Show Don’t Tell is Like a Layer Cake

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Presented by Sandy Vaile

Course Dates: 7 January — 3 February 2019
Cost: RWA Member—$55. Non-RWA Member—$88.
Venue: Online – RWA Moodle Platform
Booking link:

About the course…

We’ve all heard this old adage, but applying it often causes confusion, because it’s riddled with contradictions. Both showing and telling are valuable techniques. One creates drama and movement, and the other conveys information succinctly and poetically.

Bring your story into focus by finding a balance between action and brevity that will captivate readers.

Participants will:
• Discover when to show, and when it’s okay to tell.
• Identify and banish info dumps.
• Practice infusing the story with relevant details.
• Explore how action can tell the story and engage the reader emotionally.
• Explore how much onscreen time to give each character/event.
• Study a variety of techniques to improve showing.

This popular workshop combines video lessons you can watch in your own time with worksheets, plenty of opportunities to apply the learnings to your own story, personalised feedback, and a live chat/Q&A session.

Sandy provides a nurturing learning environment that suits all aspiring writers, whether they have never shown their work to anyone or are used to being critiqued. This workshop will boost your confidence and reignite your joy of writing.

What people are saying about Sandy’s workshops

“Helpful, practical and inspirational, Sandy’s workshop took my writing to the next level.”

“I loved Sandy’s dedication to giving the best feedback possible. It’s made a huge difference to me already.”

“The workshop was well structured, with information provided at an appropriate pace to enable participants to absorb it and apply it to their own work.”

“I liked the friendly nature of the learning experience.”
The course will run for four weeks.

Lesson material will be delivered on Moodle in the form of video lessons supported by worksheets and activities. Lessons will be released weekly on Fridays, with assignments due by the end of the week. Feedback will be provided on the weekly assignments via a marked-up Word document. Additional support and information will be given as part of forum discussions. Feedback via email is an option where participants prefer. A one-hour live chat will be held in Moodle on the Friday evening in week three.

It is recommended that participants can expect to commit 5-7 hours, depending on the time taken to do assignments. Having an existing story to work on will be beneficial to help participants apply the learnings to their own work.

This workshop is suited to aspiring writers, assuming basic English skills.

About the Presenter…

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. She writes romantic-suspense with attitude, and is published by Simon & Schuster US.

Sandy is an experienced course presenter with a decade of experience in the industry, who has presented online and face-to-face workshops across the globe for a variety of organisations, including Eyre Writers’ Week, The Clare Readers and Writer’s Festival, RWAmerica, Savvy Authors and SA Writers’ Centre. She prides herself on providing a nurturing learning environment that enables participants to truly absorb the material.

When she’s not writing fiction, Sandy composes procedures for high-risk industrial processes, judges competitions for Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America, runs the Fearless Novelist Facebook group, and offers mentoring and critiquing services. Sandy lives amongst the South Australian vineyards and was a chef in a past life, hence all the food analogies. Website:

She is presenting RWA OWL, Show Don’t Tell is Like a Layer Cake, in January 2019. Registrations now open. $55 for members and $88 for non-members. Bookings can be made here.

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