Romance Writers of Australia Online Writing Lab (OWL) Schedule 2017

RWA offers you a broad range of educative sessions all designed to continue your professional development as an author.

Date

Details

2-29 January
Author Branding: Why You Need It Before You Sell

with Nikki Logan

There is so much more to effective AUTHOR BRANDING than a pretty website and a catchy tagline. Working out who you are as a writer and what you want to say is an important part of effectively communicating to editors, agents and (ultimately) readers. Branding is not something you need to leave until after you sell. This OWL course will look at author branding in the romance sector and will help participants identify what their brand is. By month’s end you will have a clearer idea of what your author brand is and the different ways you can express it. It will be delivered via YouTube (weekly video lectures you can watch in your own time and as often as you wish in the month) with an active (but optional) Q&A via a yahoo group across the month. You can do it easily, in your own time and lurkers/introverts will get as much out of it as more active participants! Author Branding is primarily targeted at aspiring authors who are carving some time away from their focus on craft-basics to start thinking about career progression, but there will be ample lightbulb moments for emerging and established writers, too.  Everyone welcome (including those who want to stay under the radar).

Owl Closed.

 

30 January – 26 February
A Sparkling Guide to Gripping Goal, Motivation & Conflict

with CT Green

(Because everyone needs a little excitement!)

Do you ever wonder why Cruella de Vil wanted all those Dalmatians? Because, Dalmatians! Much cute, many cuddles! Yes, yes we know it was for a fur coat. But why? What drove her to her obsessive compulsiveness, eh? She didn’t just wake up one day and decide she wanted lots of different furs (or maybe she did – some people roll that way). The point is, while we know her goal: Dalmatian coat, what was her motivation? How was the conflict resolved? How would it have been resolved if you’d been telling the story? Goal, Motivation, Conflict (GMC), you know that’s where I was going and if you didn’t, you also need to do this workshop! New writers – understand what the heck Goal, Motivation and Conflict is. Seasoned writers, (mmm tasty!) we’ll look at how you can use GMC just about anywhere to enhance those epic skills you’ve worked hard to acquire. There will be Dalmatian puppies and er, cookies…Anyone bake? 😉

Owl Closed.

 

30 January – 26 February
Quickly Learn Aeon Timeline for Fiction Writers & Authors

with Kylie Ross

Quick Learn Aeon Timeline with Kylie Ross is an online course that is logically laid out and covers all the features within Aeon Timeline 2.

Created for all types of writers, Fiction and Non-Fiction, this course takes you through the basics of Aeon Timeline and then gives you Ninja skills with practical real world examples and bonus templates you can make your own.

If you don’t already, you’ll come to love brainstorming and plotting your timelines and then sync to Scrivener and begin writing faster!

Owl Closed.

 

27 February – 26 March
Building Your WordPress Author Website From the Ground Up

with Lana Pecherczyk

Take control of your career and learn how to manage a simple WordPress website and blog then turn it into a successful self-managed powerhouse for your author business. Learn via easy walkthrough videos as Lana builds an author website before your eyes, and talks about content creation, e-commerce, traffic acquirement and more. Downloadable PDFs and worksheets will be available so you can revise at your leisure. Whether you’re a digital immigrant or an author just wanting the latest hot tips on WordPress, you can get the author targeted advice from the current RWA Webmistress Lana Pecherczyk. Each student must be prepared to either set up a free WordPress.org account, or purchase a domain and hosting (explained how to inside the course).

Owl Closed.

 

27 February – 26 March
Bring your story into focus: why ‘show don’t tell’ is a layer cake

with Sandy Vaile

Bring your story into focus

Why ‘show don’t tell’ is like a layer cake.

‘Show don’t tell’ is the lynch-pin of great writing. I’m sure you’ve all heard the term, but are you applying it effectively? Delve into the vivid realm of showing, and realise a balance between description and brevity that will captivate readers and not let them go.

This course best suits modern fiction writers.

Owl Closed.

 

3 – 30 April
Edit your own novel: Backburning Backstory, Climbing the Staircase of Turning Points and using the 13 Main Scenes

with Ebony McKenna

In the dark about editing? Let Ebony McKenna show you how to edit your own manuscript with this intensive online course. All welcome!

Register

 

3 – 30 April
A Thrilling Guide to Producing Awesome Book Trailers

with CT Green/Pressedpear

(Spielberg eat your heart out!)
Whether you’re a novice or more seasoned writer (mmm, seasoned), most authors face a major challenge: ‘How to successfully promote hundreds of pages of written text into one effective cover image, blurb, post, tweet…’. So how does a creative, motivated and talented writer (yep, we mean you!) bring a story to life? To engage with the reader, immersing them into the world of your fantastically crafted book?

The answer is simple: You create a Book Trailer of epic awesomeness!

Register

 

1 – 28 May
The Black Moment: When All Is Lost

with Rachel Bailey

The Black Moment is the point in your story when all hope is lost, when crisis peaks, when things seem bleakest and we start to think the characters won’t be able to find their HEA. But how do you make it powerful while still being the right one for your story? And how do your characters deal with their loss during the following scenes—the Dark Night of the Soul? Using examples from romance novels and movies, we’ll explore the techniques authors use and apply them to your own work.

Register

 

1 – 28 May
The Dark Art of the Blurb

with Ainslie Paton

They are tricky, those few sparkling sentences, groovy phrases and quick baked emotions that comprise a blurb.

They’re the pitch, the deal, the promise and the shortcut to satisfaction.  Like a cover, they can heavily influence a book buyer’s perceptions and actions.

Powerful for all their 150 word punch because of their ability to make us do things: one click that link, open that wallet, pay that pal, read that sucker.

Blurb writing uses the techniques of copywriting and the more you blurb the easier it gets.

Come learn the dark arts.

Register

 

29 May – 25 June
Pitch like a Professional: Conference Primer

with Anita Joy

Gearing up for the RWAust conference in just a couple of months? Excited but silently terrified about the opportunity to pitch your book to an editor or agent? “Pitch Like a Professional” is a four-week conference primer designed to get your synopsis, query letter, in-person pitch (and you!) glinting with readiness.

Each week will focus on one aspect of the pitching and submission skillset. As well as learning the secrets to successful submission, you will work on your own synopsis, query letter and pitch and then have an (optional) private session with your trainer to practice your pitch in a safe, one-on-one, face-to-face environment and get some feedback.

Register

 

29 May – 25 June
Sink Your Teeth into Appetising Characters

with Sandy Vaile

Develop memorable individuals, tailored to your story.

Being a brilliant wordsmith isn’t enough. You need a character who is interesting and flawed enough to hook a reader and make them want to stick around long enough to unravel their mysteries. Do you love your imaginery friends, but aren’t sure how best to convey them? Then this interactive workshop is just the inspiration you need to make them come alive on the page.

This course best suits modern fiction writers and leads into the Treat Backstory Like a Pungent Spice workshop in August.

Register

3 – 30 July
Pitch Panel Bootcamp – Your first 5 pages

with Samantha Bond & Robb Grindstaff

Are you brave enough to run the gauntlet of the Publisher’s Pitching Panel at the RWA 2017 conference in Brisbane? Scary and exciting, huh? It’s one of the biggest draw cards for the annual RWA conference, but also one of the most harrowing. Your work gets read to agents and publisher and, if they like it, they keep listening. But as soon as they hear a bit that would make them stop, they stick their hand in the air and you’re voted off the island. Eek!

Prepare yourself for the experience with focused, bootcamp-style training. The two experienced writing teachers will give you information on what you need to do in your first five pages, and then you’ll have the opportunity to submit your work for an individual critique. We’ll focus on getting those first few pages in top shape so those agents and publishers will read your entire two pages without interjecting. You may even be that lucky person who is asked to submit…

Let’s get Pitch Panel pumped!

Register Soon

 

3 – 30 July
Sell More Books With Email Marketing

with Lana Pecherczyk

Whether you are traditionally published or self-published, there’s one challenge common to both: selling more books. With email marketing, not only do you (not your publisher!) have control of your list, but it’s cost effective (one of the cheapest forms of marketing around) and with a little help, easy to do. Expect to learn how to set up your own email e-newsletter using the free email tool, Mailchimp. I’ll also show you how I’ve grown my list, give you ideas on how to grow your list, show you how to create engaging content and how to set up all the technical stuff. Get 100% control of your readership and learn how to use email marketing effectively.

Register Soon

 

7 August – 3 September
Treat Backstory Like a Pungent Spice

with Sandy Vaile

Sprinkle and blend the flavours of your character to achieve an irresistible aroma.

Do you feel that your stories are lacklustre? Have you been accused of too much telling? Does your character have a fascinating history, but you’re not sure how best to convey it? Back story delivery could be your problem. Learn how much to use and when to reveal it for the best effect.

This course best suits modern fiction writers with a developed character and story idea, so I can tailor feedback. You will benefit from completing the Sink Your Teeth into Appetising Characters workshop first, but it is not essential.

Register Soon

 

4 September – 1 October
Craft 101: Back to Basics

with Anita Joy

“How do I know what I don’t know when it comes to writing craft?”

Writing is a craft, not a gift. It can be learned and perfected with practice. In an industry where we’re constantly reminded of the importance of having a fresh and unique voice it’s easy for new writers to persuade themselves that their innate writing voice (and enthusiasm) will be enough to draw an editor’s interest. But getting the craft right matters. Problem is: how do you know what you don’t know?

Craft 101: Back to Basics will provide a broad overview of the key craft elements of fiction writing and cover a number of common craft terms and concepts—point-of-view, voice, GMC, hooks, pantsing—so that you can figure out where your knowledge gaps are and make a plan to fill them before you start sharing your work with editors/agents or even contest judges. This lightly interactive, introductory/Aspiring level workshop will remind new writers that they have to be proficient in the basic rules of craft before they can start breaking them.

Register Soon

 

4 September – 1 October
Simply Synopsis

with Michelle Somers

With special focus on romance, you will learn how to simply and succinctly construct an engaging and fresh synopsis that contains all vital information while hooking the reader, maintaining tension and emotion.

Register Soon

 

2 – 29 October
Resolution and the HEA: Make Them Cry & Leave Them Smiling

with Rachel Bailey

As Mickey Spillane said, “The first page sells your book. The last page sells your next book.” Readers might love your opening, but when they’ve finished reading your book, it’s the ending they’ll remember. So, how powerful is your story’s resolution and HEA? This workshop, “Resolution and the HEA: Make Them Cry & Leave Them Smiling” will show you practical ways to increase the impact of your final scenes so readers will be keen to buy your next book.

Register Soon

 

2 – 29 October
Getting the ship moving: 7 steps to the best marketing plan ever for aspiring and emerging authors

with Sara Hood

Baffled about how to start your book marketing?  Or looking to turbo charge your early stage book marketing?  This OWL is for you. We will go through 7 simple, proven steps to create a book marketing plan that is easy to create, easy to implement and won’t break the bank.  It will be the foundation for the rest of your career as a writer.

And also solves the eternal problem of ‘what do I write about?’ on social media!

Using a learn-at-your-leisure format, there is a PDF each week for three weeks, a Facebook community support group, and the final week is a webinar, which is also recorded.

Register Soon

 

30 October – 26 November
Self Publishing for Beginners

with Cathleen Ross

Do you want to learn to Self Publish in 5 easy steps? Self publishing for Beginners is a online course designed for novices who want to learn how to take control of their writing careers and learn to self published. Conducted by an experienced trainer of more than 30 years teaching experience. Learn to do something new this year.

Register Soon

27 November – 24 December
Creating Unforgettable Characters — How to Make them Walk, Talk and Seduce Readers

with Samantha Bond & Carla Caruso

Have you heard of Buffy Summers? How about Scarlett O’Hara? Or maybe you remember Jessica and Elizabeth, the Sweet Valley twins? Perhaps male heroes like Rhett Butler or even The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper stick in your mind. Why so? Because they’re iconic, unforgettable characters.

So how do you bestow your characters with the same ‘unforgettable-ness’?

In this OWL, discover what makes an iconic character. You’ll learn how to create your very own walking, talking, unforgettable characters who will simply seduce your readers. And, at the end, you’ll have the opportunity to submit a piece of your work-in-progress for an individual report from the presenters on your characters’ ‘sticking power’.

Register Soon