Online Workshops

STAR 2017 ONLINE WORKSHOPS

 

 JANUARY    World Building from an Intelligence Point of View

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Dates: Jan. 4-27
  • Presenter: Merien Grey

CLASS DESCRIPTION: With a decade of profiling, country study building and travel under her belt in the intelligence profession, Merien realized that the vast majority of things required to build a fictional world are the same indicators and criteria that intelligence professionals use to research locations and groups. This class is about how that is done, and how to apply the same techniques to fictional stories. It covers why logistics, politics, and a lot of other small details matter and how authors can make them work for them. Merien will give examples, and free handbooks (unclassified PDFs) from the CIA, US Special Operations Command and various other handbooks for public use most people don’t know exist. This class gives an idea of how big picture things can greatly affect a characters mentality, daily existence, and GMC.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: As an intelligence instructor in the US Air Force for just shy of a decade, Merien taught nearly five thousand hours of instruction on history, weapons, violence culture, communication, profiling and organization and presentation to thousands of soldiers of all ranks and numerous occupations. Since leaving the service Rhonda has finished a total of four degrees along with a professional writing certificate with my major concentrations being in Anthropology, Sociology, English, and Communications Technology. Her classes are based on her time as an Intelligence Professional and her educational and law enforcement experience.

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JANUARY Inspiration for Writers

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: Jan. 16-31
  • Presenter: Jacqueline Corcoran

Course Content: Start the new year off right. Let Jacqueline Corcoran get your brain cells whizzing and your fingers tapping. Her workshop will spark both creativity and productivity with the idea of writing every day on your work-in-progress.  Jacqueline draws on her experience as a writer of thirty book-length manuscripts and over one hundred articles and book chapters, as well as her knowledge of psychology, and a wide reading of writing craft and self-help books to both inspire and encourage you as a writer. Brainstorming, writing and creativity prompts, combined with psychological techniques to bolster your writing strengths, will help you address and bypass blocks and resistance that hinder you as a writer.  Get ready to be inspired to write!

About the Instructor: Jacqueline is a social worker, psychotherapist, and professor (at Virginia Commonwealth University), as well as an author.  Her published work includes thirteen textbooks, three self-help books (Depression SolutionsWrite Your Way to Right Thinking, and Teens Text Sex) and novels YA Memoir of Murder (2012), steampunk (The Girl with the Mechanical Hand, forthcoming), and adult mysteries Maiming of the Shrew (2013), A Month of Sundays (2011) and Backlit (2012).  More information is available at http://www.jacquelinecorcoran.com/.

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FEBRUARY Writing the Young Adult Novel

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: Feb. 1-27
  • Presenter: Catherine Chant

Course Content: In this workshop, you will learn what young adult fiction is, how it’s more than just stories with younger characters, and how to successfully craft a novel aimed at the young adult market.

Lesson topics include:

  • Getting to Know the YA Market
  • Genre Expectations
  • Characters
  • Revisiting Your Premise & Plotting
  • Myths about YA
  • At the end of the workshop, you will have a brief outline of a YA novel you can start working on this year.

About the Instructor: Catherine Chant is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. She writes rock ‘n’ roll romantic fiction and stories with paranormal twists for young adults. Catherine is currently working on a new young adult suspense novel, and the next book in her Soul Mates series. You can connect with Catherine at her website CatherineChant.com, on Twitter @Catherine_Chant or on Facebook CatherineChantNovels.

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MARCH  The “W” Plot … or The Other White Meat for Plotters.

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: Mar. 6-31
  • Presenter: Karen Doctor

Course Content: One of the staples of any writers’ group conversations is the plot.  It’s integral to every novel, holds everything together.  It’s the vehicle that carries readers from page one to “The End”.  It’s one of the scariest things an author faces when s/he decides, hey, I want to write a novel! How many of us have made this decision, then stared at that blank page or computer screen, without a clue how to proceed?  What about those of us who write by the seat of our pants, the pantsters? Do we dare risk scaring off our muse by plotting our story? How do the mega-plotters, the overachievers, know when it’s time to stop and just put pen to paper? Join Karen and uncover the skeleton of your own novel using the W-plotting method and see how easy it is to apply these techniques to the synopsis we all love to hate.

Karen Docter won the Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Suspense unpublished division of the 2005 Daphne du Maurier Award.  She’s a four-time Golden Heart finalist and a charter member of The Golden Network & PRO.  She writes single title romantic suspense and holds a B.A. in Technical Journalism . Visit her website at: www.karendocter.com or kldocter@yahoo.com.

W-Plot REGISTRATION FORM


APRIL  Deep Story 1

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: Apr. 3-28
  • Presenter: 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.

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MAY  Deep Story II

  • Date: May 1-27
  • Presenter: Carol Hughes

Course Content: Carol Hughes will help you with the mechanics behind developing the writer/reader link and bond that is the key to a writer’s success. Go beneath the surface to explain the mechanical underpinnings of the emotional bond and sense of loyalty readers develop for their favorite authors. Learn some of the tricks and techniques that are used in advertising and film/TV marketing to build a brand and user loyalty. As more and more writers become familiar with the simple to use Deep Story Techniques to actually craft their stories – what they also need is a rock solid understanding of how to actually draw readers to them and how to forge a strong emotional bond that will actually translate into reader loyalty to them and their stories.

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 alleys 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.

Deep Story II REGISTRATION FORM


JUNE   The Plotting Wheel

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: June 5-30
  • Presenter: Becky Martinez & Sue Vickers

The Plotting Wheel REGISTRATION FORM


JULY  Writing Your Mystery

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: July 5-31
  • Presenter: Jacqueline Corcoran

Course Content: Do you have an idea for a mystery or one that you have started and then gotten stuck on? This workshop is for you. The writer will be taken step-by-step through the process of opening the mystery, creating characters, plotting, and writing scenes, dialogue, and description. The instructor will give feedback on exercises that take you through the process of mystery writing.

About the Instructor: Jacqueline is a social worker, psychotherapist and professor (at Virginia Commonwealth University), as well as an author.  Her published work includes thirteen textbooks, three self-help books (Depression SolutionsWrite Your Way to Right Thinking, and Teens Text Sex) and novels YA Memoir of Murder (2012), steampunk (The Girl with the Mechanical Hand, forthcoming), and adult mysteries Maiming of the Shrew (2013), A Month of Sundays (2011) and Backlit (2012).  More information is available at http://www.jacquelinecorcoran.com/.

Writing Your Mystery REGISTRATION FORM


SEPTEMBER  Character Building with Jane Austin

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: September 4-29
  • Presenter: Megan Applegate

Course Content: Using examples from Jane Austin’s novels, we will examine what makes her writing the masterpiece it is. Expect to read or review Austin’s works and several blogs and articles at the start of the course and then to work on assignments that focus on pinpointing the specific writing techniques she used in crafting her heroines, heroes, and villains. However, you do not need to writing Regency romance to benefit from this course. Austin’s techniques are universal and found in every well-written novel.

Character Building REGISTRATION FORM


SEPTEMBER Planning A Facebook Party That Pops

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: Sept 17-30
  • Presenter: Zara West

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.

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 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.

Facebook Party REGISTRATION FORM


 OCTOBER   Show Up Naked: Writing the Male POV

  • Fee: $15 STAR members $25 RWA members $30 Non-members
  • Date: Oct. 2-27
  • Presenter: Chris Redding

Course Content: Chris Redding will take you on a funny and fun journey of discovery about men including why they act the way they do and how they express emotions. She’ll talk about how our society has socialized them and the stages they go through in life. At the end of class you will be able to write more realistic male characters while keeping them larger than life heroes.

About the Instructor: Chris Redding grew up in a neighborhood with more boys than girls and learned to love baseball and hate Barbies. She spent much of her life in male dominated professions including pizza delivery and Emergency Medical Services. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. She has five books published, all romantic suspense.

Show up Naked REGISTRATION FORM


 


 

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