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:
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been appointed to the faculty at To Write Well—an online private educational organization devoted to teaching the craft of writing through workshops that go deeper than the basics.
Here’s the official announcement: http://lmdonovan.wordpress.com/tww-2/welcome-kristi-petersen-schoonover-to-our-tww-faculty/
Between now and next October, To Write Well will offer five sections of a ten-week course in Paranormal Fiction. I’ll teach Part 1 – Grasping the Ghost Story, and fellow writer C.L. Ross will teach Part 2, which will delve into other types of paranormal fiction and lore (vampires, werewolves, etc.) As of this writing, it’s the only Paranormal Fiction course being offered anywhere.
As for what will be covered in Grasping the Ghost Story: Ghost stories exist to unsettle and terrify—but in order for that to happen, certain subtle elements must be present. Using a literary approach with an eye toward Poe’s Single Effect Theory, Grasping the Ghost Story will illumine the finer points of creating such subtlety. Close readings, critical responses, exercises, and free-writing will hone the student’s recognition and command of what is the very essence of a good ghost story—one that will haunt the reader long after he’s turned out the lights.
Students taking this course will enter with a draft of a ghost story that they’re working on, and it will be assumed that the student has a solid understanding of the basic and advanced elements of fiction. Since the ghost story is the foundation for other types of paranormal fiction, this course will be required before signing up for Part 2.
I’m tremendously excited about this opportunity—it’s a chance to work in what I really love!