Back to class! I’m thrilled to announce Trisha J. Wooldridge and I will be hosting an online Master Toolbox Series for writers that micro-focuses on specific skills. There’s one session a month and, at $35/each, they’re affordable; you can take just one, multiples, or, if you wish, all of them at a discounted price. They’re also keyed to any skill level. Proceeds support both the New England Horror Writers and 34 Orchard. Details and how to register below.
Tools of the writing trade need a sharpen? Need to pick up some new ones? No worries! Beginning in September, 2022 and monthly through February, 2023, the New England Horror Writers will present two hour Zoom webinars (which will include exercises and time for Q&A) that delve deep into the specifics of craft and business skills!
Open to the general public and NEHW members, each class will focus on a specific topic. Instructors are Kristi Petersen Schoonover and Trisha J. Wooldridge.
If you’re looking to build some new skills, these micro-focused, affordable classes are the way to go—and yes, we have plans to offer subsequent sessions with different topics every fall-winter going forward!
Here’s the full schedule:
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 – 7—9 pm
Story Openings Blueprint
We’ve only got one sentence to hammer that “you must keep reading me!” message home—and many writers don’t realize that sometimes, a piece getting moved out of slush is dependent on the strength of that one sentence. From do’s and don’ts to mining and can’t-miss criteria, this class gives the blueprint for great openers.
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – 7—9 pm
Excess Hardware: Wordiness and Filter Phrases
We build stories from words and phrases—but sometimes we use more hardware than necessary to get the job done! This course teaches how to thoroughly inspect the piece to identify extra words and filter phrases and how to remove them for a cleaner reading experience.
Wednesday, November 16, 2022 – 7—9 pm
EnTITLEment: Top-Notch Titles
A title isn’t just a label in My Documents. A good one should tell the editor or reader something about the story—right down to its tone. EnTITLEment provides the tools to nail a top-notch title every time, so that it not only stands out in an editor’s inbox—it pops in a ToC!
Wednesday, December 14 – 7—9pm
The Architecture of the Submissions Process
There’s more to the submissions process than just clicking send. We’ll offer plenty of insider tips on everything from formatting, market searching and close reading of guidelines to cover letters and bios to ensure pieces get considered. We’ll also cover other mechanics like tracking and how to develop structured—but easy—processes that guarantee we don’t inadvertently screw ourselves.
Wednesday, January 25 – 7—9pm
At best, dialogue can say a lot about characters, make them leap off the page, and be incredibly memorable; at worst, it can waterlog the pacing, tell instead of show, turn the story into a boring lecture and quite literally, say nothing. We’ll not only study how to write effective dialogue that makes characters feel organic, we’ll look at formatting, dos and don’ts, and how to make choices about what comes out of people’s mouths.
Wednesday, February 22 – 7—9pm
When it comes to theme, many of us probably didn’t feel like the sharpest tool in the shed that was high school English—but as writers, understanding theme is crucial: it’s the support beam of the story. We’ve got a fool-proof, easy way to identify theme and thematic statement, and we’ll teach its use in building a story that will stand the test of time.
Class materials will be sent to registrants ahead of time via email and are included in the $25 NEHW Member/$35 NON-NEHW Member fees. You can sign up for any combination of classes. Want to buy access to ALL SIX webinars? You can do that too: Member price for all six webinars is $130; Non-member price is $175.
Registration for NEHW Members:
Registration for Non-paid Members:
Many writers pull their inspiration from childhood; fortunately, I had plenty of urban legends in mine–many surrounding Candlewood Lake.
New England Horror Writers recently posted a collection of these tales I put together: “Seven Creepy Tales of Candlewood Lake.” You can read them here: http://nehw.blogspot.com/2016/08/legends-of-candlewood-lake-guest-blog.html
If you grew up on or near the lake, do you remember any of these? I asked a few people when I was working on this and found out that yes, many do (everyone, especially, seems to recall the one about “The Kids in the Pipe” up at Lynn Deming)…and almost no one didn’t know Chicken Rock!
Anyway, enjoy! If you remember any of this, feel free to share in the comments below.