Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues

Learn how to write body language and dialogue cues from a kinesics specialist.  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
  • Turning Points driven by subtle body language cues
  • Body Language and Dialogue Cues for POV and Non-POV characters
  • Body Language and Dialogue Cues with Rhetorical Devices
  • Specific Emotion-driven full Kinesics Patterns for anxiety, fear, joy, sadness, lust, shock, surprise . . .

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

Bonus Lecture from a Police Detective:  Body Language in the Police and Criminal Worlds — Interrogations, Spotting Criminals, Hostage Negotiations


Margie Lawson

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.

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.


Margie has asked fabulous teachers to help by teaching this class for her. Check the schedule to see who will be teaching each session.

Becky Rawnsley

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 Big Three courses to help fellow writers bring their work to the next level—and beyond!




Very helpful detailed feedback

February 16, 2021

I took this course with Becky Rawnsley. Becky gave thoughtful, thorough, fine-grained feedback to me and other students, both on what we were doing effectively and what we could improve on. The feedback on what I was already doing effectively was particularly nice, since it's much easier for me to see what I don't like about my work than what I do!

The course lectures teach via extensive examples, with concepts introduced along the way, including some concepts that are expanded on in other courses. They're written by Margie Lawson with additional comments from Becky (for people who take it with Becky although I would guess Suzanne probably does the same).

I took the course because I'd been advised by other critiquers to ground my dialogue more heavily in action and to show characters' emotions. I also knew I tended to overuse the same generic gestures and phrases. I had resources for body language and emotion vocabulary, but couldn't figure out how to put them into my work in ways that made sense.

This class helped me do that effectively, and I would recommend it for other people seeking to do the same. Although the lecture notes are available as a standalone package, Becky's feedback to both me and other students helped me apply the knowledge I gained from lectures much more effectively than I would have otherwise, and I recommend taking it as a class.

Noe Bartmess

A Game Changer Class

February 1, 2021

The Writing Body Language Class is one of the most effective, see-the-results-right-away kind of class. Becky Rawnsley is detailed in her critiques and awesome to work with.

Highly recommend this class. It will change how you look at each sentence you write!

Wendy Cederberg

Dynamic Duo

July 6, 2020

Suzanne Purvis teaching Margie’s lectures = one dynamic duo.

Margie's lectures inspired me to write fresh, emotionally impactful words. The techniques are easy to absorb and use. My writing has improved significantly, and I now read novels with greater ability to discern what the writer does that works.

This was the second class I've taken from Suzanne. She is encouraging, responds quickly to homework posts, is always willing to answer additional questions, and uses her feedback to every exercise as a teaching opportunity. I learned from her responses to other student’s homework as well as my own. I will definitely take Margie’s next core classes taught by Suzanne.

I’m grateful for Suzanne and Margie.


Want to Transform Your Written Gestures, Facial Expressions, and Dialogue Cues Into Something Fresh, Memorable, Unforgettable?

July 4, 2020

I highly recommend The Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues class taught by Suzanne Purvis.

The class focuses on writing better gestures, facial expressions, and what Margie calls dialogue cues. What Suzanne teaches and shows helps transform your writing. From the mundane and everyday into writing that pops. That's fresh, that's memorable, that's unforgettable.

I found every class assignment and Suzanne's comments, recommendations and suggestions invaluable. You may too.

Prior to taking this class, I was stuck revising fresh every page and chapter. I was blind to which words or sentences I should revisit and revise.

What was missing in this process is what I learned in class. What you shall learn too.

One assignment has you search through your work in progress (WIP) to find facial expressions (smile, smirk, scowl, etc...). Until I did this assignment, I was unaware of how many facial expressions I had or how many might benefit to revise fresh.

An example of this is the word scowl.

My sentence was: Pursing his lips, he scowls.

- Ooh, exciting, right? Gets you to keep reading, right? No.

So I revised the sentence to read His lips curdle, his sour scowl deepens.

- Ah, Now what's read evokes an image in the reader's mind they can see and follow.

Another assignment has you search for the words lips and mouth.

Here's what I wrote in my draft:

I chew the cookie in my mouth. "So the charity raises millions of dollars for a worthy cause, and some guys come along because they don't want to share Paganini's music with the world?" I say, and cover my mouth.

Wickhamby breathes in deep. He exhales slow and long. "Do either of you believe in magic?"

Here's the revision:

I chew and swallow the remaining bits of cookie in my mouth. "So the charity raises millions of dollars for a worthy cause, and Sinti's guys come along with guns because he doesn't want to share Paganini's music with the world?" I cover my mouth to keep a burp and cookie crumbs from breaking free. I fail. Out blasts an ungodly-uber-ogre belch cookie monster would be proud of, plus the crumbs, I rapid-fire wipe off my t-shirt and jeans.

Wickhamby breathes in deep. He exhales slow and long. "Do either of you believe in magic?"

Joe Zarek

Transformative Class

July 3, 2020

The Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues class has forever changed the way I approach writing dialogue. The multitude of examples of powerful writing Margie provided reinforced the concept over and over. Suzanne's insightful editing and critique style provides a safe place to grow as a writer.

Lisa Black

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