Workshops and Presentations


Women's Institute of Houston

KEYS TO ENJOYING THE WRITER'S ART: Literary Romps & Productive Pauses
(Limited enrollment classes, registration required)
February 6, 2018: Is it Humorous? Or Merely Funny?—Are you a raconteur or a rake? A silly-billy or a jokester? Do you deliver the punch line for a joke with aplomb or with an apology? Let’s look at the fiddle-faddle and hootchie-ma-coo of oral and written humor.

March 6, 2018: Writing Your Memories: How to do it with Verve—We want to leave behind our hard-won wisdom and precious memories, don’t we?  Learn the writer’s tricks that will elevate your ability to say what you want to say and focus on what’s important in your story.

April 3, 2018: Circling Back to Poetry: How to Use Poetic Craft in Prose— We will look at inspiring examples of great prose written using poetry’s greatest “tricks” to create enduring stories, characters, and places.

Creativity Workshop sponsored by WIVLA, Women in the Visual and Literary Arts
April 28, 2018 in Houston, TX

Perfect for both poetry and prose writers, this class will be full of practical ideas and exercises to keep your imagination active, busy, and productive.
Three-hour workshop, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
To register, go to

Two Courses in Writing Craft for Houston Writers Guild
May 4-6, 2018 in Houston, TX

Why Action Isn’t Enough:  How to Write the Memorable Story
There’s a certain kind of story that readers can’t put down.  It’s the same kind of story that agents crave, that editors issue contracts for, and that writers hope to write:  The Memorable Story.  This brand of story is built on three sturdy legs:  deep characterization, believable human action, and unique voice.  Learn how to do the legwork required before writing your book that will enable you to successfully write a memorable story.

Deepen Your Writing Through Effective Use of Place
Even I admit that, at first glance, writing “Place” doesn’t sound exciting, or sexy, or intriguing.  But listen, folks, writing place and writing it well is one of the stealth secrets of all effective writers across genres—popular fiction, literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and even poetry.  Together, let’s look at examples from all these genres, and learn out how to do it well.  You’ll learn how to write the hauntingly cold British moors so effectively that Heathcliff will feel at home. 
To register, go to

Alabama Writers Conclave
June 15-17, 2018

I will teach two focused workshops on completely different topics.  I hope you’ll join us in the beautiful beach town of Orange Beach, AL by the sparkling Gulf.

Keys to the Persona Poem
Learn the specific steps to unlocking the extraordinary potential of the persona poem.  We’ll borrow methodology from both fiction and memoir writers to transform your persona poems from hum-drum to astounding, from mediocre to memorable.  We’ll experiment with maintaining narrative tension, introducing the sly unconscious, side-stepping the predictable, and communicating what you didn’t know that you knew about your character.

Are You Ready to Edit an Anthology?
Learn the specific markers to help you gauge your fitness level for the bold, strenuous step of editing an anthology.  Bring all your questions about the process because we will work on your game plan for such a project.  When you leave this session, you will have a newfound clarity about whether you wish to edit an anthology, and if so, what rewards, what timelines to expect and how to avoid the most common pitfalls.
To register, go to