Workshops

The following is a list of workshops I’ve given at some of my awesome public libraries in the past. Where the workshop names are linked, you can click through to download more resources. If you’d like me to present one of these workshops at a Maine school or library, you can email me through my contact form.

Choose Your Own Publishing Adventure

Independent publishing has a history of shame that comes out of the industry of paid publishing and has a reputation for being the last resort of sub-par writers who can’t even get agents to look at their work. The rise of the internet and increasingly accessible pro-level publishing tools are changing the field, but be warned: having a manuscript is not the same thing as being ready to publish. These one-hour workshops are designed to help you judge whether self-publishing is right for you and how to do it well.

The Five W’s of Self-Publishing

You’ve got a manuscript. High five! You’ve been hearing a bit about this independent publishing thing and think it might be for you. You want your work to have a chance of being taken seriously, so you don’t slap your stuff up hastily. Instead, you come to this workshop first to help you decide if self-publishing is right for you and whether your manuscript is really ready to go out into the world.

How to Format eBooks Like a Boss

You’ve decided self-publishing is right for you. You’ve brought your manuscript through the multiple editing phases, you have cover art, and you are ready to publish. High five! You decide not to just run your document through an ebook conversion tool that will leave your formatting swinging in the breeze. Instead, you decide to put a lot of thought and a little bit of work into making sure your book puts its best flap forward and you come to this workshop to learn how.

Self-Publish With Polish

Self-publishing physical books and getting them in front of a wider potential audience is easier than ever with the rise of print-on-demand services like CreateSpace. Putting together a book that looks professional, however, still requires some know-how. This one-hour workshop will cover some of the pitfalls self-published books can fall into and some of the technology available for avoiding them.

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Online Book Marketing for Humans

You have published a beautiful book online. High five! You chose the rocky road of self-publishing and have neither a marketing budget nor the networking and labor support of a big publisher. You decide neither to become a sleep-deprived zombie nor make your entire social network despise you for your hack-handed pleas for book sales. Instead, you come to this workshop and learn how to market your book while making awesome friends.

Level Up Your Genre Fiction Writing Game

Science fiction. Fantasy. Mystery. Romance. What do they all have in common? They often get written off as pulp fiction…and not always without good reason. Do you want your genre book to have a shot of being shelved beside the literary greats? You need to spend time on your writing craft. These one-hour workshops are designed to help you work on a few core skills that can level up your fiction writing.

Research Matters for Writing Genre Fiction

I can hear you scratching your head. “I write romance fantasy,” you say. “It’s completely made up. I don’t need to research anything.” Let me convince you otherwise. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how good research can improve the depth and richness of any novel, no matter the genre, and take a look at some basic principles and resources for getting your research right.

The Only Good Hero is an Anti-Hero

With the rising popularity of dark fiction such as Game of Thrones and young adult dystopias such as The Hunger Games, the classic notion of a hero seems to be losing ground to more complex champions. In this workshop, we’ll discuss examples from pop culture and borrow from the concept of alignment in role-playing games to consider what the popularity of morally ambiguous heroes can teach us about writing better protagonists.

Miscellany

Making Meaning with Memoir

There is nothing more important than an ordinary person. Your story, whether you think your life has been small or large, is waiting to be heard and cherished. During this 90-minute workshop, we’ll discuss how to turn that story into a narrative and run through some exercises to help you get started. You will leave class with words on the page, a plan to move forward in writing your memoir, and a reading list for inspiration.