2017 Workshop Series

All dates and times are Saturdays, 10 am – 12:30 pm
at the Riverside Hotel, 2900 Chinden Boulevard, Boise
Cost: $45 IWG members, $55 non-members 

February 11 - “Building Blocks of Storytelling” with Margo Kelly and Joshua David Bellin

Whether you write sci-fi, contemporary fiction, mystery, or romance, there are basic elements to building a great story. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn concepts to build better worlds, better characters, and better suspense in your stories.

Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). He's the author of the YA science fiction duology Survival Colony 9 (2014) and Scavenger of Souls (2016); his next book, the deep-space YA adventure/romance Freefall, releases in 2017. Josh loves to read, watch movies, and spend time in Nature with his kids. Oh, yeah, and he likes monsters. Really scary monsters.

Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. Her critically acclaimed debut, Who R U Really?, was published by Merit Press (an imprint of F+W Media) in 2014. Kirkus Reviews called Margo’s debut "a suspenseful page-turner.” Her second novel, Unlocked, was published by Merit Press in October 2016, and School Library Journal said, "The psychological elements and mystery bring...real tension." Margo loves to be scared—when she’s reading a good book, watching a good movie, or suffering from the hiccups. She enjoys writing thrillers for young adults and hopes her stories give readers the goosebumps or the itchies or the desire to rethink everyday things.

April 8 - “Pitching Your Manuscript or Book Proposal: The Wind-Up, the Pitch, and the Swing” with Cristen Iris

Editor, author, and book and business coach Cristen Iris offers a workshop to help authors make an effective manuscript or book proposal pitch. She breaks down the process into four crucial steps:
The Playing Field: Understanding the Industry. If you don't understand the game, you can't win.
The Wind-up: Setting Yourself Up for Success. Understand the batters (agents/publishers) and what they like to swing at.
The Pitch: Crafting and Executing Your Pitch. Fundamentals and practice will make you a standout.
The Swing: Connecting with the Agent at the Plate. Be memorable and, win or lose, be a good sport.

Cristen Iris is a professional editor, author, and book and business coach who helps authors stand out from their competition by helping them speak the business language of the publishing world. Cristen combines her business approach with her experience as the former president of a Toastmasters International public speaking club, along with lessons learned doing speech competitions and acting in front of audiences of up to 400 people, to help authors confidently craft and execute persuasive pitches.

June 10 - “Crafting Effective Dialogue” with Christian Winn

Dialogue does more than relay what characters say to each other. Skillfully written, dialogue reveals characters’ emotional depths and propels a story forward. Using published examples that exemplify strongly written dialogue, Idaho Writer in Residence Christian Winn shows what dialogue should—and should not—do, and how to accomplish it.

Christian Winn is a fiction writer, poet, journalist and teacher of writing who lives and works in Boise. He is the 2016-2019 Idaho Writer in Residence. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Ploughshares, The Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal, Gulf Coast, Santa Monica Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, TriQuartely and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at The Cabin, Boise State University, and with the Writers Write Workshop Series. Winn is also the producer of Storyfort and Modern Campfire Stories. His debut story collection, Naked Me, is recently out from Dock Street Press who will be publishing his second collection, What's Wrong With You Is What's Wrong With Me, in early 2017. 

August 12 - “My book Is on Amazon. Now What? — Strategize, Socialize, and Sell” with Greta Boris and Steph Cortés
Has your book been shipwrecked on Amazon's shores? Many authors launch their novels onto the constantly shifting waves of the internet and end up lost at sea. Greta Boris, an Amazon Kindle bestselling author, will give authors tips on: getting more reviews, positioning your book for best exposure, creating your Amazon Author page, and utilizing Book Bub type ads for best advantage. Social media strategy diva Steph Cortés will show authors how to develop a social media strategy to support those marketing efforts.

Greta Boris is the author of the Amazon Kindle bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout, and the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 700 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California. The first two books in her domestic suspense series based on the 7 Deadly Sins, A Margin of Lust and The Scent of Wrath, are scheduled for publication in 2017 by Fawkes Press. She describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante's Inferno. You can visit her at gretaboris.com, or follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/greta.boris/ and Twitter at twitter.com/GretaBoris.

Steph Cortés has been actively supporting artists and freelancers for almost a decade through her work with Etsy and local crafters in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her various roles as an indie entrepreneur, artistic advocate, and creative consultant, she’s learned that most folks just need a starting point and some motivation to get to the next step in their journey. She enjoys helping dedicated individuals figure out the road map to making their dreams into actionable goals.

October 14 - “How to Do Audiobooks Like a Pro” with Drew Allen Brown

Recording expert and audio engineer Drew Allen Brown offers a hands-on workshop—featuring his portable audio lab—for anyone interested in recording their own audiobooks. In addition to interactive recording examples, Drew offers advice on preparing to record an audiobook, pacing and breathing, noise issues, the pros and cons of character voices, making your audio sound professional, and recording yourself vs. using an audio studio vs. hiring it out.

Drew Allen Brown is an audio engineer out of Nampa, Idaho, who has been in audio for 15+ years working in music, voiceover, audiobooks, and more. On top of producing/mixing/mastering Christian rock and alt rock, Drew does audio recording and cleanup for videographers out of Hollywood, background music, voiceover and more out of his Nashville-quality studio. Some of the audiobooks Drew has produced are The Time Pedaler by Micheal Maxwell, Med Free Bipolar by Aspen Morrow, and Midlife Happy Hour by Elaine Ambrose.

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