Midwest Writers Workshop is formatted into Part I and Part II. The one-day Part I Intensive Sessions are scheduled for Thursday, July 24. These eight 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 $150 and includes lunch.
2014 Part I Intensive Sessions — to be announced!
2013 Part I Intensive Sessions
“Manuscript Makeover” – Dennis Hensley & Holly Miller. This interactive intensive is designed for those fiction and nonfiction writers who are ready to take a quantum leap forward in enhancing their writing skills. Participants will submit the first 10 pages of a manuscript in progress. The instructors will edit and critique these pages and display them (anonymously) to the class as a way of revealing strengths and weaknesses in the material. Additionally, the instructors will lead the students in writing exercises and offer advice on such topics as enhancing dialogue, learning to self-edit, mastering proofreading, finding the right markets for manuscripts and knowing when and how to go into writing full-time. This session is limited to the first 20 people to register. ALL MATERIALS should be appropriately labeled (i.e., LEFT CORNER: your name, address, phone, email; RIGHT CORNER: Manuscript Makeover). Mail the first 10 pages of your manuscript by JUNE 15 to: Jama Bigger (Midwest Writers Workshop), Department of English, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.
“Adrenaline Rush: How to Write Commercial Fiction” – John Gilstrap. Award-winning thriller author John Gilstrap presents a day-long seminar on the construction of intelligent commercial fiction. What makes for a strong plot? How do you take cardboard characters and give them life on the page? Through lively lectures and writing exercises, students get a peek at the skeleton that gives structure to the stories that keep us reading long into the night.
“Researching and Writing The Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Thing” – Matthew Clemens. This interactive session, with a focus on craft, will touch on the differences in genres, the elements of plot, character development, dialogue, writing stronger sentences, and the building and acceleration of suspense. We will discuss many aspects of the writing process from getting ideas to building them into a saleable novel. The only pre-class assignment is to watch the film “Jaws.”
“Writing Everything: A Freelancer Book of Tricks” – Lou Harry. Sure, you can be a specialist. But to build a freelance career, it helps to be interested in just about everything. Lou Harry, who has written for more than 50 publications, discusses the ins and outs of being (or effectively faking) a generalist.
It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Inspirational Novel: Writing for a Changing Market – Colleen Coble. The market has changed in recent years for inspirational novels. The genres run the gamut from Amish to vampire and everything in between. The market is hungry for great books that challenge and entertain. Join best-selling inspirational author Colleen Coble for a discussion of the changing face of inspirational fiction.
“Writing YA: Think Like a Teenager” – Barbara Shoup. When asked for advice about writing for children, Maurice Sendak responded, “I don’t write for children; I write as a child.” The same is true of those writers who capture the imaginations of young adults. Through a series of interactive exercises, this class will bring out your inner-adolescent to help you identify and explore universal and deeply personal issues and events of adolescence that still resonate for you and offer strategies for shaping them into novels that appeal to kids today.
TECH INTENSIVE: “Building an Author Website” – Roxane Gay. Writers need websites, a hub for all their online activity. Building one has never been easier. In this full-day Tech Intensive, writer/editor Roxane Gay will walk you through the steps you need to create a website or blog. There will also be assistants on hand to help you figure out the technology and think through your website’s architecture, design, and purpose. Bring your laptop or use one of the Mac or PC desktop computers that will be on hand in the room. You don’t have to know code or technical jargon or have any previous experience. While several site-building tools will be discussed, the session will offer a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a site using WordPress, a best-in-class system for websites that’s free to use. Be sure to bring images and other content (such as your bio) that you’d like to use for your site.
TECH INTENSIVE: “Creating an e-book” – Jane Friedman. In this all-day Tech Intensive, you’ll learn what you need to get started in e-publishing your work. There will also be assistants on hand to help you figure out the technology and work one-on-one. The industry has exploded with new and free opportunities to help you publish your work electronically, at little or no cost to you. Learn how to get visibility for your work by using online services that make your work available on major e-reading platforms such as Kindle, Nook, and iPad. While e-publishing doesn’t equal instant success (if you build it, they may NOT come), you’ll learn the principles behind the successful creation and distribution of an e-book, as well as the technical skill required to convert your work into different formats. Bring your own laptop or use one of the Mac or PC desktops computers that will be on hand. Also: bring a manuscript you’d like to convert in order to learn how the process works.Back to Top