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September OWL | Simply Synopsis with Michelle Somers

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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. The course will run over 4 weeks. Over the course of these weeks, we’ll break down the key components of the synopsis and we’ll spend each week structuring and refining each component, by working through exercises, then posting and critiquing. Feedback will be given by the group as a whole, as well as by the presenter. This way, the group will learn how to analyse a synopsis and …

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September OWL | Craft 101: Back to Basics with Anita Joy

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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, …

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August OWL | Treat Backstory Like a Pungent Spice with Sandy Vaile

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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 Sandy can tailor feedback. During this workshop: · learn how to determine which parts of your backstory is important, …

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July OWL | How to Sell More Books with Email Marketing with Lana Pecherczyk

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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. Get ideas on how to grow your list, and what content to produce to keep your readers engaged. This course is unique because it’s tailored towards authors and will provide specific examples …

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July OWL | Focus on the First Five – Get your first five pages submission-ready with Samantha Bond & Robb Grindstaff

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Are you ready to submit your work to an agent or publisher? Want to ensure your work has the best chance to impress? Then you’d better make sure your fist few pages sing. We all know that publishing professionals receive thousands of submissions each year and they’re often so busy that if your work fails to grab them in that first page or two, they won’t persist past that. Sending your work out into the world is a harrowing experience, but if you get those first five pages right, it has a far better chance of success. The focus of …

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June OWL | Sink Your Teeth into Appetising Characters with Sandy Vaile

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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 workshop will be conducted on the RWA Moodle platform and will run over four weeks. It is designed as the ideal prerequisite to Treat Backstory Like a Pungent Spice workshop which will …

June OWL | Pitch like a Professional: Conference primer with Anita Joy

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About the Course 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. The course will be delivered via Moodle in a series of weekly ‘lessons’ at the start of the week and an ongoing Q/A and discussions as well as critique of participant examples through each week. Each week will focus on one aspect of the pitching and …

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The Black Moment: When All Is Lost with Rachel Bailey

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Course Dates: 1–28 May, 2017 Cost: RWA Member—$30. Non-RWA Member—$80. 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. The …

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The Dark Art of the Blurb with Ainslie Paton

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Course Dates: 1–28 May, 2017 Cost: RWA Member—$30. Non-RWA Member—$80. 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. Course would …

A Thrilling Guide to Producing Awesome Book Trailers

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A Thrilling Guide to Producing Awesome Book Trailers Presenter: 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! Video has become such a powerful …