West Texas A&M University

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EOD Writers' Academy - Academy and Course Information
West Texas Writers' Academy June 10-14, 2019


2018 Courses and Instructors

Course Instructor Level*

The Tao of Romance Fiction:
A No-nonsense Way to Plot and Write a Love Story

Susan Donovan


Writing Compelling Fiction:
Making Your Scenes Credible and Incredible

Margie Lawson


Unleash Your Story:
From Ideas to Edits—Write, Rewrite, or Remodel Your Novel

Lori Freeland


Expanding Your Creativity:
Writing Deeper

Jolene Navarro



Expanding Your Creativity: Writing Deeper
with Jolene Navarro, Bestselling hybrid author of contemporary and historical romance

Jolene Navarro

Level 4 class
This non-lecture class is for WTWA alumni who are ready to tackle the next step toward a fulfilling commercial writing career. Whether indie or traditional, success demands that an author continues to produce. Have you begun your next book and need a little push?  Through instructor guided collaboration, the class will focus on these story elements:       

  • Deepening plot
  • Examining creativity
  • Brainstorming high concept
  • Exploring different writing locations and excises to spark creativity

 As a prerequisite, you must have completed one or more books. So please bring a current project to work on in class…and be ready to spread your writer-wings!
Check out Jolene's website, Facebook and Amazon author page.


Writing Compelling Fiction: Making Your Scenes Credible and Incredible
with Margie Lawson, Writing coach for more than 20 published authors

Level 3-4 class
This power-packed class is for the intermediate to advanced writer. You know the basics, or more than the basics, and you’re ready to make your writing stellar.Margie Lawson

  • Power Up Openings—Make the opening of every scene and every chapter compelling with my Twenty Point Checklist for Openings. You'll learn how to orient and hook the reader, make your story and style promises pop, have the right balance of fresh writing and plain do-the-job-well writing, and anchor the reader in the POV character's emotional set.
  • Dynamic Dialogue—Use my 25 Tips for Writing Dynamic Dialogue and learn how to make your dialogue sound natural, how to differentiate speech for characters, how to use dialogue to maintain smart pacing.
  • Empowering Emotions—Make every page carry the right amount of emotion with my Four Levels of Powering Up Emotion. Learn how to use themed words, emotional hits, subtext, body language, dialogue cues, and visceral responses. We'll dig deep and make your turning points powerful.  
  • Make-a-Difference Details—Get the most out of details in settings and descriptions, in thoughts and action, in expressions and dialogue tags. Make those details count.
  • Cadence-Driven Writing—Learn how to be strategic with style and structure. Power your pages with cadence-driven writing and you'll make your book a page-turner. 
  • Finessing Backstory—Learn ten ways to finesse backstory including mini-flashbacks, sculpting dialogue, rhetorical devices, and backstory slip-ins.

Class members will have an opportunity to meet with Margie one-on-one for feedback on their writing.  Margie is an editor and international presenter.  She used her clinical psychology expertise to develop deep editing techniques used by new writers to multi-award winning authors. Margie has presented over 120 full day master classes to writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, and on cruise ships too. Writers credit her innovative EDITS System and deep editing techniques for taking their writing to publication, awards, and bestseller lists. 
Check out Margie's website and Facebook.


Unleash Your Story: From Ideas to Edits—Write, Rewrite, or Remodel Your Novel
with Lori Freeland, YA fiction author, writing coach, and blogger

Lori FreelandLevel 1-2 class
Whether you’ve always wanted to write a book and weren’t sure how to begin or you’ve finished a manuscript that just isn’t working, this class is for you. From planning to polishing, learn how to:

  • structure a solid story
  • create 3D characters
  • build vivid visuals
  • set scenes with purpose
  • boost your words and sentences from ordinary to extraordinary.

Check out Lori's website and Amazon author page.



The Tao of Romance Fiction: A No-nonsense Way to Plot and Write a Love Story
with Susan Donovan,
New York Times Bestselling AuthorSusan Donovan

Level 2-4
This course will examine the ingredients of a great romance novel and reveal, step-by-step, how to deliver the goods to your reader. We will use Diana Gabaldon’s iconic Outlander as our textbook. How did she do it? How did she write a story (which led to a blockbuster series and morphed into a cable television phenomenon) with such staying power?  As we’ll discover, Gabaldon did it by checking all the boxes above, and then some. We’ll watch the first few episodes of the Starz Network series, too. Only for research purposes, of course.

The weeklong program will include an introduction to Susan’s quick-and-dirty method of planning a novel, a half plotter/half “panster” method she calls “Plonstering.” It’s a shortcut that will get your story off the ground while leaving room to wing it. Coursework will include the dynamics of heroes and heroines, the secret to great dialogue, the mechanics of attraction, finding your author voice, and the art and science of writing love scenes. Bring your Work-In-Progress, if you’ve got one. If you don’t, maybe you’ll leave with one!
Check out Susan's website, Facebook and Amazon author page.

Level Definitions:

1. Open to anyone with an interest in writing.

2. A study of craft and skills.

3. The student is expected to have a command of basic skills. The class will focus on expanding a writer’s toolbox and overall manuscript strength.

4. Writers who have studied the craft and art of writing and are ready to spread their wings toward publication.