• New authors know their tales are good. The question is, how long can you make the reader wait before showing them the proof? Will Hahn looks at some great first lines in famous novels, and demonstrates what choices you have, the many things you can accomplish right in the first sentence of your tale. There will be free writes to practice the concepts presented, and time for exchange of ideas and draft first sentences, as well as Q&A. About the Writer   Will Hahn is the Chronicler of the Lands of Hope tales, an epic fantasy world setting bursting with a […]

  • Strategies for Self-Editing: Your first draft is complete. What now? This workshop will give practical tips on revising, polishing, and proofing at two levels: macro (big picture) and micro (small details).  Macro will address story structure, plotting, characterization, and setting. Micro will examine your writing as paragraphs, sentences, and words. Bring a story or chapter in progress for practice. About the Writer     Ramona DeFelice Long is an author, editor, and writing instructor. As an author, her short fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction work have appeared in numerous regional and literary publications, and she’s worked over hundreds of manuscripts […]

  • In this workshop, learn the major reasons you should write short fiction for anthologies—and how this can enhance your freelance writing career. What makes an anthology editor decide “yes” on a submitted story? What gets a definitive “no”? We’ll share ways to increase your odds for acceptance. We’ll also discuss how to work with an editor after your story is accepted, and how to promote your work after the anthology hits the market. About the Writer Weldon Burge In 2012, Weldon Burge and his wife Cindy founded Smart Rhino Publications, an indie publishing company in Delaware that primarily publishes horror […]

  • This workshop will take place before the start of the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season. As this can be a particularly difficult time for some, it is a good time for the Writing for Healing workshop. Writing is a wonderful tool for organizing thoughts and expressing feelings in a constructive and safe way. Recording thoughts, experiences, and feelings in a daily journal, writing letters, starting a memoir or a collection of poetry are just some of the ways that writing can help with healing. In this workshop, we will discuss the benefits of writing in coping with emotional and/or physical pain. Participants will […]

  • Once a reader finds a writer they enjoy and can count on for a “good read,” they tend to read that writer “in depth,” meaning they read everything else he or she has written. Writing a series builds loyalty among readers and sends them back hungry for additional stories featuring the same characters. That increases sales and keeps writers writing, so … If you are writing a novel, or thinking about writing one, and you think it has the potential to be a series, this workshop is for you. Learn how to craft characters, continuing relationships, and settings that resonate with readers. […]

  • Creative nonfiction writing is described as a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. This workshop will discuss examples of creative nonfiction from several writers including the instructor, highlight the differences between creative nonfiction and other genres, such as historical fiction or news reporting, and emphasize that accomplished creative writing can apply to many genres, including this one. Developing a skill for writing about people that makes them come alive, and building a robust and believable background for the real or imagined world they inhabit, are essential to making it work in creative […]

  • Who doesn’t like to talk about food? There are many different approaches to food writing and in this interactive workshop we’ll explore several of them. After examining illustrative examples, participants will experiment with a variety of ways to bring a tasty dish to life on the page. We’ll cover a number of forms (food blogs, cooking columns, restaurant reviews and specialty cookbooks) as well as how to incorporate food into your writing. We will briefly cover markets with publishing opportunities for food writing.   About the Writer Denise Clemons has written a weekly food column for the Cape Gazette newspaper […]

  • Playwright Lisa Lutwyche explores five elements of creating scripts for the stage. The audience has to sit there and listen, in the dark. What are we offering to them? We will discuss what it means to write in “real time,” how to create memorable, believable characters, how to “hear” their dialogue, an understanding of how many things we mean by “setting,” and how to create the stakes for true “tension” that will keep audiences on the edges of their seats. Here is how the class will break down: Understanding “Real Time”: A stage play can only exist in real time. […]

  • Even experienced writers make mistakes, but good writers learn to avoid the errors commonly made by novices that turn off editors, publishers, and readers. This workshop will cover a wide range of issues and provide hands-on exercises to help you identify flaws in your writing and learn how to fix them. Topics will include story, characterization, point of view, and writing mechanics. You will come away with an understanding of practical ways to improve your writing as well as some handy hacks, checklists, and resources. About the Writer Nancy (Day) Sakaduski is an award-winning writer, editor, and owner of Cat […]

  • Billie Travalini

    Flash fiction is part narrative and part poetry. Most flash fiction is under 1,000 words, but do not focus on word count. Do focus on beginning at a point of high conflict—usually an image–and not letting go until the image takes you where it wants you to go and says what it wants you to say. In this interactive workshop, we will discuss a few successful flash fiction stories and then work with prompts to create stories that play against expectations and force us (much as poetry does) to pay close attention to every word, sentence, and gesture.   About Billie […]

  • Learn how much the Delaware Division of the Arts has to offer to writers and how easy it is to participate. Information on who is eligible and the application process will be covered. You will also learn what the Delaware Arts Roster can do to get your work in the public eye and open up opportunities for readings, lectures, and more. The presentation will also include exercises on how to create an artist statement that will stand out to judges and effectively showcase your work and who you are as an artist.  This sounds simple, but all too often writers over think […]

  • Viewpoint / Point of View (POV) may be the most confusing technique to understand when writing fiction. Viewpoint is the identity and emotional focus of the person who relates the events of a story, i.e. the narrator. It is an important part of the relationship between writer and reader. It is about whose “eyes” we use to witness the action of the story. Point of View, on the other hand, is the way the narrator relates the story, i.e., voice (first person, third person) and tense (present, past). Often confused, these two techniques are separate, but joined at the hip. […]

  • How do sound and meaning converge? And what does it mean for your writing? This workshop will look at the sense our body makes of sound and how that translates into emotion and tone. That knowledge can help you identify why something “sounds” right or wrong and help you choose words that match intent and narrative flow. We will look at examples in poetry and fiction and try a few exercises ourselves to see what happens when our words become a sounding board for sense. About the Writer Jane Miller is a local poet whose work has been published in […]

  • Join us for a special Delaware Writers Studio workshop dedicated to the dreaded “writer’s block.”  Local poet Shannon Connor Winward, creative non-fiction writer Kathy Maas, and fiction writer Tery Griffin will lead a panel and roundtable discussion on how to successfully navigate creative blocks, featuring stories of personal experience, tried-and-true coping strategies, and unique prompts to get the creative juices flowing. About the Writers Shannon Connor Winward Shannon Connor Winward is the author of the Elgin Award-winning poetry chapbook Undoing Winter. Her stories have been published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, StoryHack Action & Adventure, Cast of Wonders, Psuedopod, Gargoyle, Flash Fiction Online, and PANK, as […]

  • Readers pick up your tale to enter a different place and time, to experience something new, to escape. Yet they dread that part of the story where the world-building happens. What’s a writer to do with such ungrateful wretches! In this presentation, Will Hahn demonstrates his tips for bringing in the information your reader must have, without detracting from the pace of the plot and growth of the characters. Hard to believe, but you can’t put off the story or the world! It starts with the first page. [He will share some of his experiences and work-habits as a chronicler, […]

  • This workshop will briefly explore the health benefits of humor, what makes us laugh and the different types of humor writing. Then, using illustrations and exercises, it will focus on the elements that are needed for writing humorous articles, such as exaggeration, surprise, relatability and self-deprecating humor. Attendees will be encouraged to write something to make themselves laugh, which is a good start toward making target audiences laugh!   About the Writer Jean Youkers is a member of the Wright Touch Writing Group and the Red Dragonfly Haiku Poets and a frequent reader at Open Mics. She loves to write […]

  • What do you think of when you think about ghosts? Haunted houses? Crazy campfire stories? Seances? Spirit possession? Episodes of the Ghost Whisperer, the Haunting of …, and Paranormal Investigation? You want to write a ghost story that grabs the attention of editors and readers, but how do you avoid cliché and write a ghost story that is unique, contemporary, AND frightening? Find out from the editor of A Plague of Shadows, a highly acclaimed anthology of ghost stories that breaks all the “rules.”   About the Writer JM Reinbold is the editor of the highly acclaimed anthologies Someone Wicked […]

  • Shannon Connor Winward

    Caring for a child with a diagnosis, disability or “difference” can be rewarding: sometimes we find strength we didn’t know we had; sometimes we find our purpose, hidden truths, treasures.  Other times we find ourselves alone, overwhelmed and frustrated. Often we feel all of this at once: up is down, left is right is wrong, and the only thing we’re sure of is that we love our kids to the moon and back—even when we’re so tired we forget to say so. Of all the tools in the special needs’ parents toolbox, writing can be one of the most powerful. […]

  • A workshop on how to survive NaNoWriMo with tips, tricks, and ways to stay sane through the process. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel. But it’s not as easy as it might sound!   About the Writer Bobbie Palmer is a Delaware writer who writes Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, and Murder Mysteries. She’s been writing since elementary school and hasn’t been able to stop. She spent 2 years as a […]

  • The Workshop In “A Room of One’s Own: Writer’s Retreats and Residencies,” Pat Valdata will discuss how to select a residency or retreat from the many hundreds of possibilities that are available nationwide as well as overseas; how to use your time productively, if you are fortunate enough to be admitted to one; and how to find creative alternatives if you can’t attend a traditional residency.   About the Writer Pat Valdata is an award-winning poet and novelist with an MFA in writing from Goddard College. She has twice received Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. In […]

  • Here’s the great thing about poetry: It may work best when you get up at 5 every morning and write for 2 hours, but it can also fit nicely into the odd pockets of a crazy life precisely because it’s a generally short-burst production.  Discipline is great, but some of us have ADD (or lives that look like we do) and need to make a writing life work anyway. Prompts are great. Keeping weird lists of words, lines, ideas–all great. The big trick is understanding that poems are necessary in so many ways and then finding out how to make […]

  • The Five Scribes A discussion about description would be shallow without discussing the five senses. In order to captivate the reader and keep his/her interest, the writer must develop a relationship with all of the fives senses. With this discussion, Judy will help the author understand how the senses make the reader aware of character and setting the way they become aware in real life.   About the Writer Judy Reveal is an author, editor, book reviewer, and book indexer. She has presented on Viewpoint/Point of View; Description and the Five Senses; and Editorial Expectations among other topics. She has […]

  • Write It Down, Speak It Out: Finding your voice in writing and reading your work. Why do some writers who get up to read what they’ve written start by apologizing for their work? Why do some readers put their heads down and mumble quickly through their prose or poetry? Why do some open mic participants go over the time limit in a venue and get frustrated when they get cut off mid-sentence? What keeps writers silent – afraid to submit and/or read their work, even if they long to share it and see it published? This workshop is designed to […]

  • Writing for Children and Young Adults From poetry to picture books, from nonfiction to novels, writing for children and young adults can be both personally and professionally satisfying. Learn how you can get involved in this competitive, but rewarding, field. Novices and more seasoned writers alike will get valuable tips on: Finding appropriate book and magazine markets for children’s writing Learning what topics will sell Crafting query letters or book proposals The art of writing and revising (then revising some more) Using an agent A look behind the scenes at the publishing process Exploring self-publishing options This workshop setting will […]

  • Writing Place – The Geography of the Heart Workshop by Mahasveta (Gitu) Barua Joan Didion said, “A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”  When we write, we think carefully about character, plot, dialogue and setting. But often setting can be more than just a separate element. Place can be part of character. All of us remember reading works where the place is so clearly described, that we can see it in our minds. We […]

  • Writing real Dialogue and believable Characters are essential skills for writers of all genres, not just scriptwriters. This is a writing workshop for any writer who wants to exercise character development and to create dialogue that sounds authentic. Who are we?  What do we want to say? Narrative Hook/Basic storytelling elements Do you have a story to tell?  Do your characters? Who are your characters and why are they necessary? What makes Character? Dialogue; How do people Speak? The Art of Eavesdropping/Listening to learn to speak Allowed to tell the story/Point of View Monologues and speeches Language/dialect/culture What’s Happening? What’s NOT […]

  • with Roxanne Stanulis, Program Officer, Artist Programs and Services and Ramona DeFelice Long, writer and editor Learn what services are available to writers, including who’s eligible for grants and fellowships and what’s involved in the application process. All services are free. Learn how much the DDOA has to offer you and how easy it is to participate. You will also learn what the Delaware Arts Roster can do to get your work in the public eye, increase sales, and open up opportunities for readings, lectures, and more. Ramona DeFelice Long will lead a session on how to write an artist’s […]

  • Liz DeJesus will help you discover ways to bring classic fairy tales to life in your unique voice and your preferred genre. DeJesus will talk about ways to use horror, science fiction and fantasy to retell stories like Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood and many more. Create timeless heroes and villains. She will also bring amazing items to be used as writing prompts: glass slipper, miniature ‘Drink Me’ bottles, skeleton keys and more. You will leave the workshop inspired to write your very own ‘happily ever after’ Liz was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. […]

  • Is the past a foreign country, or is the past never really past? What makes a novel or short story an example of historical fiction?  In this workshop, we’ll discuss the particular questions and challenges that arise when writing a work defined as “historical, “ including how to balance historical accuracy with the needs of the story and the expectations of modern readers. We’ll pay special attention to the various methods of writing historical dialogue, and will talk about research strategies and resources. Gail Husch is Professor Emerita of Art History at Goucher College, and is the author of The […]

  • So you’ve written an article, poem, essay or story.  You’ve tightened and revised it, polished ’til it shines.  Now what? In this workshop, we will explore the submission process, from targeting markets to hitting “send” and everything in between. Learn how to format your manuscript, craft a cover letter, navigate submission platforms  and improve your chances of catching an editor’s eye.  Featuring Shannon Connor Winward, poetry editor for Devilfish Review and founding editor of Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal. Shannon is the author of the Elgin Award-winning poetry chapbook Undoing Winter. Her stories have been published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, StoryHack Action […]

  •   Whether you want to write a book as a marketing tool for your business, for your career as a writer, or as a creative hobby, find out how YOU can self-publish a book and sell it online on sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This course will take you on a tour of writing, editing, pricing, publishing, and marketing your book, plus a whole lot more. You will leave with a solid understanding of the self-publishing industry and how you and your book fit in. Lois Hoffman is the author of The Self-Publishing Roadmap, The Almost Perfect Birthday […]

  • Rebecca will be presenting on how to work with your local indie bookstore, including consignment, signings, events & self-marketing. Joanne will discuss the Hockessin Art & Book Fair, registration, fair prep and table dressing.   Rebecca Dowling is the Owner of The Hockessin Book Shelf, a new & used bookstore in Hockessin De which has been open for 15 years.   Joanne Reinbold is the Director of the Written Remains Writers Guild and the editor of the Written Remains Writers Guild anthologies, The Cicada’s Cry: A Micro Zine of Haiku Poetry, and the All-Monster Revolt Magazine. She is a partner member of the […]

  • Finding an Illustrator: Do you have an amazing book idea? Are you unsure whether it needs the perfect illustrator to make it complete? This workshop will help you come to a decision, as well as introduce you to resources and information about finding and working with an experienced artist. Marcella Harte has been fascinated with art and illustration since childhood. She earned a bachelor of fine arts at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. Her cover art of Gamera for the All-Out Monster Revolt Online Magazine showcases her talents in the monstrous and fantastic. Her publishing credits also include the anthology The Stories in Between by […]

  • Billie Travalini

    The Workshop: Memoir: Dialectic of Past and Present “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell Memoir allows those who have been left out of the conversation to have their voices heard. However, for many emerging and professional writers, the very nature of a memoir — stuck somewhere between fiction and autobiography — triggers concerns such as: How far back should I go? How important is time and setting? Do I have to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Using my memoir, Blood Sisters, as […]

  • The Workshop In this workshop, we will discuss the major elements of developing and writing a mystery, including: crafting a plot; creating a hero (amateur vs professional investigator); creating a villain with motive, means, and opportunity; sprinkling clues and red herrings; and wrapping it all up with a satisfying denouement. We will also discuss mystery subgenres, along with the distinct genre of crime noir, and look at some published examples. Participants will begin brainstorming their own mystery situations and engage in other writing exercises. This workshop is appropriate for beginner and advanced writers, and the techniques work for short-stories as […]

  • Denise Clemons

    How you feed your characters informs your world and adds depth to your stories. Do you recall a passage from a novel or story where the smallest detail illuminated a character or setting? And have you ever found a jarring inconsistency that pulled you completely out of the narrative? Drawing on examples from current fiction, you will learn how to build a menu that makes sense for the world you have built for your characters as well as how to avoid cliches and clunkers.  Bring your laptop or notebook for writing exercise we will complete during the workshop.   Denise […]

  • Nancy Sakaduski

    This presentation/workshop will focus on whether to enter contests (what’s to be gained for new or  experienced writers), how to evaluate “good” and “bad” contests (and what are some red flags), and how to give your entry the best chance to win (what judges look for, how to read submission guidelines, etc.). Nancy Sakaduski is the author of 23 books, including How to Write Winning Short Stories, editor of the Rehoboth Beach Reads series, and owner of Cat & Mouse Press. She runs the annual Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest and curates the free weekly online newspaper, Writing is a Shore […]