Teaching New Online Class

I am teaching a new Writer’s Digest 12-week session, “Creative Writing 101,” starting October 17, 2013. If interested, go to the following link for more information:



Can You Really Become a Writer?

Read my blog posted on the Writer’s Digest website and find how you can go from a wannabe to a writer.

Available Classes

For those of you asking where they can take a class from me, here are a few of the classes and workshops I have scheduled.

Writer’s Digest University Online – “Creative Writing 101″ August 22 thru November 14. This is a 12-week course.

Screenwriter’s University (part of Writer’s Digest) – “Conventions of the Screenplay: Formatting, Dialogue, Imagery and Genre” August 29 – September 19. This is an 8-week course.

Writer’s Digest West 2013 Conference – “The Writer’s Compass: Using Story Maps to Build Better Fiction”September 29, 9:00-9:50 am.

Conejo Valley Writer’s Group – October 12.

GLAWS Digital Author and Self-Publishing Conference – October 12-13.

Conejo Adult School – 2 classes over 2 Saturdays, October 19 & 26, “The Writer’s Compass” 9:30 am to 12:30 pm,  and “Seven Stages of Revision” 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Writers of Kern, Bakersfield – November 2 & November 23, contact me for more info.

So. California Writers Association Workshop – January 18, 2014, contact me for more info.

San Miguel Writer’s Conference, San Miguel, Mexico – February 12-17, 2014.

Time To Write

One of the faculty at the Graziadio School at Pepperdine suggested starting a group to encourage academic writing. Several of us thought it was a good idea. He referred me to a great book, How to Write a Lot, by Paul J. Silvia, PhD. The book is actually about developing a plan to write directed to psychologists who need to do more academic writing. However, it’s a small book, written at a very readable level, and has several ideas useful to all writers for getting your writing on track and staying there.

I write about writing time and issues and I read a lot of information on this topic, but this book had basic suggestions I thought were useful and applicable to all types of writing. If you are serious about writing, but having a hard time getting/staying on track, this book might help you.

He offers information on starting an academic writing group, which might help your with your own writing group. You will also find a free pdf on guidelines for critique groups.

Happy writing.

More on Self-Publishing

Check out my post on thewriterscompass.com for more on self-publishing.

To Self-Publish or Not – 5 Important First Steps

Up front there are five important considerations to address when deciding whether you will self-publish.

1. What is the theme of your book either for fiction or nonfiction. The theme isn’t always obvious, sometimes you have to work on a project for a while before you understand and can state what you are writing about. However, you should have a general idea that becomes more and more refined.

2. What category is your book specifically–romance, historical, biography, sci-fi? This is in part determined by your theme and in part determined by your other writing factors. Both in fiction and nonfiction you need to be able to slot your book so that you better know how to promote your book and your reader can better find it.

3. Who is your audience? Although we want everyone in the world to read our work, not everyone will want to read it. By knowing your theme and your category, you can better define who your audience is and the best ways to approach them.

4. How will you distribute your book? If you don’t know who your audience is or how to approach your audience, how will you sell your book? While it’s nice when a book goes viral, that doesn’t generally happen without people knowing that your book exists. How will you make your book stand out from the thousands of other books published this year?

5. Create a “Book Business Plan.” Every successful business starts with a business plan. If you are going to self-publish you are creating a business with a book as its product. You need to have a solid business plan to produce and market it. A “Book Business Plan” will help you to organize. You need to start early, even before and continue while writing your book, so that when your book is ready to publish, you will be ready for a successful launch.

All of this takes planning and design, which takes away from your writing time. Or maybe you want to focus on your writing and then approach the traditional publishing path before you decide to take the leap into self-publishing.

CHN Expo – Torrance

As a home schooler, if you are looking for tips for teaching creative writing, join me at 2:30 on Friday at the California Homeschool Network Expo in Torrance, June 27-30, 2013, in Suite 8.

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