2022 Self-Paced Courses

Cost: $55 RWA Members, $55 RWA Non-Members

As a new development, RWA is very excited to be offering our very first selection of self-paced courses. These courses are available from March to November. Participants can enrol at any time during the year and once a week registrations will be activated. Participants may then access course material and progress through it at their own pace.  Please note: There is NO presenter interaction associated with these courses. You simply register and then once you have access, you work through the course at your own pace.

Offered year-round (March-November self-directed)  assuming the enrolment process is automated and presenter-participant interaction is removed.

Reignite your creativity and find your voice

Tutor: Alison May

Start dates: March to November

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Self-Paced Course details:

Course outline: After a video introduction students will complete 5 course sections made up of pre-recorded video tutorials and accompanying handouts. Each section will include practical writing exercises for the students to complete planned to take around 2-3 hours per section. However students will have the opportunity to repeat exercises as many times as they wish and will also be given suggestions for ways in which to incorporate exercises and reflections into their future writing. The five sections to the course will be:

Part 1 – Bringing freedom back to your writing This will involve engaging with a range of free writing techniques from a variety of prompts provided in the tutorial and handout.

Part 2 – Finding unexpected inspiration This section will be centred around finding inspiration in your own life – writing from observation, memory and day to day experiences.

Part 3 – Developing stories Part 3 will build on parts 1 and 2 and start to look at how free writing and openness to inspiration can be developed into more coherent pieces of writing. As this module is aimed at RWA members in the first instance the focus will be on prose fiction but there will be the freedom to try non-fiction writing and poetry. The goal of the course is to connect with our creativity in whatever form feels most fulfilling.

Whirlwind Romances: 10 practical steps for turning your romance into a Page Turner

Tutor: Jan-Andrew Henderson

Start dates: March to November

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Self-Paced Course details:

Producing a page turner requires a very particular set of skills – and romance novels are no exception. Award-winning author, Jan-Andrew Henderson has written 32 books in multiple genres and will guide you from initial idea to finished manuscript in practical, innovative steps.

Expect tips, tricks and unique insights into crafting a fast paced masterpiece at this fun, and informative course. Each participant also receives a free e-Book on writing Learning Outcomes

·        Producing a killer idea.

·        How to build a plot.

·        Getting the setting and research right.

·        Learning how to adapt and alter your story.

·        Book beginnings and internal logic.

·        Creating memorable characters.

·        Using description effectively.

·        Writing smooth dialogue.

·        Avoiding common pitfalls.

·        Crafting the perfect ending.

  • Adopting the tricks of the trade.

Kiltlifting: Successfully setting your stories in Scotland

Tutor: Jan-Andrew Henderson

Start dates: March to November

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Self-Paced Course details

A huge number of romances are set in Scotland, past or present, for good reason. Look at the success of Outlander. It’s also a land where it’s difficult to tell myth from reality. Few people can afford to spend the time there to research properly and Wikipedia simply won’t cut it. Jan-Andrew Henderson is an award-winning author, historian and former tour guide, who lived in Scotland for most of his life.

So here is his simple yet comprehensive course on how to write authentic Caledonian set stories. ‘Henderson’s wit is hugely entertaining… with a host of intriguing facts and amusing anecdotes.’ – Scottish Field Magazine. ‘His disclosures are fascinating.’- The Scotsman Newspaper.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding Scottish history without getting bogged down.
  • Telling Ireland and Scotland apart.
  • Mastering authentic Scottish dialogue and regional variations.
  • Insights into the Scottish psyche and how it has changed.
  • The variety of Scottish scenery and how to describe each area.
  • Differentiating between the highlands and lowlands.
  • The Outlander Effect: Painting an accurate picture of highlanders and their society through the ages.
  • How to separate reality from the myths about Scotland.

Grow Your Reader Base with an Email List

Tutor: Sarma Burdeu

Start dates: March to November

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Self-Paced Course details

Participants will learn the importance of having a strong subscriber base – how to build it and how to maintain it and keep it growing. – setting up on an email platform (Mailerlite or Mailchimp) – setting up on promotions sites – Bookclicker – Bookfunnel – Story Origin – understanding different promotion obligtions – getting the most out of a Bookfunnel landing page – integrating email platform with promotion site – finding and joining both list-building and sales promotions (also setting up your own promotions) – creating templates on email platform to streamline regular mailouts – the importance of engaging your subscribers – the importance of regular ‘list cleaning’ – being organized and scheduling.

Formatting Essentials for Authors

Tutor: Ebony McKenna

Start dates: March to November

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Self-Paced Course details

From entering competitions, submitting to agents and editors and to getting your book out there into the world, authors need to know how to format their files correctly, to make sure their manuscript is received the way they intended. Ebony McKenna is an award-winning, multi-published author who also has a growing side-hustle formatting books for other authors.

The course will cover basics through to advanced, starting with RWA competitions and how to format your entries correctly so you don’t lose marks. We’ll cover trouble shooting in various free software platforms such as Word and Pages – to show authors how they can make the most of services from Draft 2 Digital, Amazon and Smashwords.

When it comes to making print copies, you want to get it right to save time and money. Luckily for you, Ebony years of experience using Vellum software and more recently, Affinity Publishing and Atticus, the new ‘pup’ on the block. Anybody with these systems will have a ball using Ebony’s tricks to create stylish interior files that conform to Amazon’s and Ingram Spark’s strict print specifications.

Maybe you’ve got the rights back to your own book, but the formatting is a little ‘hinky’ and the indents are all over the place? Perhaps you don’t have fancy software, but still want to make print books? Whatever formatting issues you’re having, Ebony is here to help.

Establishing Your Online Author Platforms

Tutor: Keighley Bradford

Start dates: March to November

Duration: 4-6 weeks

Self-Paced Course details

Participants will learn about: – the different platforms available to them as writers to build their online author brand, and the value each different platform offers them and their audience – the importance of protecting your author/brand identity (whilst not having to be active on every single platform) – the key to growing your online community, as well as tips and tricks for building your online community – and how to acquire author-specific accounts for once they’ve been published (ie. Bookbub/Goodreads Author)