2020 Colorado Writers Collaborative Workshops

Debbie Maxwell Allen – Post-it Planning: Stick Your Way to Success

Struggling with your writing goals—and actually getting anything accomplished? A difficult task is even harder in uncertain times. Join us for a deceptively simple, non-tech way to plan your goals for the next ninety days and break those goals into manageable tasks. You’ll learn an easy—and satisfying—way to visually track what you’ve done and what’s left to do. Stop feeling overwhelmed and hit every target the Colorado Writers Collective has inspired.

 

Carol Berg – Writing Vivid Settings

A vivid sense of time and place can bring your scenes to life. Explore some techniques of dynamic scene-setting using precise details of description, character, and action rather than paragraphs of boring prose.

 

Trai Cartwright – What in the World is a Web Series?

And why do we care? Storytellers have learned that audiences love video, and web series are low-cost ways to bring life to your stories in dynamic new ways. Learn the basics–including how to get shooting!

 

Bryan Cohen – How to Decipher the Strange World of Amazon Ads

 

Mark Coker – Authors Guide to Post Pandemic Publishing

Most indie ebook authors have seen their sales increase as a result of the pandemic. In this fourth and final installment of Mark Coker’s ebook publishing intensive for Colorado Writers Collaborative 2020, Mark examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of publishing for authors, publishers, retailers and readers. Mark examines the state of the ebook market prior to and immediately after COVID-19, and then shares ten examples of how COVID-19 will impact your long term prospects as an indie author. Learn how to position your publishing strategy today for post-pandemic publishing success.

 

Mark Coker – Introduction to Ebook Publishing

This session presents a step-by-step checklist covering the basics of ebook publishing. Mark teaches you how to produce, price, distribute and market your ebook. Mark covers several additional important topics including ISBNs, copyright and piracy prevention. After watching this session, you’re ready for Mark’s next session about ebook publishing best practices – “16 Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success” – where you’ll learn advanced techniques and strategies to make your ebooks more discoverable, desirable and enjoyable to readers.

 

Mark Coker – 16 Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

In part two of his ebook publishing intensive for Colorado Writers Collaborative 2020, Smashwords founder Mark Coker shares 16 evergreen best practices for ebook publishing. Learn how to make your books more discoverable, desirable, and enjoyable to readers. Learn how to build your author brand and position your writing career for greater long term success. Whether you’re new to ebook publishing or you’re an experienced veteran, you’ll learn fresh ideas to take your publishing to the next level.

 

Mark Coker – Book Launch: Ebook Preorders and Presales

Part III of Mark Coker’s ebook publishing intensive. For most authors, the first few days of their book launch are their best selling days, after which sales decline. For indie authors, most of those sales will be ebooks. In this session, authors will learn how to use ebook preorders and ebook pre sales to maximize the success of their book launch. You’ll learn the important differences between preorders and pre sales; how preorders and pre sales can be used to reach more readers and sell more books; how to turn a single book release date into multiple book launch events; and how to leverage the allure of pre sales to grow your author mailing list 365 days a year. The pre sales portion of the presentation will include an introduction to Smashwords Pre sales, a new first-of-its-kind, patent-pending invention of Smashwords that was introduced this past December. Smashwords Pre sales integrates with and supports any publishing strategy, even if you publish exclusively at Amazon.

 

Liz Colter – 10 Reasons Why You Should Be Writing Short Stories and How to Get Started

Many writers begin writing by tackling novels. Even if your goal is to write novels, writing short stories can be beneficial in many ways such as: improving writing technique, experience with contracts and editors, practicing economy of words, generating income, and more. This workshop will explore 10 reasons why you should be writing short stories and the tips that will get you started.

 

Michelle Dotter – Query Survival Basics with Dotter and Vedder

You’ve done it! You’ve completed the marathon process of writing a book. But a lot of writers choke at the finish line – that is, submissions. Come learn how to craft a masterful query, master your word count, find the agent who’s great for your project, and choose the publishing path that’s perfect for you. (Cautionary tales included!)

 

Michelle Dotter – Publishing from All Angles: Demystifying the Big, Small, and Self-Publishing Options

Join an editor in peeling back the curtain on the differences between publishing with the Big Five, a small to mid-sized press, or taking the initiative and self-publishing. We’ve cover everything from evaluating your book’s commercial chances to how to approach a publisher, how the money works, and how long it takes to go from manuscript to shiny new shelfer.

 

Rachel Howzell Hall – Mary Sues and Marty Stus Need Not Apply

No one is all of one thing. So how do you make villains and heroes equally complex? Equally compelling? And how do you use them to your advantage when writing fiction? Let’s examine how to make these complex characters come alive in your work.

 

Sophie Hannah – Dream Author

How to think and what to do to make your writing dreams come true. How to be your own most effective ally and advocate for the rest of your writing life.

 

LS Hawker – Identifying your manuscripts Achilles heel(S)

Learn to identify the various elements of your story that don’t work and let them go (kill your darlings)

 

LS Hawker – Revising Your Novel

Your novel’s finished! Now what? Now comes the hard part–revising and polishing. Now, as you face your gigantic pile of words with no idea where to dig in, the overwhelming amount of information out there (not to mention your own self-doubt) can paralyze you into inaction. How do you proceed? This workshop will give you a checklist, strategies, and tools to transform your word swamp into a Bellagio fountain.

 

Stuart Horwitz – Editing & Self-Editing

 

Steven James – What no one is telling you about characterization

Multi-dimensionality for all characters (including antagonists and protagonists) depends on varying their status. Characterization is brought out by showing how a character acts in relationship to other characters. By showing your characters’ quirks, fears, hopes, goals and attitudes in relation to his environment and to other people, you can create memorable, realistic characters.

 

Ben LeRoy – Q&A: Inside the Publishing Industry with Ben LeRoy & Anita Mumm

Editors Anita Mumm and Ben LeRoy share insights from their work in the publishing industry based on questions sent to them through the conference collaborative. Topics addressed include how the pandemic is affecting publishing; how long it takes to go from publishing deal to published book and what that process looks like; and what role independent editors play in both self-publishing and traditional publishing.

 

Stant Litore – Ruins and Relics: The Bones of Your Imaginary World

Either Character building or world building

 

Laura Manuel – What cops know:  is it an accident, suicide or murder

Attend for awareness of signs indicating murder, suicide, or accident.  Blood splatter will discussed.  What LEOs look for.

 

Tiffany Yates Martin – Biggest Mistakes Writers Make

No matter how experienced you may be, no matter how talented, it’s impossible to gain perfect objectivity about your own work—so it’s no wonder there are certain missteps almost every author may make at one time or another. You can learn to readily spot these common mistakes that may be keeping your story—and your writing—from being as effective and compelling as they can be. Like Waldo, once you see it, you can’t unsee it—so find out how to check your own work for these trouble spots and how you can address them and make sure your story stands out.

 

Bob Mayer – Platform, Product & Promotion: Understand Your Unique Position as an Author

A writer can easily be  overwhelmed by all the well-meaning advice given by experts, industry professionals and even other authors. This will help authors make decisions, such as whether to traditional publish or self-publish; what areas they should focus their creative and marketing efforts on; and much more.

 

Kendra Merritt – Writing about disabilities

Your main character lost his arm? Your love interest can’t walk. You have all your research and experience lined up but now you actually have to write your characters. Without offending anyone. The trick to keeping the reader in the three-hundred-pound wheelchair on your side is to make sure your disabled characters are as engaging and three-dimensional as every other character. Easy, right? It can be as long as you’re paying attention to the right things. We’ll cover techniques for ensuring that your characters are people first, including why they’re important, what language to use, and the stereotypes to avoid.

 

Kendra Merritt – Storyboarding Your Story

 

Margaret Mizushima – Dive Deep into Character

The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche that is often used by therapists, life coaches, and business managers; but it’s a great tool for writers, too. This workshop will outline the nine personality types of the Enneagram, each type’s emotional focus and childhood wounds, and how you can use them to shape your main character’s internal arc.

 

Anita Mumm – Q&A: Inside the Publishing Industry with Ben LeRoy & Anita Mumm

Editors Anita Mumm and Ben LeRoy share insights from their work in the publishing industry based on questions sent to them through the conference collaborative. Topics addressed include how the pandemic is affecting publishing; how long it takes to go from publishing deal to published book and what that process looks like; and what role independent editors play in both self-publishing and traditional publishing.

 

Pam Nowak – Finding Your Story in History

Challenges, research tips, and advice for finding the right mix of story and history.

 

Kristen Owens – Write That Book! Resolving the Top Ten Reasons Why You Don’t

This workshop is geared toward new writers who’ve dreamed of writing a novel, but can’t seem to get started. You’re not alone! We’ll explore (and solve) the Top 10 reasons writers never begin, or stop midway through, and how to push to the end. Topics covered include: setting expectations and goals, and tools to maintain motivation.

 

James Persichetti – Write Towards the Ending

The ending should represent everything you want the book to be, a culmination of the struggles and decisions your character has made, to deliver a final knockout punch. Whether you plot out every scene or set pen to paper to see where it leads, every story should build towards a satisfying ending that is (ideally) both unexpected and inevitable. This workshop is all about writing the most impactful ending that will leave your readers feeling like the hours they put into your book were worthwhile.

 

Kerry Schafer – Email your way to a super Reader community

As writers we are uniquely equipped to design an entertaining , interactive, engaging email format that our readers will welcome..  A newsletter is one of the best tools.

 

Bernadette Soehner – Building Your Author Platform

Aspiring authors, those with finished manuscripts, and published authors all need a platform to promote their books and their brand. In this workshop, Bernadette Marie, will cover the basics of what is needed for an author platform and where to begin–including website development, newsletter curation, and online marketing. Learn what options are available to you as an aspiring author, and which avenues you will want to venture into as a published author.

 

Bernadette Soehner – Romancing the Book

Romance can be hot and spicy without going into explicit detail. Learn how to close the door on sex, but create heat and passion.

 

Bernadette Soehner – Time management-which method will offer you the most production?

The only way to maximize your productivity is to have the right tools when it comes to managing your time.  Learn multiple techniques that you can interchange and master.

 

Bernadette Soehner – Author Branding

 

Jon Tandler – Entities for Writers and Creatives

 

Leslie Vedder – Query Survival Basics with Dotter and Vedder

You’ve done it! You’ve completed the marathon process of writing a book. But a lot of writers choke at the finish line – that is, submissions. Come learn how to craft a masterful query, master your word count, find the agent who’s great for your project, and choose the publishing path that’s perfect for you. (Cautionary tales included!)

 

Peggy Waide – Layering Depth into your scenes

Few writers sit at the computer to have words flow magically from their fingers to write perfectly balanced scenes each and every time.  Writing in layers can unblock that creativity.

 

Carter Wilson – Cut That Shit Out

You’re going to hate the first draft of your book, which really makes it hard to dive back in and rewrite it. But editing is where the hatred cools to a mild loathing, if done properly. USA Today bestselling thriller writer Carter Wilson teaches you how to cut, slice, and disembowel your first draft, making into something that can sell.

 

Johnny Worthen – Writing to Theme

Raise your work to literary levels by consciously incorporating themes. Learn how to identify what you’re trying to say and actively nurture the subtler but greater questions you’re addressing. Enhance your writing with symbols as signposts, layers of grays and depths of meaning. Give the literary critics something to enjoy, Class will study the therapeutic qualities of writing and ask the author to consciously incorporate ideas of theme into their work, exploring the human condition through parallel plots, symbols, conflict, and alternative points of view to address lingering questions and personal issues. From the lighthouse of intent, to hard questions, symbols, subplots and echoes, the class will encourage the writer to plumb the depths of meaning, bleed a little and create multiple strands of meaning in their work.