Margie Lawson left a career in psychology to focus on her true passion—helping writers make their stories, characters, and words strong. Tired of the same old writing rules and tools? Try something new.
Using a psychologically based, deep-editing approach, Margie teaches writers how to bring emotion to the page. Emotion equals power. And power not only grabs readers, it holds onto them until the end. Many Margie grads have gone on to win awards, find agents, sign with publishers, and hit bestseller lists.
As an international presenter, Margie has taught over 150 full day master classes in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and France, as well as multi-day intensives on cruise ships in the Caribbean. Pre-COVID, she taught 5-day Immersion Master Classes across the U.S. and Canada and in seven cities in Australia too.
COVID Update: Immersion Master Classes are now virtual, taught through Zoom. Virtual Immersion classes are limited to six writers. They're two days long with two big topics--and as always, writers get one on one deep editing with Margie. But stay tuned! In person Immersion Classes are returning!
She also founded Lawson Writer's Academy, where you’ll find over 30 instructors teaching online courses through her website. To learn more, sign up for Margie’s newsletter.
Here's just a sample of the amazing books her students have written:
Working one on one with Margie was AMAZING! We worked through several chapters together, and I was bowled over, knocked sideways, ecstatic, and any number of other clichés. I loved her edits and I learned so much. I’m starting to see what I can cut, what I should keep, and as always what I can… Read more "Fabulous one on one sessions"
"Margie Lawson's classes are the perfect choice for authors looking to take their writing craft to the next level. I take her workshops and classes whenever my schedule allows and always walk away better for it. She demands hard work, but the results can not be denied. Margie will make you a better writer."
"Normally, writing books and such are useless to me. They are too dry in their approach and do not present the information in a way I find usable. Only Donald Maass's book has worked for me in the past. But the moment I saw your comments on Jeri Smith-Ready's website and your website, I had… Read more "Jagi Lamplighter Wright"
"Margie’s online courses and Immersion Master Class have strapped me into a skill-building machine for writers. With her help, in one year I moved from a can’t-write-a-fresh-line beginner to a Daphne finalist. Wow!"
"WOW! I'm not anywhere close to finishing your courses and already it has made a tremendous difference in my writing. The EDITS system is pure brilliance! Just what I needed to help me see the weak areas of my manuscript. I know moving forward I will write differently. I can't wait to finish reading all… Read more "Devon Gray"
“Margie Lawson’s courses taught me how to bring out my voice, stand out from other authors, and sell! After taking several courses and graduating from Immersion, I signed a 3-book contract based on a three paragraph outline and seven pages of the first book. Here’s what NYT’s best-selling author Jayne Ann Krentz said about my… Read more "Melinda Curtis"
"I just completed my second immersion master class, this one on the advanced side. Margie doesn't write your book for you, nor does she teach the cliche show don't tell. Margie teaches you to show AND tell AND all the while let's you learn for yourself what you are capable of as a writer."
"When I'm reading, I'm LOOKing at the words, reading the story. The EDITS system takes me to a whole new level - helps me truly SEE what's missing, over-used patterns, my strengths and opportunities. And even more importantly, it helps me SEE how to make my writing shine."
"I constantly think how different and IMPROVED my writing is because of your teachings. I can't gush enough. 🙂 No class or book has come close to making the difference that your classes have. Your Empowering Characters' Emotions and Deep Editing classes have pushed my writing to a new level. With your tools, I'm more… Read more "Linda Covella"
"I just attended your workshop in Toronto on Saturday and I wanted to let you know that I was so thrilled to learn as much as I did! I immediately came home and worked on highlighting two books: One that I really enjoyed and the other I really didn't. I was amazed. The one I… Read more "C. Taylor"
"Once again a heartfelt thank you for your brilliant course. I'm singing your praises (cliché alert!) to every writer I know 🙂 Your 'Deep Editing' course gave me the opportunity to take my writing to the next level. Enlightening. Informative. Brilliant. Can't recommend it highly enough."
"I used Margie's empowering techniques when working on my revisions for TEXAS HOLD HIM. They really intensified the climactic scene and strengthened my manuscript over all. TEXAS HOLD HIM has since been picked up by Dorchester Publishing and was released in April!"
"When I first sent my manuscript to a freelance editor, she said: "This novel has no emotion. You need to take Margie Lawson's class." So I took your class, right? Then, this week I just got it back again from a different freelance editor and the first thing she said was, 'I'm glad to see… Read more "Sandi"
"I can't say enough about your class. I was one of the many lurkers who were madly following along with all the lessons and homework. What a whirlwind month! I learned so much, and I will continue to learn from your lessons. Thank you so much for your time and lack of sleep."
"I was taking Empowering Characters' Emotions when a writing contest deadline approached. Figuring a contest was a good way to see if the ECE techniques really worked, I pulled out an older book that had been thoroughly rejected by editors, agents, and contest judges. I invested a few hours into highlighting, analyzing, and rewriting the… Read more "Lisa Tuttle"
"Margie Lawson's workshop, Empowering Characters' Emotions, was just what I needed to infuse extra oomph into my WIP. It's amazing what a handful of highlighters and some out-of-the-box thinking can do. Her exercises on the four levels of emotion not only helped my characters, but empowered me as well.”
"Margie Lawson's Immersion Master Class immerses writers in tips and techniques designed to deliver depth and emotion and richness to the stories we love to write. I now read and write on a new level that makes every story a new excitement."
"Margie Lawson, a brilliant psychologist, teaches a class on editing that, ahem, truly tested me. She uses color-coding to dissect writing in order to empower your stories. Yes, color-coding (sheesh, does everyone else use color-coding? Am I the only black-and-white writer out there? Black=ink; white=paper.) But I learned from Margie how to fix my prose.… Read more "Allison Brennan"
I’ve attended several of Margie Lawson’s immersion classes. They are a game changer. Her instruction made me not only look at the overall story, but also each individual word so they delivered the punch I needed to make my work stand out. A title I worked on during my first Margie Lawson immersion class was… Read more "Immersion Success"
"As Mini Con conference coordinator for Central New York RWA chapter, I bring in speakers that will help authors at all levels of their careers. Margie Lawson’s workshops offer unique and practical tactics to teach writers how to craft a best seller. Not only is Margie engaging as a speaker, but her energy level is… Read more "Jennifer Talty"
Wow. Just wow. I have witnessed the magic of Margie. There are so many classes offered through Lawson Writer's Academy, so many I plan to take, and so many to take again. It’d be crazy to go a month without one. Why? Because my writing has gone from ordinary to extraordinary, from forgettable to fantastic,… Read more "Stacey Jackson: 14 Margie classes (LWA COURSES) in 7 months (incl. 2 pkts and 1 virtual immersion)"
"I use the psychologically-based techniques I learned in Margie's Empowering Characters' Emotions class to add texture and flavor to my writing. Margie taught me that a visceral response will outdo an adverb every time. Now my heroine's heart no long beats loudly - it pounds like a drunk in an old western dragging his tin… Read more "Margaret Crowley"
"Margie's Empowering Characters' Emotions and Deep Editing classes not only helped me to get in touch with my characters' visceral reactions, they also showed me ways to use my characters' emotions to drive my plots in compelling and evocative new directions!"
"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 has made an enormous splash among novelists with her Deep Editing class and her Empowering Character Emotions class. I absolutely love her work. After reading Margie's material… Read more "Randy Ingermanson, Ph. D."
"When I took my first Margie Lawson class, the paradigm shift I experienced was more like an earthquake -- I saw everything differently. I took more of her classes. I finished the book, and dusted off my drawer-dweller in her Masters Class. I sold both books in a three book deal to Grand Central. A… Read more "Laura Drake"
"Margie Lawson's classes helped take my writing to the next level to become published."
"I looked back at the changes I made during Margie's on-line deep edits class and was amazed at what I had written. There was no way I could have been the one to write those words. Add to that Margie's extremely constructive feedback and I 'think' I have something to sell."
When I started writing, I was happy with everything I wrote. Then I joined a critique group and found I had problems I didn’t know I had. One member of the critique group, Laura Drake, led me to Margie Lawson. Before taking her Immersion Class, I stumbled over the same problems again and again. Most… Read more "Immersion helped me find problems I didn't know I had."
Two days of Virtual Immersion with Margie refreshed what I learned from the core classes and added a good deal of new material. I am excited to use it all! The one-on-ones with Margie were enjoyable and educational. She showed me specifically how to improve my ms and gave me great guidance on how to… Read more "Debra Getts"
"I loved your class and will use your DEEP EDITING techniques in books to come. Thanks again. I'll be telling all of my author friends."
"Before taking Margie's workshop, my writing was ho-hum. Margie showed me how to ratchet up the suspense and breathe life into my characters. Since taking the workshop, I finaled for an Eppie award, and I'm getting five star reviews!"
Margie, I hear you in my head and I use your lessons. Here are some ways I apply your lessons: When I know a scene isn't working and I don't know why, I get out my multiple highlighters and EDITS the hell out of it. That always tells me why it's "wrong." When the emotion… Read more "Jenny Hansen"
"I booked Margie to give her Empowering Characters' Emotions Workshop for Central Ohio Fiction Writers. Because her techniques apply to all genres, it was easy to attract writers from outside our chapter. I got such an overwhelming response, I had to book a bigger classroom. Margie still managed to connect with each student, making sure… Read more "Margaret Crowley"
"What you learn from Margie is a writing-career changer! You will never look at your writing the same way again. Regardless of where you are in your writing - newbie or multi-published - Margie will teach you how to write a page-turner."
"Margie Lawson's EDITS System -- Powerful tools to ramp up your story from luke warm to a blistering hot NYT Bestseller!"
“Having completed an on-line writing course which was beyond disappointing, I swore never to waste my money and do another on-line course again. I was reading Randy Ingermanson’s book and he recommended Margie’s lectures, and I trusted the man, so I bought one. I was still reading lecture one when I went back on Margie’s… Read more "Kristin Meachem"
"I've attended one of Margie's all-day seminars, taken all her online classes; attended her workshops at RWA conferences, and flown to Colorado to attend her four-day Immersion class. Margie taught me to challenge and push myself to make the hard changes from the first page of a manuscript until the very last. Working with Margie,… Read more "Elizabeth Essex"
Immersion is one of those things that's hard to describe. You really have to experience it to understand how absolutely mind-blowing amazing it is. Margie teaches more than just editing techniques. She teaches how to breathe a soul into your manuscript.
"After I took Margie Lawson's Master Class at a conference two years ago, the quality of my writing improved by an order of magnitude. Margie's trademark EDITS system is the perfect diagnostic tool for any fiction writer. Her insight into the psychological and literary tools that make bestselling fiction crackle is deep and powerful. I… Read more "Salvatore "Sam" Falco"
"I learned more at Immersion then I have in years of conferences and classes. Margie taught me how to revise and edit effectively and efficiently. Immersion on the mountain gave me an award winning first chapter and my Immersion sisters gave me insights, brainstorming sessions, and the chance to connect with an amazingly talented group… Read more "Christina Delay"
If you want to put the 'wow' factor, or the OMG in your novels, this is the place to learn how. Margie's classes take you from decent to excellent with her EDITS system, Visceral Response, Body Language, and Dialogue tags. Amazing how simple changes that aren't always easily seen can take you from plain to… Read more "B.A. Mealer"
"Your classes (both online and at the Georgia writing conference) changed my life!! My YA debut sold in a three-book, pre-empt to Harper Collins. Phoebe was so very complimentary about the way I render emotion and tension on the page and I know I have you to thank!"
“I was amazed at the personal attention Margie gives each student in her deep immersion class. Her one-on-one sessions transformed my approach to editing. So many light bulbs went off in my brain it felt like a paparazzi attack. WARNING: you may need a seven day nap afterward just to absorb it all. I picked… Read more "Kathleen Baldwin"
"WOW! What a powerhouse of information you have in your Lecture Packets. So much to absorb, even though I have studied them thoroughly. I credit your lectures with showing me how to take my writing to the next level, that of being published, as I did this year with HEART OF THE DRUAE, (Black Lyon… Read more "Dana McEndree"
"The workshop I went to last month was the best I've ever been to, bar none. And I've been to plenty. LOL Margie's workshop was so awesome, I've asked her to do an Early Bird at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. I'm going over my notes from what she taught before I start my… Read more "Colleen Coble"
"Since June of 2013 Margie Lawson has a special label on all my drafts—AM—meaning After Margie. Margie’s Immersion Classes have changed my writing style. Forever. Her deep editing has enabled me to detect errors before being ripped to shreds at weekly edit group. My husband (who hates to spend money and formerly hated seeing a… Read more "DiAne Gates"
"I LOVED Margie Lawson's class. WOW. WOW. WOW. Wish I would have discovered her sooner. Fabulous. My writing will soar to the next level. She's an incredible teacher and such a fun teacher. Great lady. I plan to take all her online courses. A friend who attended RWA National said that at the Steeple Hill… Read more "Cheryl Wyatt"
"I’ve taken several of Margie’s classes and each one has been a gem. My first was “Defeating Self-Defeating Behaviors” and it was exactly what I needed to jumpstart my career and overcome the obstacles in my way. Now I’m a best-selling RITA finalist, but I still review my notes from Margie’s lessons whenever I’m about… Read more "Tracy Brogan"
"Defeat Self Defeating Behaviors Class is one of the most focused, useful, inspiring classes it has been my privilege to take. Margie's insight and encouragement can take the most self-defeating personality and turn it into an SDB-whomping, enthusiastic-goal-meeting machine!"
"I bought Margie's DEEP EDITING Lecture Packet when I was 1/3 into editing ANCIENT WHISPERS. After I used her EDITS System and did some Deep Editing, my critique partners couldn't believe the changes in my writing. I have to say that my entire manuscript was Deep Edited before I entered the American Title Contest. ANCIENT… Read more "Marie-Claude Bourque"