Workshop Schedule

NEORWA’s 2021 Online Workshops

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January 2021                                                              

Dates:

Workshop Overview:

Presenter Bio:


February 2021

Dates: February 1-26

Psychology 101 for Writers presented by Ivy Quinn

Workshop overview:

This workshop focuses some basics in psychology. The first half will look at how to write characters from neurodiverse backgrounds as well as those who deal with mental illness with sensitivity and accuracy. The second half will look more deeply into forensic psychology, how it ties into the legal system, and in how one can use forensic psychology to help influence and shape their writing, especially for individuals who may be writing romantic suspense.

Presenter Bio:

Margaret Bates was Magna Cum Laude in psychology as an undergraduate at Duke University. During her undergraduate work, she spent six months as an intern at a state hospital for schizophrenics in La Pa, Bolivia. During her graduate work, she spent five years working toward a Ph.D. in developmental psychology with an emphasis in autism intervention therapy and was everything but dissertation at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Currently, she is finishing her Master’s thesis in industrial/organizational psychology at The University of Baltimore with a focus on workplace ostracism and its effects on meaningfulness in life and healthy psychological functioning.


March 2021

Dates: March 1-26

Creating Unforgettable Worlds: World-building in Speculative Fiction presented by Midnight Voss

Workshop overview:

For the writer of any genre of speculative fiction, world-building can be the most vexing or the most rewarding aspect of writing. How to build the world? What to do with all of these details? When to stop building? How to make the world clear and alive for your reader without bogging them down in details? All of these questions and more play a part as you, author/god, create the world in which your characters live, love, act, and die.

In this workshop, you will learn the main strategies for world-building, guiding principles that will keep your world building relevant and lively for both you and the reader, and different methods for working details about your world into your novel.

We’ll help you set up organization for your world-building, in addition to providing a number of activities to flesh out the culture and mechanics of how your world works. Together, we can create worlds that your readers won’t ever want to leave.

Presenter Bio:

Midnight Voss has been writing stories since she was eight years old. More recently, she has worked for several years as a successful ghostwriter and taught and worked with writers on academic and personal projects for over a decade as an instructor and a consultant. Together, she and Ivy Quinn co-authored a dragon-shifter urban fantasy, Frozen Ashes and Smoldering Shards, which appeared in the USA Today Bestselling Sirens and Scales boxset. She prefers to live in fantasy and dystopian worlds rather than contemporary and has taught world-building classes for Maryland Romance Writers. Currently, she is collaborating with Ivy on a revised and expanded edition of Frozen Ashes and starting Lavender Dusk, an f/f vampire series, and an m/m and f/f “Southern Pack” shifter series through Sapphic Alliance Fiction.


April 2021

Dates: April 5-30

Reflective Writing: A Journal Workshop for Writers by Joy Held

Workshop overview:

This workshop will explore the many different ways writers can utilize journaling to document process, clear mental clutter, examine story, and cull ideas from the pages. We’ll look at the journal practices of writers like Sue Grafton, John Steinbeck and others to see how their journals contributed to their output. Participants will receive three journal prompts per week to practice and have ample opportunities to discuss the outcomes and uses of keeping a journal when it comes to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc. We’ll look at what’s out there as far as journaling tools and how keeping a journal provides insight, focus, and positive change. With a bit of research and journal keeping history thrown in, this workshop will expand your ideas on how, why, and when journaling can assist your professional writing and personal growth. Journaling is more than sitting down with a pen/paper or at the keyboard and recounting your day. Reflective writing is a metacognitive process that will free your creative spirit.

Presenter Bio:

Joy E. Held, A.A.S., B.A., M.F.A. is an author, freelance editor, Yoga Alliance Registered yoga and meditation teacher, college English professor, certified Journal to the Self educator, and workshop presenter with over 500 articles published in trade magazines, newspapers, and literary journals. Her historical romance novel, Message to Love, was published in 2010 by The Wild Rose Press. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, Northeast Ohio RWA, and the Author’s Guild. She has degrees in education, journalism, and writing popular fiction. www.joyeheld.com.


May 2021

Dates: May 3-28

Business on a Shoestring presented by Pepper O’Neal

Workshop overview:

This is a class for writers who want to set up and organize their small business. It would also be for the writer who is unsure whether setting up a business for their writing career is advantageous or not. The class will deal will businesses in the US and Canada. It includes: deciding if your writing career is a business or a hobby, what the difference is, and why it matters, how to handle all the business details that come with success, taking advantage of the tax breaks that come from simply finishing the work-in-progress, whether or not setting up a structured small business is the right decision for you, to how to go about setting it up, what kind of business to set up, and how to minimize your tax liability. All on a shoestring. The class lasts four weeks.

Presenter Bio:

Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie. She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad.

O’Neal attributes both her love of adventure and her compulsion to write fiction to her Irish and Cherokee ancestors. When she’s not at her computer, she spends her time taking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of course, planning the next adventure.


June 2021

Dates: June 1-30

Sympathy for the Devils: Using Psychology to Write Compelling Villains Presented by Ivy Quinn

Workshop overview:

Voldemort. Hannibal Lecter. Erik Killmonger. The Dark Phoenix.

Often, the epic scale of a story is defined by the complexity and power of its villains. After all, your protagonists are only as strong and smart as their opposite number. Poor, cardboard villains make for not only boring and predictable stories, but for a lack of competence displayed by all the characters, even the heroic ones. After all, the old saw is usually true, and every villain is the hero of their own story.

In this course, writers will learn to use psychology to understand and craft complex, layered, and morally grey villains who feel as realized and driven as the other characters in their work. We’ll look at personality, motivation, the dark side of leadership and the negative aspects of the cult of personality, and, of course, at psychopathology and overall moral development. This is the course for writers looking to create villains who will captivate their audience.

Presenter Bio:

Margaret Bates was Magna Cum Laude in psychology as an undergraduate at Duke University. During her undergraduate work, she spent six months as an intern at a state hospital for schizophrenics in La Pa, Bolivia. During her graduate work, she spent five years working toward a Ph.D. in developmental psychology with an emphasis in autism intervention therapy and was everything but dissertation at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Currently, she is finishing her Master’s thesis in industrial/organizational psychology at The University of Baltimore with a focus on workplace ostracism and its effects on meaningfulness in life and healthy psychological functioning.


July 2021

Dates: July 5-30

Nuances of Dialogue presented by Sally J. Walker

Workshop overview:

In both prose and dramatic mediums, characters need to speak in a succinct, entertaining manner that moves the story forward. Inner character motivation and personality can be revealed through what is spoken and how.  This workshop will cover diction & syntax, concepts of multi-layered meaning, the difference between speech patterns of male-female speakers, influence of age-education-culture, how to control lecturing and argument orchestration.

Presenter Bio:

Sally Walker’s published credits include literary, romance and western novels, a nonfiction essay collection, several creative writing textbooks, stage plays, poetry, and many magazine articles on the craft of writing, including staff contributions to two international film magazines for 10 years. Her most recent novel, a romantic suspense, BIKES AND BADGES, will be released late in 2018. Under the mentorship of UCLA’s renowned Lew Hunter, Sally has written 33 screenplays and has Hollywood representation. In addition to long time active memberships in such national writing organizations as RWA, WWA and SCBWI, she was president of a state-wide writers organization 2007-2011 and is active in the Nebraska Film Association. She keeps to a strenuous writing schedule and still has time to work as Editorial Director for The Fiction Works, supervising acquisitions and sub-contracted editors. Besides being an adjunct professor of screenwriting at a local community college, Sally has taught writing seminars, both on-site and on-line, for over 30 years and is the facilitator for the weekly meetings of the Nebraska Writers Workshop in Ralston, NE.  For more information on her works and classes go to her website at http://www.sallyjwalker.com


August 2021       

Dates: August 1-31

Advanced WordPress presented by Pepper O’Neal

Workshop overview:

Now that you have your website or blog set up, it’s time to get creative. This course focuses on advanced customizing of WordPress sites. It will include: troubleshooting your site when it crashes, creating custom themes and child themes, allowing users, allowing subscribers, importing and exporting content from different sources, creating user-friendly permalinks, search engine optimization, using the WordPress community forum, and creating a webhost server on your home computer that is not connected to the internet so that you can test ideas in a risk-free environment. The class lasts four weeks.

Presenter Bio:

Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie. She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad.

O’Neal attributes both her love of adventure and her compulsion to write fiction to her Irish and Cherokee ancestors. When she’s not at her computer, she spends her time taking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of course, planning the next adventure.


September 2021

Dates: September 6-30

Hearing Voices 101: Creating Distinct Characters presented by Midnight Voss

Workshop Overview:

Characters who readers tell their friends about. Characters who stay with you long after you’ve put the book down. Every writer wants their characters to resonate with their readers, but too often the gulf between your character sheet and what gets on the final page is too wide.

If you’ve gotten feedback that all of your characters sound the same, or that your characters aren’t distinct, there is hope. In this workshop, we will cover how to layer in distinct details in your characters’ personalities and depicting those details in character voice and action. Exercises will be provided for crafting the perfect voice for your characters, so that you can hear them in your mind as you write them onto the page in dialogue and point of view, allowing your readers to hear them, as well.

Presenter Bio:

Midnight Voss has been writing stories since she was eight years old. More recently, she has worked for several years as a successful ghostwriter and taught and worked with writers on academic and personal projects for over a decade as an instructor and a consultant. Together, she and Ivy Quinn co-authored a dragon-shifter urban fantasy, Frozen Ashes and Smoldering Shards, which appeared in the USA Today Bestselling Sirens and Scales boxset. She prefers to live in fantasy and dystopian worlds rather than contemporary and has taught world-building classes for Maryland Romance Writers. Currently, she is collaborating with Ivy on a revised and expanded edition of Frozen Ashes and starting Lavender Dusk, an f/f vampire series, and an m/m and f/f “Southern Pack” shifter series through Sapphic Alliance Fiction.


October 2021   

Dates: October 4-29

50 Ways to Leave Your Muse: Creativity Hacks presented by Joy Held

Workshop overview:

This fun course presents 50 ways to maintain your creative edge and keep the artistic juices flowing. We take a look at Leonardo da Vinci’s methods for developing creative genius, how writer John Steinbeck utilized journal writing to stay focused on some of his greatest literary works, the science of where ideas come from, and much, much more. Participants will take part in activities and discussions and end the course with a list of resources and ideas to keep enthusiasm high and inspiration flowing. And yes, we will analyze Paul Simon’s song “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

Presenter Bio:

Joy E. Held, A.A.S., B.A., M.F.A. is an author, freelance editor, Yoga Alliance Registered yoga and meditation teacher, college English professor, certified Journal to the Self educator, and workshop presenter with over 500 articles published in trade magazines, newspapers, and literary journals. Her historical romance novel Message to Love was published in 2010 by The Wild Rose Press. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, Northeast Ohio RWA, and the Author’s Guild. She has degrees in education, journalism, and writing popular fiction. www.joyeheld.com.


November 2021

Dates: November 1-30

Fall in Love with NaNoWriMo! presented by NEORWA

NEORWA Authors blast off for the 2020 National Novel Writing Month to add 50,000 words to a page during the month of November.  Join us!  It’s free.    @NEORWA


December 2021

Dates: December 1-31

No workshop scheduled. Happy holidays.

Suggested Reading: 20 Writing Tips to Improve Your Craft by Reedsy

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 See you next year!

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