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 by clicking the title of one of the courses below. Information for the class will open and you'll be able to click on the PayPal link to enroll in the course.

Questions? Contact Margie Lawson.

Courses Available:

Nov, 2017: Author Power on Pinterest

Instructor: Lana Pattinson

Nov. 1 - 30;  Fee:  $60

Whether you are new to Pinterest or already have a personal account, we’ll discuss strategies for branding yourself as an author and developing your Author Platform.

We’ll cover the following topics:

  • Why Pinterest?
    • We’ll find out why Pinterest is an important part of your Author Platform, and why & when it may be a better choice than Facebook or Twitter.
  • The Basics: Setting up your Account
    • Setting up your profile and creating key Boards
  • Pinterest as part of your Social Media plan and how to manage your time
    • What do you want to accomplish / Setting goals
  • Targeting your Audience
    • Let’s look at ways that we can define and appeal to your target audience
  • How to make a great Pin
    • What makes a great Pin
    • Tools and Programs you can use for creating Pinnable images
    • Important information to include when creating your Pins
  • Interacting on Pinterest
    • Purpose and how to use Group Boards
    • Other ways to interact on Pinterest (comments, likes, etc).
  • Nuts & Bolts: How to Pin, Whom to followAnalytics
    • How to Pin for maximum effect
    • Selecting the right people to follow
    • Using Pinterest Analytics to review and streamline your social media plan 

Lana Pattinson

Hi y’all! I’m a Marketing Consultant with expertise in Brand Planning and Social Media. For over 15 years I 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 Young Adult Historical Fantasy, and am a Finalist in the 2015 Romance through the Ages Contest. 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

Nov, 2017: MADNESS to Method: Using Oscar Winning Techniques To Write With Emotional Impact And Create NYT Best Selling Scenes

MADNESS to Method: Using Oscar Winning Techniques To
Write With Emotional Impact And Create NYT Best Selling Scenes

 Instructor: Tiffany Lawson Inman

November 2 – 30

Fee: $80

Madness to Method uses the father of all acting
techniques, The Method. 

Writers will learn how to create the most real of real
moments between their characters:  Authentic, high-impact emotion, dialogue, and conflict. Course exercises push writers to enhance their emotional repertoire through fresh
writing as well as learning the tools to edit into award winning scenes into their current


This class includes full lectures, out-of-your-chair exercises,
fresh writing assignments, and multiple scene submissions for edits (approximately
25 pages of your WIP, deep-edited) 


There will be hands-on interaction between YOU, YOUR

As an actor and editor, Tiffany will teach writers how to:

  • utilize each block of The Method as a writer to reveal deep layers of character and characterization
  • access sense memories and to write authentic emotion and conflict
  • strip away writerly fat to streamline dialogue and increase story momentum within scene
  • enhance emotional repertoire by writing with their scars
  • use sense memories to fuel character emotion on the page
  • turn
    reality into fiction by awakening their innermost observational skills
  • thrust their story forward by using every facet of character, dialogue, and conflict


This class will crack open your psyche to reveal dynamic
character, motivation, and reaction. This class will show you how to activate
emotion you never knew you had.


If we held The Oscars for fiction, would your story be nominated? Would your characters be highly acclaimed nominees? Polish those shoes and spray on a tan,
because after this workshop every moment in every scene will be worthy of
actors like Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio. Your characters will be hitting
the red carpet while your writing wins the awards.

Are you ready?



Tiffany Lawson Inman, daughter of Margie Lawson, claimed a higher education
at Columbia College Chicago. There, she learned to use body and mind together
for action scenes, high-impact character emotion, active setting, dynamic fight scenes, and
dramatic story development.

She teaches Emotion, Action and Fighting in Fiction, and
Dialogue for Lawson Writer's Academy. As a freelance fiction editor, she
provides deep story critique and dramatic line/content editing services.

She is currently writing a Psychological Suspense Thriller with the goal of landing on NYT Best Sellers list by 2020.   

Nov, 2017: Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More

Instructor:  Becky Rawnsley, Teaching Margie Lawson's Course

November 1 - 30;   Fee:  $80

Note from Margie:

I invited Becky Rawnsley to teach my Big Three courses:  Empowering Characters' Emotions, Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and Beyond, and Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist. I bet my unexpected invitation to teach my courses gave her a visceral response.

She's done an excellent job. Her deep editing expertise and her easy-going style prove she's channeling me well. I'm impressed.  

I'm proud that she's teaching my deep editing techniques and systems and tips. 

Dive in. You'll learn, learn, learn.


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. 

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.

You may be active in class and post assignments. Your assignments will be deep edited and posted in the classroom.

You may lurk and learn. No worries.

Concerned you're too busy to keep up? All LWA classrooms are open 24/7.  The November classes will be open through December 15th. You can download, read, and learn any time.

Becky Rawnsley is a physical therapist from the UK. She started writing as a hobby some twenty years ago, but realized if she was ever going to get off the slush-pile and onto the shelves, she needed help. Hunting for answers, she stumbled across Margie’s website and struck writing-gold.

Becky is now a multi-Margie, multi-LWA and Immersion grad, and has discovered a passion for deepening her understanding of writing craft. Her work now regularly finals in contests. She is keen to share the magic of Margie’s courses to help fellow writers bring their work to the next level—and beyond!

Nov, 2017: Write Better Faster
The WRITE BETTER FASTER class is full.

Sorry you missed it this time.  

It will be taught again in March. 

Instructor:  R.L. Syme

November 1 - 30;  Fee: $99

Everyone wants to be more productive--write faster, release more books--but most of us don't know where to start. Let me give you a hint, according to former students: start with this class. The most common feedback from past students is: I wish I'd taken this class years ago. So, what are you waiting for?

Your brain is like a lock-box, and everyone's box has a different code. Copycat productivity techniques are hit-and-miss, and the "hit" part is determined by how similar your personality is to the writer. But by using brain science, you can learn the specific code to unlock your brain.

We'll focus on how you can write more books in a year, and how you can write those books faster. But mostly, we're going to focus on customizing your systems and your writing life for specifically how your brain works. Once you learn how to work with your wiring, you will not only get better, but you'll get better, faster.

You will leave the class with an individualized set of strategies and tactics that will help you do your best work, be your most productive, and accomplish your writing goals. This class includes four weeks of instruction and a personalized one-on-one appointment that would cost hundreds of dollars, anywhere but on the Margie Lawson platform. The class size is capped at 50, so get your spot today!

Former students say:

"As a writer, if you take only one course in your writing career, make it this one. It is a game changer and really is structured to help you as an individual."

"Take it! I have been deeply skeptical of these author-productivity courses since they started proliferating around 2012 or so. I took a chance on this one because the word-of-mouth was excellent. Now I, too, have begun recommending it to my writer friends and will continue to do so."

"I highly recommend this class to all authors who want to better understand why certain methods and processes work for them while others do not. Knowledge truly is power. This class will help you to recognize your strengths and use them to create an actionable strategy for your writing and writing career."

R.L. Syme (w/a Becca Boyd) is the USA Today bestselling romance author of the Line of Fire series and the Highland Renegades. With a Masters degree in leadership and years of consulting and working in organizational communications, she is also a trained Strengthsfinder coach. Becca lives in the Rocky Mountains and you can find her website at http://rlsyme.com

Nov, 2017: Two Week Intensive on Staking the Stakes

Rhay ChristouInstructor:  Rhay Christou, MFA

Two Week Intensive on Staking the Stakes

Nov. 1 - 15;  Fee:  $60 USD

Who cares about your story?

You’ve put your heart, soul and every drop of blood into your characters, and the story they have to tell. You’ve created a compelling plot where characters run a gauntlet of obstacles. You’ve edited, deep edited, made sure every single word sing.

And you’re still getting critique partners, beta readers saying, “but I don’t get it” Worse, you’re getting those form rejections or those just-didn’t-care-enough responses.

Don’t panic. All writers experience this at one time or another, and there is answer.

Likely you need to figure out the most important question of your scenes, chapters, story. You need to ask yourself why should the reader care about this person and her problem. You need to figure what makes the stakes of this novel personal and powerful.

The two-week intensive Stake the Stakes workshop will help you discover ways to get your readers caring on page one and keep them caring to the very end.  

Full easy to read lectures, hands on assignments, and plenty of opportunities for class and instructor interaction, Stake the Stakes will  take a languishing story from plodding to powerful.


--  Define stakes

--  Realize size doesn’t matter

--  Discover the difference between stakes that matter and a gauntlet of problems

--  Take stakes from functional to fantastic

--  Develop ways for stakes to impact the protagonist

--  Create and sustain caring, caring, caring

--  Use connections to keep readers engaged

--  Dial up the stakes, tighten the tension

--  Change up the middle to rev up the pace

--  Write knockout endings that make the journey worth taking

About Rhay Christou: Two 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, where I live.

I teach several other courses online for Lawson Writer's Academy:  Create Compelling Characters, From Blah to Beats: Giving Chapters a Heart, Power Up Your Setting,  and Diving into Deep Point of View.

Nov, 2017: Two-Week Intensive on Revision

Instructor:  Shirley Jump

Nov. 1 - 15;   Fee:  $75

Two-Week Intensive on Revision:

Learn how to analyze your writing with an objective eye and revise it, helping your book or short story become stronger and better. 

New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump will give you hands-on tools, tips, and tricks to revise your work, along with concrete examples to show you how to really take your book from blah to BLOCKBUSTER. We will have hands-on homework assignments helping you revise your work in progress, and make it the best it can be.

Learn the biggest mistakes writers make in their work

Create a usable checklist for your revisions

Learn how to increase emotion, power up your characters

Learn to tighten your pacing, trim the backstory

Learn to make everything, from dialogue to descriptions, move the story forward

Homework will be assigned each week, and feedback provided, to help students get hands-on with their revisions. Take this course and take your book to the next level!


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 


Oct, 2017: Crazy-Easy Awesome Author Website!

Instructor:  Lisa Norman

Fee: $75;  October 3 - 30

What if you could have a website that would meet your needs whether you're a beginner or a NYT best selling author? What if it could be affordable and easy to maintain? What if you could have someone hold your hand and walk you through the entire process?

Welcome to the Crazy Easy Awesome Author Website taught by Lisa Norman (Heart Ally Books and Deleyna's Dynamic Designs -- also Margie's web designer). We'll cover each part of a website. I'll help you choose a hosting company, get a domain name, set up the space, and build a website using the most popular platform for writers: WordPress. We'll cover how to create your email sign-up forms and even integrate the site with your social media platforms.

Learn how to secure your website to keep it as safe as possible.

Create your proven online author platform without pain.

Lisa will work with you every step of the way, including doing a hands-on review of your site. You'll learn what to do to maintain it, and how to update and make changes.

Get stuck? We'll work through it together.

By the end of this class you'll have a beautiful, personalized author's website that will make you proud.

Note: a website has to live somewhere. This may incur hosting fees. We'll talk through the options in class and each student will make their own choices about where their site will live. Free options will be included, but students may choose to purchase hosting. Fees associated with setting up the website are not included in the cost of the course.

Lisa Norman
is the owner of Heart Ally Books, an independent publishing company. She also owns a website design company specializing in creating
websites for authors, Deleyna's Dynamic Designs. For over 25 years, she has worked with both indie
and traditionally published writers on everything from writing through
publication and marketing. She has taught students from 10 to 80, both
in person, locally, and online. Her customers range all over the US,
Canada, and as far away as Australia. Mostly she coaches people
one-on-one, and she loves public speaking. She's most proud of her
children, adores her husband, and seems to be constantly surrounded by

Lisa is the author of a series of nonfiction ebooks, Publishing Gold: Step-by-Step Guides for Success In Your Writing Career. She also writes under the pen name of Deleyna Marr.

Connect at deleyna.com

Oct, 2017: Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat: You Decide

Instructor: Suzanne Purvis

Oct 3 - 30;  Fee: $75

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. . .


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 Purvis is 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.


Oct, 2017: 30 Days to a Stronger Novel

Instructor: Lisa WellsLisa Wells head shot

Oct. 1 - 30;  Fee: $60


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


Oct, 2017 Shirley Jump's Rule of Six

Instructor:  Shirley Jump, NYT Bestseller 

October 3 - 30;  Fee:  $75


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 

Oct, 2017: Disasters & Doctors; Wars & Warriors – Writing Thrillers and Other Dangerous Novels

Instructor: Julie Rowe

 Fee: $60;   October 3 - 30

Disasters & Doctors; Wars & Warriors – Writing Thrillers and Other Dangerous Novels 

Whether it’s a romantic suspense, thriller or crime novel writing books with a dangerous edge have their own pros and pitfalls. Julie Rowe, author of the military thriller Biological Response Team series, will explore with participants the following topics:

  1. Basic elements of a dangerous novel – what makes them different from other genres for good or ill.
  2. Finding your focus – narrowing down your subgenre of dangerous novel to give you a solid base on which to build your novel.
  3. Who’s driving this run-away train? Plot driven, character driven or event driven – Options for how you develop your novel.
  4. Character archetypes – the good, the bad and the ugly and why you need all three.
  5. How did we get here? Using setting to its fullest.
  6. Wars, disasters and other bad luck – using traumatic events to supercharge the thrill.
  7. Research – how real does your novel need to be?
  8. Writing an outline that works…for you.
  9. Sing loud and proud – turning up the volume on your writing voice.
  10. Writing that first page – where to start your story.
  11. BONUS: Outline and first five page critique – for all participants.


Julie Rowe

Full-time author and workshop facilitator, Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and Fort McMurray, Alberta, where she still resides (despite a wildfire forcing the entire city to evacuate on May 3, 2016). Julie’s debut novel, Icebound, was released by Carina Press on Nov 14, 2011. Ten novels and eight anthologies have followed. Her most recent titles are the MEN OF ACTION boxed set and VIRAL JUSTICE book #3 of the Biological Response Team series. Julie’s articles have appeared in magazines, such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today's Parent magazine and Canadian Living.

Julie facilitates communication workshops at Keyano College in Fort McMurray, and has presented writing workshops at conferences in the United States and Canada. She’s also a strong supporter of life long learning and moderates a free announcement loop for the promotion of online classes, workshops and webinars.

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


Sept. 2017: Diving Deep into Developmental Edits

Diving Deep into Developmental Edits

September 5 - October 30;   Fee: $140

Your words shine and each line glisten. But you’re still getting rejections!

Pansters and plotters, at some point you’re going to have to step back from the words, the lines, and even the paragraphs, and look at the big picture issues.

Diving deep into developmental edits is an intense fourteen lecture course for those writers who have finished at least one draft of a novel.

This course is all about seeing your work as an editor, and learning how to analyze what you have on the page, so you can make the big decisions that will take your novel from fine to powerful.

This two-month course is packed full of tips, ideas, and learning opportunities not only aimed at helping writers make their current work in progress shine, but also teaching writers how to make future novels stronger.

With a completed draft in hand, writers will work independently or with a partner to hone their big picture editing skills and learn techniques for:

  • Play by genre/category rules and target markets.
  • Look at typical novel structure and where and how your work falls into the norms, and what to do if you’re way off.

How to tackle a first read:

  • Reconcile the  character on your page with the one in your mind.
  • Discover and develop story themes. 
  • Turn plodding plots into powerful plots. Pick pacing, logic and not missing those missed opportunities.
  • Identify killer beginnings and how to up yours to a beginning that deserves a life sentence.
  • Empower those murky middles.
  • Create kick-A.. endings.

How to tackle  the second read:

  • Dive into deep point of view.
  • Find and keep voice and style.
  • Take dialog from stilted to rich.
  • Discover how to share a scene versus tell a scene.

Third read focuses on:

  • Use setting to its best.
  • Use narrative summary and exposition effectively.
  • Polish stories until they shine.

And so much more!

Be sure to visit the class and read how to get started before class begins.

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

About Rhay Christou: Two 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 three other courses online for Lawson Writer's Academy:  Create Compelling Characters, From Blah to Beats: Giving Chapters a Heart and Diving into Deep Point of View.


August, 2017: Ta Da, How to Put Funny on the Page
Lisa Wells August 1 - 31; Fee: $60


Slam your elbow on a table top and you’ll get up close and strip-down, naked personal with the location of your funny bone. Unfortunately, you’ll also discover there’s nothing funny about that instrument of torture.

It’s a sensitive little sucker.

The funny bone takes joy in creating not laughter but pain.

Unless…you’re a comedian.

Comedians aren’t like average humans. When they slam their funny bone on a table top, the sensation causes them to laugh so loud and so hard earthquakes are reported five states over. True story. No…really…it is.
In fact, slamming your elbow on a table top is the test comedian-wannabes have to take to get accepted into Make Me Laugh University. If they bang their elbow and laugh, they’re invited into the coolest of schools. Hit the spot and wince, and the parody professors will laugh them off the university’s sacred grounds.

If that happens, if they fail to be admitted in Make Me Laugh University, these wannabes might as well become plumbers, because showing off their butt-crack is the closest they’ll ever come to making someone laugh. Or…is it?

Of course, I lie. Not a big one. Just a little gray lie. So don’t go calling the funny police on me for breaking the whole truth-in-advertising stuff. Why? Because I’ve got great news. And you’re going to want to know what I know.

Here it is. What I know to be the truth, the absolute truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me funny bone.

Even if your funny bone is broken, and it doesn’t make you laugh when it’s been unfortunately activated - you can still get into the cool major. You can still walk the sacred halls of Make Me Laugh University. You’ll just have to work at it a little harder than those with a sense of humor in their funny bone.

As a personal reject of Make Me Laugh University, I’ve spent hours and hours and years and years (yes- years) and studied master comedians like Steve Martin, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Amy Schumer and Ellen DeGeneres, plus many more, just to get funnier and to create this class. A class designed to teach other humor rejects, like someone like you, how to put humor on the page.
My purpose in life, since being laughed off the college campus of Make Me Laugh University, that was not a fun experience, is to make sure no one else ever suffers the humiliation of being thought of as blah, boring, a danger to one’s self, or – gasp - a danger to other’s ability to laugh.
Ta Da. Here’s what you’re going to learn:

1. The best way to study humor – no…the answer is not naked and with a glass of wine.

2. How to find your own comedian mentor – Get One For Free – as long as you can stalk without being caught. Get caught, and you might be thrown into comedian-wannabe jail. Mums the word.

3. The universal rule of being funny – break it, and you might go to funny bone jail which is located next door to comedian wannabe jail.
4. How to find funny in the world around you – if you have to suffer through the family gathering, you might as well get some material from Aunt Poopy Mouth or Uncle Give Me Another Cold One.
5. The 3 secret ingredients to great storytelling – OMG, I’m just dying to let you in on these secrets. (Biting lip hard. Ouch. Keeping secrets is dangerous to one’s mouth.)

6. The key ingredient that makes people laugh? There’s actually several ingredients that go into making people laugh, but there’s a key one. K.E.Y. Kind of like liquor is the key ingredient in Jell-O shots. (NO. Jell-O is not the key ingredient in Jell-O shots.)

7. The 7 humor media in which you can sell the funny you put on the page. Face it, our good looks are going to fade, and we’re going to need a back-up cash supply.
8. The 11 Funny Filters – These filters are the gold mine of laughter. Sort of like mouth filters are the gold mine of keeping our day jobs. Does it surprise you to know I don’t have a day job?

9. The 3 joke-writing methods using the funny filters. Hint... Psyche. You didn’t really think I was going to give you a hint here? Do you not know me at all?

10. The 5 ingredients of writing a premise for a comedy screenplay. Instead of a five-ingredient meal recipe (like tequila, lime, salt, triple-sec, ice), you’re going to get a five ingredient premise recipe. Chuckle.

Who should take this class:
1. Romantic Comedy authors. That’s a no brainer.
2. But this course is for more than just comedy writers. It’s for you.
3. Knowing how to add comedy to whatever you’re writing - be it a thriller, a wedding speech, an obituary - will make your writing stronger. Humor enhances story characters. Humor enhances your storyline. Humor makes your look skinnier in tight jeans.

4. Attention all authors: Humor gives much needed tension release to your readers at just the right moment. Learn how to put it on the page.

5. Humor helps you with every day relationships – like your relationship with your editor or agent or the cop who pulled you over for driving with the top down. Tiny explanation: When I bought the convertible, the dealer said it was legal to drive with my top down. How was I to know he meant the car’s top and not my tube top? Be specific people.

6. Humor makes you stand out in the memory of others. In a good way.

7. If you want to learn to be funnier, and how to take that funnier and put it on the page, this class is for YOU.

8. And, last but not forgotten, if you flunked out of Make Me Laugh University – this class is also for you.

What are you waiting for? Sign up.

© 2017 Margie Lawson

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