All classes are recorded and available for later viewing
May 19: Finding the Universal in Your Memoir with Lisa Cooper Ellison
The first draft of any memoir is for the writer. But a final draft must become a mirror for the reader’s soul. To truly serve the reader, you must find the universal story embedded in your life experience. This 75-minute live class will cover what the universal is and why it’s critical to your story, strategies for finding the universal in your memoir, and how to increase your chances of writing a successful memoir.
May 27: Memoir from Memory with Allison K Williams
There’s a powerful truth you need to share on the page, but some of the story is…missing. How can you mine your own memory for sensory detail? What happens when someone else’s memory directly conflicts with yours? And which parts of your past should just remain buried? In this class you’ll learn key strategies for recalling times, places, characters and scenes, and you’ll discover how to navigate real-life relationships with tact and confidence while getting the details you need to tell your story.
June 2: Craft Believable and Compelling Characters with Tiffany Yates Martin
It’s easy to assume that if your story has an interesting enough setup and plot, readers will automatically be invested. But no matter how spectacular the journey you promise them, readers don’t deeply care what’s happening unless they care who it’s happening to. That doesn’t mean your protagonists have to be likable or relatable—but they do need to be fully formed so that they feel believable and multi-faceted, as well as engaging from the very beginning of your story. This class will show you specific ways to invest readers in your main characters and keep them engaged in their journey.
June 4: Find Your Readers with SparkToro with Rand Fishkin
SparkToro is web-based software that crawls tens of millions of social and web profiles to find what (and who) your audience reads, listens to, watches, follows, shares, and talks about online. For authors, it’s a treasure trove of information that can help support book marketing plans and platform development. This live class with SparkToro’s co-founder, Rand Fishkin, will focus specifically on how you can get high-quality market research and audience intelligence without having a huge budget, marketing team, or publicist. We’ll also offer a case study of how to use SparkToro to prepare for a book launch.
June 10: Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less with Jane Friedman
In partnership with Writers Digest: In this two-hour webinar, Jane will teach you how to use WordPress to get your own website up and running in a day or less! If you already have a website or blog, you’ll learn best practices to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. The good news: you don’t have to know any code, understand technical jargon, or have previous experience with websites or blogs.
June 16: Query Letter Master Class with Jane Friedman
The query letter has one purpose, and one purpose only: to seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. Learn the best practices of query writing (in any genre), get personalized feedback, and submit your work with confidence.
June 30: The Pleasures of the Personal Essay with Dinty W. Moore
The personal essay is perhaps the oldest form of nonfiction prose, yet it remains one of the most misunderstood. More than memoir, but able to include elements of one’s own life experience, the personal essay is a wonderfully flexible and creative form, as inventive as the writer wishes it to be. Dinty W. Moore will guide you through examples of the myriad forms that an essay can take, will survey the infinite range of possible topics, and will leave you with useful prompts to help you determine your own essayistic opportunities.
July 28: Past Mastery: How to Reveal Backstory with Roz Morris
Agents and editors report that mishandling of backstory is one of the commonest problems they see in authors’ manuscripts. Introduced in the wrong place, backstory can interrupt the action, losing the reader’s attention. If you don’t give the reader enough, they won’t understand why they should be interested in the story events. Either way, they stop reading. Book doctor Roz Morris will teach you best practices for usage in order to enrich your whole book.
How to Write a Book Proposal: 10-Step Action Plan (self-study course)
This is a comprehensive, self-study course with Jane Friedman on producing nonfiction book proposals in the digital age. The focus is not just on writing a book proposal that will sell the idea, but that will also sell the book when it finally makes its way to market.
The Great Courses: How to Publish Your Book
In the 24 eye-opening lectures of How to Publish Your Book, Jane Friedman provides you with sought-after secrets of the publishing process that will help you navigate this difficult progression, bypass pitfalls that many novice authors get hung up on, and improve your chances of being considered for publication.
Self-study: Become a Ghost-writer
Taught by author Roz Morris: It’s easy to find writing advice. But it’s not easy to get good guidance about how to ghost-write, what’s expected of a ghost-writer and how to avoid the inevitable hazards. This course will teach you how the world of ghost-writing works, how writers get started, how to get commissions, how to pitch to a client, and how to take the project successfully to completion.