Course Description 2020

MotBBannerApril2019

This year, for the 2020 semester, we are going to host our Authors Academy writers workshops via Zoom to accommodate for social distancing. The workshops will be held on Saturday mornings, from 10 am to noon.

We will set up the zoom meeting and send each attendee the link as they sign up.

2020 Workshops

Saturday, July 11, 10 am – Noon

From Inspiration to Paper

Writers Block? What’s that? Not when your brain is the most powerful organ. The brain is said to produce our every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience.  Stimulate the brain and ideas will come. This interactive workshop is designed to do just that, get your creative juices flowing. You’ll participate in a number of exercises designed to get you writing again. You’ll leave feeling inspired and with original story ideas.  $25 per person. Instructor: Marcia King-Gamble

See video here

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Saturday, July 18, 10 am – Noon

Great Beginnings

You know the great opening lines: Ishmael, Manderley, the last camel. Why do those work? And how can you create one for your own novel?  And then, what about that crucial first paragraph? And a first page that will entice editors and enchant readers? How can you set the proper expectations for the story to come and make every word work? In this class, we will dissect and analyze acclaimed first lines and opening paragraphs, and reveal the writing secrets these brilliant examples offer. If you are brave enough, please bring your own first line!  Hank will offer advice and guidance to set you and your book off in the right direction. $25 per person. Instructor: Hank Phillippi Ryan

See video here

 

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Saturday, July 25, 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

See video here

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Saturday, August 1, 10 am – Noon

Fingerprints: How Do They Really Work? 

In this seminar you will see why our fingerprints are unique, basic types, the methods we use to lift them from various surfaces, how human and machine work together to match them up, what a fingerprint ‘match’ really is and how it’s done, as well as current public issues surrounding fingerprint science. $25 per person. Instructor: Lisa Black

See video here

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Saturday, August 8, 10 am – Noon

How to Write a Story

$35 per person. This session only. 
Price includes book – Storyville! An Illustrated Guide to Writing Fiction.

We’ll focus on the process of writing fiction which begins with noticing. What do you need to bring to the writing desk besides your pen and paper or your computer? How do you begin the story?  You begin before you know what you have to say. What do you do when you’re stuck in the middle?—and you will be. We’ll talk about what a plot is—Aristotle told us a long time ago, but we keep forgetting—and how you can let a plot do your thinking for you. And we have to mention character—the heart of story—and place and tone, and so on. And we’ll probably try some writing ourselves. We’ll have fun and you can ask me anything about fiction you’ve been wondering about. $35 per person.  Instructor: John Dufresne

$35 per person

Price includes book – Storyville! An Illustrated Guide to Writing Fiction.

See video here

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Saturday, August 15, 10 am – Noon

Conflict

Conflict, the opposition of forces which tie one incident to another, is what makes plot in novels and short stories flow. This class will identify the types of conflict and demonstrate through examples how conflict functions in writing.  $25 per person.  Instructor: Debra Goldstein 

See video here 

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Saturday, August 22, 10 am – Noon

Building memorable Characters

Long after even the twisty-est, page-turning plot is forgotten, great characters live on in the readers’ hearts and minds. We will explore techniques on how to plumb your own emotional depths to make your characters come to life. But building characters is not a one size fits all process. We will learn various methods to breathe three-dimensionality into your characters and you will learn how everything from setting to dialogue to pacing plays a part in the creation of a memorable character.  $25 per person.  Instructor Reed Farrel Coleman

See video here

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Please Note:  The Following Session will be Held at 1 pm.

Saturday August 29, 1 – 3 pm.  Self Publishing

Perils, Pitfalls, and Profits

Self Publishing: The perils, pitfalls and profits of self-publishing  (plus the fun) from an author who’s been published by  New York houses (some of which still exist);  hybrid Amazon Publishing; and Do-It Yourself.  The course will include suggestions for publicity and marketing that won’t break the bank.  $25 per person.  Instructor: Paul Levine

See Video Here

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Saturday, September 12, 10 am – Noon:  POV

What it is and How to Use it

By writing a story from the point of view of a certain character, authors enable the reader to know that character’s thoughts. It helps the reader relate to the character and draws them deeper into the story. As with nearly every other aspect of writing a novel, there are rules. But the rules are nebulous, and for all the successful novels obeying the ‘rules’, there will always be outlier authors who did whatever they wanted, the ‘rules’ be damned, and found great praise and success. POV issues are the #1 reason why agents and editors decline manuscripts!  $25 per person.  Instructor:   Charles Todd

See Video Here

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Saturday, September 19, 10 am – Noon

Crafting your short story

Learn how the masters grab your attention from the first line. How many characters should you have in your short story? How do you get it moving and keep it going? Award-winning short story writer Elaine Viets, author of Deal With the Devil and 13 Short Stories will help you answer these questions and more.  $25 per person.  Instructor: Elaine Viets

See Video Here

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Saturday, September 26, 10 am – Noon

Dialogue: The Voices in Your Head

From witty repartee to talking at cross-purposes, dialogue makes character and drives plot. In this workshop, we’ll talk about talking—from the basics that aren’t so basic, like punctuation (exclamation marks, italics, ellipses, em dashes) and dialogue tags, to diction and syntax that reveal social class, profession, gender, age, race, religion, etc. How do we write comic timing into dialogue? How does dialogue create suspense? When does silence speak louder than words?  $25 per person.  Instructor: Michael Wiley

See Video Here

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Saturday, October 3, 10 am – Noon

Propelling Suspense with Driving Questions

The Driving Questions: Lee Child famously said that readers are programmed to wait for answers to questions they witness being asked. Child instructs writers to plant questions in stories that the reader needs to have answered, so they keep reading. We will carefully study Child’s article. Then we will look at how the Driving Question is used by master mystery and thriller writers, in works ranging from classics by Jack London to the latest by Deaver, Dionne, Connelly, and others. You can read the Lee Child article here: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/a-simple-way-to-create-suspense/ People who register for the class will get a pdf of examples from mystery authors sent to them a few days before the class.   $25 per person.  Instructor: Alison McMahan

See Video Here

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Saturday, October 10, 10 am – Noon

How to Find an Agent

In this evolving publishing environment, should you or shouldn’t you have an agent? We’ll look at what representation can do for you, how to create a “hit list” using Publishers Marketplace and other resources, and how to write a query letter that gets attention. $25 per person.  Instructor: D.J. Niko

See Video Here

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Saturday, October 17, 10 am – Noon

Dexter for Real

Come and see how Dexter and real blood-stain reconstructionists evaluate blood spatter patterns on crime scenes to answer critical questions that can assist in criminal investigations and successful outcomes.  Attendees will be introduced  to the occurrence of bloodstain reconstruction and  blood shedding examination. You will learn how to answer questions involving presence of people, instrumentation used and  force applied.  $25 per person.  Instructor: Sharon Plotkin

See Video Here

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Saturday, October 24, 10 am – Noon

Groaners,  How to Keep Laughably Bad Writing Mistakes From Torpedoing Your Work

Does your writing avoid clichés like the plague? When you film a video, does it impact your funds? Will you be finishing momentarily? Did Kennedy see mountains in Dallas right before he was assassinated in 1993? Wrong, wrong, wrong!  Every time you introduce a cliché, a bureaucratic word that’s dead wrong, a dumb grammatical mistake, or a really stupid error of geography and history, it can lead frustrated readers to give up on your story.  $25 per person.  Instructor: Eliot Kleinberg

See Video Here

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Saturday, November 7, 10 am – Noon 

Editors Panel,  What Goes on Behind Closed Doors

Four prominent editors from major publishing houses take you deep behind the scenes of the publishing business to discuss what they do, how they work, and what they look for in today’s book market. $35 per person.

Neil Nyren – Penguin Random House. Former Executive VP, Associate       Publisher and Editor in Chief. Among his authors: Clive Cussler, Ken Follett, CJ Box, John Sandford, Robert Crais.

Kelley Ragland – Macmillan Publishing. VP, Associate Publisher/Editorial Director of Minotaur Books/St Martins Publishing Group.

Juliet Grames – SoHo Press. Associate Publisher.

David Highfill – Harper Collins. Executive Editor at William Morrow.

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Saturday, November 14, 10 am – Noon

Writing Your Life Story

Bring your voice, your heart and soul and your five-word memoir to this workshop. The intention, ambition, desire is to provide you with inspiration, motivation and encouragement as well as with proven practical information to help you write your memoir.  There will be tips for gathering information for your story and how to determine what format, tone and point of view you want. We’ll talk about having a backstory, people in your past, and how to maintain a flow to keep the information relevant and interesting.  $25 per person. Instructor: Marcia Rosen

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Saturday, November 21, 10 am – Noon

Creating an Exciting Setting Where Anything Can Happen

As a writer, you must create fictional places where your characters can live lives that feel real and exciting. Still, too much description can weigh your story down. Carefully chosen details will carry the load, leaving space in the narrative for a gripping story. In this workshop, we will explore ways to give your readers an unforgettable world without sacrificing the pacing that will keep them turning the pages. $25 per person. Instructor: Mary Anna Evans

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Saturday, December 5, 10 am – Noon

Panel of Agents

A panel of top literary agents will discuss the book market, what’s hot and what’s not, and what are the current trends.  What do agents want? What do they see too much of? What attracts their attention. What are the most common mistakes writers make in their pitches and queries? Thriller Award winner and Barry Award Finalist K.J. Howe will moderate.

Annie Bomke – Annie Bomke Literary Agency

Nicole Resciniti –  The Seymour Agency

Maggie Kane – Irene Goodman Agency

$35 per person. To register call 561-279-7790 or email murdermb@gate.net for information.

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Saturday, December 12, 10 am – Noon

Crafting Evocative Prose

In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to write with sensual clarity (crucial) and how to avoid boring or banal generalizations and passive verbs (also crucial). We’ll also discuss “The Metaphor Machine,” a five-step process designed to help you create metaphors that illuminate complex or abstract concepts by translating them into concrete, striking images that resonate with readers. Take your writing to the next level! $25 per person. Instructor: Jane K. Cleland