Saturday, December 12, 2009

Episode 6: Attack of the Writing Workshops

Hi, my name is Robyn, and I am addicted to Yahoo! groups.

It started with author newsletters, and then after I joined RWA I found myself subscribing to more groups. One for the chapter, one for chapter websites, and then I discovered the world of online workshops. Many RWA chapters offer online workshops, usually taught by one of their members or a guest lecturer. It's a way to raise funds for the chapter and to help RWA members across the country learn how to improve their craft. They're generally inexpensive, about $20 a class, and run anywhere from a few days to a whole month. Usually you're signed up to a Yahoo! group (though occasionally I've seen some run over a chapter's forums), and lectures and assignments are given via the group.

My first class--and still one of my favorites--was about how to write paranormal romances by Angela Knight. I'd already owned and read her book Passionate Ink, so I knew it would be a good experience. AK's a great teacher, and I've taken four of her workshops. (Recently she blogged about writing fight scenes on the FF&P blog, if you'd like an example.) (I should probably send her a thank you email too.) In fact, I've taken a lot of workshops. Classes on writing query letters, synopses, pitches, plotting with Tarot cards, creating psychic investigators--anything that catches my interest. I'm a big believer in the idea that writers should always be working on improving their craft. Because I'm an editor as my day job, and I know that ain't nobody's work is too good to be edited.

Now, that said, not all online workshops are created equal. Some are better than others, and I've taken a few that were disappointments. But I'm still a workshop addict, even though I've learned to be pickier about the ones I sign up for.

Next time, I talk about contests and conferences.

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