Morning Workshops

NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

Writers participating in the morning sessions have the opportunity to work for 20 hours on their writing and publishing skills. The average class has 14 students (plus an assistant for the teacher).

Each faculty member will lead his or her class in the way he or she thinks best, but each will work toward the goal of helping the student reach his or her potential.

Classes are small for a reason—so writers get the individual attention they need to help them improve their craft. There’s time to review an attendee’s manuscipt, learn more about the craft of writing, and time to get to know published authors, illustrators, editors, and agents.

Editors and agents will visit morning classes so attendees have a chance to ask questions about publishing. Some classes may have guest presenters. Each instructor will keep the individual student in mind.

Picture Book

with Kathi Appelt

Picture Book Workshop
In this intensive workshop, we’ll explore the essential elements that go into great picture book writing. Topics that we’ll cover will include, but are not limited to, visual storytelling, character motivation, page turns, storyboards, plotting, action, prose style, etc.  We’ll examine each other’s manuscripts in a constructive fashion so that we can find the true heart of our stories and leave with plenty of ideas for revision and new stories.

Class size: 14

NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

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Trouble Shooting Class for All Genres

with A. E. Cannon

So you’ve been humming along on your book—yay, you!—when suddenly you hit a wall.  What do you do next?  Turn off the computer and . . .

  1. Binge-watch Brooklyn 99?
  2. Eat a Crown Burger and thank your lucky stars that someone invented pastrami?
  3. Do a load of laundry?  Or two?  Or twenty?

If you picked any of these answers—or came up with one of your own–you’re not alone.  All of us who write have had the experience of feeling stuck.  And if you’re in that place, consider signing up for WIFYR’s trouble-shooting class—a week-long workshop that helps you generate ways to address your manuscript’s problem.

Students will be asked to do the following things before the conference begins:

*Provide class members and instructor (me) with a synopsis of the novel—what it’s about and where it’s going.

*Provide class members and instructor (me again!) with the first 15-20 pages of the manuscripts.

*Provide (see above) a self-diagnosis—a quick statement of what you’re struggling with.  For example, you may be having a hard time moving the story forward.  Or you feel like your dialogue is wooden.  Or your characters are boring.  You get the idea.

* Provide up to fifteen pages of a section in the manuscript where we see this problem highlighted.

Additionally, students must be willing to revise (and by “revise” I mean “rewrite”) a portion of one another’s trouble spots in an effort to help us all think outside of our manuscripts’ boxes.

Students must also be willing to read a number of YA novels (list to follow) that successfully deal with the issues raised by class members.

And, finally, students must be willing to ply me with cold cans of Dr. Pepper.  Cans.  Not bottles.  Also.  Cold.

Class size: 14

NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

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Novel Workshop (CLASS FULL)

with Julie Berry

Like your fearless leader, Carol Lynch Williams, I’m a graduate of the Vermont College of the Fine Arts MFA program in writing for children and young adults. My writing career got its start in the laboratory of supportive peer workshops and mentored discussions. I look forward to facilitating a workshop with my group at WIFYR so that we can all grow together. We’ll focus on how the art of constructive critique makes us better editors and revisers of our own work. Each participant will have their pieces workshopped by their peers. We’ll begin each session with writing exercises, then delve into workshopping, and end with discussions on craft topics, using an assigned touchstone title as a launching point.

This class will challenge you intellectually and personally, but we will be, first and foremost, an encouraging group. We need to be our own most rigorous critics, but we need even more to encourage and celebrate our efforts and our potential – and the joy we find in reading and writing wonderful stories. Good writers must learn to be generous, candid, and specific in dispensing both critique and praise, but I believe it’s encouragement, more than anything else, that calls forth our best abilities. We’ll work together to expand each other’s belief in our own capacity, then rise to the measure of that belief.  Best of all, we’ll do a lot of giggling. Snorting and cackling are also permitted.

Class size: 14
NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

Novel Workshop

with Natalie Whipple

Great fiction is all about the lens you bring to a story and how you choose to crop and manipulate what’s on the page. Utilizing my art background, I will teach my students how to compose a novel on every level, from creating a solid world to painting vivid characters to choosing the details that will give your story nuance and flair. Each student will submit 30 pages of their finished novel for critique by the class, and through detailed critique of your work I plan to give you every tool you need to make your novel a masterpiece.

And after I’ve taught about crafting your book, I will give you all the knowledge I have about how to sell your art. It’s a difficult business, both emotionally and financially, and as a hybrid author I can give you an honest look at the many paths now in publishing. Never have artists had so many choices, and I’d love to help you decide what direction is right for you.

Class size: 14

NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

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Advanced Novel Workshop (CLASS FULL)

with Carol Lynch Williams

Advanced Class is the shot we all need to get our writing that much closer to publication. During our 20 hours together we’ll  learn about novel structure, character development and punching up your writing with  emotion. We’ll talk about sense of place, moving your story forward, and just how far you should push your characters.  Each attendee will submit 20 pages of his or her writing, in advance so we can start Monday morning ready to go. We’ll work on making your story the best it can be.  We’ll laugh together, learn together and probably have some yummy snacks.

Class size: 14

NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

*Prerequisite required. Must have attended WIFYR at least three times or have equivalent education or special permission. Please send an email to staff@wifyr.com.

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Boot Camp (CLASS FULL)

with Dave Farland

I’m excited to be teaching at WIFYR this year–and especially to be 
reading the works of the students involved.  It was at workshops like 
this that I first discovered #1 New York Times Bestsellers Brandon 
Mull, Jessica Day George, Brandon Sanderson, and Stephenie Meyer. 
Now, I’m hoping to help mentor someone else of that caliber. 
Hopefully it’s you!

Class size: 10

NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

*You will submit 55 pages and a full synopsis.

*Prerequisite required. Must have attended WIFYR at least three times or have equivalent education or special permission. Please send an email to staff@wifyr.com.

Full Novel Workshop (CLASS FULL)

with Jennifer Adams

In this middle-grade and YA novel writing class, we will discuss what makes a good novel, including structure, plot, characterization, motivation, world building, dialogue, and strong writing. We’ll discuss the importance of drafts and rewriting, how to overcome whatever is holding you back from getting words on the paper, and skills for managing a writing life. We’ll also focus extensively on editing (yourself and others) and how to work with an editor once your novel is accepted for publication. Please bring an outline of the project you are working on and ten pages to workshop in class. Be prepared to discuss your writing, offer critiques, and to talk about your favorite novels.

Class size: 6

NOTE: All Morning Workshops Include the Afternoon Sessions and Keynote.

*Prerequisite required. There is a 60,000 word limit and full synopsis required. Must obtain permission from WIFYR staff. Please send an email to staff@wifyr.com.

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There will be no refunds after April 30th. If you cancel before this date, you will receive a full refund, minus a 20% administration fee.

Photo of Kathi Appelt
Photo of Natalie Whipple
Photo of Julie Berry
Photo of Jennifer Adams
Photo of AE Cannon
Photo of Carol Lynch WIlliams