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

workshops (download form here)
(one-day workshops: $50 each for current PNWA members; $60 for nonmembers)

Making the Most of Your Writing Time
Presented by Lindsay Schopfer
Friday, May 2, 2014
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

“I only write when I’m inspired, and I make sure I’m inspired every morning at 9 a.m.” Come and learn how to turn off your inner critic and make the most of the time that you set aside to practice your craft. Participants in this course will learn how to create a writing-friendly environment, how to manage their writing time, how to prepare for their writing time, and how to set organic goals that will measure success rather than focus on artificial deadlines.

Finding Your Story

Presented by William Kenower
Saturday, May 3, 2014
1:00 - 3:00 pm

The nonfiction writer is drawing from all of life. That’s a lot to choose from. How do you identify which stories should be told and which should be left untold? In this first class, we will look at how we know which stories are the ones for us and how best to begin telling those stories.

Unlocking Character Motivation

Presented by Lindsay Schopfer
Friday, May 16, 2014
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Motivation is the fuel that allows a character to make the long journey from a story’s beginning to its ending. No other character trait will prove more useful to the writer in determining a story’s structure, pacing, mood, and theme. Participants in this course will learn how to identify character needs, how to create motivation for both protagonists and antagonists, how to increase pacing through motivation,
and how to make a character’s motivation evolve throughout the story.

Structuring Your Story
Presented by William Kenower
Saturday, May 17, 2014
1:00 - 3:00 pm

Real life is never as tidy as the stories we tell about it. The memoirist and narrative nonfiction writer must find a way to reduce the life and the world they know into something compelling and focused. In this class, we will look at how we take the sprawling business of reality and give it a theme and a beginning, middle, and end.

Selling Your Story
Presented by William Kenower
Saturday, May 31, 2014
1:00 - 3:00 pm

If you’re telling a story you love, you should share it with other people. This is also called selling a book. In this class, we will look at how to write query letters and proposals, pitch your book at a writer’s conference, build a platform, and negotiate the numerous emotional pitfalls that arise whenever we try to sell something near and dear to us.
quarter course (download form here)
DATE CHANGE: Beginning April 22nd - Ending June 24th
Presented by Pam Binder

Ten-week course
($400 for PNWA members; $500 for nonmembers)
Tuesday evenings from 6:30 - 9:30 pm

Course requirements:
Must have a completed draft or taken a class from Pam.

Polishing Your Novel
(below is a syllabus overview)

Creating a Production Schedule (week 1)
Learn how to stay on task and make the most of the 10-week intensive. Each person will identify their own strategy for meeting the intensive goals. We will also discuss how to determine the effectiveness of your opening, and assign critique partners.

The Role of Character (week 2)
How do you determine if your characters are essential to the story? Do you have too many, or not enough?

The Art of Suspense (week 3)
Climax points, background sections, chapter openings and closings, the rise and fall of a scene and the book’s timeline 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 (week 4)
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 (week 5)
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 - Does Your Novel Go the Distance? (week 6)
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 (week 7)
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.

Beginning in week seven, we will discuss the pitch, query letters, synopses, book proposals and how to research agents and editors, as well as options in self-publishing and marketing your novel.

Point of View - Character vs Narrative (week 8)
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.

How Does Setting Enhance Plot? (week 9)
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?

Creating a Balance Between Dialogue & Action (week 10)
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?


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Selling Your Story

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7/17/2014 » 7/20/2014
2014 Conference Registration

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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