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Game on - Getting to Work: Tools to Reignite Your Creative Passion
The creative process and the business of publishing are not easy bedfellows. This is a class for writers who are procrastinating, blocked, overwhelmed, or just tired of suffering for their art. Do you have writing goals you're not meeting? Maybe you've thought about entering the RMFW Colorado Gold contest or want to have a complete manuscript to pitch at conference, but find yourself procrastinating, avoiding, and streaming Netflix instead. Maybe you've tried the daily butt-in-chair thing and failed. If so, you are not alone, and it doesn't make you a super slacker. Creativity is a non-linear process that sometimes rebels against discipline. So stop beating yourself up and join me in a class that will help you understand what is blocking you and give you individualized tools to get you back to the page.
Kerry Schafer is a multiply published author, an RN, a mental health counselor, and a creativity coach. Her first book was published by Penguin Random House in 2012, and she has since then published seven additional novels and three novellas through a mix of large presses, small presses, and Indie, while still working a day job. She knows from the inside out the pressure and anxiety inherent in the publishing process and how it can crush a writer's spirit and block their work. She is on a mission to help other authors get past writing blocks so they can reclaim their joy in the creative process.
March 4 - 24, 2018
Writing A Winning Contest Entry
Contests, such as the coming Colorado Gold, are an important part of the writer's journey. Contests provide the author with exposure and oftentimes, the final entries are judged by agents and editors. This two week online class will review the various elements judged in the Colorado Gold Writing Contest as well as offer participants a chance to submit samples of their work for feedback.
Lessons will include:
- Selecting the correct genre for your entry
- Point Of View
- Scene Craft
Whether you choose to enter contests or simply improve your writing skills, this is the class for you.
Karen Duvall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five incredibly spoiled pets. Harlequin Luna published her Knight’s Curse series in 2011 and 2012, and her post- apocalyptic novella, Sun Storm, appeared in Luna’s ‘Til The World Ends anthology in January 2013. Her self-published novels include Desert Guardian (romantic suspense), and Demon Fare (urban fantasy).
Karen serves on the board of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers as co-chair for the Colorado Gold Writing Contest. She’s a member of Women’s Fiction Writers of America and is one of three finalists for women’s fiction in the Emma Merritt Contest, sponsored by San Antonio Romance Authors, with her unpublished novel, Unforgettable.
Karen is represented by the McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency in New York City.
April 1 - 14, 2018
The Dreaded Synopsis Workshop
Sure, some people like to write a synopsis. For most writers, the task is about as appealing as jumping into a frozen lake during sub-zero weather--even though some people like that, too. How is a writer to choose among all the conflicting rules, such as a synopsis should be no longer than 3 / 5 / 8 /10 pages (would somebody please decide)? Condensing this much from a whole long novel seems impossible, right? You may be thinking, why not simply read the story?
This workshop helps participants identify the elements required to put together a solid synopsis without it feeling like stuffing a king size foam mattress back into that tiny plastic bag that it arrived in. Workshop participants leave with a workbook that provides concrete reminders of the steps and the techniques that help deconstruct a story to reveal the elements that should be included in a synopsis. The class will end with participants final project writing … the not-so dreaded synopsis
Sharon Mignerey has always known that she wanted to be a story-teller from the time she learned in second grade that spelling words could be turned into stories. She has been a member of RMFW since 1984 and says she became an “instant success” in 1995 when, within 30 days, she sold two books and won RWA’s Golden Heart award for unpublished writers. Since then, her career has had the usual ups and downs typical for most writers, which has culminated in 11 published novels and several more under submission. She regards RMFW as her writing home and loves giving back to the organization. She is a well-known and sought after speaker on the craft of writing and motivation. She has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction and has had articles published in the Writer Magazine.
April 15 - 28, 2018
Been There Done That: Writing Effective Flashbacks
We’ll define backstory, why, when and how to use it through dialogue, dramatic narrative, and flashback. We’ll also address the grammar and the “politics” of flashbacks. We’ll discuss the decision to bring insight from past to present using flashback technique. Flashbacks for the character’s sake--adding depth to character, for the story’s sake-filling in gaps, for the writing sake--creating a fully realized story world, instances when a flashbacks work, instances when flashbacks won’t work, dos and don’ts when writing flashbacks, making the grammar work, setting up for the flashback, and we’ll offer examples of flashback triggers and devices - match cutting, use of senses, etc. We’ll also address longer vs. shorter flashbacks, how early is too early for a flashback, editors’ and agents’ attitudes toward flashbacks, and what to do if you are told to nix your flashback. We’ll discuss examples offered by “attendees.”
Karen Lin is a freelance editor for award-winning and best-selling authors. She's a pitch coach, produced screenwriter, script doctor, speaker (cruise ships, conferences, retreats) and an award-winning author of screenplays, novels, narrative nonfiction, literary cookbooks, shorts, essays and articles for magazines. She’s a blog columnist and has worked with top New York agents on projects ranging from novels and literary cookbooks to celebrity ghost projects. Through a Hollywood agent, her award-winning screenplays have been considered by Barry Sonnenfeld, James Cameron, HBO, Showtime, and the Sy-fi channel.
Find out more at www.karenalbrightlin.com
March 12-25, 2017
Unlocking the Keys to a Great First Chapter
Whether you are planning to traditionally publish or self-publish, this workshop will examine the importance of a first chapter for pitching to an editor/agent/publisher, and in grabbing (and keeping) the attention of your audience. We will walk through what to do, and what not to do, when writing your first chapter or prologue, and review examples of the good, the bad, and the truly ugly of books that have already been published. At the end of the course, you will have the opportunity to submit your first chapter for critique by the class!
Julie Cameron is an award-winning author and screenwriter of contemporary romance and romantic comedy. She has been a member of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA) since before her first book was published in 2015, and a member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop since 2012. She is also a member of Heart of Denver (HOD), and served as Secretary of the Board for Colorado Romance Writers (CRW) for 2016/2017. She also does content/development editing, coaching for writers.
February 4 – 17, 2018
Write an Amazing Short Story in Two Weeks
Are you ready to write a short story? Do you want to write one that editors will fight other editors to publish? Learn what it takes to write short stories that will linger in your reader’s hearts and minds the way good novels do, even though your story might have taken only minutes to read. Over a two-week period, you will learn about plotting and pants-ing, crafting compelling characters, beginnings, middles and ends, and the one thing that makes a good story great. You’ll also discuss story writing methods while Saytchyn guides you through steps to find what works best for you. Come prepared with just a kernel of an idea for your story and she’ll help you turn it into a story your readers will never forget.
Saytchyn Maddux-Creech survived the MFA program at Colorado State University with her love of all things creepy intact. She writes horror, fantasy, and mystery with a literary accent. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary and genre magazines under her own name and the name Sandra Maddux-Creech. You can find her most recent work in Petrichor Machine, Typehouse Literary Review, and Menacing Hedge, as well as in the award-winning anthology, Found.
December 2 - 17, 2017
Stepping Back—A Look into Today’s Historical Fiction
Think you want to write historical fiction? The genre is not what it used to be. Today’s historical fiction is a complex collection of genres and sub-genres with a variety of popular styles. Learn to identify where your material best fits, the basic common elements, variations in approach and style, research expectations, and complications you may encounter.
The 2010 RMFW Writer of the Year, Pamela Nowak has a B.A. in history. Her historical romance novels have won the WILLA Finalist Award, the Colorado Book Award, the HOLT Medallion, and HOLT Awards of Merit. Now at work on a women’s historical fiction novel, she has become increasingly aware that there is no such thing as one way to write historical fiction.
November 5 – 18
Unmask Your Character’s Voice Through Deep Point of View
If you believe it to be true, it’s true. That’s an old saying which simply means your beliefs are your reality. Thank goodness for that or this would be a pretty boring world. Well, your characters are no different. Their lives and actions are built on their beliefs. Point of view is the lens an author uses to narrate a story which allows the reader to hear and see what a character is feeling or thinking at any given moment. Deep character POV takes average writing and breathes life into your character’s voice to give readers an engaging read, page after page, scene by scene.
This class will start with the basics of point of view. What is it? Which point of view is best for your book? We’ll step into the therapist’s office and plop down on the couch and dig into your character’s minds. How do you, as the author, show and develop strong character voice? Do all your characters believe the same things, act the same way or sound the same? Who should the POV character be in a scene? Do they reveal all or nothing? These are just a few of the points we’ll cover with exercises and live chats.
A long-time member of RMFW, Peggy Waide entered her first Regency romance in the RMFW Colorado Gold Contest. The judging editor offered her a contract. Dreams do come true! She has published four titles with Leisure Books. Montlake now publishes her titles. She is currently shopping an Amateur Sleuth mystery and wrapping up a contemporary romance. She has also presented workshops at RMFW Gold Conference on time management, pitching to editors and agents, writing in layers, plotting and point of view as well as running RMFW conference for two years.
May 7 - 20, 2017
Want to Turn Your Novel Into a Screenplay?
Karen Albright Lin
Delve into this very different approach to storytelling and the unique challenges to breaking in. Explore how this collaborative industry works: coverage, finding representation (agents, managers, entertainment attorneys, and the cons - such as stable agents), define options vs. sales, story expectations and the unique format of the film script. Karen is a script doctor, produced screenwriter and writer-for-hire. She's learned some of the rough spots of the industry first hand, and will share her insights. We'll cover book to film requirements, the three act structure (including sequences, plot points, length and format requirements), how to protect your work, high concept, marketing (including trades, directories, networking opportunities like professional organizations such as CO Actors & Screenwriters Assembly, contests, lead services, the best reference books and websites). Also screenwriting software, collaboration and rewriting credit. What is a meeting? Outright Sale versus Development Deals and Auditions. Managers versus Agents, WGA signatories, producers, directors, script consultants, coverage, sample scripts, spec scripts and Writer for Hire. We'll discuss "attendee's" stories and how they might work as screenplays.
Karen is a freelance editor for award-winning and best-selling authors. She's a pitch coach, produced screenwriter, script doctor, speaker (cruise ships, conferences, retreats) and an award-winning author of screenplays, novels, narrative nonfiction, literary cookbooks, shorts, essays and articles for magazines. She’s a blog columnist and has worked with top New York agents on projects ranging from novels and literary cookbooks to celebrity ghost projects. Through a Hollywood agent, her award-winning screenplays have been considered by Barry Sonnenfeld, James Cameron, HBO, Showtime, and the Sy-fi channel. Find out more at www.karenalbrightlin.com.
June 4 - 17, 2017