Welcome to Lawson Writer's Academy!

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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.

  • May, 2016: Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat: You Decide

    Instructor: Suzanne Purvis

    May 16 - June 15;  Fee: $50

    Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat: You Decide

    You’ve got that first draft done or almost done. Or maybe you’re on your 2nd, 3rd, or LAST revision and you’re working toward the finish line.

    You’re ready for REVISION BOOTCAMP.

    Sign up. 

    Get your marching orders.

    Working with other recruits attack your revisions. 

    Or. . .

     Maybe you’re looking for a REVISION RETREAT.

    Sign up and escape.

    Be inspired to increase your creativity and productivity.

    Engage with other creative souls and watch your revision dreams soar.

     

    You decide.Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat. 

     

    Whichever you choose, be ready for daily support, accountability, check-ins, revision lessons, plenty of camaraderie, inspiration, and productivity. No more writer’s solitary confinement.

    Set GOALS. For the month, the week, the day. And then. . .

    REVISE. REVISE. REVISE.

    Novel, short stories, query, synopsis. Your choice. Your goals.

    And you can. . .

    Visit our virtual Coffee Shop to share accomplishments.

    Sit down with a virtual latte. Share your gold star accomplishments, including daily goals achieved, contest entries, contest wins, agent submissions and signings, publications, etc. Join your classmates for a cup o joe and cheer each other’s big and small wins which can spur your own goals and ideas. 

     Visit our Martini Mind Bar to brainstorm.

    Order a virtual martini. Throw out your questions to your bar mates and brainstorm. Hop onto a stool, share a drink, and help out a writer in need. Creativity feeds creativity.

    Visit our Wine Bar to . . .  well . . . whine.

    Having a bad day? Not meeting your goals? Your mother-in-law showed up and she’s eating into your revision time?

    Sit down, relax, order a chardonnay and whine. Rants are welcome too. No judgment. Grab a glass of merlot and commiserate.

     Visit our Critique Cafe to get help.

    Do you have a description that you fear may be too flowery?

    Have some dialogue you want to run by someone else’s ear?

    Are you re-writing and re-writing and re-writing the same page? Maybe the first page? To help you move on, pop in, order a virtual sandwich, and post a piece of your work for a critique from me and your fellow classmates.

    As a critique buddy, come on in and offer a fresh set of eyes. Just remember the Critiquing Golden Rule: critique how you’d like to be critiqued, fair and honest and kind.

    So what are you waiting for. Sign up.

    Become inspired to focus on your writing and revision.

    To commit. To prioritize. To accomplish more.  

    Thirty days filled with writing support, camaraderie, and learning, all to ensure your writing and revision goals become a reality.

    Suzanne Purvisis a transplanted Canadian living in the Deep South, where she traded “eh” for “y’all.” An author of long, short, and flash fiction for both children and adults, she has won several awards including those sponsored by the University of Toronto, RWA, Bethlehem Writer’s Roundtable, and Women Who Write. You can find her work in print anthologies, magazines, ezines, and ebooks. Visit her at www.suzannepurvis.com , www.suzannepurvis.blogspot.comFacebook, Amazon Author’s Central.

     


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  • May, 2016: "No One Gets Me!": Writing Believable YA Characters

    Instructor:  Julie GloverJulie Glover, head shot

    May 2 - 30 ;  Fee: $50

    What makes a novel young adult? Is it just the age of the protagonist?

    It's so much more!

    This course will demystify the teen world and help you write believable characters—one your readers can relate to and root for. Learn the keys to crafting a novel solidly in YA, which goes far beyond the age of your main character.

    In this four-week course, we'll explore:

    · YA Themes. What major issues do teens deal with, and how do they affect your story, regardless of subgenre? What social-emotional challenges must they resolve?


    · YA Worldview. How do teens see the world and their role in it? What makes their perspective distinctive, and how do you write that?


    · YA Voice. How do teens express themselves? How can you add punch to your narrative, internal dialogue, body language, and external dialogue to master teen speak?


    · Writing YA Fresh. How do you avoid making your characters into stereotypes? What makes your teens simultaneously unique and relatable?

    We'll look at examples from fabulous teen fiction that nail these concepts, helping you see what it looks like on the page. Samples will come from several subgenres (author sampling: Darynda Jones—paranormal, Kathleen Baldwin—historical, Patty Blount—contemporary, Romily Bernard—thriller), and principles can be applied to whatever kind of YA you write.

    Assignments will provide an opportunity to practice and receive feedback on your manuscript.

    Julie Gloverwrites teen fiction, adores snarky characters, and continues to advocate for the interrobang(‽). She's also an RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in the young adult category for her contemporary novel, Sharing Hunter, and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.

    Julie has a master's degree in counseling and lives in Friendswood, Texas, a bedroom community outside Houston, with one hottie husband and two teenage sons—who think no one gets them either.


    View more information and enroll
  • May, 2016: Create Compelling Characters

    Rhay ChristouInstructor: Rhay Christou

    May 2 - 31;  Fee:  $75

    Create Compelling Characters

    Depending on who you ask, there are 2, 4, 7, 9 or 13 different plots for a writer to use. Regardless of who you believe, with a finite number of what can happen, you'd better a find a way to a make your story stand out among the mass.

    And there is no better to draw your readers in that than by creating compelling characters.

    Panster, plotter, or follow the whisperer, regardless of how you get that first draft, second draft, third draft on the page, at some point you'll need to dive into the skin of your character.

    In Create Compelling Characters, we do just that. With hands on behind the scene tips on how to writers explore characters, you'll get to know your characters better than you ever thought possible. With practical exercises exploring the psychic distance between story and reader, we'll explore a multitude of ways to draw your reader in closer to your story and your characters.

    In this course we will

    • ·    Delve deep into the protagonist's and antagonist's histories
    •      External goals
    •      Internal goals
    •      Conflicts
    •      Motivating factors of behavior.
    •      Core beliefs and behavior
    •      Defining moments

    ·         Give a reader the reason to care

    ·         Develop character's fatal flaw

    ·         Get to know character's psychological levels

    ·         Develop personalities.

    ·         Discover character voice and infuse our scenes with voice

    ·         Exercise our abilities to pull close to characters

    ·         Explore secondary characters archetypes and springboard beyond to go beyond stock, forgettable, supporting cast.

    ·         Develop secondary character story arcs and contradictions

    ·         Develop our use of secondary characters to support and highlight primary character.

    ·         Analyze how published authors reveal character on every page of manuscript.

    ·         Revise, reshape and bring out characters, scenes and chapters.

    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 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.  

     


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  • May, 2016: A Deep Editing Guide to Make Your Openings Pop

    Instructor: Margie Lawson

    May 2 - 28;  Fee: $75

    Two Prerequisites:

    1. Empowering Characters' Emotions

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

    You can meet the prerequisites with the Lecture Packets for both courses. They're available through Paypal from Margie's web site.

    This class is about openings. All your openings, not just the first opening in your book.

    The opening of your first chapter needs to carry powerful content, and powerful structure and style.

    The opening of every scene and every chapter needs to hook the reader with content and structure and style too.

    This course covers:

    -- what the reader needs in the first few paragraphs

    -- the two promises writers give readers on the first page

    -- strategic use of Margie's deep editing techniques and systems, including:

    -- the EDITS System

    -- power words and backloading

    -- ten cadence-driven rhetorical devices

    -- scene-themed, character-themed, and emotion-themed words

    -- objective constructs

    -- linear load issues

    -- style and structure

    Margie-Grads may know most of Margie's deep editing techniques. In this class they'll learn how to pull them together and make their openings smooth and compelling.

    Margie Lawson—psychotherapist, editor, and international presenter – developed psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques used by new writers to multi-award winning authors. She teaches writers how to add psychological power to create page turners.

    In the last eight years Margie presented over ninety full day Master Classes for writers. She taught her psychologically-anchored deep editing to over six thousand writers across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

    Writers who have studied her material credit her innovative editing approaches with taking their writing several levels higher—to publication, awards, and bestseller lists.

    To learn about Margie’s 4-day Immersion Master Classes at her home near Denver (and in St. Louis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Antonio, Seattle, and on Whidbey Island), full day Master Class presentations, online course schedule, Lecture Packets, and newsletter, visit: www.MargieLawson.com.


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  • May, 2016: Queries That Sell, and More!

    Instructor: Laura Drake, RITA Winner!Laura Drake, Head shot

    Dates: May 2 - 30;  Fee: $50

    Queries That Sell, and More!

    Put Your Query in a Power Suit!

    Your writing is amazing. You've edited your manuscript until the reflection alone will blind.

    Congratulations!

    But without an equally shiny submission package, those agents/editors will never know about you, and that you could have been their next great author.

    This course will teach you everything you need to know to make a knowledgeable, professional submission that will impress.

    We will cover:

    Finding and researching Editors/Agents.

    Writing queries and critiquing them in class – you'll leave with a query as shiny as your manuscript!

    Reviewing your query, including formatting and what to include. This course does not cover your synopsis.

    Tracking your submissions and staying organized.

    Agent/Editor etiquette.

    Afraid? Apprehensive? Anxious? 

    I have tips to help you to blast through!

    As a Master Margie Grad, I'll be checking your submission for backloading, cadence, and power words too.

    Laura Drake, RITA winner, decided to write a novel. Three years later she completed it, and decided what she really wanted was to hold a book in her hand with her name on the cover. Three novels, 417 queries, and twelve years later, Laura achieved her dream. She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central. The Sweet Spot (May 2013), Nothing Sweeter(Jan 2014 and Sweet on You(Aug 2014). The Sweet Spot, won the RITA for Best First Book in 2014.

    Her 'biker-chick' novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin's Superromance line (Aug 2013) and has expanded to three more stories set in the same small town. The Reasons to Stay (Aug 2014), Twice in a Blue Moon (July 2015).

    Laura has long wanted to make a foray into another genre she loves, and her agent is currently shopping a Women's Fiction novel, also set in the world of professional bull riding.

    In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan, and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She's a wife, grandmother and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

    Visit Laura's web site

    Visit the Writers in the Storm Blog

    Twitter: PBRWriter


    View more information and enroll
  • May, 2016: 30 Days to a Stronger Novel

    Instructor: Lisa WellsLisa Wells head shot

    May 2 - 31;  Fee: $50

    "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
  • June, 2016: Writing Compelling Scenes

    Instructor: Shirley Jump

    June 1 - 30:  Fee:  $75

    WRITING COMPELLING SCENES:

    Are your scenes blah instead of blockbuster? Do they lag in the middle, or fall flat at the end? In this month-long intensive online class, you'll learn how to:

    Beef up your scenes

    Add more conflict

    Use every scene to raise the stakes

    Strengthen characterization

    Show instead of tell for maximum bang

    Work with hooks to keep readers turning the pages

    Tighten your pacing

    Create scenes that are unforgettable and powerful

    In this interactive class, you'll learn how to edit your own scenes and take them from okay to amazing. In-depth analysis of scenes that work will be part of the class, as will revision of students' current work. Class will also offer hands-on critiques from the instructor, New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump.

    SHIRLEY JUMP: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump has over forty books in print. She spends her days writing women's fiction and romantic comedies to feed her shoe addiction and avoid cleaning the toilets. As AJ Whitten (http://www.ajwhitten.com), she also writes horror young adult novels for Houghton Mifflin's Graphia imprint with her daughter. Visit her website at http://www.shirleyjump.com or read recipes and life adventures at http://www.shirleyjump.blogspot.com.


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  • June, 2016: How to Write Dialogue with a Psychological Punch

    June 1 - 30;  Fee:  $60

    Instructor:  Lisa WellsLisa Wells

    How to Write Dialogue with a Psychological Punch

    A proven way to improve any manuscript. 

    Learn how to craft dialogue that carries power!

    The class includes:

    Dialogue Challenge

    Check your manuscript to see if your dialogue has the11 essential ingredients of great dialogue.

    Dialogue Flaw Search

    Weed out the 13 most common dialogue flaws.

    Dialogue Manipulation

    – Execute 25 techniques to craft dialogue that will emotionally impact (manipulate) the reader.

    Still not sure if this class is for you?

    Here are 4 more reasons:

    1. If you want to learn how to turn predictable dialogue into fresh and exciting dialogue, this class is for you.

    2. If you want to learn how to create a distinct voice for each of your characters, this class is for you.

    3. If you want to learn how to slip in information to the reader without losing their interest, this class is for you.

    4. If you want to learn the art of subtext, this class is for you.

    In other words - this class is for you.

    Lisa Wellsis 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. Her Dialogue class was born out of a treasure trove of information she discovered while studying dialogue from a screenwriter's perspective.

    Represented by Literary Agent, Tish Beaty, Lisa has just signed a contract with Entangled Publishing to be one of their authors for their new What Happens in Vegas series.

    Self-appointed number one fan of Margie Lawson, Lisa has been teaching classes at the Lawson Writer's Academy for several years. When asked what is the best thing she ever did to improve the craft of her own writing, she replied, "Attend Margie's immersion class on the mountain."  

    Twitter @lisawells1

    www.lisawellsauthor.com


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  • June, 2016: Virtues, Vices, and Plots!

    Instructor:  Sarah Hamer

    June 1 - 30;  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. 


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  • April, 2016: Shirley Jump's Rule of Six

    Instructor:  Shirley Jump, NYT Bestseller 

    April 4 - 30;  Fee:  $75

    SHIRLEY JUMP'S RULE OF SIX

    You've heard her talk about it. Maybe seen a quick presentation on it. What is the Rule of Six?

    It's all about going beyond the first, second, third thoughts, all the way to the sixth thought you have in order to find something unique and new that hasn't been done before. Capitalize on this technique marketing gurus have used for years to find the "thought not thought of yet" and avoid duplicating a plot line, character quirk or other idea already out there (that you may have seen subconsciously).

    Then learn how to use this technique to take your writing deeper and draw out more emotion, more conflict...more of everything! It's truly astounding when you see it in action. With this interactive class, Shirley Jump will show you how to use "Shirley's Rule of Six" for everything from plot to word choice.

    The result? More powerful writing that has that unique touch editors today are looking to buy.

    Shirley Jump 

    New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump has written more than 50 novels for Berkley, Harlequin, Entangled, and Kensington books. A frequent speaker both in the United States and abroad, Shirley's diverse career has spanned two decades. She has won numerous awards, and she's been nominated multiple times for the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice award. The first book in her series with Berkley, The Sweetheart Bargain, recently received a Top Pic from Romantic Times. 

    Check out the BUZZ about Shirley Jump's novels:

    "Sweet is the word for this anthology from four top Kensington writers...Jump's office romance gives the collection a kick, with fiery writing." -- Publishers Weekly 

    4 1/2 Stars, "With Jump's trademark comedic touch, readers are treated to a well-crafted story about what it means to come home to face yourself and your past. The main characters are sympathetic and intelligent, and the narrative is constantly smooth and compelling." -- Romantic Times Book Reviews 


    View more information and enroll
  • April, 2016: Diving Deep into Deep Point of View

    Instructor: Rhay Christou

    April 4 - 29; Fee: $75

    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
  • April, 2016: Story Structure Safari

    Lisa Miller, Head shotInstructor:  Lisa Miller

    April 1 - 30;  Fee: $90

    Beautiful words and exciting scenes aren't enough to propel the reader through a novel. Stories need structure, a plan, a focus from beginning to end.

    Story Structure Safari will guide you through the dense jungle of information about story. Our trek will include excursions into the lands of Story Structure and Transformational Character Arcs and Plot.

    We'll step back and explore the sweeping overview of several popular novels and movies to explain and reinforce the concepts. We'll also take some intimate hikes to zoom in on the work and knowledge of plot and story structure superstars.

    Throughout the class, I'll share information from award-winning authors and writing experts including James Scott Bell, Nancy Pickard, and Larry Brooks. They will discuss how they structure their stories for success. Editor Deborah Halverson, and plot consultant Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer, will talk about story structure strategies. Strategies that will strengthen your chance to sell.

    Using a variety of techniques, you'll have opportunities to infuse these ideas into your story, creating a tantalizing experience for the reader.

    Reactions of past students:

    "I only wish I did this course 10 years ago. Heck, even 1 year ago would have made a difference."

    "This has been one of the best classes I've ever taken -- Ever! I am so pleased that I am pretty much ready to finalize my outline and start writing. I struggled with Story concepts but now feel I have a much firmer grasp than I ever have. I've taken Robert McKee's Story workshop and others, but found them very theoretical - which is great, but it wasn't until I was able to practically apply these concepts through the exercises Lisa so carefully prepared that I understood what I needed to in order to plot/write my book."

    "I LOVED the methodology you taught and from the moment that we had divided our novel into quadrants I was hooked. Before Safari, I had been stuck for a couple of months with my story idea but hadn't done anything with it besides research (even though I'd really tried) and in your class I realized it was because it was such a big story (first time I'd truly tackled a full-length novel) that the idea of writing it by the seat of my pants was very overwhelming. It was like dropping someone into a country they're unfamiliar with and then saying, "see you in X town" and then leaving them there. Safari gave me a map and a compass and a GPS device."

    "Your feedback on things was priceless. The information and the timeliness of your responses were fantastic."

    "This class was great in helping me see just where my story wasn't working."

    "Impressed with the calibre of this course, how the material was handled and how it was presented. I could tell that our instructor cared about the craft of writing and hoped to pass on her knowledge - I'm a bit of a course junkie and had been looking for this type of course: nuts and bolts of the how to's, nothing skimmed over."

    Lisa, this class went beyond my expectations. I started it feeling that I really didn't need the class. My story was fine. I felt that I was taking too many classes and not focusing on my writing. I was very wrong. I needed this class TO focus on my writing. This helped me pull together so many weak parts of my story. I could never do outlines for stories. Never really liked them, but this felt so loose and free like writing should be. I am amazed at the time you dedicated to this class and for so little money. I was bragging about this class to anyone who would listen. Most of all, you showed me I can make time to write. It's all about focus and dedication and pushing yourself to be better. Lisa, you are just a marvel. I am humbled by your wisdom, appreciative of your time and encouraged by what you have taught. This was a well spent month. I will miss spending so much time with you. Thank you!

    "Lisa, thank you so much for a class that has gone way beyond anything I expected. This class has been so important for me that almost daily I have shaken my head in wonder and pleasure at the ah-has and the knowledge that I've been getting from it. It has been one of the most exciting classes I've ever done! I have learned that my rather different story of a woman's life does fit a framework and I now have a clear view of where I need to emphasise the developments within the framework so that the reader can understand where they are and the significance of those developments. This includes inserting the right text, mood, hints etc into dialogue, action, description, narrative, the lot. It would have been great to have taken this class a couple of years ago, but then I wouldn't have had the grip on my story that I have now, and this has contributed to my excellent progress in this class.

    Lisa Miller is a 26-year veteran teacher, as well as a certified counselor. She branched out to pursue her long time passion for writing fiction six years ago. A graduate of all things Margie Lawson, Lisa created and coordinates the DSDB Alumni Yahoo Loop. Not always finding the writing classes she needs, Lisa scours the internet and how-to books for self-instruction. She  funneled that knowledge into an online course and merged it with her teaching skills in a desire to share what she has discovered with other writers who want to strengthen their stories.


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  • April, 2016 Author Branding

    Instructor: Lana Pattinson

    Fee: $50

    April 4-30

    Have you ever thought…gosh, that author looks so put together. Everything matches on her website and social media, and she stands out from the crowd. Branding for Authors is a mixture of career planning and marketing. Of defining yourself, and what you offer to your readers. Each week will have a lecture and assignment(s) to complete, with feedback from the instructor and the rest of the class. You’ll finish this class with a clear understanding of your brand, what you stand for, and how you can leverage your messaging to reach your target audience.

     

    WHAT THIS COURSE WILL COVER:

        • What is a brand and why is it important?
        • Defining yourself through branding
        • The 3 phases of brand building
        • Developing your visual brand guidelines
        • Visual tools for branding consistently across multiple social media channels

    *Please note: this course walks you through strategic thinking and offers exercises to define your brand. It does not include tactical specifics (e.g. which social media channels to use or how to refresh your author website).

     

    LANA PATTINSON

    Hi y’all! I’m a Marketing Consultant with expertise in Brand Planning and Social Media. For over 15 years I’ve worked in the wine & spirits industry, marketing powerhouse brands globally such as The Macallan Scotch Whisky, Jacob’s Creek wines, and Kahlua Coffee Liqueur. I’ve lived all over: Ontario, Texas, Las Vegas, New York & Scotland. I have a BS in Business Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I write YA Historical Fantasy. I’m a member of RWA, YARWA, and CHRW. Currently, I live in Westchester County, New York with my husband, daughter, and furbaby. Connect with me via my website, LanaPattinson.com, where I blog about Books, Booze & Scotland. You can also find me on Pinterest or Twitter. Cheers! Lana


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  • April, 2016: Five-Week First Draft

    Instructor:  Koreen Myers
    April 1 - May 6 (five weeks)    

    Fee: $75


     "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you." ~ Maya Angelou

    According to the New York times, over 80% of people want to write a book. Sadly, only a fraction of those surveyed will every get the words down on paper. Will you let another day, another month, another year go by without writing your story?

    Stop the excuses. This is your month.

    In this course we will create a community of writers who, like you, want to write a novel. The fast-paced class is perfect for first-time writers as well as those who need a little extra motivation to develop a first draft.

     

    Course Outline:

    • Week 1—Focus will be on channeling internal motivation, setting realistic goals, and story mapping (basic character maps and plot point outline).
    • Week 2--Writing time (develop the opening through the first plot point). Focus will be on opening chapters, creating conflict and the inciting incident.
    • Week 3--Writing time (develop from first plot point to the mid-plot point). Focus will be on attacking writer's block, creating effective turning points and avoiding saggy middles.
    • Week 4--Writing time (develop from mid point to the climax). Focus will be on balancing elements, pacing and enhancing themes.
    • Week 5--Writing time (develop from the climax to the grande finale). Focus will be on creating a satisfying climax and a strong ending. We'll celebrate our successes and plan for next month's goals. 

    Throughout the entire month, you will receive inspirational messages, online community support and forums where you can find tips and ideas.

    This class will be fast, but manageable. We will work on the main storyline, leaving out subplots and lavish details. This goal is to get the basic story on paper.

    "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

     

    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 education 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.


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  • April, 2016: Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

    Instructor:  Margie Lawson

    April 4 - 30;  Fee:  $80

    Learn how to write body language and dialogue cues from a kinesics specialist. No more cliched, trite, and overused facial expressions and dialogue cues.

    Writers will learn how to write more than basic facial expressions, more than basic body lanugage, more than basic dialogue cues, and write them so well, I'd rate them NYT!

    Writers will learn how to write fresh:

    • Body Language Basics:  facial messages, lips, eyes, chin, full facial expression, flicker-face, gestures, posture, hierarchical zones . . .
    • Body Language Clusters
    • Avoidance and Deception Cues
    • Vibes – beyond spidey senses and hair-raising
    • Margie's Six Categories of Dialogue Cues
    • Body Language and Dialogue Cues for POV and Non-POV characters
    • Body Language and Dialogue Cues with Rhetorical Devices
    • Body Language and Dialogue Cues that include stimulus and response

    Each teaching point will be illustrated with examples from bestselling authors, their excerpts dissected and analyzed.

    Students may be active in class and post assignments. I'll deep edit assignments, and make them available for class members to read and learn.

    Students may also lurk and learn. No worries.

    Concerned you're too busy to keep up?

    All LWA classrooms are open 24/7.  April classes will be open through May 15. You can click in and download, read, learn.

    Margie Lawson—editor and international presenter—developed psychologically-based deep editing systems and techniques used by new writers to multi-award winning authors. She teaches writers how to add psychological power to create page turners.

    Margie taught psychology courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Her resume includes adjunct professor, clinical trainer, facilitator of trauma response sessions, and director of a counseling center.

    In the last ten years Margie has presented over one hundred full day Master Classes for writers. She has taught her psychologically-anchored deep editing across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. And on cruise ships too.

    Writers credit her innovative editing approaches with taking their writing to publication, awards, and bestseller lists.

    To learn about Margie’s 4-day Immersion Master Classes (in Denver, Phoenix, Canyon Lake, San Jose, Dallas, Washington D.C., and in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, Australia), her full day and weekend workshops, keynote speeches, online courses through Lawson Writer’s Academy, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit:  www.margielawson.com

    What’s the Buzz?

    Randy Ingermanson, Ph. D., award-winning author of Writing Fiction for Dummies:

    In the twenty years I've been writing fiction, two teachers have astounded me with their insights and taught me something radically new: Dwight Swain and Margie Lawson. Margie taught me new ways to empower my writing.

    Melanie Milburne, USA Today Bestseller

    I had 40 books published before I met Margie Lawson. It wasn’t until I started using her deep editing techniques that I won several writing awards. I have a library of how-to books, but none trump Margie’s expertise.

     


    View more information and enroll
  • March, 2016: Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More

    Instructor:  Margie Lawson

    March 7 - April 1;   Fee:  $75

    DEEP EDITING is for the writer who wants to hook the subconscious of the reader. For the writer who wants to learn fresh editing techniques. For the writer who wants to edit for psychological power.

    This is a dig-deep-and-make-your-manuscript-stronger course. Class members will:

    1. Learn how to use rhetorical devices to boost cadence, compress time, expand time, add interest, add emotion, and add power.

    2. Learn which bestselling authors use which rhetorical devices to empower openings and turning points. 

    3. Learn 25 rhetorical devices and practice using them. From anaphora to zeugma – learn how and when to use these techniques. 

    4. Develop skills by using worksheets provided in each lecture. The worksheets also serve as a handy reference for learning the rhetorical devices.

    5. Learn Deep Editing tips including Margie's Four Levels of Powering Up Emotion, backstory management, power lines, SAPS, throw-away words, cliché twists, back loading, and emotional hits.

    6. Learn how to make a FINAL EDITING PASS and make it your last pass.

    Margie Lawson—editor and international presenter—developed psychologically-based deep editing systems and techniques used by new writers to multi-award winning authors. She teaches writers how to add psychological power to create page turners.

    Margie taught psychology courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Her resume includes adjunct professor, clinical trainer, facilitator of trauma response sessions, and director of a counseling center.

    In the last ten years Margie has presented over one hundred full day Master Classes for writers. She has taught her psychologically-anchored deep editing across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. And on cruise ships too.

    Writers credit her innovative editing approaches with taking their writing to publication, awards, and bestseller lists.

    To learn about Margie’s 4-day Immersion Master Classes (in Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C., San Jose, Whidbey Island, San Diego, and Australia), her full day and weekend workshops, keynote speeches, online courses through Lawson Writer’s Academy, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit:  www.margielawson.com

    What’s the Buzz?

    Randy Ingermanson,Ph. D., award-winning author of Writing Fiction for Dummies:

    In the twenty years I've been writing fiction, two teachers have astounded me with their insights and taught me something radically new: Dwight Swain and Margie Lawson. Margie taught me new ways to empower my writing.

    Melanie Milburne, USA Today Bestseller

    I had 40 books published before I met Margie Lawson. It wasn’t until I started using her deep editing techniques that I won several writing awards. I have a library of how-to books, but none trump Margie’s expertise.


    View more information and enroll