Saturday, April 03, 2010


Classes Starting Next Week!

We have a few classes starting next week (Monday and Tuesday). There's still some available spots if you'd like to participate. :)

April 5, 2010 (Monday):

Instructor: Mary MacRae Warren
Duration: 4 Weeks
This course will explore the importance of branding to authors and help you pull together your brand--whether you're established or just starting out in your writing career. At the end of the class you will have a portfolio and campaign to market your writing.
Visit the classroom for complete details and curriculum

Instructor: Christina Hamlett
Duration: 6 weeks
This 6-week class provides an overview of the techniques and formatting requirements to develop an original screenplay. The lectures and assignments cover character development, dialogue, genre, structure, pacing, budget, and marketability. All materials submitted are critiqued by a professional screenplay consultant and learners are free to ask as many questions as they'd like about how to turn a story idea into a commercial, pitch-ready script.
Visit the classroom for complete details and curriculum

Instructor: Christina Hamlett
Duration: 6 weeks
Since the time of the Ancient Greeks, the live theater experience has satisfied an audience's need for entertainment that is immediate, intimate and accessible to all ages and levels of society. Whether performed in an outdoor courtyard, on a vintage stage, in a school auditorium, or above the din of an urban coffeehouse, a play is an ever-evolving and timeless art form that derives its energy from both sides of the footlights. Unlike a novel or film which is financed and produced only once, a theater script undergoes a new transformation with each change of cast and each change of venue. Even the passage of time itself impacts how a theatrical story will resonate with successive generations, giving new definition and perspective to old ideas or providing a yardstick of how far we've come from social mores that were once held as truth.

In this class, you'll be learning what makes a play successful...and how to write one yourself! Each module consists of a lecture and writing assignment, as well as interviews, websites and anecdotes. Ideally, it should only take one week to complete each exercise. The final assignment will be the writing and submission of an original 15-minute one-act play, which will be professionally critiqued for its adherence to all of the principles addressed in class.
Visit the classroom for complete details and curriculum

Instructor: Andrea Campbell
Duration: 8 weeks
Let me show you through my intense, 8-week-long workshop how to get a nonfiction book proposal ready for publishers. This is your opportunity to gain a serious business advantage over other writers who will try to wing it. And even if your first book doesn't sell, you will have the skills and the template to apply to other ideas and projects. You may even come up with more ideas for more books as you work through this course.

And my workshop is different. I keep the classes small so you receive a lot of individual attention: class size is limited to 10 students. In addition, you will have e-mail feedback on all assignments. Another thing I do in my workshops is to have weekly chat sessions. Yes, every Thursday night, we will meet online to ask questions, discuss lesson plans, and talk about additional information or details that you might have missed. Chats are an important tool for learning (and camaraderie) and why shouldn't we work together to leverage our knowledge? And to make it worth your while, you will also receive additional materials to help illustrate important points from the lesson plans or that you can use to aid you in staying abreast of what is happening in the publishing industry.

By the end of class, students will have a marketable, nonfiction book proposal package ready to send out to agents, including a query letter, along with the confidence to market his/her product.
Visit the classroom for complete details and curriculum

April 6, 2010 (Tuesday):

Instructor: Gila Green
Duration: 8 weeks
Through writing exercises and classmate and instructor feedback we will delve into the fundamentals of short fiction with a view to publishable work. We will explore a variety of craft elements including: character, plot, point of view, description, dialogue, setting, pacing, voice and theme.
Visit the classroom for complete details and curriculum


If you're interested in any of these subjects, consider taking one of these courses taught by our expert instructors! All of the classes are held online and you can work at your own pace and on your own time. You do not need to be present at any particular time (we get that question a lot), and if the instructor has a set time for online chats, you can make arrangements with her to fit your schedule. Visit:

Happy writing!

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Saturday, January 09, 2010


Learn to Write for Children: Tips from Margo L. Dill

I've never tried writing for children's publications but I've always been intrigued by the idea. It must be so rewarding to reach out and entertain a child through your writing. I still remember all the articles and stories I read in magazines, such as Cricket, as a child. Maybe it's because I was so young that the stories stuck with me, or the fact that I was reading something I wanted to read for the first time.

So to gain a bit of insight into this market, I caught up with Margo L. Dill and asked her a few questions on the subject. Margo teaches the e-course Writing for Children. The course begins next Wednesday, January 13th. If this is a market you've been thinking about writing for, I urge you to visit the classroom page and sign up today.

Welcome, Margo! Like I mentioned above, I'm new to children's writing. So tell me, what are the different types of manuscripts children's magazines accept?

Margo: Children's magazines accept short stories, poems, and articles. They also accept fillers, which are pieces like recipes, puzzles, quizzes, and arts and crafts.

That's a wide variety, and it sounds like a lot of fun. If a writer wanted to craft a short story for a children's magazine, what things should she keep in mind to better target her market?

Margo: I teach about the characteristics of a children's short story during the fiction lessons because writing a short story for children is very different than writing for adults. The age of the main character is very important and should be the same age or older than the target age range. For example, if you are writing a short story for readers between 8 and 12 years old, the main character should be 11 or 12. As a rule, children don't like to read about kids younger than them or adults as main characters. The other big mistake I see made in many children's stories, and we cover this in the class, is that the child protagonist does not solve his own problem. An adult swoops in and saves the day. Children want to read about other children solving their own problems.

I never thought about it, but that makes complete sense. I think it's a good lesson too for children to learn how to solve their own problems. In your class curriculum you recommend sending a cover letter with a short story submission. Are cover letters important? Shouldn't the story stand on its own?

Margo: Writing for children is a business. If you want a magazine editor to take you seriously, then you need to learn the business. On cold submissions, magazine editors expect to see a cover letter with your submission--this includes e-mail and snail mail submissions. The cover letter should be short and simple, just like you were sending a cover letter with a job application. The job application speaks for itself, but the cover letter highlights some important points. Same is true for a short story cover letter. It should briefly explain the story, tell the word count, why the story fits in the magazine, and a few of your credentials. That's it!

Great advice, and it sounds simple enough. Let's talk nonfiction articles. You mention that it's easier to break into the children's magazine market with nonfiction. That's also true with the adult magazine market. In your opinion, how do these markets differ?

Margo: The biggest difference is that there are fewer nonfiction children's magazines than there are adult magazines, so the competition is fierce. Therefore, you have to know how to research your market and your topic to give yourself an advantage over other freelance writers. You also must write a killer query letter, which we work on in the online class. Many children's magazines have theme lists; so before you send your query, it is important to see if your idea will fit in any of the themes. Some magazines will invite queries that do not fit in any themes for possible future consideration. Writing for children is similar to writing for adults, and it should be taken just as seriously.

I bet your students love the query letter part of the class! And you seem to have had a lot of success with queries. You've had articles, short stories, poetry, activities, and recipes published in various children's publications. Quite an impressive list too, I might add! I'm sure writers who are interested in your class would love to break into these publications. But what if they don't have any clips? Is it just as important to have clips in the children's market as it is in the adult market?

Margo: Thanks, Ang. I thought the different types of manuscripts I've had published showed I was a bit scattered, but I appreciate the compliment. (Laughs) Clips are not as important in children's magazines. If you are writing strictly fiction or poetry (which I don't recommend to ONLY write these), then you don't need clips. Editors want to see the entire manuscript before they make a decision. As for fillers, you also need to send the entire manuscript unless the guidelines say otherwise. Every once and a while, a magazine editor will ask for a query for a quiz idea, instead of seeing the whole quiz first. For nonfiction articles, clips can help you get published; but in general, children's magazine editors will accept a query idea on speculation. This means if you don't have a lot of clips, you will write the article because they like your idea, but they may or may not purchase it until after they read the complete article.

That's great to know! I'm sure some of us are breathing a sigh of relief on the clip thing. So what do you ultimately hope students will learn from taking your course?

Margo: Children's writing for magazines and websites is just as tough (or maybe tougher because there are less markets) than writing for adults. It is so important to have markets in mind before you write a story, article, or poem if you want to publish your work. Creativity is important, but published writers must use their creativity to craft a publishable manuscript, or it is a waste of time. I will show my students how and where to search for markets, how to target markets, how to craft a short story and submit it, and how to write a great query for an article. I also want them to see how fillers can be quite lucrative and motivating! When I taught this class in the fall, one of my students got an acceptance for a filler from a website during the class and became an educational writer for

Thank you, Margo, for sharing some great tips with us today!

Readers, if you're interested in breaking into children's writing, remember, Margo's class Writing for Children: Everything You Need to Know About Short Stories, Articles, and Fillers starts next Wednesday, January 13, 2010. It runs for 7 weeks. Visit the classroom page to view what you'll be learning week by week. Enroll today to reserve your spot. Happy writing!

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Friday, September 18, 2009


Last Chance to Register! Writing for Children Workshop


If you're interested in writing for children's magazines--whether it's a short story, a nonfiction article, or poetry--this class is not to miss! Margo is a fabulous instructor and will walk you through the process--from crafting your story to creating your submission package. Enroll asap to ensure your spot.

WRITING FOR CHILDREN: Everything You Need to Know About Short Stories, Articles, and Fillers by Margo L. Dill

START DATE: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DURATION: 7 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will teach the basics of writing for children’s magazines, crafting short stories, nonfiction articles, poetry, and fillers. The student will come away with a short story and cover letter, nonfiction query letter, and a filler or poem. She will also have a list of potential markets, fitting her manuscripts. The instructor will also share an organizational tool for submissions and information on finding other children’s writers and networking.

Visit the classroom page for more details and a week-by-week breakdown:

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Linda Formichelli Helps you Break into Magazines

Linda's 8-Week E-course on Breaking into Magazines

Next Session Starts Monday, July 30, 2007

If you want to write for magazines but don't know how to get started - or if you need some motivation to get you going - this course is for you.

In eight weekly lessons, Linda will walk you through:

  • Coming up with a salable idea
  • Finding markets that would be interested in your idea
  • Finding the right editors to send your idea to
  • Interviewing people for the query letter (the proposal that sells the editor on your idea and yourself as a writer)
  • Writing a winning query letter
  • Getting your query out the door!

Each lesson includes an assignment. You can do much of the assignments after work, during your lunch break, on weekends - whenever YOU have the time. The best part is, you can use the lessons you learn in this course over and over again. The more queries you write and send, the better the chances that you'll get published!

The basic course includes eight weekly lessons and the premium course includes personalized e-mail support as well (Linda sets aside Wednesdays and Fridays to answer e-mails). She says, "I am here to guide you through the program and to answer any questions you might have."

For more details on how the course works, the course schedule, and Linda's teaching philosophy, please download and read the E-Course FAQ on Linda's site (PDF format).

Premium Course - Eight weekly lessons, eight assignments, and eight weeks of unlimited e-mail support ($240)

Basic Course - Eight weekly lessons and eight assignments ($120)


If you missed our last issue's 20 Questions Column with Linda Formichelli, Renegade Writer be sure to check it out! Linda knows all the tricks of the trade, and as you'll see in this unique WOW! interview, she's got a handle on balancing life & writing.

***NOTE: Please be sure to say that WOW! Women On Writing referred you :-)


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