will include:

  • The basics of strong character development
  • The difference between a villain and an antagonist (and which one you need)
  • Writing compelling dialog (and when your villain should monologue)
  • How to make a villain more sympathetic even if they're evil
  • Using your hero and villain/antagonist relationship to make the other more compelling

Instructor JR. Forasteros is the author of Empathy for the Devil. He also blogs for NorvilleRogers.com and is a prolific podcaster. He leads an Awaken Creativity Writers' Group for Art House Dallas, and his writings have appeared in several essay collections, Grace and Peace magazine and Relevant magazine. JR. is also a pastor, training a team of volunteer preachers in writing for public speaking.

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

  • JR. Forasteros, Presenter
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM
  • Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206
  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar.

Criminal Minds: The Elements of Crime Writing

Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Whether you’re writing historical fiction or contemporary crime novels, certain craft elements remain the same: an engaging plot, robust, multi-dimensional characters, pacing and building tension with the narrative.  This three-hour class will focus on effective strategies for writing exciting stories in the crime and mystery genre, where the demands for sustained tension and creative and unique narratives are the keys to writing a killer story.   There will be time for short writing exercises, and participants are encouraged to bring their own short stories, or outlines and extracts from their novels-in-progress for discussion of what’s working, and what’s not.

  • Building durable, robust characters that can carry the action
  • The distillation of dialogue, authentic to time and place
  • Narrative pacing
  • Maintaining suspense for your readers
  • Dynamic conflict resolution

Instructor Kathleen Kent’s fourth book, titled The Dime, is an Edgar-nominated contemporary crime novel set in Dallas. The New York Times picked The Dime as one of their “Latest and Greatest” in crime fiction, March 2017.  The second book in the Detective Betty series will be published by Mulholland Books in the spring of 2019.  The Dime has been optioned by 20th Century Fox for a TV series, produced by J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves. Ms. Kent is also the author of three bestselling historical novels, The Heretic’s Daughter, The Traitor’s Wife, and The Outcasts.

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

  • Kathleen Kent Presenter
  • Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM
  • Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206
  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar.

Scrivener 101: How to Start Using Your New Favorite Writing App

Sunday, July 29, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Writers who’ve made the switch to Scrivener as their go-to word processor often talk about the software with reverence. They can’t believe they ever accomplished anything prior to seeing the light of Scrivener’s immense functionality for every kind of writer. Novelists, bloggers, screenwriters, poets, and nonfiction writers can all benefit from Scrivener’s robust features. In Scrivener 101, we’ll cover as many of those benefits as we can within three hours:

  • Setting up your perfect writing environment
  • Importing and organizing content
  • Storyboarding with the Corkboard view
  • Creating and implementing custom metadata for deep analysis and organization
  • Tracking your daily progress and setting total word count goals
  • Backing up and syncing your work
  • Tracking revisions and taking snapshots
  • Inserting images, comments, and footnotes
  • Exporting to various file formats
  • Using Scrivener for iOS
  • and more.

Scrivener is available for both Windows and Mac, but differences abound between the two versions. Before attending this interactive seminar, it’s highly recommended that you download the trial version of Scrivener or purchase the application. During the seminar, we will all work together through the application, and you’ll best learn how to use Scrivener by using it during the seminar.

Instructor Blake Atwood is an author, editor, and ghostwriter who has been traditionally published as a co-writer and has self-published three books, including an audio book and Spanish editions of his first book. He also works with editing clients pursuing both paths. He is the host of the podcast, All Apprentices: Quick Editing Tips.

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

  • Blake Atwood, Presenter
  • Sunday, July 29, 2018 - 3:00PM to 6:00PM
  • Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206
  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar.

How to Build a Wildly Engaged Readership (with joy and less stress)

Build your List, Wow them Well, and Sell your Books

Sunday, August 5, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 5:30PM

Mary DeMuth, multi-published (traditional and indie) novelist and nonfiction author, will give you the tools you need to build a highly engaged, enthusiastic readership. She’s spent the last decade building her tribe, creating viral pass-along content, and selling books as a result. Have you ever felt like you’re shouting your book’s worth to an echo chamber? Are you turned off by the Ned Ryerson’s (the insurance salesman in Groundhog Day) of the publishing world who constantly ask and sell? There is a better, more joyful way to engage your readers. In this seminar, you’ll learn the ins and outs of list building (it’s the less sexy than social media, but it merits the best results), discover how to create personalized content, and you’ll find innovative, non-Ryerson ways to legally gather subscribers. Topics include:

  • How to see marketing as a joyful way to help people
  • Why implementing best practices in email list building and content creation is one of the best ways to sell books
  • What mistakes the majority of authors make when building their tribes
  • Who your audience is, and why culling your list is actually not counterintuitive
  • What competitive advantage authors have in marketing
  • Why learning to master “authentic copywriting” will increase reader engagement

Instructor Mary DeMuth is an international speaker and podcaster, and she’s the novelist and nonfiction author of over thirty-five books, including the latest: The Seven Deadly Friendships (Harvest House Publishers 2018). She loves to help people re-story their lives. She lives in Texas with her husband of 28 years and is the mom to three adult children. Find out more at marydemuth.com.

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

  • Mary DeMuth, Presenter
  • Sunday, August 5, 2018 - 3:00PM to 5:30PM
  • Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206
  • Live Stream is available for students who live outside of Dallas. Just let us know when you register.

Click the button below to register for the seminar.

6-Week Special: The Artist's Way Seminar

A Special 6-Week Seminar with Rex McGee

Thursday Nights, August 23, 2018 - September 27, 2018

THE ARTIST’S WAY SEMINAR has been taught to thousands of people looking for creative direction in their lives. People who enjoy visual art, performance art and writing have joined forces and realized that the challenges of creativity are not unique to any particular art form. Successful artists and beginners all face the same challenges. We will use any excuse to keep from living a fulfilled creative life; we surround ourselves with drama and other people who keep our lives chaotic to blur the focus from ourselves and our work. We oversleep, overeat, over-read, watch too much television and talk too much on the phone. We BLOCK, BLOCK, BLOCK until we can find blame and justify our real fear of actually living a creative life. Our fear of appearing foolish stops us from producing work. Our perfectionist tendencies stop us from starting or finishing a project. The deep desire many of us have to become GREAT artists prevent us from becoming artists at all. Our central fear may be that it is too late and that our talent is gone. We will look for any way to stop the pain... This eight-week workshop examines a variety of highly effective skills and practices designed to ignite passion and capture new ideas. Topics include:

  • THE METHOD OF THE MAGIC. Learn to recognize, nurture and protect your inner artist. You will move beyond pain and creative constriction.
  • LEARN THAT IT IS SAFE TO DREAM. We like to pretend it is hard to follow our heart’s dream. The truth is, it’s difficult to avoid walking through the many creative doors that will open for us. Leap and the net will appear. As we clarify our perceptions, we lose our misconceptions. We arrive at clarity, and clarity creates change.
  • RECOGNIZING POSSIBILITIES. As we gain strength, we free ourselves from our terrible fears of abandonment and we are able to live with a greater degree of spontaneity. We are freed from our constant demand for more and more reassurance, and our fellows are able to love us back without feeling so burdened. You will examine the idea that money worries are the ultimate creative block.
  • IDENTIFYING INSPIRATION. Art is not about thinking something up. It’s the opposite: it’s about getting something down. Instead of reaching for inventions, we learn to listen.
  • PROTECTING YOUR NEWFOUND ARTIST FROM HARM. Blocked artists are not lazy, they’re blocked. Procrastination is not laziness, it’s fear. The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist at all. This week, you will learn tools that involve taking creative risks, and these small risks teach you the courage that it takes to create.
  • AUTONOMY AS AN ARTIST. As an artist, self-respect comes from doing the work. Artists do not need to be rich, only richly supported. We kill parts of ourselves when we fail to nurture the artist within.

NOTE: Students are required to purchase a copy of The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron as the foundational text for this course.

Instructor Rex McGee is a native of North Texas and a protege of the legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder. McGee has sold over 20 scripts for film and television since receiving his BA in Cinema from USC.  He has worked in both Los Angeles and Texas as a screenwriter and journalist, and he has conducted screenwriting and creativity workshops at SMU for the last 19 years. His film credits include Warner Brothers’ Pure Country, starring George Strait, Hallmark’s Where There’s a Will, starring Marion Ross and Keith Carradine, and the IMAX film, Texas: The Big Picture, for the Texas State History Museum in Austin. A member of the Writers Guild of America, West, he has collaborated on his screenplays with directors Jon Amiel, John Putch, Peter Masterson, Robert Mulligan, and Billy Wilder.  He adapted his own original screenplay of Pure Country for the musical stage, which premiered in 2017 at Lyric Stage in Irving, Texas:  purecountrythemusical.com

Fee: $395 or $370 for former/current students

  • Rex McGee, Instructor
  • Enrollment limit: 10 students
  • Thursday Nights, August 23, 2018 - September 27, 2018, 6:30PM - 8:30PM
  • Special 6-Week Seminar meets at The Foundry Club at Mockingbird Station: 5307 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206

Click the button below to register for this special 6-Week seminar.