This is a post about Story Mastermind, my small group writing workshop, taught over six months, in the comfort of home. I realize that not everyone here has heard of it, and so I wanted to let you know that applications for cohort four are now open!
Six-Month Intensive Small Group Writing Workshop
As many of you know, I’ve been devoted to teaching about writing and publishing for over a decade now (this blog started in 2009!). I have been blogging here, I’ve written a book of writing advice, and I work on over one thousand one-on-one freelance editing projects per year.
But I have always—ALWAYS—wanted to host a writing workshop. In fact, I was making plans for one during late 2019, and thinking about holding the inaugural event in 2020.
The world had other plans!
I realized that I could do more good, dig in more deeply, and truly offer a unique experience for the writing marketplace by instead pivoting to a remote workshop intensive held over six months. This fits somewhere between a really craft-focused weekend or weeklong conference (there are a lot of those) and a two-year MFA program.
We have now run three cohorts of Story Mastermind and I am loving it. Not only the process of teaching and making my own dreams come true, but seeing our writers commit to and craft their novel drafts and picture book portfolios.
The rich discussions, guest visits from agents, editors, and published authors, and the group accountability and support have all been a wonder to behold.
So have the deliverables! Novel Mastermind students emerge from our time together with a pressure-tested and peer-workshopped novel draft, complete with submission materials. Picture Book Mastermind students have a full collection of at least six picture book drafts that they can submit confidently.
Get a Taste of the Workshop
If you’re at all interested in applying for Story Mastermind before applications are due on October 8th, 2021, I want to invite you to matching two-part workshops for the Novel Mastermind track and the Picture Book Mastermind track.
Those of you who know me, know I’m not the most productive person. I take my time. I don’t bite off more than I can chew. JUST KIDDING. I’m a maniac. In fact, I sell a shirt over at Good Story that says “Beast mode is the best mode,” because this happens to be my personal motto.
So, in addition to shepherding my dozens of current editorial clients (and a team of ten) through the current apocalypse, launching a digital learning resource about marketing for writers (more on that soon), and, I don’t know, actively trying not to die, I have developed a new intensive small group writing workshop program called Story Mastermind!
Introducing Story Mastermind
What is Story Mastermind? Well, good question. It’s a small group writing workshop that you can do from home. Originally, my dream was to throw an in-person writing intensive over the course of a long weekend. This is my favorite working style for writers conferences, and so it has always been my dream to launch my own.
The climate for in-person events has recently shifted. Drastically.
I’m no longer dreaming of an in-person opportunity, at least for now.
Besides, I think we all are learning that we can be productive at home, and it’s less hassle and expense than traveling somewhere. So I thought …
Why not change with the times and offer this type of opportunity remotely?
I also decided that I could get a lot more teaching done by expanding the scope of the writing intensive. Sure, attendees benefit from one very intense weekend of programming. But what about something that’s between a conference and an MFA program?
What if I could promise some really amazing deliverables? Well, I’d need more time with the students. But not two years, like a lot of MFA programs. What about six months?
Our initial session is launching July 1st and will run through the end of the year. Another cohort will launch January 1st.
Who is this program for? Well, three types of writer, to start:
Novelists working on a new draft
Novelists working on a revision of a draft
Picture book writers
For the novelists, I am looking for middle grade and young adult writers only. Other masterminds (adult fiction, individual genre fiction, memoir, etc.) may become available according to demand, but for now, I’m starting in my home base of children’s fiction.
For six months, we will do small group video sessions online every other week. (There will be one month of preparation before the class starts so we can all be on the same page with one another’s writing.) These sessions will be mostly workshop driven, with some lecturing from me and one other dedicated staff member. Group sizes will be small: six writers per novel cohort, and twelve writers per picture book cohort.
At the end of our time together, the three types of writer will have:
Novel Mastermind students leave with a complete and fully workshopped first manuscript draft
Revision Mastermind students leave with a fully polished and workshopped final manuscript draft and a submission plan
Picture Book Mastermind students will leave with six fully workshopped and polished manuscripts and a submission plan
The goal of many MFA programs is to support you in creating one manuscript, which is considered your thesis. Most programs last two years and cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars—even the remote, low-residency options.
That just doesn’t fit our contemporary world, or the lifestyles of a lot of my clients. That’s why I’m so happy to start offering Story Mastermind as an alternate solution for busy modern writers who still want workshop, who still want an industry focus, and who still want to create creative output that will help them reach their goals.
Learn More and Apply
Applications for the first session of Story Mastermind are now live. They are due by April 17th. You can read over the Story Mastermind website, dive into the FAQ, learn about pricing, and access the application here.
This is the first session and it will be a learning experience for me and my team, as well as the writers who are accepted into the program. As such, the pricing is be lower than it will ever appear again. Future sessions are going to be priced more competitively, to reflect the incredible amount of work and personal attention that this program demands.
The great news is that one or two seats per cohort are reserved for a “pay what you can” scholarship–more important now than ever.
Applications are already flooding in, and we will have a very tough admissions process on our hands behind the scenes. If you’re at all interested, please check out the Story Mastermind website to learn more.
As the season of gratitude approaches, I have too many blessings to count. And one of my biggest blessings is you, dear Kidlit reader. You have been with me for over ten years, along for the ride on the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. You make what I do on the blog (and Good Story Company and YouTube and Good Story Podcast and on every other free avenue that you can find me) worthwhile.
If you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know that I provide content for writers. That’s my passion, and what I do best. You may also know that I don’t do a lot of selling. There has never been an ad on this blog, and the only things I sell are my own projects, whether that’s my book or a webinar or the Manuscript Submission Blueprint. That was a collaboration brought to me by Children’s Book Insider, and I sampled several of their classes before agreeing to make one. I loved it, and I poured my all into the class I created. I’m still very proud of it! I also think it’s offered at a kickass price point that gives a ton of value for your hard-earned dollar.
Keeping this type of integrity in a culture of “monetization” has been hard. I get advertising requests every single day for this blog because it has been around a long time, because a lot of people come to it, and because my email lists and social feeds have a lot of followers. Over and over, I say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Even my own mother keeps asking, “When are you gonna monetize that blog?”
Sorry, Mom! I will not “put the good stuff behind a paywall.” I will not launch a subscription model where I make a quick buck off of you when you forget to cancel for a few months. I feel very strongly about this, and always have. If you read my blog and have never given me one red cent, thank you! Welcome! I’m so happy to have you! My editorial practice is thriving and I’m having my best year ever, with a team of eight wonderful employees. (I know, right?!) Please enjoy the things I share with writers for free. I mean it.
Now. What’s the apology for? Well, a few months ago, a very prominent writing teacher approached me to do a collaboration. My response was in line with my values (the names have been redacted):
I was very grateful to have an opportunity to collaborate with a famous writing teacher. But my audience was and still is my first concern. So in the above response, I wanted to make sure that my writers would be respected, along with their valuable time.
The teacher called me and reassured me over the phone that “the webinar is very content rich and only the last ten minutes are spent selling.” The product was a course from this writer. This teacher said “most people don’t even notice the sales pitch.” We had a great talk and I completely gave this teacher the benefit of the doubt.
But when the webinar rolled around, I’m afraid my expectations were not met. There was valuable content, indeed, and I learned a few things, but there was also a lot of selling. Blatant, in-your-face selling. There was even discussion of the finer points of a financing option. I watched on, very disappointed, but I had been taken off as a presenter for the duration of the webinar, so I literally couldn’t come back on the line. We were on this teacher’s webinar software, not mine. And would I want to interrupt and make a scene? I was in a very uncomfortable position. I felt that my trust had been broken and that I had been taken advantage of, but I was left not knowing how to handle it as it was happening.
The great news is, my readers are smart, tough, savvy, and honest. Almost immediately, I started hearing about how people did not appreciate this webinar. I reassured those who wrote to me directly, and this led to some really good conversations. I am so grateful that my readership trusts me enough to be honest with me, even when they need to tell me something tough. People wrote me some brave emails, and I’m so honored to have gotten to engage with my readers on that level. That means you guys care, and that level of engagement is so hard to find in today’s busy world.
Initially, the writing teacher expected me to send four follow-up emails, but after the content of the webinar, I decided that I didn’t want to engage further. I sent one email, reluctantly, after prodding from their team. But the backlash from my readers kept coming. Even now, almost two weeks later, I’m hearing about it. So I knew I had to take a tougher and more honest stand.
I wrote to Teacher and Co. and gave them a taste of the feedback. I expressed my disappointment and reminded them of our initial conversations about the balance of content and selling. Staying silent about it would’ve been perhaps more diplomatic. After all, I’m not here to start beef or make enemies. That’s why I’m not referring to the teacher or the event by name. The people who attended this webinar and were disappointed will know what I mean. But staying mostly silent while dealing with it behind the scenes did not feel right. It also allows this predatory marketing practice to continue.
So now I’m apologizing to you.
You, my dear reader. Your time, your attention, your support—these precious things mean everything to me. I am sorry to those who joined this webinar and were disappointed. You trusted me, and I steered you in the wrong direction. We all make mistakes sometimes, and all I can hope for is your forgiveness. I was operating on the best information I had at the time.
For those who took this webinar and happened to buy the class, I do want you to enjoy it. I do not want you to regret your decision after this post. I do hope that it’s a valuable resource because—again—I think this writing teacher has a lot of good things to say. I still think this teacher’s book is a valuable resource. (This teacher may not think I’m so hot after this, though!) I hope that the payoff in all of this is that you get some good tools for your toolbox. I can only hope that it has been created with integrity and attention to detail.
Safe to say, it will be a long, longtime before I entertain another collaboration.
The questions of whether or not to write this post, and write to the teacher, have been weighing on me for two weeks. I know I can’t feed my family “integrity” for dinner, but I feel a lot better to have been open and honest with you. In life, there’s the easy thing, and the right thing, and they’re often not the same. Thank you so much for hearing me out!
Full disclosure: I was offered a revenue sharing arrangement for this webinar, which is standard for this kind of collaboration. I have declined any royalties and have been paid absolutely nothing. In 2020, I do plan to launch a very specific paid course (for aspiring editors) and an ebook, both of which will be offered for sale. I will also offer a few one-off paid classes for a well-known online learning platform. But all of these are being produced by me—up to my high standards—to be as content-rich as humanly possible. I continue to offer a few paid webinars per year that include manuscript critique as a justification for the payment. Any links you see to content on Amazon or Manuscript Blueprints are affiliate links that give me a small royalty payment—at no additional cost to the reader. I shoulder over $100 of web hosting costs per month to keep several websites running, and this allows me to offset some of that investment. Other than that, I make my living as a freelance editor, by being paid for my services.
For over a year, I have been working with Laura and Jon over at Writing Blueprints to create the Manuscript Submission Blueprint, a system of information that gives you everything you need to know to assemble a manuscript submission to literary agents and/or publishers.
Now, you may or may not know the following about me: I do not commercialize this blog lightly. I get requests oh, probably every day for guest posts, contributor posts, advertising links, blah blah blah. The blog gets a lot of traffic and is prominent in the children’s book space, so plenty of people find it … and they all want me to help them sell stuff to you.
In 99.99% of cases, I say no. In fact, I only directly sell three things on this blog (and I try to keep it as unobtrusive as possible): My book, my editorial services, and any webinars, events, or conferences I’m personally involved in. You will notice that all of these are my things. I also use affiliate links to Amazon and Writing Blueprints. But that’s it. Otherwise, I only recommend a book or a resource if I find it myself and love it. Never because someone else asks me to boost it.
Why? Integrity. Because I genuinely love writers. I genuinely love to teach and be a helpful resource. And I genuinely love to help children’s book writers make their dreams come true. I also really care about having your trust. I can’t do that if I’m shilling for anyone who emails me. Instead, I write long and (I hope) enriching craft articles for “nothing” in return and that’s exactly how I like it. I could’ve monetized this blog halfway to Mars by now with ads and guest posts. But that money wouldn’t be worth it because the blog wouldn’t be true to itself, true to you, or true to who I am.
So when Laura and Jon approached me to create the Manuscript Submission Blueprint, I was naturally skeptical. Were these Blueprints good stuff? Truly helpful and informative to writers? Were they fairly priced? Did writers get good value for their investment? Was there a ton of useful information, and was it quality? Was the system easy to use? I took a few of the classes and … loved them! Like, I was blown away by what was being offered for the price. In short, Writing Blueprints met all of my fussy criteria, so I agreed to develop the Manuscript Submission Blueprint.
The Manuscript Submission Blueprint is ALL ABOUT MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION TO AGENTS AND PUBLISHERS. From the process of researching your market, to composing a query letter, to putting together various submission requirements, to actually getting out into the world. It is everything writers in any category and with any kind of project (not just children’s!) need to know to get their work out into the world, told from the perspective of yours truly, a former literary agent with ten plus years in the publishing business.
Practically, it is a longform class that you can take at your leisure in your own home. It consists of videos, written materials, handouts, even a spreadsheet. It’s set up like an online course that you can start and stop whenever you want. (In fact, the interface they use is one of the things that really drew me to creating a Writing Blueprints system. It was really easy for me to use as I test drove some of their other Blueprints.) You pay one price to buy it, and then you own access to it forever. You can use it and watch it and rewatch it.
This has been a labor of love I started in November 2017 (watch out for several different haircuts, ha!). I recorded about ten hours of video instruction, wrote 35+ handouts, interviewed the amazing John Cusick for bonus material, gave feedback on sample query letters, developed two webinars, and much more.
Now it is FINALLY available. I really put a ton of work into it, and I am very proud of how it turned out. I hope you enjoy the Manuscript Submission Blueprint!
This is a quick reminder that I have two upcoming webinars in the month of December, Writing Irresistible First Pages and Rock Your Writing Goals. In January, I’m launching a Submission Blueprint with Writing Blueprints, so I’ll be doing a webinar to support that. In February, I’m participating in WriteOnCon. So I’m skipping my own webinars those months, until a planned webinar on interiority in March. That means these December webinars are it for the near future. Join me!
Very informative, I learned a LOT about what the first pages should accomplish. – Dena Pawling
Mary is an approachable expert. She turns a daunting task into something I can do with confidence. – Shelley G.
Saturday, December 8th, 11 a.m. CST: Writing Irresistible First Pages WITH CRITIQUE
A paid webinar that includes comprehensive notes on the first two pages of your novel. This webinar is geared to novel writers of all categories, from middle grade to fantasy. Not only will you hear a wealth of information about how to write successful, eye-catching first pages, but your novel opening will be privately critiqued with helpful feedback. The cost of this webinar with the included critique is $99. The webinar will last one hour and thirty minutes.
Mary’s webinar on Writing Irresistible First Pages was incredibly helpful. Mary is very versed in the subject matter and presents lot of terrific useful information at a good pace. Thank you, Mary! – Charlotte Hebert
You have one month to submit your pages after the webinar date. The submission will be up to two double-spaced pages with 12 pt font and standard 1″ margins. Notes will be returned within three weeks of receipt.
I found this webinar extremely helpful and packed with valuable info. Thank you so much! I feel much more confident to proceed with revising my first chapter. – Amy G.
Saturday, December 29th, 11 a.m. CST: Rock Your Writing Goals Webinar
A fun and motivational free webinar just in time for those New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s spend an hour together this last weekend of December and do some creative brainstorming for the year to come. The webinar will last one hour.
This webinar is for all writers, at all skill levels. I’ll discuss creativity, actionable steps for achieving your writing or publishing goals this year, and send you off into 2019 with a bang!
Ladies and gentlemen, start your Scriveners for NaNoWriMo 2018! It’s officially that time of the year again, when thousands upon thousands of scribes spend the month of November pounding out 50,000 words of prose (or more) in the name of writing achievement, damn it!
Your NaNoWriMo 2018 Success Strategies
For all of this year’s National Novel Writing Month participants, here are three success strategies I’d like to plant in your heads on this, the heady first day of unbridled writing creation.
Don’t Sweat Your Novel Beginning
Edit Your Novel Later
Focus on Character
Let’s unpack these tips one by one.
Don’t Sweat Your Novel Beginning
As I mention in my novel first pages webinar, first pages are so tough to write. Starting a novel can be very intimidating because there’s so much pressure on a novel beginning. That’s why I’m able to speak for over an hour about it, and many books have been written on the topic. (If you missed the webinar, I’ll give it again. See my Webinars and Events page!)
For National Novel Writing Month purposes, don’t sweat your beginning. Besides, you won’t know what your novel opening truly needs to be until you reach the end of the manuscript (on approximately the 30th of this month!). So you can–and should–always go back to the start and revise.
So do your best today and lay some groundwork. Remember to start in action, a compelling scene that introduces the character and kicks things off without immediately sliding into an info-dump of backstory. The balance of action and information is crucial in a novel beginning.
Then leave it. Seriously. Leave it be. It’s going to change. You aren’t going to nail it on the first try. Nobody does. Move on. Because otherwise, you risk getting stuck on your opening, or obsessing about it, and then you may lose your NaNoWriMo 2018 momentum right out the gate.
Which brings me to my next point…
Edit Your Novel Later
Some writers go through an entire novel without looking back at their work once. Some writers hammer and edit and refine on a scene or chapter until it’s perfect, only then do they proceed. For National Novel Writing Month, you obviously want do more of the former and less of the latter, just in the interest of finishing your project.
Writing is writing. Revision is revision. Huh? What I mean to say is, they are two completely different skills. They live in the same neighborhood, but opposites sides of the street. Revision’s for December! (And January, February, March … honestly, it could be a while once the initial rush of creation wears off.)
Some participants psych themselves up for their writing day by reading the previous day’s work. Others barrel straight through. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of going back further than that, at least for the time being. The first week of this exercise is the most important in terms of creating good writing habits.
If you start to read what you’ve written, you may be tempted to revise and, again, might stall out and being nitpicking or obsessing. Most of your success with this project will be created in the revision stages, and those are going to come later, using different parts of your brain and different skills.
You have my permission to step on the gas and ignore your blind spots. For November at least, don’t look back!
Focus on Character
The biggest job in front of you (other than, you know, writing 50,000 words in a single month!) is to get your character down on paper. The first chapter will change (weren’t you listening a minute ago?), the plot will change, individual scenes and descriptions will change. But once you’re able to “birth” a character during National Novel Writing Month, this really will be the anchoring element of your manuscript going forward.
Remember, readers read primarily to bond with character. A writer’s most important job is to make readers care. This comes from character. And it’s never too early to start fleshing out a strong and compelling character. As you write, you can forget the nit-picking and first chapter, but remember to add as much emotional substance to your protagonist as possible. This is where the quick work of creation can really pay off for later drafts.
Have you heard of my concept of interiority? If not, read up on it and keep it in mind on your adventures. The more you get down about your character now, the less you’ll have to develop later. If your manuscript reads like a giant character sketch at the end of the month? I wouldn’t be too upset. You can always shape the character and focus and give them stuff to do (plot) during the revision process.
What Happens After NaNoWriMo 2018?
You might laugh, but literary agents cringe at the end of National Novel Writing Month because their inboxes swell with “novels” on December 1st, nary twelve hours after well-meaning writers have finished their masterpieces. Because a novel is done once the word count gets to 50k, right?
As you’ve heard me suggest several times, the real work, unfortunately, of crafting a novel happens in the months after this one. So whatever you do, as tempting as it is, don’t rush to submit just yet.
Over the winter, I might suggest reading some writing resources. I just dove back into The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. It’s a dense read, but I came away from it with some rewarding ideas. National Novel Writing Month is all about passion and fire and speed. It’s a rush.
Revision is a slow burn. Appreciate both for what they are. You have the rest of the year to revise before this whole crazy trip happens again!
If you want personal feedback on your project, or revision proves overwhelming, hire me as your novel editor. I work on manuscripts in all stages of creation, from WIP to if-I-have-to-look-at-it-one-more-time-I’ll-cry.
The query letter webinar is coming up! As I posted a few weeks ago, I’m going to be trying a new webinar platform and running some independent webinars. This first webinar is “Writing an Irresistible Query” and focuses on nailing that oh-so-elusive document, the query letter. Registration is now live!
Join Me for a Query Letter Webinar
My first-ever query letter webinar is a test run of the class, as well as a webinar software that’s new to me. If you join me for this first outing, I invite you to participate for FREE! All I ask is that you fill out a short feedback survey after the webinar to let me know how you enjoyed the experience.
The webinar will be held:
Saturday, September 29th, at 11 a.m. CDT
All you need is a computer with Internet access and the capability to play video and audio content. The webinar will feature me, speaking on camera, as well as a PowerPoint presentation.
Once you register, you will receive email instructions for joining the webinar live, or watching the recording after the event.
Please clink the link to register for my first-ever query letter webinar, or fill out the form embedded below:
If you can’t make that date or time, please register anyway. As a registrant, you will receive a link where you can replay the recorded program. Please note: Only the first 100 registered attendees will get to view the webinar live, so show up a few minutes ahead of time. There are already more than 100 registered listeners, two days after the link went live. If you really want to hear it live, please plan to be early. If you aren’t able to hear it live, you will still receive the recorded event via email later that afternoon.
I love speaking and teaching, so I hope to bring you more webinars on topics like character, voice, interiority, queries, the agent submission process, etc. If I like this webinar platform (and this is where I’m especially looking for your feedback!), I hope to do one or two events per month.
In the future, different webinars will be free and paid. Paid webinars will always include critique of any relevant documents. For example, the query letter webinar will include critique of, of course, your query letter. To clarify, this September query letter webinar will not include query letter critique because my focus is on testing out the platform.
If you’d like personalized help with your query letter without the wait, consider hiring me as your query letter editor today!
I’ve been really getting into virtual conferences lately, like WriteOnCon. They’re a great (and economical) way of hearing some wonderful presentations without, you know, putting on pants and leaving the house. The best of both worlds!
With that in mind, there are two upcoming ways to hear me speak in September! One is run by the awesome Writer’s Digest University program. Another is something I’m launching independently, the very first of many webinars to come.
Writer’s Digest Middle Grade & Young Adult Virtual Conference
Coming up the weekend of September 14th, you can hear me and several other wonderful presenters discussing about topics specific to writing for middle grade and young adult readers!
My specific presentation, all about character development and the topic of interiority, will be on Saturday, September 15th, at 5 p.m. Eastern. You can learn more about it and register for the event here.
I hope you’ll join me there!
Brand New “Writing an Irresistible Query” Webinar
And then, for my next trick, I’m trying something new. I love speaking directly to writers and teaching live. I love it. But since I have a small child, traveling to a conference can get tricky. (Plus, there’s the whole putting-on-pants thing! What a drag it is to leave the house and make oneself presentable!)
So why don’t you stay in your house, and I stay in my house, and I will come to you! A webinar is the perfect venue for doing just that.
In the next few months, I will be ramping up a webinar program that allows me to speak directly to writers via an online video and audio presentation. Some webinars will be free, others will be paid (but include a critique element to really make them worth your investment). I love speaking, and I am so excited about this!
WHAT: My trial run! And there’s seemingly nothing more interesting to aspiring writers than the query letter, so why not talk about that? In the future, my query letter webinar will be paid because I will also provide critique on attendee queries*. For my first outing, I’m really interested in testing the webinar platform and process, so this is a chance to hop on, hear the presentation, give me feedback, and do it all for FREE!
WHEN: Come join me for the first ever “Writing an Irresistible Query” webinar. Pencil me in on your calendar for Saturday, September 29th, at 11 a.m. Central time. The format will be about 40 minutes of presentation about queries, then some time for questions. (If you cannot make this date and time, the recorded webinar will be available to view at your leisure.)
HOW: More info on registering will appear on the blog in the next few weeks. Registration is first come, first served, and attendance is going to be capped to the first 100 people in the room, so keep an eye on this space! (If we reach the limit, all overflow attendees will be sent the recorded version a few hours after the event, but they won’t be able to ask questions or otherwise interact.)
I will be trying out a new webinar platform. The process promises to be seamless, from registration to email instructions to joining the webinar. You will not have to download any software to participate. The only equipment you’ll need is a computer with Internet access. I’m definitely interested in feedback from attendees on the logistics of the webinar. If you could fill out a brief survey after your experience, I would really, really appreciate it.
I look forward to connecting with you at one of these events in September!
* (To clarify, a critique will not be included with this September presentation because I’d really like to focus on creating the best webinar possible.)
I’ve done a little bit of work for the WriteForKids.org MG/YA Writing Blueprint. (Spoiler alert: I’ll be doing some more work with them soon!) It’s a fantastic video on-demand class on writing MG and YA fiction taught by the incomparable Alice Kuipers.
Alice Kuipers and Laura Backes are doing a webinar to launch this online class on September 12th. Reserve your spot and check it out here. There is no sales pitch, it’s just an informational webinar if you’re interested in learning more about writing MG and YA fiction. The actual MG/YA Blueprint class will be available on September 19th! I’ll post a link when it’s up.
If you sign up for the Blueprint, make sure to find an interview with me about the craft of writing MG and YA in the bonus materials!
I’ll be kicking off an action-packed day with an intensive 90-minute workshop on my absolute favorite topic: character interiority. This is a workshop I’ve given only once before, and I’ve pretty much redesigned it based on feedback from the first class (given at the Loft Literary Center here in Minneapolis in July of 2016). Then I’ll be doing critiques and a faculty panel in the afternoon. The organizers for this event are fantastic, and I couldn’t be more excited.
On a personal note, I haven’t been home since 2013, so it’s going to be so wonderful to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and share the gorgeous City by the Bay with Theo. Life is topsy-turvy for us this summer. We are remodeling our home and moving for four months to a temporary rental. A family vacation is the shining beacon keeping me sane and hopeful through it all.
*”Extravaganza” not guaranteed but I will do my best to deliver one! 🙂