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our 2014 fall workshop schedule
will be held at the Writers' Cottage (317 NW Gilman Blvd, Space #8, Issaquah, WA 98027)

Click here to register online
(or download form here)

(one-day workshops: $50 each for current PNWA members; $75 for nonmembers)

Food and Wine Writing Class
Presented by Nick O'Connell
Saturday, October 25, 2014
1:00 - 3:00 pm

Published author, Nick O’Connell, will explain the art of food writing, and how to bring the pleasures of the palate to life on the page. Using the storytelling techniques popularized by outstanding food writers like Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain and Jeffery Steingarten, participants will learn to craft vivid descriptions of wine and cuisine and show how they’re an expression of personality, place and culture. The course will introduce you to the fundamental techniques of food writing, including scenes, character sketches, dialogue, and point of view, and advise you on how to pitch your stories to an appropriate magazine, newspaper or website.

Creating Original Worlds
Presented by Lindsay Schopfer
Saturday, November 1, 2014
1:00 - 3:00 pm

Each time a writer begins a new story they have an opportunity to take their readers to places they have never been before. This technique in world building is not exclusive to writing fantasy or science fiction. Creating the world for your character is critical, whether you are writing a series that takes place on a distant planet, or in your own backyard. Participants in this course will learn creative ways to do their world building, and answer some essential questions as to why they feel that their world must take place in Seattle, Washington, instead of Dallas, Texas, or the planet Venus, instead of a planet far, far away.

Freelance Article Writing: Get Paid to Write
Presented by Terry Persun
Saturday, November 15, 2014
1:00 - 3:00 pm

Published author, Terry Persun, will discuss how to get paid to write articles. There are magazines, newsletters, websites, and newspapers that cover literally every subject you can think up. These venues need material daily to continue publishing. Think of the magazines you read and love, and the subjects you know and understand, and start putting the two together. Whether your interest is in craft-making and fiber products, or electronics and software there are general and niche markets that need content. This session will discuss the details needed to enter into the market of writing for the many publications and website looking for your work.

Memoir Course
(or download course form here - 2pgs)

Your Life is a Story: Find the Theme
Beginning October 7th - Ending November 4th
Presented by William Kenower
Five-week memoir series
($200 for PNWA members; $275 for nonmembers)
Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 9:30 pm

Course Description: Your life is a story, and if told correctly, a very interesting one. There is an art to taking the sprawling events of your life and reducing them down to a compelling memoir. In this 5-week class, we will look at how to find, structure, and sell your memoir. What’s more, using Bill Kenower’s unique inside-out approach to writing, we will learn how to successfully sustain your work for the months or even years it takes to finish manuscript. We will discuss the three narrative arcs in every scene and story, how to use contrast to accentuate meaning, the power of detail to amplify emotion, and how to write about some of the the most difficult moments in our life.

After the First Draft
Beginning October 1th - Ending December 3rd
Presented by Pam Binder
Ten-week fiction series
($400 for PNWA members; $500 for nonmembers)
Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 9:30 pm

Turn your story ideas, character outlines and scenes into a polished novel.

  • The Fall Course will concentrate on the beginning 1/3 of your novel.
  • The Winter Course the second third or sagging middle
  • The Spring course will concentrate on the end of your novel.

Class Concentration:  (Please note that each quarter will concentrate on the important scenes in the beginning, middle and end of your novel).

  • The Role of Character. How do you determine if your characters are essential to the story?  Do you have too many, or not enough?
  • The Art of Suspense.  Climax points, background sections, chapter openings and closings, the rise and fall of a scene and the book’s time line will be addressed as it pertains to your novel as a whole.  Does the suspense develop in a believable sequence? How strong is your story conclusion?
  • The Plot, Pacing and Character Outline.  How well-planned are the events of your story?  Are the incidents interrelated?  Does each scene propel the story forward? We will also discuss how to merge both the plot outline with your character outline to create a memorable novel.
  • The Evolution of Ideas.  It is not uncommon for your book to change as you get more deeply into it.  But how do you know if the changes are solid and should remain, or if they have derailed your story completely?
  • High Concept.  What is a great book?  Does your novel go the distance?  Is it high concept, or hum-drum?  How to tell the difference and take steps to make sure you’ve written a break-out-novel.  
  • Theme is a novel’s backbone. It is what we remember long after we have finished the book.  If we can’t put it into words, we at least have a sense of what the story was about.  Do you know what your story is about? Can you put it into five words or less?  Learn how to both identify your theme as well as strengthen it in every scene.   
  • Publishing Options;  We will discuss the author’s publishing options --Traditional vs self and assisted self publishing, how to prepare a book proposal and marketing plan, the role of social media in an author’s career, and the most important thing an author can do to advance his career.
  • Point of View.  Is your point of view consistent?  Is your narrative voice consistent?  Can you tell the difference between character’s point of view and narrative’s point of view? Point of view is tricky, but essential to get right.   Learn how to evaluate point of view in your novel objectively.
  • Setting.  How does the setting enhance the plot?  Do your characters interact with your novel’s setting, or do you drop in the setting and then forget about it?
  • Dialogue.  How well does your dialogue flow?  Is it easy to read?  Does each character have a distinct way of speaking that makes them easily recognizable?  Is the dialogue and action balanced and appropriate for each scene or the story as a whole?


Class structure: 

  • Critique groups will be established as part of the class structure.
  • Students may submit three pages of new work each week for instructor’s feedback.
  • Writing exercises each class.
  • Individual instructor feedback.


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10/25/2014 » 11/15/2014
Fall Workshop Series

A PNWA Literary Contest Primer

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Writers' Cottage 317 NW Gilman Blvd., Ste. 8, Issaquah, WA 98027

PMB 2717 - 1420 NW Gilman Blvd, Ste. 2,
Issaquah, WA 98027

Phone: (425) 673-2665