FEARLESS INK: A site where excellent writing meets smart business for outstanding results

Workshops

I teach a variety of workshops as part of continuing ed programs, in corporate environments, or when a private group hires me to come in for the weekend.

Below are capsules of some of my workshops. If you would like more information or book me to teach at your location, please e-mail here to discuss scheduling and fees.

We're also delighted to announce that Devon Ellington will teach a series of Fast and Fun Workshops for us this spring and summer.  Devon's got an outstanding track record as both a published author and teacher, all over the world.


Fast and Fun Series:

Each Fast & Fun Workshop is short (1-3 days), an online seminar, packed with information.  Reasonably priced, participants are in for a a treat -- lectures, exercises, individual comments on work brought in, and a handy resource guide/workbook in PDF format at the end.

More workshops are added every month.  Each workshop is only offered once in a calendar year, but can be booked for private groups, either online or in-person.  Keep up with the Fast and Fun Workshops at www.devonellingtonwork.com/FastandFun.html.


So far, our Fast and Fun Series has covered:

Dialogue Dilemmas and Solutions

Learn how to create cadence, use dialogue to drive plot and character development, and reveal backstory -- all without info dumps.


Amazing Antagonists
Your antagonist is the protagonist of his own story.  Spend a day in this online seminar learning how to make your antagonists as complex and interesting as your protagonists, and a fascinating challenge for them.
Beginning Writers Welcome!


Setting Up Your Submission System
Your work can’t be published if it’s not out there.  Spend a day learning how to set up your loglines, bio paragraphs, CVs/resumes, submission logs, pitch logs, and clip files so that putting together a submission package is a breeze.  If you take the time to set it up early, when an opportunity crosses your desk, you can jump on it, instead of stressing out and hunting down the necessary pieces.
Beginning Writers Welcome!


Scene Meat

It's vital to understand the difference between a scene and a sequence.  Too many stories fail because the characters are moving through vague sequences instead of staying in closely focused, intensely dramatic and interesting scenes.  This one-day seminar gets to the heart of the scene, and teaches how to develop a scene and use a variety of transitions to build strong scenes into stronger sequences that drive the plot.


Series Bible

If you're writing a multi-book or story series, you need to keep track of the details.  What color hair does a minor character have?  How does your lead like his coffee?  Where is the heroine's aunt's mother's house?  Certain things need to remain consistent to serve the story and keep the readers engaged.  Readers are smart -- they catch errors.  This one day seminar teaches you how to create and maintain a Series Bible, which is one of the most important tools for your craft.


Dissecting Submission Guidelines

Agents, Editors, and other submission personnel are getting more and more stringent about wanting authors to follow guidelines and frustrated that the vast majority can't be bothered.  Getting a lot of rejections? Maybe it's because you're not following guidelines.  They're not there to torture you -- they are there to streamline the submission process and filter out those who will be difficult to work with.  Show the submissions personnel that you are both a joy to work with AND the talent for whom they're searching!  This one-day seminar gives you all the tricks!


The First Three Pages

The first three pages of your piece are what keeps the reader going or causes the reader to put your work down.  Learn how to make your opening as strong as possible, exceeding expectations and keeping your unique authorial voice.


Other workshops, Available for bookings by individuals and organizations, are listed below.  We also custom-design workshops to fit your organization and participants, in both fiction and non-fiction.


Dialogue Workshop

Course Description: Learn how to craft character-cohesive, interesting dialogue that moves along a story, whether it’s a stage play or a piece of prose. Explore methods of cutting, crafting, and creating conversation that sparkles on the page and in the ear. Techniques to brighten dialogue and use it to drive the story will be explored in detail. Examples from established writers will be used, and the students’ own work will be created and honed.

Note:  This is a very popular workshop, and can only be booked a limited amount of times per year.  Book early!

Time Frame: 6 sessions, 2 hours per session, once a week or over consecutive days. Also available as a day-long intensive and a week-long online workshop.


Write Anything Authentically

Course description:  How to write anything from a business letter to ad copy to a newsletter to a journal entry to a novel with authenticity and integrity.  The course consists of exercises in content and style, using fiction techniques in non-fiction, using non-fiction techniques in fiction, applying research, sourcing, creating dynamic interview questions, layering house style, and remaining true to your own voice.

Time Frame:  Half-day workshop, full-day workshop, week-long intensive.


One Story, Many Voices Workshop

Course Description: Learn how to use a basic story and experiment with multiple genres. Learn where your natural story telling voice is strongest. Use the techniques to help write in any genre you wish. A “base story” is created in the first session, which we then re-create into different genres from week to week. By the end of the eight weeks, the participant will have eight distinct completed stories. Examples from masters in each field will be shared, and unique voices encouraged within the writing processes. Techniques from each genre will be learned, and ways in which they can help break through blocks. Limit: 12 participants.

Time frame: 8 sessions, 2 hours per session, once a week. Also available as a week-end intensive encompassing two consecutive weekends, four hours per day, and a week-long online workshop.


Scaling the Wall:  Getting Past Stuck

Course Description:  Stalled in your story?  Get past it!  Learn how to climb over, dig under, circle around, and blast through what's keeping you from finishing your piece.  A dynamic workshop of combining tips, exercises, and tough writing love, you can break through ANY obstacle to both finish and strengthen your piece into submission-ready status.  Participants must commit to writing 1000 words per day EVERY day MINIMUM for the duration of the class.

Time Frame:  Full-day, week-long, and month-long intensives available.


Story Building

Course Description:  Do you have ideas, but never "get around" to developing them on paper?  This workshop teaches you how to build a story, scene-by-scene, using character, dialogue, setting, plot, and how to layer them in unique ways.  It helps shed old patterns and old fears, leaving you with the foundation for a solid story and the tools with which to complete it.

Time frame:  5-7 one hour sessions or a half day workshop or a full day workshop or a week-long online intensive.


Writing Intensive: The 50-Page Weekend

Course description: Whether you’re simply stuck on your work-in-progress, or don’t know how to begin, if you’re serious, this is the course for you. An intensive, 2 day weekend workshop with a goal of 50 pages by the end of it will inspire and motivate you via techniques of journaling, brainstorming, and busting through blocks. This course is for first drafts only, not revisions. Bring an idea, an outline, or a partial manuscript and let’s get writing!

Time Frame: 2 consecutive weekend days, 8 hours per day with a one-hour lunch break. Participants are required to attend both days.


Revision Intensive

Course Description: A two day intensive of solid work to help jump-start your rewrite process. Learn techniques to catch your mistakes, fix sections that aren’t working, and to work your way through a rewrite in an orderly fashion. Times of working alone together are combined with class discussion and brainstorming. A completed manuscript is required. Also bring a notebook.

Time Frame: 2 consecutive weekend days, 8 hours per day with a one-hour lunch break. Participants are required to attend both days.


Time and Space To Write: An Intensive

Course Description: Do you have the desire to write, but feel you don’t have the time? Block out the week and get serious work done in this intensive. Learn how to budget time, set boundaries, break through blocks, and use the time you have to get your work done. Manuscripts in any genre of any length welcome. This is a five day intensive to teach writers how to set boundaries, maintain a disciplined schedule within the context of one’s life, break through blocks, and actually work on their projects. The bulk of the time is spent writing.

Time Frame: 5 sessions over consecutive evenings, 2 hours per session. Participants are required to attend all 5 sessions.


Journal, Blog, Diary:  A Journey of Internal and External Communication

Course Description:  Examining one's inner life helps focus one's outer life and achieve one's fullest potential.  In this era of over-exposure, how do you decide which to keep -- a journal, a blog, a diary, or a combination?  What purposes do each serve?  How are they similar?  How are they different?  Can a combination help create a balance and focus towards achievement?  Exercises focus on techniques for both public and private writing, how to use each to enhance the other, ethics discussion, copyright laws, first rights,  and ways to use each tool to complete life goals.

Time Frame:  5 sessions of one hour each or a half-day workshop, or a week-long online workshop.


Writers and Journals Intensive

Course Description: Journals are an important part of a writer’s life and development. This class will use other writers’ journals to inspire the writers in the class to expand on their own journal writing experiences. Reading and writing are encouraged, but no one will be forced to read from their personal journals.

Required Texts: Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton; A Book of One’s Own by Thomas Mallon; and The Hidden Writer by Alexandra Johnson. Participants are required to provide their own notebook/journal for exercises.

Time Frame: 20 sessions, 2 hours per session, meeting twice a week for 10 weeks.


Please Note:

The use of cell phones, chewing gum, and personal stereos are not permitted during class.