Upcoming Classes from RWA San Diego

No matter where you are in your writing career, RWA San Diego has an online class to fit your needs. This month, we’re offering a craft workshop to help those in the query trenches to polish their manuscripts for submission, as well as a business workshop to help published authors market their books.

The Sweet 16 First Lines of Your Manuscript

While it’s obviously important for a manuscript to be polished and presentable from start to finish, it’s crucial that the first page be flawlessly executed. These first sixteen lines of your book are responsible for hooking your readers, and introducing you as a writer. They could mean the difference between a full request and a pass from an agent; they could influence a potential Woman writing in her notebookcustomer to One Click purchase your book or scroll to the next one in the list. Experienced instructor Chris Mandeville will share guidelines, strategies, and advice for tightening up your opening lines, as well as provide individualized critiques of your own first pages. The lecture takes place on Wednesday, March 16th, so sign up today!


Social Media Basics: Twitter and Facebook Page 101

Like, Share, FollowNowadays, social media is a required method of marketing your books, and all authors need to get on board. If you’ve yet to create your Facebook author page or your Twitter feed has been languishing for months, this is the course for you. Taught by author and book blogger, Denise Alicea, you’ll acquire the knowledge to get your own Facebook and Twitter accounts up and running by the end of this two week course. The first class starts Monday, March 14th, so reserve your space while there’s still availability!


If these classes don’t do it for you, don’t forget to check back in next month, when we’ve got even more exciting offerings for writers of all experience levels.


Two Fantastic Classes from RWASD!

Feburary is fast approaching and so are some new classes to help you stretch your writing muscles. Be sure take advantage of your RWASD membership and get that discounted rate. Classes are open to non-members as well so even if you’re not a member yet, you can still participate.

Take a look at what we have to offer!

To register for any of our classes, head on over to  http://rwasd.com/training/index.html


Self-Publishing 101 for the Confused and Terrified

Date: February 128th, 2016

Instructor: Kitty Bucholtz

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Interested in self-publishing but terrified you won’t be able to learn all the steps? Willing to learn new things but confused about where to begin? If your answer is a resounding “Yes!” then Self-Publishing 101 for the Confused and Terrified is the class for you.

Kitty will walk you through the process, from how to start your business to how to get your book up for sale to how to promote yourself and your work. You’ll learn about the business side including tax issues, how to find a cover designer or how to create a cover yourself, how to double- and triple-check your work for errors before publishing, and the least complicated way to create an ebook and upload it to the most retailers. By the end of the class, you will know if this is the path you want to take and, if so, how to make it happen in 2016!

Bio: Kitty Bucholtz writes superhero urban fantasy and romantic comedy, often with an inspirational element woven in. After she earned her MA in Creative Writing, she decided to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher, forming Daydreamer Entertainment and self-publishing her first novel in late 2011. She loves to teach writing workshops online and in person, and she’s the founder of Writer Entrepreneur Guides and the WRITE NOW! Workshop.


Developing Stronger Characters through Journaling

Date: February 821st, 2016

Instructor: Catherine Chant

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $15 Non-members: $20

While exciting events in a book may entertain you, it’s really the characters that grab the your attention and hold it on the page. Strong characters pull you in and keep you invested in the story, turning those pages. Creating a strong character comes from understanding who this imaginary person is inside and out, not just on the surface, and conveying that to the reader. Journaling is a fun way to dig deep enough below the surface to unlock your character’s hidden secrets and bring that character alive on the page.

At the end of this workshop, you will have a better understanding of what makes your main character tick, what drives your character through the story, and how conflict affects character growth and change. You’ll get inside your character’s deepest thoughts and fears to discover what’s missing from his/her life and how to use this to drive your story’s plot to a satisfying conclusion.

The workshop includes exercises with every lesson designed to strengthen the concepts discussed, including several short writing exercises.


Bio: Catherine Chant is an active member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. She worked for fifteen years at Boston College as a computing & communications consultant before becoming a full-time writer and online educator. She is the author of a rock ‘n’ roll time travel series, available at Amazon and other online retailers. She has also written two Vampire Diaries novellas for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds program, and is working on the next young adult novel in her Soul Mates series. She teaches several online workshops for writers throughout the year. You can learn more athttp://www.CatherineChant.com.


Upcoming Classes for November!

Speaking from experience, I have nothing but praise for the classes offered through RWASD. Through them I’ve learned not only tricks of the craft but also about the writing business in general, things you wouldn’t learn in an average classroom. For an up and coming novice like myself, these resources have been a gold mind!

Many of them are taught by our own members. We also reach out and find a wide variety of instructors to give you a diverse selection of topics to choose from. Here are a few wonderful classes coming up for November. Sign up today!

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html for the classes listed below.

Pacing Pride vs. Pacing Robbers

Without proper pace, your stories can sag, drag or just fade away. Proper pace depends on knowing how to make your reader anticipate the next scene, and when to give your reader a moment to take a breath. The workshop will cover in-depth details about the pitfalls of pacing and how to avoid having their pace robbed by certain writing techniques. Participants will learn specific ways to perk up the pace of their novels through grammar styles, setting mood and tone, managing conflict and using point of view subjectively. Includes practical exercises and personalized feedback on participants’ works in progress.

Date: November 229, 2015

Instructor: Kat Duncan

Cost:  San Diego RWA Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Bio: Kat Duncan is a creation extremist who is doing her best to identify human creativity and free it from captivity, one student at a time. As a young child, Kat once tried to confess the telling of her stories to her parish priest because she thought they fit the definition the nuns gave for telling a lie. With her lies fully sanctioned and blessed by church authorities, Kat writes stories to entertain and enlighten. She is a Fulbright Scholar who spent a year in West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kat has a Master’s Degree in Education and over a dozen years of experience teaching students from elementary through college and beyond. Her stories span a range from realistic historicals to quirky suspense. Webpage: http://katduncanwriting.com Blog: http://storygrannies.blogspot.com.

Character Psychology

What makes your characters the people they are? (Besides you, the author.) Personality-building tools include their birth order, mind-body-heart types and Jungian choices — see how each of those contribute to a character who will naturally come into conflict with your hero, heroine and/or villain, and how to resolve those conflicts or make them even worse!

Date: November 1627th, 2015

Instructor: Laurie Schnebly Campbell

Cost:  San Diego RWA Chapter members: $15 Non-members: $20

Bio: Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves teaching writers about issues that draw on her background as a therapist (and a novelist who beat out Nora Roberts for RT’s “Best Special Edition of the Year”). She’s taught classes at WriterUniv.com and live from London to Los Angeles, about creating characters for naturally intriguing plots. Website:  BookLaurie.com

Check it Out: September Workshops

We’re almost halfway through August, which means the “Back to School” season is in full effect. Strolling through Target (or clicking through Amazon), we’re bombarded with images of pencils, notebooks, and backpacks – all the necessary accoutrements for kids gearing up to return to the classroom. As a child, I remember this time of year inspiring mixed emotions: sadness and disappointment about the lazy days of summer coming to an end, but also a nervous excitement about what was to come in September. What new people would I meet? What new experiences would I have? How would this year change me for the better?

The older we get, the easier it is to forget about that feeling of anticipation – the thrill of learning something new and growing as an individual. But just because we’re not in grade school anymore doesn’t mean we can’t recapture that spirit of renewal and enlightenment. We simply have to be more proactive about seeking it out.

Think about it: when was the last time you learned something new?

Well, this September, RWA San Diego has two workshops to help start your school year off on the right foot – one focusing on craft, the other on business – and both are designed to help you grab the attention of editors and readers alike.

CRAFT: Editing

Have you ever cringed after finding an embarrassing typo in your manuscript – after you’ve submitted it to an agent or editor? In How’d I Miss That? Tips and Tricks for Self-Editing, Kathryn Jane aims to show us how to easily avoid situations like this. By learning how to identify common weaknesses in our writing such as inconsistencies, passive voice, clichés, and clunky rhythm, you can be confident you’ll be delivering high-quality prose every time you hit Send.

BUSINESS: Marketing

Eilis Flynn returns to RWA San Diego to teach Marketing Your Book With Key Phrases. This crash course in advertising reveals certain “magic words” that are proven to elicit a reaction from people. By employing them strategically, you’ll be better equipped to hook your readers into buying your books, or entice agents and editors into giving your query letter a second look.

If you’re ready to take your writing career to the next level, then sign up for one of our exciting workshops today.

See you in September!

Check It Out: July Workshops

No matter where we are in our careers as writers, we can always benefit from continued education. If we’re relatively new to the game, it can provide us with the tools we need to establish ourselves in the field. If we’re experienced, it gets us out of our comfort zone and forces us to approach our craft and business from a different perspective. There are a wealth of worthwhile courses available online – including several fantastic workshops being offered through RWA San Diego!

In July, we’re offering two separate courses: one focusing on craft, and one focusing on the business end of things.

CRAFT: World-Building

A crucial element of drawing your readers into your story is by making sure you develop a universe in which they can lose themselves. It has to feel real, without getting bogged down in extraneous details. Challenging, right? Well, we’re offering a workshop to help you develop the skills for building believable fictional worlds, by applying the techniques used by developers of games and video games. The Geeks and Gamers’ Guide to World-Building will be taught by Eilis Flynn, who’s written a number of romantic fantasies, futuristics, and comic books. This unique class begins on July 6th, so hurry up and reserve your spot today!

BUSINESS: Self-Publishing

Are you eager to become a member of PAN? Have you considered self-publishing your work, but don’t know where to start? Then sign up for Self-Publish Your Way to PAN, with successful indie author Morgan Hannah MacDonald. You’ll learn everything from how to prepare your finished product for publication, to where to sell it, and the best methods for marketing it once it’s out there. Hurry: today’s the last day to sign up!

If you’re unable to attend the July workshops, keep in mind we offer them year-round. In the coming months, we’ll feature classes on self-editing, marketing, and web design. Keep checking back on our blog for updates. You won’t want to miss them!

Upcoming Classes at RWASD!

We have some amazing classes coming up in the next two months through RWASD. It’s a perfect time to register and take advantage of the fantastic knowledge at your fingertips. I know I’ll be registering for a few.

Check out the four upcoming classes we are offering!

Medicine Before 1840: What you need to know to heal or kill your characters

Date: June 128, 2015

Instructor: Georgie Lee

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

Radical changes in medicine in the mid 19th century changed the way people dealt with wounds and diseases and helped usher in the age of modern medicine. Before this time, centuries of habit, ancient texts, a lack of understanding about hygiene, germ theory, anatomy and illness dominated treatment and the training of doctors and surgeons.

This class will also offer insight into past medical practices as well as when certain medical techniques and ideas first emerged and could therefore be plausible in a story. We’ll also explore infectious disease, wounds and battlefield medicine using both firsthand accounts and contemporary sources.


A lifelong history buff, award winning author Georgie Lee hasn’t given up hope that she will one day inherit a title and a manor house. Until then, she fulfills her dreams of lords, ladies and a season in London through her stories. When not writing, she can be found reading non-fiction history or watching any movie with a costume and an accent. You can connect with her at www.georgie-lee.com.


Scrivener for Writers

Date: June 1-30, 2015

Instructor: Patrick Haggerty

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

As writers, we’ve all spent time hunched over a keyboard trying to get our thoughts into some word processor. Word processors such as Word and Pages work ok when it comes to writing fiction but their focus is much more on processing your words (layout, font, headers, footers, etc) than on the creative process. Enter Scrivener.

Scrivener is the premier application for the creation of novels, novellas, and like works. It allows you to write your story the way you want and helps you integrate your research, planning, writing, etc. all into one tool. This course will teach you, the writer, how to best use Scrivener for everything from planning your scenes to generating output for your publisher.

Lectures will be presented using recorded videos so you can hear and see as your instructor explains and demonstrates everything you need to become effective with Scrivener. Each lecture will be announced through the email list and will be accompanied by a brief timeline. Students will then be able to use the same forms/list to ask questions, discuss lectures, etc.


After a failed attempt at college and four years in the USMC learning to be a better apex predator, Patrick Haggerty attended Georgia State University where he studied to be an Actuary. Not a very romantic or literary major, but a good paying one. He started consulting on software development and design in 1997 and has spent most of the time since developing and delivering technical training courses for Learning Tree International.

In 2004, while stuck reading a mediocre book in yet another hotel, Patrick decided to try his hand at writing fiction. He may not be published but these days you are much more likely to find him spending his evenings writing romance, than code. Patrick is an active member of RWAmerica, RWAustralia, RW New Zealand, and is President of the Outreach International chapter of the Romance Writers of America.


Self-Publish Your Way to PAN

Date: July 1-22, 2015

Instructor: Karen Ritter

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $20 Non-members: $25

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

In this course you will learn:


Can you self publish your way to the NY Times Best Sellers List?


Editor, formatter, cover designer, etc.


Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, ARe, Kobo, Apple, /Googleplay, D2D, etc.


What is it and will it get my book in bookstores and libraries?


Tags, Description, Categories, Distribution, Royalties and much more.


How Do I Get My Book Noticed?

Why would I want to give your book away for Free?

Is 99 cents the new free

BONUS: Should you turn your books into Audible books?

Bio: Karen J. Ritter supports herself as an indie author. She has published five books to date; SANDMAN, NIGHTSCREAM, LAST SCREAM, SPIRITS IN THE TREES, SPIRITS AMONG US. All her books are on bestsellers lists for their genre. She writes under the pen name of Morgan Hannah MacDonald. Her titles are available in ebook and trade paperback as well as audio book. You can find Karen at http://www.morganhannahmacdonald.com.


Geeks and Gamers’ Guide to Worldbuilding

Date: July 6–19th, 2015

Instructor: Eilis Flynn

Cost: RWA San Diego Chapter members: $15 Non-members: $20

Open to: All

Please register at http://rwasd.com/training/index.html

No matter what you’re writing, you have to make your readers believe in the world you’re writing about. Comic books and video games (and games in general, for that matter) have been particularly successful in doing this. We’ll examine the worlds and universes that comics and games have built, why they work so well (sometimes even across media to film), and how we can use those concepts in our own writing.


Eilis Flynn has worked at a comic book company, a couple of Wall Street brokerage firms, a wire news service, and a magazine for futurists. She’s also dined with a former British prime minister and a famous economist, can claim family ties to the emperor of Japan and the president of a major telecommunications company, and met her husband when he asked her to sign a comic book. She’s written romantic fantasies and futuristics and comic books, as well as articles on finance, mortgage-backed securities, and precious metals. Her most recent book, Wear Black, was cowritten with historical romance author Heather Hiestand and is available at most online retailers. She’s also a professional editor with nearly 40 years of experience. She can be reached ateilisflynn@aol.com.