Welcome to Lawson Writer's Academy!Margie Cartooon

Jump to Course List

 

Lawson Writer's Academy offers online classes for writers of all genres. Cyber classrooms offer . . .

 

When you register for a course, the lectures are included. No need to purchase a lecture packet.

 

To Register:

1. Create an account-- If you already have an LWA account, log in below.

2. Log In.

3. Register for online class.

 

Questions? Contact Margie Lawson.

Courses Available:

Click on course name to see full description.

  • January, 2015: Screenwriting Strategies for Fiction Writers

    Instructor: Susie McCauley

    January 1 - 31:  Fee: $50

    Do you want to learn how to apply screenwriting structure and universal character archetypes to make your fiction compelling? Make sure your plot points are in the right places? And that the acts don’t run too long?

    If so, then join screen and fiction writer, Susie McCauley, and learn to apply structure techniques and character archetypes based on Christopher Vogler’s international bestseller The Writer’s Journey. We will also examine plot and character ideas from Robert McKee, Carl Jung, Aristotle, and more.

    In this course, we will:

    •  Look at how to use the three act structure to strengthen your story
    •  Look in depth at Act I, Act II, and Act III of story and discover the important elements required to drive the story forward
    • Define important moments within the three act structure
    • Look deeply at your story in terms of the three act structure (or help you plan your story if you haven’t yet started writing)
    • Examine character archetypes and the roles they play in story
    • Look deeply at your characters and find ways to enrich them through the psychological power of universal archetypes
    • Discover how your plot and characters work together to create a compelling story

    In this four week course, an abundance of learning opportunities will promote discussion and give you plenty of opportunity to learn from each other. Submitting work will allow you to put the theory to work and benefit from classmates feedback. And as a multi-Margie grad with a masters in writing from the University of Southern California, I'll dig in to your examples and help make your work shine. 

    Susie McCauley:  I have a B.A. in Radio-Television with a minor in Theater from the University of Houston, an M.F.A. in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. in Text & Performance from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and King's College in London. (I also studied professional acting for two years with Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Independence Day) in Los Angeles.)

    While living in Los Angeles, I worked as a writer, actress, producer, and college English instructor. During that time, I wrote the story for and produced a short film, which later won awards at the Houston International Film Festival and the Seabrook Film Festival. I

    n 2002, I moved to London. In London, my stage adaptation of Nikolai Gogol's "The Nose" was performed as well as scenes from my play The Prisoner: Princess Elizabeth. I

    returned to the U.S. in 2005. In 2007, I was the line producer of the Emmy Award nominated Civil War short film Now & Forever Yours: Letters to an Old Soldier.

    My short story "The Nest" was published in an anthology in 2014, and my next short story, "The Cask", will be released in 2015. I am a writer for Writers Who Love Readers website: www.Readerlicious.com I'm currently polishing my second middle grade novel. I teach writing for the University of Houston Clear Lake and Lawson's Writer's Academy.


    View more information and enroll
  • January, 2015: Creating Reader's Guides for Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels

    Instructor: Koreen Myers

    January 1 - 31;   Fee: $40

    For many authors, the hardest part of the publishing world isn't writing a book. The tough part is getting those stories into the hands of readers. Authors who write young adult and middle grade fiction have a perfect place to market their work—schools.

    Entice teachers to use your books over others by making their jobs easier. Ever seen those 'No Fear' guides students use for books in school? Create your own guides. Many teachers use author/publisher-generated questions for discussion and activities.

    However, many authors don't take advantage of this key marketing strategy because the thought of collecting all of that information and organizing it into a guide may sound daunting. What should I include? What do teachers/students need or want? Can my novel compete with 'the classics'?

    No fear. No one is more authorized to create a guide for your novel than you are. In this session, you will learn how to create a simple, easy-to-use guides which can be used to lead discussions, enhance learning, and get your novel in front of readers: adults and teens and middle graders.

    This course will show you...

    · Easy ways to generate discussion questions (for book clubs and for teachers)

    · Activities to entice teens with different learning styles (art, music, science, etc.)

    · Online puzzle generators (for bonus materials)

    · How to calculate your story's readability score (which grade-level to market)

    · Where to find Common Core standards for those grades

    · How to apply 1-2 standards to your novel (easy way to make school administrators happy)

    · How to relate nonfiction articles (big for the new standards)

    · Ways to include supplemental materials (pictures, videos, etc.)

    · Places to market your guides (for teachers and teens)

    · And much much more!

    Koreen Myers is an award-winning writer who has the ability to bring together the nerd-power of a techie and the emotional empathy of a writer. She has a BA in English/art through Adams State College—Go Grizzlies—and a MA in educational technology through CSU Sacramento. She worked her way through college by taking pictures and writing articles for newspapers and magazines. Since her college days, she's taught courses in English, writing and technology for students ranging in age from 6th grade to adult. She uses her visual media background, teaching experience, and  technology skills to help Margie grads become super-empowered writers.


    View more information and enroll
  • January, 2015: From Blah to Beats: Giving Your Chapters a Pulse

    From Blah to Beats: Giving Chapters a Pulse

    Instructor: Rhay Christou

    January 1 - 31;  Fee: $50

    Hi Y'all.

    You know the theory, read the books and have taken the classes. But still get critique group, agent, or editor comments that something is off. The chapter doesn't work. The scene doesn't come alive. The conflict is bland. The story is too small. You're still not jumping the hurdle from working hard and getting where you want to go.

    Now is the time to make the theory work for you!

    Giving Chapters a Pulse will drive your focus deep into your and chapters. Fourteen-plus short, practical lessons will give you opportunity to:

    ·         Develop chapter focus

    ·         Create specific author goals for each chapter.

    ·         Develop specific character/s' chapter goals.

    ·         Understand the difference between author goals and character goals.

    ·         Develop secondary characters story arch through their actions and their words.

    ·         Develop deep character/s that are motivated to take charge.

    ·         Develop a story voice that is rich and full of life.

    ·         Create dialog that can't be cut.

    ·         Drive your narrative forward with action and conflict that builds tension.

    ·         Create compelling chapter hooks and endings that make the readers want more.

    ·         Leave out the blah and make your chapter a lean and mean beating heart.

    ·         Bring life to the surroundings as integral part of a chapter rather than a background chunk that can be skimmed.

    ·         Weave in relevant back-story and leave out the extra.

    ·         Nix the head hopping and the telling when you should be showing.

    In this four week course, an abundance of learning opportunities will promote discussion and give you plenty of opportunity to learn from each. Submitting work will allow you to put the theory to work and benefit from classmates feedback. And as a multi-Margie grad with a masters in writing from Vermont College, I'll also be digging deep to help you pull out your best work.

    Hope to see you in class,

    Rhay Christou:

    The two things I love most in the world are teaching and creative writing. With my MFA in writing from Vermont College , I have had the great fortune to combine the two. Since graduating I’ve taught everything from creative writing to academic writing at the university level as well as writing workshop on the lovely island of Cyprus, in Greece and in the USA.  Currently represented by Pam van Hylckam Vlieg at Forward Literary, and my first novel, I Do Not will be released in May of 2016 by Spencer Hill.  


    View more information and enroll
  • January, 2015: 30 Days to a Stronger Novel

    Instructor: Lisa Wells

    January 1 -  31;  Fee: $40

    "CHANGE IS SUCH HARD WORK..." BILLY CRYSTAL

    Change is hard work. But that's what it takes if you're trying to land an agent or a contract and all you get is rejections.


    30 Days to a Stronger Novel is for all frustrated writers who have spent their hard earned money on books and conferences only to realize that their manuscripts are receiving a "Pass" from agents and editors.

    If you've read the how-to books, attended the conferences, have mastered the art of story structure, and know your grammar rules, you're only halfway there. Sure - you have a manuscript that is better than most being sent to agents and editors. But better than most is not getting you published. Why? Because your manuscript is not yet at the WOW level.
    It doesn't matter if your plot points and pinch points are all in the right places. Or if your character arcs are stupendous. Of if your hooks are incredible.

    None of these things matter if you don't have the knowledge to add in the WOW factor to your manuscript.

    I'm not talking about the big things that are taught so beautifully by Margie Lawson. I'm talking about the little things. The little things that add up to SOLD.

    What is the Wow factor? It is that elusive something that takes a manuscript from solid to sold.

    Solid + the little things = Sold.

    The WOW factor is what agents and editors are saying you don't have when they say your manuscript just didn't grab them the way they'd hoped for.

    Do you want to add the WOW factor to your manuscript? Yes? Then this class is designed for you.


    There are 30 days and 15 WOW assignments. How much time you put into the assignments will have an impact on how great of a change you bring about in your book.
    Here are a few of the lessons in this action packed class:

    • Reader Emotion Scavenger Hunt - if you take this course for no other reason than one - this is the ONE reason to take this class. You've taken classes and read books on how to get across to the reader what emotion your character is feeling, but have you taken a class on manipulating what the reader is feeling?

    • Backstory Funeral

    • The Puzzle Effect

    • Get a MacGuffin - not to be confused with an Egg McMuffin

    • Structure Check-up

    • Spank Your Characters - no, this is not an X-rated assignment.

    • Pick a Scene and Get It High

    • Firsts

    • Lasts

    • Character Trait Sneak Attack - a fantastic approach to revealing character traits to the reader. This is a: DON'T WANT TO MISS IT LESSON.

    Give me 30 Days, and I'll give you a stronger novel.

    Lisa Wells is a 22-year veteran educator. For the past 16 years, she's enjoyed a rollercoaster journey called: The School Counselor – Dramas, Dreams, and Destinies. Add the theme song to Jaws, and you have the feel for this fun ride.

    Author of DIBS, a sexy romance, nominated as Debut Book That Rocks and Best Book of The Year, Lisa believes writers should never quit studying their craft.  When she decided to write a series and couldn't find affordable material that taught the nuances of writing series vs. stand alone books, she designed her own how-to-class. Self-appointed number one fan of Margie Lawson, she is thrilled that Margie Lawson invited her to teach at Lawson Writer's Academy.

    Twitter @lisawells1

    www.lisawellsauthor.com


    View more information and enroll
  • January, 2015: Virtues, Vices, and Plots!

    Instructor:  Sarah Hamer

    January 1 - 31;  Fee:  $50

    Getting your story set up is hard, right? Nailing all those plot points and inciting incidents and black moments in the perfect place is like trying to scratch that hard-to-reach place on your back.

    I can teach you an easier way. I'll teach you how to use your main character's vices and virtues to craft a three-act, eight-sequence outline that gives you a starting block for your story. We'll cover:

    -- character archetypes
    -- character traits
    -- why and how we break our stories into eight equal parts
    -- how to create a character arc that is an integral part of your story

    Sarah (Sally) Hamer is eternally fascinated by people and how they 'tick' and works hard to incorporate individual idiosyncrasies to create living, breathing characters in her many works of fiction. She writes in many genres - mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, medieval history, non-fiction - and has won awards at both local and national levels, including two Golden Heart finals.

    A teacher of beginning and advanced creative fiction writing and screenwriting at Louisiana State University - S for over ten years, she also is a book coach, with many of her students and critique partners becoming successful, award-winning authors. 


    View more information and enroll
  • November, 2014: Triple Threat Behind Writing A Scene

    Instructor:  Tiffany Lawson Inman

    Dates:  November 3 - 30;  Fee:  $50

    Triple Threat Behind Writing a Scene

    Topics covered: 

    • Writing dramatic dialogue to affect pacing, characterization, relationship, and emotion.
    • Writing active setting to move scenes forward and pull your readers in to your  living story world.
    • Creating quality tension by weaving conflict and action through each breath of the scene.

    Triple Threat Behind Scene Writing includes:

    • Lectures
    • Exercises
    • Assignments
    • Deconstructed examples from multiple genres
    • Hands-on interaction between you, your writing, and the instructor
    • Feedback and edits galore! 

    *This class is not for beginners

    Tiffany Lawson Inman claimed a higher education at Columbia College Chicago. There, she learned to use body and mind together for action scenes, character emotion, and dramatic story development. Tiffany's background in theatre provides her with a unique approach to the craft of writing, and her clients and students greatly benefit. 
    She teaches Action and Fighting, Choreography, Active Setting, Emotional Impact, Scene Writing, and Dialogue for Lawson Writer’s Academy online, presents hands-on-action workshops, and will be offering webinars in  late 2014.
    As a freelance editor, she provides deep story analysis, content editing, line by line, and dramatic fiction editing services. Stay tuned to Twitter @NakedEditor for Tiffany’s upcoming guest blogs around the internet, classes, contests, and lecture packets.

    View more information and enroll
  • November, 2014: Diving Deep into Deep Point of View

    Sorry to share that this class is FULL!

    Rhay will teach Diving Deep into Deep POV again in February.

    Instructor: Rhay Christou

    Nov. 3 - 30; Fee: $50

    Diving Deep into Deep Point of View

    With information coming at us from all sides, at all times of the day, the world has become a here and now kind of place. No wonder authors, agents, editors and readers want to feel that same kind of immediacy with stories. They scream for deep point of view. And I mean deep!!

     

    In this course we will:

    ·         Understand point of view and the best point of view for your story.

    ·        

     Recognize and fix point of view issues such as; slips and author intrusion.

    ·       

      Learn how word choices impact deep point of view.

    ·        

     Use descriptions that keep it deep.

           Use authentic settings that resonate with characters and readers.

       

    Use dialog that rings true for characters.

     

    Learn where to dive in the deepest and where and when to stay in the shallows.

       

    Learn how to crack deep point of view in third and first person.

       

    Learn quick fixes for deep point of view that can transform your manuscript.

     

    And so much more!

     

    With a plethora of examples, assignments, and Rhay’s--Let’s think about this--we’ll explore, discover, and unlock the mysteries of deep point of view.

     

    About Rhay ChristouTwo of the things I love are teaching and creative writing. With my MFA in writing from Vermont College, I have had the great fortune to combine them. I’ve taught everything from creative writing to academic writing at the university level as well as writing workshops in the USA and on the lovely island of Cyprus, in Greece, where I live.


    I teach two other courses online for Lawson Writer's Academy:  Create Compelling Characters and From Blah to Beats: Giving Chapters a Heart.


    I am represented by Pam van Hylckam Vlieg at Forward Literary, and my first novel, I Do Not
    will be released in May of 2016 by Spencer Hill.


    View more information and enroll
  • November, 2014: Proofreading like a Best-Selling Author

    Instructor:  Kathy Ide

    November 3 - 27, 2014;  Fee:  $40

    These days, it's easier than ever to get a book published. But if you want people (besides your family and friends) to buy your book, you have to do it well. Really well.


    There are many ways to learn professional writing techniques. Once you've learned them and applied them to your manuscript, you'll be ready to confidently send your manuscript to a subsidy publisher or submit it to an agent or commercial publisher ... right?

    Not quite.

    Before you submit that piece you've worked so hard on, it's important to give it a final proofread. To catch all those annoying typos that slipped in while you were creating your masterpiece. To make sure all the formatting is consistent. That the sentences are punctuated correctly, the grammar is accurate, and the words are spelled right and used right.

    Why make such a big deal out of the little things? Because if there are too many mistakes in a manuscript, the message in that nonfiction book or the story of that novel may get lost or even misunderstood. And readers today have so many options, it's easier than ever to simply stop reading one book and move on to another.

    OK. So how can you make sure your manuscript is as error-free as possible?

    In "Proofreading like a Best-Selling Author," you'll learn:

    • how to catch typos in your manuscript
    • how to ensure consistency throughout a manuscript (or series)
    • what industry-standard reference books the publishers use
    • how to punctuate properly
    • what kinds of words to look up in a dictionary (and which dictionary to use)
    • and more.

    Each lesson has an optional "pretest," with the answers revealed in the following lesson.

    Lessons will be posted on Mondays and Wednesdays, starting November 3.

    Kathy Ide, author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, has written books, articles, short stories, devotionals, and scripts. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a five-book novel series. Kathy is a full-time freelance editor/proofreader/mentor for new writers, established authors, and book publishers. She speaks at writers' conferences across the country. Kathy is the founder and director of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com). For more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.


    View more information and enroll
  • October, 2014: Madness to Method: Using acting techniques to make each moment Oscar worthy!

    MADNESS to Method: Using acting techniques to invigorate your story and make each moment Oscar worthy!

    Instructor: Tiffany Lawson Inman

    October 6 -  31st  Fee: $50

    From Madness to Method uses the father of all acting techniques, The Method. Writers will learn how to create the most real of real moments. Course exercises push writers to enhance their emotional repertoire.  

    No matter where you are in the writing process – this class will crack open your psyche to reveal dynamic character, motivation, and reaction. Showing you how to activate emotion you never knew you had.

    If we held an Academy Awards for fiction, would yours be a highly acclaimed nominee? Polish those shoes and spray on a tan.  After this workshop every moment in every scene will be worthy of actors like Meryl Streep and your characters will be hitting the red carpet!

    From Madness to Method includes lectures, out-of-your-chair exercises, and examples from multiple genres. There will be hands-on interaction between you, your writing, and the instructor.

    • Access your sense memories to fuel character emotion on the page
    • Turn reality into fiction by awakening your innermost observational skills
    • Thrust your story forward by using every facet of character
    • Increase your character’s emotional authenticity
    • Create memorable moments readers will remember for years
    • Write with your scars

    *This class is not for beginners.

    Tiffany Lawson Inman claimed a higher education at Columbia College Chicago. There, she learned to use body and mind together for action scenes, character emotion, and dramatic story development. Tiffany's background in theatre provides her with a unique approach to the craft of writing, and her clients and students greatly benefit. 
    She teaches Action and Fighting, Choreography, Active Setting, Emotional Impact, Scene Writing, and Dialogue for Lawson Writer’s Academy online, presents hands-on-action workshops, and will be offering webinars in  late 2014.
    As a freelance editor, she provides deep story analysis, content editing, line by line, and dramatic fiction editing services. Stay tuned to Twitter @NakedEditor for Tiffany’s upcoming guest blogs around the internet, classes, contests, and lecture packets.

    View more information and enroll
  • August/October, 2014: Fab 30: Advanced Deep Editing, A Master Course

    Instructor: Margie Lawson

    August 18 - October 31:  Fee: $125

    Sorry to disappoint you, but this class is full.

    I will teach Fab 30 again February through  mid-April. 

    Registration for the 2014 courses (January - June) will be open in November.

    Three Prerequisites, Online Courses or Lecture Packets:

    1. Empowering Characters' Emotions

    2. Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More

    3. Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

    Do you want to dig deep into deep editing?

    Do you want to work in an advanced class with all multi-Margie-grads?

    Do you want Margie's Deep Edit Analysis for 30 pages of your WIP?

    If so, this squeal-it's-a-deal class is for you!

    Lectures will be short, compared to Margie's other courses. Emphasis is on applying deep editing to your WIP.

    We'll focus on making each word, line, sentence, paragraph, page, and scene provide a clear, smooth, empowered read.

    Enrollment is limited to 30.

    Join me in Fab 30 and give your writing and writing career a rocket-powered boost!


    View more information and enroll