SPRING/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

Legal Issues for Writers

Sunday, April 29, 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

Attorney Mike Farris 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 next true crime book, Poor Innocent Lad: The Tragic Death of Gill Jamieson and the Execution of Myles Fukunaga, set in the Territory of Hawaii in 1928-1929, is set for release later this year. 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, April 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.

    Free Cocktail Meet & Greet - May 3rd

    Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 - 5:00PM TO 8:00PM

    Writing Workshops Dallas is hosting a FREE Cocktail Meet & Greet on May 3rd at The People's Last Stand at Mockingbird Station and we'd love to meet you! Come out if you're interested in talking to our faculty about our just-posted 2018 Summer Classes or if you just want to meet other writers in Dallas and talk shop. It doesn't matter if you're a current or former WWD student, we'd love for you to be part of this community. Our mission is to bring writers out of the wilderness and into community. In fact, we were founded on the basis that having a literary community is essential to the life of any creative writer.

    Finding a community is an important step that leads most writers to take their work and craft more seriously. We're proud to be part of the thriving literary scene in Dallas. If you've heard about Writing Workshops Dallas and would like to know more about us, come to The People's Last Stand on May 3rd from 5PM to 8PM and let us buy you a literary-inspired cocktail. We'd love to meet you, discuss your work and where you hope to be in your writing journey this time next year!

    RSVP below if you can make it and we'll have some drink tickets with your name on them. Until then, Happy Writing!.

    • Cost: FREE!
    • Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 5:00PM to 8:00PM
    • Free Cocktail Meet & Greet will be at The People's Last Stand at Mockingbird Station: 5319 E. Mockingbird Ln / Dallas, TX / 75206

    Click the button below to RSVP for our FREE Cocktail Meet & Greet!

    Claiming Your Territory: Fiction or Memoir?

    Sunday, May 6, 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 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, May 6, 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.

    Should I Self-Publish or Seek Traditional Publishing?

    Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

    Gone are the days when the gatekeepers of traditional publishing held the keys to the literary kingdom. Thanks to thriving self-publishing platforms like CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, and Draft2Digital, the barrier to entry for publishing your own book is negligible. But just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Yet, with so much wildly varying information available online, how can today’s author know whether self-publishing or traditional publishing is their best path forward? By asking themselves five simple yet challenging questions, which will all be covered in depth. This interactive seminar will also offer answers to:

    • What are the major differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing?
    • What are the benefits and drawbacks of each process?
    • How much does it cost to self-publish vs. traditionally publish?
    • How long does each process require?
    • How much could I earn through either process?
    • Should my decision depend on my genre?
    • Why is a platform essential for both processes?
    • Does a self-publisher have to do all of their work alone?
    • What’s it like to work with a traditional publisher?

    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, May 20, 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.

    Before completing your purchase, you must first receive enrollment confirmation using the Register button below.

    How to Find Your Plot: A Storytelling Seminar

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

    JR. Forasteros, author of Empathy for the Devil, will guide you through the twists and turns of writing a story that keeps your readers turning pages till they reach that killer ending. How do you decide what story to tell? What are the rules of the various kinds of stories, and when do you break them? We'll help you learn to structure your story for maximum impact, no matter how many zigs and zags it takes. JR. will help you craft the perfect plot to make your story shine. Topics will include:

    • The various kinds of plots from the monomyth to the unstory
    • How to create peril that's compelling and convincing
    • How to control pacing in a story
    • The importance of saving that cat (nearly) every time
    • Finding the right ending… and getting there believably

    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, June 3, 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.

    Submitting to Journals & Magazines

    A Publication Seminar

    Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

    So, you have one or two finished pieces of writing (a short story, an essay, a poem, a chapter) and are wondering what to do next. The world of publishing can be vague and intimidating—how do I know where to send my work? What is an SASE? What should my cover letter say? In this three-hour seminar, we’ll answer all of these questions and more. You’ll walk away with an understanding of who is publishing what, what the procedures are for sending out your work, how (and why) you should keep careful records, and how to begin compiling your own writing résumé. Publishing individual pieces, such as stories, essays, or poems, is the first step along the path toward publishing a full-length book. It’s not a process that you’ll want to miss or skip over, and by the end of this seminar you’ll know exactly why. If you’re ready to begin the process of becoming a published writer, you won’t want to miss one-time crash course.

    Instructor Mag Gabbert holds a PhD in creative writing from Texas Tech University and an MFA in creative writing from UC Riverside. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, 32 Poems, Stirring, Carve Magazine, Sugar House Review and The Nervous Breakdown, among other places. She currently teaches creative writing for the Graduate Department of Liberal Studies at Southern Methodist University and serves as an editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.

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

    • Mag Gabbert, Presenter
    • Sunday, June 10, 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.

    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.

    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.