Hampton Roads Writers 2014 TRAVELING PEN Series of Workshops

Each 2.5-hour workshop costs $10 for HRW members and $20 for non-members.  Please send your name, address, email, and phone number along with a note about which workshop you're registering for and payment (check or money order) to:
Hampton Roads Writers
P.O. Box 56228
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Payment is possible at the door, but we'd appreciate an email from you ahead of time so we can assure a sufficient number of handouts for everyone. HRWriters@cox.net

All workshops held at the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College campus, in the Blackwater Building, Room CW-134. Check-in at 9:15 AM, workshops begin at 9:30.


October 25 -- Designing, Building and Managing Your Own Author Website: You've Written an Entire Book; don't let building a little website scare you!-- presented by Nora Firestone, journalist and PR pro.

Building and running your own website can save time and money and facilitate endless creative marketing and publicity opportunities. You know it's important to do, but where do you start? What does it all mean? How can you avoid those "in-over-my-head" stumbling blocks in the site-building process? This workshop will shed light on the essentials of domain registration, site design principles and goals, do-it-yourself site-building platforms, search-engine optimization and more, for a relaxed, better understanding of the various components involved and how to easily and successfully pull them together to work for you. Be excited, not intimidated. It's just another art with cool new tools!

Bio: Nora Firestone is a professional writer/reporter, website designer and founder of Step-by-Step Presentations. Through Step-by-Step Presentations she develops and leads instructional workshops and presentations pertaining to writing for small business, do-it-yourself website building, home improvement and more. www.stepbysteppresentations.com

Previous 2014 TPS Workshops

February 22, 2014 -- Your Book in Print -- presented by Jeff Andrews, author of The Freedom Star and The Gandy Dancer

This workshop will take participants step-by-step through the process of building a quality paperback book on CreateSpace. We'll begin with a discussion on how to set up your CreateSpace account and initiate a new publishing project, and then delve into book layout, formatting and design, creating a marketable book cover, and the marketing options available through CreateSpace. Participants will come away with a clear understanding of what is involved in turning their manuscript into a finished product. Participants are asked to bring a trade paperback book with them, as we will go through examples of industry publishing norms.

Jeff Andrews, author of The Freedom Star and The Gandy Dancer, grew up in Moorestown, New Jersey, a stone's throw from Philadelphia and a short drive to the Jersey shore. After graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College (now Baldwin-Wallace University), he set off on a twenty-year adventure with the United States Marine Corps, rolling up his sleeves and getting down to business in such exotic settings as Vietnam, Japan, Egypt, Morocco, Denmark, Brazil, and Beirut, Lebanon. Along the way, he picked up a graduate degree from George Washington University. Jeff is a member of the Society of Civil War Historians and his love of history inspires his writing. He strives to create an experiential connection to our past through rich, character-driven stories spun across a carefully researched historical tapestry. Jeff and his wife, Mary Lou, live in Virginia Beach, VA and enjoy every opportunity to lace up their hiking boots and trudge across the plantations, battlefields, and historic parks of the Old Dominion.

March 22, 2014 -- Eliminate the Excuses: You can learn to be a creative and productive writer! -- Presented by author John Robert Mack.

Is the sight of a blank sheet of paper or a blank computer screen terrifying to you? Are you jealous of people who were born lucky enough to write a lot who seem to have creative juices oozing out of their pores? Do you hate writers who never suffer from writers' block? Guess what: it's not genetic. You can learn to be creative and you can learn to write something the moment you sit at your desk. The goal of this workshop is to stop you from acting as your own worst enemy.  A series of guided exercises will teach you how to bring spontaneity and fun into your writing. We will focus on two skills: writing creatively and producing pages. Please bring whatever medium you prefer for writing: notebook and pen, laptop, tablet, or crayons and a coloring book. Participation in the exercises is not mandatory and you will not be asked to share with the class. There, we just eliminated the first two excuses!

John Robert Mack has been a writer since he read The Lord of the Rings and realized that writing novels was how adults played make-believe games without getting teased by their friends. He was eight. Since then he has written ten novels, six plays, nine screenplays and innumerable short stories and bad poems. He wrote a column called "Dancing the Rainbow" for the Dancer's Guide in Texas, had one short story, "Jonny Hates Jazz," published in a literary magazine and has self-pubbed two books: Keep Breathing: Zen and the Art of Social Dance and That Dance Book (soon to be re-released as Tango with a Twist), a novel about dancers and stalkers and romance (oh my). He averages ten pages a day.

April 26, 2014 -- Plotting or Pantsing? -- Presented by author Heather Hildenbrand.

How to write a story with a tight plot whether you plan it out one breadcrumb at a time or write by the seat of your pants. What makes a story work? From structure and pacing to story arc and character depth, we'll cover the bases, including a plotting formula for the right and left-brained artists. In this workshop (and in your future stories), there will be no skimming of details and not a single boring moment to be had.

Heather Hildenbrand, born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school, is the author of at least eight novels that she can remember, including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. In her spare minutes, she is also a writing & publishing coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. You can find out more about her and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com.

May 31,2014 -- Flash Me! How to create and publish short (flash) fiction -- presented by author and educator Ginger Marcinkowski

A hands-on workshop that utilizes prompts to create short stories for both the secular and Christian markets. This is no place to be shy as we will be creating 100 word flash fiction from prompts and you'll be given places to submit them for publication. It's time to get published!

Ginger Marcinkowski, is the author of Run, River Currents, a 2012 semi-finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Indie Awards. Her second novella, The Button Legacy is being expanded into a full novel and will be released in 2014. She is a health columnist for the online Book Fun Magazine (over 220,000 subscribers) and a Creative Writing professor with Ashford University.

August 23 -- Methods of Direct and Indirect Characterization -- Presented by ODU Princess Perry.

Characters drive stories, carrying the reader from the first page to the last. Skilled writers create a sense that their characters are people--physical, emotional, living, breathing, thinking people. In this workshop, participants will learn how to create 3-dimensional characters using both direct and indirect characterization techniques. Additionally, they will learn how figuring out what characters want can aid in the development of both character and plot.

Princess Perry is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department of Old Dominion University. Her short stories have appeared in African American Review, Harrington's Gay Men's Literary Journal, and Kweli Online Journal. Her most recent story "A Penny, A Pound" is forthcoming in the anthology All About Skin: An Anthology of Short Fiction by Award-Winning Women Writers of Color. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University.

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Hampton Roads Writers, P.O. Box 56228, Virginia Beach, VA 23456