Course Description

2018 Semester

Saturday, May 19, 10 am - Noon

    Boot Camp for Writers

 This workshop condenses almost 30 years of hard knocks into a two-hour session. Randy shares the no-nos and don’t-don’ts he has learned during his history of writing fiction. You’ll see examples that will doom you and ways to improve them. Questions will be answered honestly—no sugar-coating and no walking the party line. Only truth will do. Writing fiction is an acquired skill. $25 per person.

         Instructor:  Randy Rawls


Saturday, June 2, 10 am - Noon

   The Relationship Between Scenery & Place to Storytelling & Character Development

This workshop will focus on Scenery and Place as integral parts of a novel or short story. These two narrative techniques not only root the story in a particular setting, but these elements should become a character in their own right. The descriptions used for Scenery and Place should enhance the narrative in such a way as to enrich and heighten the understanding of the characters’ motives and actions. $25 per person.

        Instructor:  Nina Romano
Saturday, June 9, 10 am - Noon   

    Adding Depth to Your Characters

This course will teach you how to go deeper into your main and supporting characters. What are their desires, motivations, perspectives? What are the demons that haunt them? What are the things that fulfill them? When they are in their darkest hour, what do they see in their mind? This workshop will help you discover how big impact moments in your novel can help you SHOW these elements to your readers. Both for your lead characters and supporting characters. It will help you peel away the layers of the onion to discover what lies beneath.  $25 per person.

        Instructor:  Solange Ritchie

Saturday,June 16, 10 am - Noon 

     Building Impressive Stories with CWHO

Once we have a great story idea, we’re good for writing about 1/3 of the book before we run out of steam. We start again. Some of us have been starting again for years. We’ve got all these starts and very few finishes.What’s wrong? We have an idea but not a story. We’re going to learn how the Character-Wanted-However-Ongoing (CWHO) exercise helps us build an impressive story, one scene, or block, at a time. $25 per person.

         Instructor:  Christopher Hawke


Saturday, June 23, 10 am - Noon

     Write Your Memoir Story: Here's What Happened!

Want to write your memoir, whether for publication or your family history? This workshop will focus on the first two opening paragraphs of your own true story; an incident, a happening, a night in the past, or it could be yesterday when your story took another turn.  $25 per person.

         Instructor:  Brenda Serotte


Saturday, June 30, 10 am - Noon

    Mastering Plot Twists

The stories that keep people on the edge of their seats and up all night are filled with unexpected twists and turns. By integrating plot Twists, plot Reversals, and moments of heightened Danger (TRDs) at tactically sound moments, your stories will captivate readers with their I-can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens-next unpredictability. When your plot twists come at the right moments, your pace will be quicker and the action more focused, and these are the nuanced, multifaceted books that sell, and that find a devoted readership . $25 per person.

     Instructor:  Jane Cleland


Saturday, July 7, 10 am - Noon

    Dialogue: The Voices in Your Head

Dialogue is the key to a good mystery. Believable dialogue establishes your characters as real people, helps move your plot along. Wooden dialogue can destroy your novel. Elaine Viets has written 32 bestselling mysteries with rave reviews in the major trade publications.  She will give you the clues and cues to writing dialogue. Join us for a class that will make your characters come alive. Handouts included.  $25 per person

    Instructor:  Elaine Viets


Saturday, July 14, 10 am - Noon

    Freelance Like a Pro

Landing magazine and web writing gigs is not as difficult as it might seem, particularly in this day of downsizing and outsourcing. In this course, a magazine veteran will show you how to pitch, research, and produce relevant content that will make editors crave more and keep you on top of their go-to list. $25 per person.

     Instructor:  D.J. Niko


Saturday, July 21, 10 am - Noon

    Point of View

Point of view is sometimes the most challenging aspect of writing fiction. However, confusion over choosing the right point of view is seldom the key issue. The real difficulty is clarifying the focus of the story in the writer’s mind. In this class, we’ll tackle the problem of allowing the action rather than character development to carry the story forward. $25 per person.

    Instructor:  Mark Spivak


Saturday, July 28, 10 am - Noon

     Scrivener Basics: An Audience Interactive Live Demo

In this two-hour long interactive talk we’ll open Scrivener as a live demo. Attendees will learn how to create and save a basic novel template using Scrivener for Windows and Mac. They will learn how to import documents created in various word processors into Scrivener, separate scenes, and manipulate text, as well as how to compile manuscripts into standard formats. $25 per person.


         Instructor:  MJ Carlson


Saturday, August 4, 10 am - Noon

     Writing: It's a Business

Have you ever wondered why some authors are one hit wonders? That author forgot to mind their own business.  It’s not good enough to write the best book you can. Longevity requires more. Authors have to market themselves, keep abreast of social media, know their print run/distribution, and if traditionally published, read their contract carefully. We’ll discuss the importance of choosing the right agent, remaining visible on social media, building a following, and having a newsletter. We’ll talk about the ever-changing publishing world, and why some authors remain at the top of their game. $25 per person.   

           Instructor:  Marcia King-Gamble


Saturday, August 11, 10 am - Noon

     Just the Facts, M'am


You've crafted a spellbinding story. But you placed a Mariel refugee in Miami 10 years before the boatlift. That Civil War novel would be even better with descriptions of uniforms and rifles. But how do you get those details and get them right, preventing that "gotcha" email from someone for whom your fact error disqualified your entire story? Here’s how to ensure critics will say your work isn't just a great read; it's all true! 

$25 per person.

         Instructor:  Eliot Kleinberg


Saturday, August 18, 10 am - Noon

     Fearless Writing: A Stress-Free Workshop. 

Writing is easy and fun, provided we get out of our own way and let our natural talent and creativity take over! In this energizing workshop, Elizabeth will help you find the heart of the book you want to write. You’ll learn how to work out a plan and start writing immediately. Writers with works in progress will get tools you can use at any stage of a project.

  $25 per person.  

     Instructor:  Elizabeth Sims


Saturday, August 25, 10 am - Noon

     Everyone Judges a Book by Its Cover

Your book cover is your first impression. It can entice a reader to pick up a book, or it can make someone pass over it. Learn what attracts readers so they'll open the book and peruse those first pages.  A professional cover designer will explain and show the basics of images, layouts, good vs bad photo editing, fonts, dpi, and much more. Even if you don't want to do your own cover, you need to know this.  Covered are the basics of images, layouts, good vs. bad photo-editing, fonts, dpi, etc. $25 per person

         Instructor:  Victoria Landis


Saturday, September 8, 10 am - Noon

     Break Through! How to Get Published.
Where do you meet publishers and agents? What are the dos and don'ts of approaching them? How do you select a publisher or agent? What do you send a publisher or an agent? Surprise them: include a marketing plan. Should you self-publish? Prudy has had 28 books published. She'll share the answers to these questions as well as any you have. $25 per person.

      Instructor:  Prudy Taylor Board


Saturday, September 15, 10 am - Noon

     Queries and Pitches

This class will help you prepare that all-important plot synopsis for your query letter. We will also work on "elevator pitches" and longer pitches so you're ready for a meeting with an editor or agent. Volunteers will be invited to practice their pitch in front of the group and get feedback.  $25 per person.

         Instructor:  Alison McMahan


Saturday, September 22, 10 am - Noon

     Self-Publishing Made Simple

Do you want to self-publish your work, reissue your backlist titles, or become a hybrid author? In this workshop, we’ll discuss setting up your own imprint, buying ISBNs, preparing your manuscript, creating front and back material, ebook and print formats, copyright, distribution options, formatting and cover design, and marketing. $25 per person.

     Instructor:  Nancy J. Cohen

 FL Authors Academy Has Talent!
As the finale for our FL Authors Academy at Murder on the Beach, we are planning an event "FL Authors Academy Has Talent!"  This will be an open mike for the attendees of the workshops to read from their work in progress and get feedback from three multi-published author judges: NY Times bestselling author Charles Todd; Literary Agent Dianna Collier-Warner, owner Collier & Associates Literary Agency; Award-winning Screenwriter, Filmmaker, and author Alison McMahan. 

Deborah Sharp


The Date is Saturday, September 29, 2018 

10 am - Noon. 

Here’s how it will work:

There will be a maximum of 10 or 12 readers.

Each will read for 3 minutes from their work in progress. If you are shy, Joanne or Stacey will read your work anonymously.  

Each judge will then give a short, constructive verbal critique of the work just read.  

There will be an audience, but they will not critique the readers.  

At the end, the judges confer among themselves for the one reader who in  their opinion, has the best work.  

A prize will be awarded to the winner.

To Qualify As A Reader You Must:

  • Have attended at least one of our FL Authors Academy workshops 
  • Have a current work in progress
  • Pay a fee of $25
  • Bring 3 copies, double spaced, of the 5-6 pages you intend to read 
Spaces are limited to 12 readers so sign up now!

 You may sign up in person, email, or phone (561-279-7790).  We take cash, Mastercard, Visa, Discover or Amex.