Doing a Writers Workshop to Promote Your Books

Doing creative writing workshops in schools, at conferences, in bookstores, and at libraries is a good way to introduce yourself and your books to the public. I have done writing workshops for children as young as 5 1/2, for teachers, and for senior citizens. Everyone wants to write better.

Choose a skill that you can share with others. For example, many people overuse vague, general words and do not use enough details when they write.  Show the group how to take a general topic and bring it to life with specific words that appeal to the five senses.  

Many fiction manuscripts lack conflict and change.  People often submit simple descriptions, rather than having action and events. Show writers how develop friction and competition between characters.  Help your group to establish plots that will intrigue readers.

Or you can help people to structure their work in a more logical way and to avoid repeating themselves.  Explain different organizational strategies, and give examples from well-known works of literature.

Demonstrate how to avoid boring sentences.  Teach people how to use active verbs and specific nouns, rather than piling on adjectives and adverbs.  Show your group how to vary sentence structure and length to create different effects.

I ask workshop participants to bring or send me in advance a short story, poem, drama, or essay.  I make detailed comments about what each person’s strengths are and suggest ways to improve the manuscript.

I also invite participants to send me questions in advance or to raise questions during the workshop.  These questions help me to focus on what the group needs to know.

At some point during the workshop, share information about your own books with the participants.  I pass out handouts to everyone that have helpful advice for writers and also contain information about my books.

I have met wonderful people at workshops, and I have invited some of them to join my writing groups.  I recommend that other authors try this strategy to improve their visibility and to reach out to the public.

Janet at the Congregation of Moses with Her Books

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