Midwest Writers Workshop is  formatted into Part I and Part II. The one-day Part I Intensive Sessions are scheduled for Thursday, July 23. These genre-specific learning sessions are designed for writers serious about pursuing a given genre. You will spend the day with the instructor and other writers who share your interest. The Part I Intensive small-group sessions are limited to small class sizes. They fill up rapidly so respond quickly. The cost for Part I is only $155 and includes lunch.

2015 Part I Intensive Sessions

“Your Novel and How to Write It” – Julie Hyzy. Only you can write your book, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Part lecture, part workshop, this class will focus on the nuts and bolts of writing a novel including: setting vibrant scenes, creating flesh-and-blood characters, and determining point-of-view. This class will also offer practical solutions to combat procrastination and writer’s block, with suggestions for how to ramp up your writing to keep readers turning pages. It’s not the genre that matters, it’s the story you tell. This class will help you write yours.

“Writing the Crime Novel” – D.E. (Dan) Johnson. No matter if you haven’t yet started or are in the process of polishing your manuscript, this class will give you a leg up in writing your mystery, thriller, or gritty crime story. If you’re looking for an edge that will keep an agent reading, this class will help you write a book that will grab your readers from the first sentence and not let go of their throats until the last page. In a fast-paced combination of lecture and workshop, award-winning mystery author D.E. Johnson will show you how to outline a crime novel (or—if you’re a “pantser”—to figure out where you need significant plot points), how to create a killer opening scene, pace the story well, and write empathetic characters, credible violence, and a climax that will keep readers coming back for more.

“Short Story Fellows Workshop” – Cathy Day. Those accepted into this intensive will have the opportunity to have their 5-10 page short story critiqued by the whole group. Specifically, you’ll be working to improve your facility with scenecraft (when to dramatize, when to summarize), point of view, setting, suspense, and readability. All work will be discussed anonymously and read aloud.

To apply, send a 5-10 page writing sample in manuscript form (as an attachment) to Cathy Day at cathy@cathyday.com. Applications will be taken until midnight on (DEADLINE EXTENDED) April 6. Participants will be notified of acceptance by April 18 so that they can sign up for another intensive if not selected.

Note: the writing sample you submit as your application does not need to be the same story you will workshop at the conference. Those who are accepted will be notified at a later date about sending their story for the workshop to Cathy Day.

“Writing the Biography” – Michael Shelden. How do you tell the story of a life? To do it well, you need the research skills of an historian, the narrative talents of a novelist, the analytical insights of a psychologist, and–on occasion–the lyrical touch of a poet. This workshop will explore how to bring these various abilities together to create a biography that will inform, entertain, and sell.

“Building Story: The Architecture of Narrative” – Chuck Wendig. Join Chuck Wendig as he examines the building blocks of story — measurable units of narrative creation that help give your story shape, dimension, depth, weight. How does story differentiate from plot? What are the tools one can use when constructing narrative? How does narrative design bridge different storytelling forms and formats?

“Between Fact and Fiction: Using Real Life as a Foundation for Your YA Novel” – Christa Desir. There can be tremendous power in telling your story. In this workshop, Christa explores using testimony or elements from your own life as a launching pad for your YA novel. Whether using emotional truth from experience to more fully develop your characters or using that really awkward time when you fainted in yoga class next to your crush and woke up in a pool of your own blood to add some humor, there are facets of your life where you can dig deep to offer more authenticity in your YA novel.