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 Sessions: TBA

2014 Part I Intensive Sessions

“From Idea To ISBN: Writing A Mystery Novel”  Jess Lourey. (this session is directed at writers at any level): Join multi-genre author and creative writing professor Jess Lourey as she guides participants through a foolproof and exciting seven-step process for turning an idea into a novel. Topics covered in this full-day workshop include: writing memorable characters, building a page-turning plot, creating cinematic, multi-purpose settings, crafting a scene, editing effectively, and finding an agent or self-publishing. The workshop will be a mixture of lecture, in-class activities, and writing, with time for questions. Bring your ideas as well as something to write with and on.

“Writing the Novel: The Essentials”  William Kent Krueger.  When you contemplate sitting down to write a novel, you might feel a little like you’re facing Mount Everest.  But if you understand the essentials, you’ll be prepared for the journey ahead.  In this workshop, we’ll examine some of the basic elements of writing a novel.  This will include concept, beginnings, plot, narrative, point of view, endings, and a little about the real nitty-gritty of the business.  You’ll do many exercises and have lots of opportunity to share what you create.

“Young Adult Literature and the Mechanics of Plot”  Daniel José Older. In this interactive intensive session we will focus on YA themes while delving into the nitty-gritty mechanics of plot. We’ll take a micro and macro perspective, examining the fundamental elements of storycraft and how they all fit together into a book that satisfies, challenges and leaves the reader wanting more.

“Build Your Author Blog”  Erik Deckers. Every author needs a blog. It’s the hub of your personal brand, and the place people go to find out more about you — where to buy your books, where you’ll be doing your next reading, even what you’re working on now. This session is part tech intensive, part marketing session, and you’ll learn how to find and set up the best blog platform for you, how to publish a blog post, and how to promote it to your social networks. We’ll also delve into search engine optimization and how to boost your Google ranks to find new readers. Finally, we’ll look at what should actually go on your blog, and what you should leave off. We’ll discuss the best time to publish a post, what will make people want to read your work, and the three worst things you can do to a blog.

“Nonfiction: Turning Real Stories into a Real Career”  Kelsey Timmerman.   The hardest word of a story to write is the first.  The hardest clip to get published is the first. Starting is hard. This session will start with that first word and that first clip and lay out the path to publishing you imagine. From writing creative nonfiction that sings, to getting it published, come prepared to plan, brainstorm, and write. All participants will leave this session with a step-by-step roadmap of growing their passion for nonfiction writing into a career. There are many paths to publishing, let’s find yours.

“Reflections on the Contemporary Ode”  Allison Joseph. This session will explore what an ode is, why contemporary poets have rediscovered this form, and why reading and writing odes should be a part of every writer’s practice.  We’ll look at examples of this enchanting form, write new ones dedicated to our own personal inspirations, and get feedback on what makes an ode endure for both readers and writers.