Welcome to Lawson Writer's Academy!Margie Cartooon

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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.

  • February, 2015: Can We Talk? Crafting Dialogue the Write Way

    Instructor:  Lisa Wells

    February 2 - 27;  Fee:  $50

    Crafting Dialogue the Write Way

    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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  • February, 2015: It's All About Character: Using Character Themed Words

    Instructor: Elizabeth Essex

    Dates: Feb. 2 - 27, 2014; Fee: $50

    This course will teach writers how to find and use character-themed words specific to their heroes, heroines, and even villains. Every word in your novel should serve two purposes: to move the plot forward and give greater insight into the characters.

    Using character-themed words will grab your reader’s attention and hold it throughout the novel. Readers remember real characters. Characters that are so fully-developed, they walk off the page and into our hearts.

    Editors, agents and great teachers like Margie Lawson talk about fresh writing, but that term is sometimes difficult to understand. To me, fresh writing means showing the reader the world of the novel through the fresh and unique eyes of each character.

    I will teach you how to get inside the minds of your characters by using “power words,” “scene-themed words,” but more especially “character-driven words.”

     -  Power words give strong images & associations, and drive up tension.

    -  Scene-themed words give vital information about where and when we are in the story.

    -  Character-driven words give insight into the mind & thoughts of our characters.

    Each teaching point will be illustrated by stellar writing from a variety of best-selling authors in multiple genres. Delve deep into the fresh waters of Character Driven Writing.

    Elizabeth Essex is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Reckless Brides series of  historical romances for St. Martin’s Press. When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden, or simply messing about with boats, Elizabeth writes, and has done so for over twenty years. She graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classics and Art History, and then earned her MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University. While she loved the life of an underwater archaeologist, she has found her true calling writing historical romance full of passion, daring and adventure.

    Elizabeth is a multi-Margie grad, having taken all of Margie’s core classes, either on-line or in workshop, and has survived two Immersion Master Classes. As a result of this painful dedication to craft, her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and RWA’s prestigious RITA Award, and have made Top-Ten lists from Romantic Times, The Romance Reviews and Affaire de Coeur Magazine, and Desert Isle Keeper status at All About Romance. Her fifth book, A BREATH OF SCANDAL, was awarded Best Historical in the Reader’s Crown 2013.

    She has taught her “It’s All About Character” Class to numerous writing groups, including the Yellow Rose Romance Writers, Dallas Area Romance Writers, and Writer’s Guild of North Texas.


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  • February, 2015: 50 Ways to Build Your Author Brand

    Instructor:  Julie RoweJulie Rowe

    February 2 - 27;  Fee:  $50

    50 Ways to Build Your Author Brand

    No two authors are the same or have the same brand. In this one month workshop, authors can explore 50 different ways to build their brand, decide which ones they wish to explore further, and create a plan to build their brand, their way.

    Each item on the list includes examples, templates, and instructions as required, and optional homework.

    The first 25 days of the workshop will provide 2 brand-building possibilities per day. The last days of the workshop will focus on creating your plan.

    A sample of some of the potential options:

    1. Determine your goals (6 month, 1 year, 2 yrs, 5 yrs).

    2. Become an expert in your field (turn that expertise into paying writing gigs & workshops).

    3. Create an editorial calendar (examples and resources).

    4. Pitch yourself to local media (press release template).

     

    Julie Rowe's first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her contemporary and historical medical romances, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, but admits she'll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, "Fiction has to be believable.".

    Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (book #1 WAR GIRLS) won the novella category of the 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. The third book in her War Girls series, Aiding the Enemy, won the novella category of the 2014 Colorado Romance Writer's Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today's Parent, and Canadian Living.

    Three and half years ago, Julie began creating tweets for each of Carina Presses new releases and sharing them on the Carina Press author loop, urging all authors to support one another. One and a half years ago, Carina Press offered Julie a monthly stipend so she wouldn't stop. Julie now works in concert with Carina Presses social media staff to ensure timely, accurate tweets are posted to the author loop for all new releases and sale books.

    You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com , on Twitter @julieroweauthor or at her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/JulieRoweAuthor


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  • February, 2015: Create Compelling Characters

    Instructor: Rhay Christou

    Feb. 2 - 27  Fee:  $60

    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're going to want to step back from plot and dive into the skin of your character.

    In Creating 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

    ·         Develop specific consist character behavior

    ·         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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  • Jan-April, 2015: Fab 30: Advanced Deep Editing, A Master Course

    Instructor: Margie Lawson

    January 19 - April 20:  Fee: $175

    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!


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  • 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.


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  • 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.


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  • 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: $60

    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. 


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  • 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.

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  • 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