STAR Online Workshop Fingers Typing

Online Workshops


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

For more information e-mail

JUNE 5 to June 30   The Plotting Wheel

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

From beginners to published authors, plotting a book can be difficult. We all know that a book needs to be about someone and “something” has to happen.  Often writers get carried away with their convoluted plots and forget characters. Or they get so involved in a character sketch they forget to make something happen.

After years of teaching writing, both on-line and on-site, we’ve created and developed the Plotting Wheel. It is a way of solving the dilemma of mixing character and plot in easy to understand steps.

What is the Plotting Wheel?

Think of a western wagon wheel…one with a hole in the center and ten spokes radiating out from the center. If any of the spokes are missing, the wheel and therefore the plot, will not run well, if at all.

Here are the ten elements (or spokes) that we will cover in the course…Sue Viders headshot

1 – Character

2 – Crusade

3 – Cause

4 – Complications

5 – Companion

6 – Clashes

7 – Crisisbecky Martinez headshot

8- Change

9 – Climax

10 – Conclusion

Bios – Sue Viders and Becky Martinez

Sue Viders is the author of more than 20 books, numerous articles and columns for both artists and writers.  Her writing book Heroes and Heroines, Sixteen Master Archetypes, is used in many college and university writing courses. Her latest book, 10 Steps to Creating Memorable Characters is gaining use as a practical workbook for writers who want to develop their characters. She is a practicing artist, seminar leader, and educator with on-line classes both for writers and artists.

Sue lives in Lone Tree, CO with her husband.  Her five grown children and six grand-kids live nearby.  She is currently working on a coffee table book about the art of money with one of her daughters and a children’s book with her 15 year-old grandson.

Her latest product for writers is Deal a Story; an interactive card game consisting of 101 cards and six sections and is based on her Heroes and Heroines book.

Becky Martinez is an award-winning former broadcast journalist and published author who teaches classes to writing groups and conducts online writing workshops.  Her latest book, Deadly Messages will be published by The Wild Rose Press in February 2010. Her first published romance novel was an Aspen Gold finalist.  She has had several short stories published, including “The Problem” in July 2008 by The Wild Rose Press and she contributed a short story to The Trouble with Romance, an anthology that was a 2007 New Mexico Book Award finalist.

She was also one of the co-authors of Ten Steps to Creating Memorable Characters, a workbook for writers. She has also worked as a publicist, public information officer and public relations consultant and currently teaches classes and workshops on marketing, public relations and broadcast journalism.


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

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.


 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.




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