YARWA Workshops

All of YARWA’s workshops are run online in a Yahoo discussion group. Instructors post their lessons and assignments daily (or near-daily) and students around the globe log in at their leisure to access class materials and participate in discussions. The classes are designed to be as user friendly and accessible as possible. Please join us!

Don’t forget: in order to get the reduced member rate, you must be a member of both YARWA and RWA.

 

YARWA Workshops Scheduled in 2018-2019

January 2019

Introduction to Publicity

  • Dates: January 21 – Feb 1
  • Instructor: Heather Riccio
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: You’ve written a novel, now what? Even if you are with a publishing house, you can benefit from this class. Learn the tricks of the trade. Blog tours are all about visibility, but it’s the reviews that count. You aren’t just selling your novel, you’re selling you. Become friends with your readers and they’ll help you sell, sell, sell. Also, now more than ever, you need to do some form of social media, and do it well. Does that mean you have to have a Twitter account, Facebook account, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram…no, but you do need to have some social presence and need to know how to navigate the one that you choose. Have questions? I have you covered.

About the instructor: Heather Riccio earned her M.F.A. in fiction writing from the University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert Campus, and her B.A. in Liberal Studies (emphasis in English and creative writing) and B.S. in anthropology from the University of California, Riverside. She has worked with Entangled since December 2011, utilizing her strong background in marketing and publicity to work her way up to assistant to publisher. Find her on Twitter @HeatherRiccio.


Introduction to Publicity




January 2019

It’s all in the Details

  • Dates: January 7-18
  • Instructor: Rachael Davila
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: Creating Your Book/Series Bible If the devil is in the details, how do we, as writers, keep them straight? Eye color, hair color, birth order, names… If you get a detail wrong, readers will notice. Whether your book stands alone or is part of a longer series, creating a bible can help you keep track of those pesky details and keep your writing on track. This two week class will take you through the steps to create your own book/series bible.

About the instructor: Rachael Davila, writing as Rachael Davish, has been a virtual assistant for thirteen years and a romance writer for eight. For the last five years, she’s been using her organizing skills to help her fellow authors create and maintain their book/series bibles. When she’s not writing or working, she’s spends time with her husband and two teenagers in sunny San Diego, usually out back poolside.


Its All In The Details




February 2019

Hooks and Cliffhangers, Scene and Sequel

  • Dates: February 4 – March 1
  • Instructor: Alison McMahan
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: Hooks and Cliffhangers, Scene and Sequel
At the structural level, the key elements of pacing are hooks and cliffhangers, scene and sequel, and setups and payoffs. A hook is something that compels the reader to read beyond the first paragraph of the chapter. A cliffhanger compels the reader to read from one chapter to the next. Scene and Sequel is about connecting a cliffhanger with the hook of the chapter that follows it. Setup and payoff have to do with the rhythm of action within a scene or a chapter. In this month-long class we will look at the different types of hooks, the different types of cliffhangers, types of set-up and payoff. Each student should have three continguous scenes from their work-in-progress to work on during the course, (maximum 2500 words). Students are required to read and comment on each other’s work as well as submitting their own.

About the instructor: Alison McMahan is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker, and author. Her most recent film is Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs (2010) narrated by Sam Waterston. Her non-fiction book, Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Bloomsbury 2002), was translated into Spanish and film rights sold. Her historical mystery novel, The Saffron Crocus (Black Opal Books, 2014), won the Rosemary Award and the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Award. Her short mysteries have been anthologized by Level Best Books, Wildside Press, Down-and-Out Books, and in the Scream and Scream Again middle-grade horror anthology edited by R.L. Stine for HarperCollins. Two time Derringer finalist and chosed as one of the “Other Distinguished Mystery Stories” in Best American Mystery Stories of 2018. Represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary.


Hooks and Cliffhangers, Scene and Sequel




March 2019

Beyond Fifty Shades

  • Dates: March 4-29
  • Instructor: Margaret Bates
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: Going from FanFiction to Original Fiction This month-long workshop will lay out the basics. What fan-fiction is, how long it’s been around, and how it’s still relevant for today. It will also cover what can grow from it once an author decides to leave their online persona behind and create a whole new world that is totally their own. This would be a one month course with lessons 2x a week.


Beyond Fifty Shades




April 2019

DIY Book Tours

  • Dates: April 8-19
  • Instructor: Ines Johnson
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: Learn how to DIY your blog tour in six steps which include building a media kit, targeting the right bloggers for your book, tailoring your email to each blogger to break through their slush pile, how to keep records of which sites you’re visiting along with what and when to give them materials, promoting your tour on your social media sites, and following up to ensure you’ll be invited back. Using these techniques with each of my book releases, I was able to launch into the Amazon Top 100 during my release week.

About the instructor: Aside from being a writer and professional reader, Ines Johnson is a seasoned educator. She currently teaches college level courses in screenwriting, story development, and media history for an art college in Washington, DC. A lifelong learner (read: academic addict), she holds a Master’s in Instructional Design, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology. She is banned from getting the MFA in Creative Writing she so desperately wants until both her children are in college.


DIY Book Tours




May 2019

Creating a Book Trailer

  • Dates: May 6-17
  • Instructor: Ines Johnson
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: Book trailers are visual depictions of a book’s storyline, sometimes made by fans, which are a great way to get readers enthused. In this workshop veteran screenwriter turned romance novelist, Ines Johnson, will teach you the four simple steps of writing copy to persuade a potential reader to pick up your book. Then we’ll investigate software to turn that copy into a visual book trailer. And finally, we’ll share our trailers on streaming sites like Youtube and Vimeo.

About the instructor: Aside from being a writer and professional reader, Ines Johnson is a seasoned educator. She currently teaches college level courses in screenwriting, story development, and media history for an art college in Washington, DC. A lifelong learner (read: academic addict), she holds a Master’s in Instructional Design, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology. She is banned from getting the MFA in Creative Writing she so desperately wants until both her children are in college.


Creating a Book Trailer




June 2019

Elevator Pitch and Synopsis

  • Dates: June 17-28
  • Instructor: Alison MacMahan
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: This course will introduce you to all the different summary forms of your novel that you need for marketing. We will start with an overview of different ways of outlining your story (Save the Cat, Structural Elements, Snowflake method). Everyone will produce a one-page (500 words) outline. We will then learn about the short synopsis (used in query letters) the blurb (used on the back cover of books or by reviewers) and last but not least, the one-sentence pitch (used in verbal pitching). Expect t to do homework everyday. Students are required to read and comment on each other’s work as well as submitting their own.

About the instructor: Alison McMahan is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker, and author. Her most recent film is Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs (2010) narrated by Sam Waterston. Her non-fiction book, Alice Guy Blaché, Lost Visionary of the Cinema (Bloomsbury 2002), was translated into Spanish and film rights sold. Her historical mystery novel, The Saffron Crocus (Black Opal Books, 2014), won the Rosemary Award and the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Award. Her short mysteries have been anthologized by Level Best Books, Wildside Press, Down-and-Out Books, and in the Scream and Scream Again middle-grade horror anthology edited by R.L. Stine for HarperCollins. Two time Derringer finalist and chosed as one of the “Other Distinguished Mystery Stories” in Best American Mystery Stories of 2018. Represented by Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary.


Elevator Pitch and Synopsis




July 2019

Scrivener Scene by Scene

  • Dates: July 8-19
  • Instructor: Ines Johnson
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: This course will focus on the basic building blocks of every story; the scene. It’s a course that works bests for plotters, writers who outline their story, and plantsers, writers who have a mental hold on the scope of their story but perhaps not a detailed outline. Writers will learn how to set up each scene in Scrivener, what metadata they should consider to strengthen the structure of each and every one of their scenes, and tips to increase productivity using the software’s myriad of tools.

About the instructor: Aside from being a writer and professional reader, Ines Johnson is a seasoned educator. She currently teaches college level courses in screenwriting, story development, and media history for an art college in Washington, DC. A lifelong learner (read: academic addict), she holds a Master’s in Instructional Design, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology. She is banned from getting the MFA in Creative Writing she so desperately wants until both her children are in college.


Scrivener Scene by Scene




August 2019

Serializing: Using the Structure of Episodic Television to Craft Your Serialized Novel

  • Dates: August 12-23
  • Instructor: Ines Johnson
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: Shows like Scandal and The Walking Dead pride themselves on the jaw dropping final few seconds of the show which have viewers eager to tune in the next week. Never hear another complaint about a cliffhanger ending again when you learn to plot your serialized novel like a season of a television show. Let veteran television writer, Ines Johnson teach you her twelve-point method to structure each episode of your serial. Then go further by planning the 6 to 12 episodes of the season of your story.

About the instructor: Aside from being a writer and professional reader, Ines Johnson is a seasoned educator. She currently teaches college level courses in screenwriting, story development, and media history for an art college in Washington, DC. A lifelong learner (read: academic addict), she holds a Master’s in Instructional Design, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology. She is banned from getting the MFA in Creative Writing she so desperately wants until both her children are in college.


Serializing




September 2019

Writing Novellas Quickly

  • Dates: September 3-27
  • Instructor: Margaret Bates
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: This month-long workshop will show you how to quickly write the first draft of novellas — 30-40k word stories in 7-10 days. Learn how to understand your writing schedule and the best times for writing, tricks for concentrating, how to outline, and strategies for getting it done and making sure you get through a novella when other things are pressing on you and responsibilities clash with your writing. This would be a one month course with lessons 2x a week.


Writing Novels Quickly




October 2019

The Essentials of Plotting and Characterization

  • Dates: October 7 – November 1
  • Instructor: Tambra Kendal
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: In this four week course, we will discuss how to plot, what keeps it moving, and how storytellers drag readers into a fictional world and keep them there. We’ll learn point of view, story structure, pacing, worldbuilding, how to connect the beginning, middle and end, and more.

About the instructor: Tambra is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the following chapters: Northwest Houston, Kiss of Death Romantic Suspense, Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal and Hearts Through History, which pretty much sums up what she writes and loves to read.
Her publishing credits include nonfiction: magazine, newspaper and trade publications as well as a specialty children’s book on ADHD she wrote, illustrated and published. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and I have an Associate of Arts in English from San Jacinto College.


Plotting and Characterization




November 2019

Writing YA/NA Historical Romance

  • Dates: November 4-29
  • Instructor: Lynn Lovegreen
  • Cost: T/B/D

About the course: Can you just throw Bella or Katniss into the nineteenth century to create a historical romance? This four-week workshop will provide the skills an author needs to write a historical romance with young characters. In this course, we will practice writing romance grounded in historical fact. We will consider setting, character, and plot points, and ensure the language is appropriate for the story. Part of our discussion will include how young women had more limitations in the past, sexuality has changed over the years, and that adolescence was seen differently way back when. We will also discuss researching and weaving in historical information. While Lynn will provide lectures and short homework assignments, participants will be encouraged to add to the conversation with their own ideas and knowledge.

About the instructor: Lynn Lovegreen writes YA/NA historical romance set in Alaska. Her Gold Rush series was published by Prism Book Group. Lynn can be contacted on the YARWA loop, at lynnlovegreen@gmail.com, or on Twitter @lynnlovegreen


Writing YA/NA Historical Romance




Questions?

For any questions, please contact Christine Gunderson, YARWA’s VP of Programs at vp-programs@yarwa.com.

Interested in teaching for YARWA?

We are interested in workshops in ALL areas including:

  • Craft
  • Plotting
  • Character development
  • GMC
  • Writing scenes
  • Planning/writing sequels/series
  • Deep POV
  • Marketing/branding
  • Writing romance
  • Blogging
  • Self-publishing
  • Getting into school and library markets
  • Teen/YA-specific topics

All our classes occur on-line, via a private YARWA Yahoo loop. Classes can range in length from 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, or more. YARWA splits the proceeds of each class 50/50 with the instructor.

Please submit all proposals to Christine Gunderson, YARWA’s VP of Programs at vp-programs@yarwa.com along with the following information:

  • Name of Instructor
  • Title/Brief Description of Workshop
  • Bio
  • Dates you are available to teach the course

 

Thank you for considering YARWA!