STAR Online Workshop Fingers Typing

Online Workshops


All of the following workshops are offered through You will receive lessons and interact with other students and the instructors directly through the e-mail account you choose. Directions will be sent after you register.

For more information e-mail

In 2018 we have a terrific line up of brand-new never offered before courses.

Click here to Like and Follow our Facebook Page to receive announcements as they occur.


Coming Up!

FEBRUARY  5-28 It’s All About Character with Carol Henry (A STAR exclusive)

Course Content  It’s All About Character goes beyond the basics of describing your characters and how each one interacts with the other(s). Carol Henry will help you discover what motivates your characters to work towards their ‘story’ goals by developing their background, upbringing, personal and private lives, where they were raised, and what is required of them in order to be the person they need to be in your story.

Delving into your character will help determine how they handle conflict, whether it’s external or internal. This class will help you pin-point —dare I say ‘plot points’—all the main ingredients for not only building your main characters, but their story line and how they interact with each other.  Depending on time, the class will discuss/share story ideas/conflict in the form of ‘What If’, and how to keep the story flowing to the end.

About Carol Henry

Carol Henry writes Destination: Romance—Exotic Romantic Suspense Adventures for The Wild Rose Press, as well as contemporary romance. A world traveler, Carol has written for major cruise lines’ in-cabin books, and Porthole Cruise Magazine, and takes pleasure in weaving her own adventures with her ‘characters’ and readers in her “Connection” Series—Amazon Connection, Shanghai Connection, and Rio Connection—where the heroine finds more than the ‘wild and wonderful’ world around her—she finds her inner courage, and a once-in-a-lifetime love. Her contemporary novels include Nothing Short of a Miracle—an Amazon Encore Exclusive holiday romance ranked #1 in Holiday Romance Books; and Juelle’s Legacy and Breakfast With Santa—both part of The Wild Rose Press’ Lobster Cove Series. Her books have garnered awards from Preditors and Editors Readers Polls; and they all continue to garner 5 Star reviews.

Carol has taught classes on Beyond the Basics, and has been a speaker at various venues. A PAN member of Romance Writers of America® , she is also a member and past president of RWA’s Chapter, STAR–Southern Tier Authors of Romance and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She is the co-founder and chairman of the local Write Now Writers’ Group, is a New York State Historian for her hometown, and has written several history books on the town and village, as well as her historic fiction novel: Ribbons of Steel, an 1877 historic family saga, based on the 1877 Railroad Strike, also published by The Wild Rose Press.

Cost:  $15 STAR members, $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)


FEBRUARY 20 6:30-8 PM EST  Seven People Every Writer Needs To Know with Merien Grey

~A 90 minute Video Conference~

Course Content: When a writer is creating those first few books they may feel like they can’t do much more to toward becoming a published author except write and build their numbers on social media. When it comes to the business side of writing there are seven key business connections that can be made before an author “needs” them or is in the midst of trying to market a release and build a brand in earnest.

For example, finding an attorney before there is a contract to review or a copyright infringement notice for a random image picked off the internet and used on the authors website can cut down on stress. More importantly, it can mean the difference in an attorney the author trusts and likes and who has the author’s best interests in mind and one that will simply do. There are specific skill sets that can be very valuable to authors if they knows how to seek out professionals that have them. Finding the right business contacts is time consuming but can be done in small increments and with minimal effort if started early in an author’s career and doing so can save time, stress and usually money for the author. This class covers how to find, vet and take on services of a literary attorney, accountant (with literary experience), webmistress/master, business insurance agent, business specific banker, secretary of state representative and a department of revenue officer.

It also covers how to select and vet seven service providers. This portion of the class includes tips on how to find branding consultants, web hosts, newsletter services, off site data storage, formatters, editors and cover artists.

About Merien Grey

Merien writes dark Regency romance to captivate readers who want stories about passionate affairs between alluring women and men of science and substance.

Cost:  $15 STAR members $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)

Seven People

MARCH  5-30    Win When Writing an Anthology with Cassandra Carr

Course Content: Ever wondered how authors find themselves involved in an anthology, or how they find the right anthology to showcase their work?

Just like selling your book to the right publisher, choosing the right anthology for your story can make all the difference. There is tons of great advice on how to pick a publisher, but how do you figure out which anthology is best for you?

In this workshop, you will learn how to determine if a particular anthology is good for you and the nitty-gritty details you need to keep in mind once you’ve agreed. We’ll also go through the process itself from acceptance to release.

  • What truly goes in with a group of authors working on an anthology or a bundle,
  • What to expect and what you need to know,
  • What to watch out for,
  • The pros of an anthology or bundle,
  • And cons of being part of an anthology or bundle.

About Cassandra Carr

A multi-published author of hot romance with a heart, Cassandra Carr lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing, she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on the computer.

For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at, “like” her Facebook fan page at or follow her on Twitter at

Cost:  $15 STAR members $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)


MARCH    5-30   Writing Sex Scenes from First Blush to Climax with Jen Bokal (A STAR exclusive)

Writing a Sex Scene: From First Blush to Climax

A well-crafted sex scene can move a story from mundane to unforgettable. While a badly written sex scene can ruin an entire book. Beginning with the premise that sex scene is at the most basic level an action scene, we will explore ways to effectively use a sex scene in any story. Topics covered will range from pacing,  to character arcs, plotting, heat levels and more. Due to the adult content of this workshop no one under 18 will be allowed to take the class.

Jennifer D. Bokal

Winner of the Sexy Scribbler for 2015, Jennifer D. Bokal is the author of the best-selling Ancient World Historical Romance, The Gladiator’s Mistress and the second book in the Champions of Rome series, The Gladiator’s Temptation. She is also the author of Her Rocky Mountain Hero and Her Rocky Mountain Defender, both part of the Rocky Mountain Justice series with Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Jen holds a master of arts in creative writing from Wilkes University and is a member of both the Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. Happily married to her own Alpha Male for twenty years, she enjoys writing stories that explore the wonders of love. Jen and her manly husband live in upstate New York with their three beautiful daughters, two aloof cats, and two very spoiled dogs.  Visit her Amazon Author Page

Cost:  $15 STAR members $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)

First Blush

APRIL 2-27 Writing Flash Fiction with Peter Andrews

Course Content: Why write flash fiction?

Don’t have time to write a novel? Well, fewer people have time to read one. That’s why flash fiction is hot, with over 300 paying markets looking for well-formed stories of 1000 words or less. Learn how to write, market and sell these tiny tales.

Lesson 1 Structure and Ideas
Lesson 2 Emotion
Lesson 3 Hooks – Story bites reader
Lesson 4 Finding Time, Being Productive
Lesson 5 Being Succinct – Focus, rephrase, and cut
Lesson 6 Happy Endings – Getting to satisfaction
Lesson 7 Your Audience
Lesson 8 Rewriting
Lesson 9 Getting It Sold – Markets and process

About Peter Andrews

Peter Andrews is a full-time, independent writer of speeches, articles, and blogs. He has dozens of short stories and hundreds of nonfiction articles in print. He has worked professionally in PR and as a Web producer, speech writer, and radio producer. He teaches writing for the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Westchester Community College, the Westchester Center for the Arts, and various online venues. He belongs to the National Association of Science Writers and Romance Writers of America, and he is past president of  RWA’s young adult chapter (YARWA). His How to Write Fast blog can be found at

Cost:  $15 STAR members $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)

Flash Fiction  

APRIL  2-27 Deep Story 1 with Carol Hughes

Course Content: What does Nora Roberts, Stephen King, George Lucas (STAR WARS), Stephen Spielberg (E.T.), Terry Russo (SHREK/PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN), James Cameron (TITANIC/AVATAR) know about writing that makes them the mega stars that they are? How are they able to turn out the constant string of stories that they do while you are barely able to struggle to the final pages of your current WIP?  Why did TITANIC and AVATAR each gross over $1 Billion in ticket sales in only a matter of weeks?  Are you interested in learning the secret techniques that each of these mega stars has in common?  It’s not as hard as you think – not if you know the simple-to-master writing secrets that they know and haven’t shared with you.

Seasoned pro and beginning writer, punsters to plotter – it doesn’t make any difference.  You already know that writing takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, talent and hearty dose of luck.  Without the necessary writing tools to craft your wonderful story ideas into a finished work that people want to buy, all the hard work, talent, luck and perseverance in the world is useless without a solid, well-crafted story full of multidimensional characters to make your story come alive for every reader—or movie-goer.  Do you know what the 18 scenes are that every story contains, no matter its length or genre?  Do you know what impact your character’s mental gender has upon readers?  Do you even know what your character’s mental gender is?  Do you know how your character’s arc drives your story? Or how you story drives your character’s arc? Do you know the quick and easy way to create heart stopping dilemmas for your characters that drive your readers wild?  Do you know what the 4 through-lines of every story is?  Do you know how to weave them together?

Every successful story contains characters that come alive for the reader.  Every successful story is built on a solid, easy-to-master, story structure that works every single time.  Every successful story lives on in the hearts and minds of readers because their authors have mastered the simple secrets needed to turn them into writing super stars.  And you can too.  Join us and give Nora Roberts something to sorry about.

About the Instructor:  From Oscar’s Annual Bash to Cannes’ glitzy Red Carpet. From fabled palaces to rat-infested tunnels. From the floor of the Coral Sea to the vacuum of space. From the rain slicked streets of midnight Paris to the bombed out streets of Beirut at high noon. Writer Carol Hughes has lived and written about sights, adventures and characters that have dazzled audiences, and raised more than a few eyebrows, around the world. Dashing Alpha males, deadly killers, fictional red-haired mermaids, and celluloid heroes – she’s known them all. She’s navigated the killer-infested back alley’s of Europe’s grandest cities and the shark-infested corridors of Hollywood’s studios as a writer/producer – and has picked up enough secrets and tips to make a living – and writing – an adventure in itself.

Cost:  $15 STAR members $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)

Deep Story 1



SEPTEMBER 4- 28  Planning a Facebook Party that Pops with Zara West (A STAR exclusive)


Course Content: Facebook parties are a fun, low-cost, easy way to drum up interest in you as a writer and in your upcoming and already published books as well as gather excited followers for your Facebook page and webpage and newsletter.

In this workshop, we will explore the reasons why you should hold a Facebook party, learn what types of posts and giveaways work the best, and determine which format fits your goals, brand, and writing.

Using what we learn, you will then design your own Facebook party, creating the graphics, determining the games and prizes. By the end of the workshop, you will be all set to Party!

About the Instructor: Zara West loves all things dark, scary, and heart-stopping as long as they lead to true love. A member of RWA, Zara is an instructor in technology and an award-winning  author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and she has received awards from Women on Writing, Stone Thread Publishing, Tryst Literary Magazine, and Winning Writers. Her novels have placed first in the Pages From the Heart contest, the Romance Through the Ages contest, second in the Touch of Love Contest and long listed for the Mslexia Award. She is the author of the Skin Quartet. Book 1 Beneath the Skin and Book 2 Close to the Skin are available from The Wild Rose Press.

Cost:  $15 STAR members $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)

Facebook Party 

OCTOBER 1-26 Writing with Splash: Enriching Your Writing with Sensory Language with Zara West

Course Content: Did you know that there are 7 senses. Or wait is that 8? At any rate, no matter how many there are, a great writer uses ALL of them in EVERY place possible in their writing.

In this course, you will learn about our senses, how they work, and when, where and how to use them in your current WIP to set the scene, deepen emotion, and spark up action. Many resources for describing sensory elements will be provided.

  • Lesson 1: Our Senses – Why writers can’t leave them out
  • Lesson 2: Sensory Input – Our senses and how they work
  • Lesson 3: Our Basic Senses: Writing about touch
  • Lesson 4 : Our Basic Senses: Writing about smell
  • Lesson 5: Our Basic Senses: Writing about taste
  • Lesson 6: Our Basic Senses: Writing about sound
  • Lesson 7: Our Basic Senses: Writing about vision
  • Lesson 8: Going Beyond: Writing about the vestibular sense
  • Lesson 9: Going Beyond: Writing about the kinesthetic sense
  • Lesson 10: Putting it all together: Examples and cautions

About Zara West

A member of RWA, Zara is an instructor in technology and an award-winning  author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and she has received awards from Women on Writing, Stone Thread Publishing, Tryst Literary Magazine, and Winning Writers. Her novels have placed first in the Pages From the Heart contest, the Romance Through the Ages contest, second in the Touch of Love Contest and long listed for the Mslexia Award. She is the author of The Skin Quartet. A dark, sexy urban thriller series available from The Wild Rose Press.

Cost:  $15 STAR members $25 (RWA Members); $30 (non-RWA members)

Writing with Splash 

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