Online Workshop Details
TO SIGN UP, PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.
LIMIT OF ABOUT 12 WRITERS PER WORKSHOP. This limit of 12 writers allows the instructor(s) to give each writer more personal attention.
Structure of every workshop:
— Each week for six weeks video lectures will be available for the writer to listen and watch in their own time. (Video lectures will be about 6 to 8 or so minutes long each and there will be about six or so of them per week depending on topic.)
— Each week will include an assignment which will need to be sent as an attached file within five days. We will work personally with each writer or book designer, and send the assignments back to each person before the end of the week. (The assignments are not mandatory, but suggested to get the most out of each workshop.)
— Then each week we will record a short (5 minutes or so) video talking in general (never giving names) about the assignment for everyone in the class to watch. Then the following week’s assignment and lecture will be available.
— Each new video will be released on the same day of the week as the first one for six weeks. So if the workshop starts on Monday, the new weekly video session will be released every Monday.
Workshops are all SIX WEEKS LONG.
Cost of online workshops is $300.00 each. (Payment instructions at the bottom of the page.)
The workshops will have a distinctive web site. The website will have FAQ and comments sections for discussions and other areas of interest for each workshop. About one week before each workshop I will contact each writer signed up and get them a password to the class location.
NO REFUNDS. However, your money can be moved to a different workshop down the road if you have schedule or health problems. We will work with you.
My e-mail address for these workshops is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put only WORKSHOPS in the subject line. Or if I do not respond, e-mail me at my address of email@example.com. I try to respond fairly quickly, meaning within the same day.
DESIGNING PROFESSIONAL E-BOOKS (new workshop started January 2014)
When the electronic book revolution started, publishers and indie writers just uploaded word files and hoped they looked all right. There wasn’t much else that anyone could be done. But now after four years, it is possible to design professional-looking electronic books and upload them in ways that they will hold formatting. From lead-ins, decorative headers, professional title pages, and so much more. It’s all possible these days.
Now your electronic books can look as good as your paper books.
This workshop will cover electronic book cover design (from how to design for thumbnail to how to use varied sizes and create Audio covers for audio editions). The course will teach you in detail how to design electronic books, how to hold formatting, and where all the different elements of a book belong. Including what files to upload and when covers need to be added and how.
Now your electronic books can easily look like they were done by professional book designers. Taught by Allyson Longueira and Dean Wesley Smith.
With the addition of this workshop, we now have three design workshops taught by Dean Wesley Smith, former publisher of Pulphouse Publishing and Allyson Longueira, a professional book designer with a master’s degree in design. Covers, Interiors, and E-Book Design. All three workshops work well together.
CHARACTER VOICE AND SETTING (new workshop started January 2014)
If you want to learn how to get down inside character’s heads and stay there, this is the workshop for you. And if critiques tell you your setting is thin, this is the workshop for you.
An intense craft workshop that will help you learn how to develop memorable characters, memorable settings, and learn how to write multiple characters that can be told apart. Gain control over your own characters and learn the techniques that make a character and the setting they are in come alive to a reader.
This workshop was taught for six years here on the coast, but now has moved online.
WRITING WITH DEPTH workshop. (started March 2014)
A sentence-by-sentence, clause-by-clause look at how you can write fiction, characters, settings, and plots with depth. Your writing, your characters, your fiction will take a huge jump forward with this workshop.
This workshop goes hand-in-hand with the Character Voice workshop and the Pacing workshop. Writing With Depth workshop is a third and final part to the puzzle of making characters and stories have real power that holds readers in your stories. And you can take the workshops in any order. They all just add to each other.
Last fall, Kris and I did a workshop called “Strengths” that looked at writers’ work up close and helped them, we hope, understand where they are strong, and where they need work. Almost everyone who took that class needed work consistency developing characters at a deeper level. But how?
In the Character Voice workshop, both here at the coast and now online, I often told writers they were just skimming over the surface and they needed to stay down in character’s heads more. But how?
The Writing With Depth workshop will show you exactly how.
Kris and I have finally worked out a way to get down into the details to show you exactly how to add depth to your characters and your work without hurting your plotting or your pacing.
This is not a theory workshop. We will show you directly how to do it and you will practice it and get feedback from us on how to make your work even better.
NEW! Starting in April
HOW TO TAP YOUR OWN ORIGINALITY
In a workshop in February here at the coast, Kris and I were both stunned at how many professional writers in the group picked the most obvious story to write for an anthology. They constantly went for the same cliched story that everyone else would tell, and for that they often got rejected.
Sameness does not sell. Original work sells and builds fans and readers.
So after the workshop, Kris and I talked a lot about this problem and finally put together a six-week workshop to help writers find their own original voices and get out of writing the same thing everyone else is writing.
This workshop will cover how to find original characters, originality in settings, and how to get out of picking the safe idea, the one everyone will do. This workshop will help you learn how to build original plots as well, and know when to use a standard plot and when to break into original plot.
And it will teach you when to recognize an original plot. And so much more.
This workshop will help you find your own voice in your writing, and give you a start on developing that voice into something truly original.
Regular Ongoing workshops…
PROMOTION (Making More Money On Your Writing)
For indie writers and traditional writers alike, this workshop teaches you the sane ways to promote your work and remain a writer at the same time. Just as the Pitches and Blurb Workshop teaches you how to write sales copy for backs of books and blurbs and so much more, this workshop will teach you how to write different kinds of promotion copy.
The online promotions workshop is amazing, since we also added in a bunch of things we learned in the Advanced Master Class. The online promotions workshop will teach you how to sell to readers, how to get major trade reviews, how to sell to bookstores and let the world know your books even exist. It will help you know when to promote, when to write the next book, and we hope help you understand when to use social media and when not to bother.
The assignments will help you gain the skills to do all this, from writing Advanced Reader Copies back cover sales information to doing letters to readers and so much more, including how to use all the wonderful programs the ABA has to offer. If you have been afraid of promotion, or only using Twitter and Facebook to do it and your sales are very low, this online promotions workshop will help you learn how to do so much more while still having a ton of time to write the next book.
PACING YOUR STORY (Keeping Your Story Moving)
Ever wonder how a writer makes you stay up all night reading? And sometimes when the story doesn’t really hold you? This workshop teaches you the tricks and skills that will keep your story moving at the pace you want it to move.
From writing slow family scenes to fast action scenes, you will gain the control of the reader that you always wondered about. This will cover a vast amount of information and writing techniques. From short stories to novels and series novels, this class covers everything you will need to know about how to keep a story moving and the readers turning pages.
How to keep a reader reading from chapter to chapter and from scene to scene. There are many ways besides the standard “hero hanging from a cliff” that the name of the technique is named after. In fact, there are six major cliffhangers and each week in this course will cover another way to keep your readers hooked into your stories. It will also cover how to speed up your stories and even understand when a scene or chapter should end. Understanding how to use the major cliffhanger techniques will jump your sales and keep readers coming back to your work.
PITCHES AND BLURBS
Maybe the most important workshop we do. This workshop will teach you how to write great ad copy for your stories and novels. Name value, then covers, then ad copy are the top three things readers look at before sampling your book. This course will teach you how to write ad copy for electronic sales, for cover letters to editors, for catalog copy to bookstores, and also back cover copy for your books. This skill that takes time to learn and this workshop will get you on the road to selling more books and stories.
Writers seldom know what genre they write in. Every wonder why your book isn’t selling well? Maybe it’s because you put your book on the wrong electronic shelf. Not only will this workshop teach you how to identify genres, but also will teach you the structure of all the major genres. That way if you decide to write a story or a novel in a certain genre, you will understand what you need to do.
This workshop goes down inside the structure of each genre and many subgenres. You will understand genre when you finish this workshop.
Readers, if they make it through your cover and your ad copy, they open your book and sample your story or novel. And if you don’t know how to open a story, no reader or editor will buy it. There are ways to write openings of stories that will grab the reader and this course will teach you that. Also, every time you start a new chapter or a new section, you must grab the reader and keep them reading with the opening.
This course will teach you how to do that and work with you on the tricks and writing techniques of professional fiction writers.
ESSENTIALS OF A FICTION WRITING CAREER
This will cover all the basics of being a fiction writer, from how to make money, how indie publishing works in this new world for writers, and six craft exercises to get each person to a certain place in their writing career. The exercises will help each writer understand where they are strong and where they need work to sell more stories and books. Also, this will help writers understand the role of traditional publishing in this modern world as well as how to combine the two. If you ever wanted to be a professional fiction writer, this is the course that will show you how to get to that goal and what you need to work on.
If you are just coming into publishing, this is the course to start with.
FROM IDEA TO STORY
How to generate ideas for stories and then how to turn the ideas into solid stories. Professional writers never wait for the muse. We know how to take anything and make it into a story. This workshop will get you over all the fears of starting and give you an entire bag of tools and tricks to take almost nothing and turn it into a story that sells. From basic opening tricks to story structure, this will cover it all. And there is a lot to cover.
HOW TO PLOT YOUR NOVEL
Everything you might think you need and a ton more about how to plot a novel, from idea to finished plot. Includes such topics as plot threads, viewpoints, pacing, and a ton more. This will take you from an idea to a full novel outline and teach you how to do it any time you want without fear.
It also covers outlining and different methods of using outlines and how to use them and when not to use them.
How to make the worlds in your fiction seem real, including how to build science fiction worlds, mystery worlds, fantasy worlds and so much more. And how to present the worlds in a way that readers can follow them without huge information dumps.
Hundreds of tricks and details about how to put a world together and make it real in any genre.
We also have three design workshops taught by Dean Wesley Smith and Allyson Longueira, a professional book designer with a master’s degree in design.
BOOK COVER DESIGN
Everything you need to know about book cover design, from basic layout to fonts and which fonts work together. This will include how to design covers for both electronic and print books, including spines and back covers. Make your books look professional.
INTERIOR BOOK DESIGN
Everything you need to know about designing an interior of a book from basic front page layout to fonts and which fonts work together and which fonts are good for reading. You will learn margins, leading, running headers, masters for page counts, and so much more. This class is for the interior of print books. Make your books look professional.
PROFESSIONAL E-BOOK DESIGN
(See listing at the top)
Each workshop is 6 weeks long and is limited to 12 writers
Again, it will take you about four hours per week to do each of these. These are the starting dates of upcoming workshops. All have openings at the moment. (I have bolded the newer workshops that have started this year.)
Class #41… April 7th… Depth of Writing
Class #42… April 7th… Character Voice/Setting
Class #43… Apr 7th … Pacing Your Stories
Class #44… Apr 8th … Cliffhangers
Class #45… Apr 8th … Openings
Class #46… Apr 9th … Originality
Class #47… Apr 9th … Genre Structure
Class #48… Apr 10th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #49… Apr 10th … World Building
Class #50… May 5th … Originality
Class #51… May 5th … Promotion
Class #52… May 5th … Ideas to Story
Class #53… May 6th … Plot Your Novel
Class #54… May 6th … Depth of Writing
Class #55… May 6th … Designing Electronic Books
Class #56… May 7th … Designing Book Covers
Class #57… May 7th … Designing Book Interiors
Class #58… May 7th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #59… June 2nd … Pacing Your Stories
Class #60… June 2nd … Depth of Writing
Class #61… June 2nd … Essentials
Class #62… June 3rd … Cliffhangers
Class #63… June 3rd … Openings
Class #64… June 3rd … Originality
Class #65… June 4th … Genre Structure
Class #66… June 4th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #67… June 4th … (To be Announced)
Class #68… July 7th … Promotion
Class #69… July 7th … Originality
Class #70… July 7th … Ideas
Class #71… July 8th … Plot
Class #72… July 8th … Designing Book Covers
Class #73… July 8th … Designing Book Interiors
Class #74… July 9th … Designing Electronic Books
Class #75… July 9th … Character Voice
Class #76… July 9th … World Building
HOW TO SIGN UP
Step One: In an e-mail or snail mail letter, answer the following questions. Please number each answer.
- Full Name
- e-mail address
Step Two: Also in the letter include the following:
1. Pick the workshop number and name of the workshop you are signing up for.
(You can sign up for more than one if you like. We had a number of people do that and they seemed to do fine. In fact, we had one great writer who did five at one time, but I would not suggest that. (grin))
2. List an alternate workshop or date in case the workshop is full by the time you get signed up. I will e-mail you if that is the case to work out a solution. (That has seldom happened in the last seven months, so no real worries about that.)
1. Send answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header WORKSHOP only in the subject line. Or mail to WMG Publishing Online Workshops, PO Box 479 Lincoln City, OR 97367
2. Send full payment of $300 for each workshop. Payment can be sent by check to the above address or by Paypal to Dean@deanwesleysmith.com. Checks should be made out to WMG Publishing and please put the workshop number and workshop name on the check.
(If a workshop is full and you have paid for it, I will refund your money, so no worry there either.)