West Texas A&M University

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Education on Demand Writers' Academy - Academy and Course Information
West Texas Writer's Academy June 5-9, 2017


2017 In-Depth Courses and Instructors

Check out our morning sessions and speakers too!

Bethany ClaireMastering Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Grow and Cultivate Your Own Publishing Empire

Bethany Claire
USA Today Bestselling Author

Writing the book is hard enough – you think, type, and agonize as you pour yourself into your manuscript, but once you’re finished, you quickly realize there’s still so much more to be done. This is true for ALL authors, whether you’re traditionally inclined or Indie-curious, but for those determined to make a go of it on their own, the path to self-publishing success can be a daunting one. You may ask yourself questions like: How do I get started? Is all of the work worth it? Is anyone making money self-publishing anymore? Where do I find the resources I need? What do I do after I’ve released my book? This class will cover all of these questions and so much more. Regardless of whether you’ve already self-published and are looking to increase your readership and income or you are just finishing your first manuscript, you will leave this week with everything you need to know to set yourself up for success. Workbooks, resources, and a private Facebook group available for 30 days after the course has ended will be provided.

Note:  This will not be a craft class. The focus will be on setting up and running a self-publishing business. While it is recommended that you have a laptop, one will not be required for class. However, if you wish to take advantage of individual guidance setting up vendor accounts, etc. during free time, you will need to have your own laptop. If you have any questions about whether or not this class is for you, email me at: bclaire@bethanyclaire.com


Lori FreelandMaster Your Manuscript: Catch and Keep Your Reader Using the Secret of Clarity

Lori Freeland
Young Adult author, writing coach and blogger

A few of us write for ourselves. Most of us write for other people. As storytellers, we want to create a mood. Set a tone. Even mold a new world. But sometimes we’re so caught up in the excitement of sharing the magic in our head we forget a reader can only experience what we’ve actually put on the page.

Writing a compelling story requires mastering the craft. But when do you use those writing rules? When do you ditch them? The backbone behind every rule comes down to a simple secret—clarity. Topics and techniques presented in class can be applied to articles, short stories, novellas, memoirs, or novels.

  • Frame your scene using essay structure. 
  • Deepen your scene with mood, setting, and purpose.
  • Lock into deep POV using scenes that show, not tell.
  • Drive tension into dialogue. 
  • Find your flow. Make your style work for you.
  • Demolish reader stumbling blocks.
  • Manipulate sentence structure and toss vague and unnecessary words.
  • Battle boredom. Nix clichés, filter words, and overused descriptions.
  • Plan and execute your perfect pace.


Dr. Emily KinskyBuilding Your Brand Through Social Media Management and Good Design

Emily S. Kinsky, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, WTAMU Department of Communication

Learn how to create your brand, build your online reputation and promote yourself as an author.

This class will guide you on the use of social media to promote your brand. Learn how to provide valuable content to your followers on a regular basis and how to monitor interactions. This class will help you learn how to manage multiple social media accounts and to confirm their effectiveness using free online tools that can help with social media management. We will also look at how new tools such as Facebook Live and 360-degree cameras could be used to share about yourself or promote your work.

An important part of branding yourself is having a strong logo and well-designed materials. Whether you design your own logo, book covers and promotional materials or hire a professional designer, you need to know some basic rules of design to recognize a job well done and to maintain a consistent brand across all platforms. In this class, you will learn the basics of good design—from balance to font choices. You will learn how to use free tools to create promotional content.

Note: This class is designed for those who already have social media profiles who want to optimize them. A laptop will be needed.


Rosa Latimer

Write Creative Non-Fiction: Sure Steps to Jump Start Your Memoir

Rosa Latimer
Non-fiction author of the Harvey House Series, writing consultant

Many have asked for a memoir class, so here it is! Expect to be immersed in your non-fiction/memoir project while working in a supportive, positive environment.  Whether your form is memoir or another type of non-fiction, this class will help you write your story in the very best way possible while maintaining your personal voice and purpose. 

If you are beginning to formulate your story or are well into the process of writing, this fast-paced, collaborative course will provide the additional knowledge and motivation for you to reach your writing goal. We’ll discuss the influence of conflicting memories and emotional truth in non-fiction as well as other intricacies specific to the genre. You’ll learn how to conduct effective interviews; how to use imagination in non-fiction and key elements to move your project forward. Helping you realize your writing aspirations will be the focus for the entire week.


Margie LawsonAdvanced Fiction Writing with Deep Editing Power

Margie Lawson
Writing Coach for over 20 Published Authors

Writers who learn Margie’s psychologically-based deep editing will add seven new drawers to their writing toolbox. Each drawer will be loaded with power tools that writers need to write fresh, analyze scenes, add power to every page, pick up pace, enhance rhythm and cadence and beats, and hook the reader viscerally.

1) Scene Analysis with the EDITS System

2) Four Levels of Powering Up Emotion: Basic, Complex, Empowered, and Super Empowered

3) Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

4) Top 25 Rhetorical Devices to Enhance Structure and Style

5) Deep Editing Techniques to Strengthen Your Openings, Turning Points, and Endings…and Everything In Between!

6) Visceral Rules: Beyond Hammering Hearts

7) Margie’s Killer Five Question Scene Checklist

These power tools have been used by thousands of writers, from newbies to New York Times bestsellers. Learn deep editing, strengthen your writing, and impress agents, editors, readers, and reviewers. Make your WIP carry psychological power that boosts you into a contract, or makes you an NYT bestseller.


Plot Your Novel in a Week: Story Structure Secrets for Your Best Book

Jolene NavarroAlexandra Sokoloff


Jolene Navarro
Bestselling Hybrid Author of Contemporary and Historical Romance


with guest appearance by Alexandra Sokoloff
Bestselling author, Thriller Award winner and Bram Stoker and Anthony Award nominee

Using screenwriting techniques, writers will work through their own stories using the Three-Act, Eight Sequence structure, with special attention to pacing/suspense, character arc/drive, visual storytelling, and maximum emotional impact, no matter what the genre.  Writers will learn how to use concepts of film writing such as the Storyboard Grid, the Index Card Method of plotting, and key elements of visual storytelling to structure and color their novel for maximum emotional impact, memorable scenes, and riveting pacing.

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Or call 806-651-2037 for more information