Marketing and Publicity 101
Feb 4 – Feb 11 all-day

You’ve written the books, now what? New York Times bestselling author Marie Force will discuss some of the basics of marketing your books to expose them to readers. This workshop will include an introductory look at Facebook ads, Amazon Marketing ads and BookBub ads as well as other promotion and marketing strategies used by authors to grow their readership. Topics include:

  • What’s the difference between publicity and marketing?
  • Affiliate links
  • Newsletters/growing lists
  • Websites
  • Advertising basics
  • Blogs and blog tours
  • Reviews, ARCs, safe sending
  • Free books
  • Launch strategy

Instructor Bio:  Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception.

Her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award.

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

February 2019 Meeting @ ECPI University
Feb 9 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Writing the Chunky Method
Presenter: Allie Pleiter

Click here to hear more about this workshop from Allie herself!

For years, Allie has been teaching writers her famous “Chunky Method” of time management, and on February 9th, she’ll be teaching it live at our February meeting.

Do you find you can’t seem to finish that book you’ve been writing? Do you want to write faster and get published but fear squelching your muse?
Allie’s innovative Chunky Method offers practical, real-world productivity advice in an easy to read and inspiring workbook. You will follow a step-by-step plan to identify your unique writing “Chunk” and wield it to create a solid plan that works “even when life gets in the way.”

It doesn’t matter if this is your first manuscript or your 20th-writers of every experience level have “gotten Chunky” with dramatic results. Whatever your writing style, The Chunky Method Handbook will help you chart a individualized path to your creative writing goals.

Bookkeeping for Writers
Mar 4 – Mar 29 all-day

Description: This class is for writers who either don’t want to or can’t afford to hire an accountant to keep track of their business finances. The class will deal will accounting practices, basic instructions in Quicken& Excel, how to set up your books, and includes useful tax tips for writers in the US and Canada.

Are you co-mingling your money for writing expenses and personal ones? Did you know that the way you are handling your income and expenses can affect whether all your writing expenses are tax deductible instead of just part of them? Did you know there are legal tax tricks that can save you money on income taxes? Do you know how deal with things like getting a tax ID number? Do you know how to avoid a random audit on your business and/or personal income taxes and how to keep red flags off your tax returns? The class will handle all this and more.

About the Instructor: Pepper O’Neal has a paralegal degree from the University Of San Diego Law School and a doctorate in education from the University of Mexico. She has over twelve years’ experience working with business attorneys in California, Washington, and Oregon. Though she’s self-employed as a full-time researcher, non-fiction and fiction writer, she still freelances for attorneys throughout the US, doing research and preparing legal documents. She’s also worked a number of years with tax attorneys and consultants in helping business clients reduce their tax liabilities. She has also been involved in the initial setup of a number of education-related small businesses from daycare facilities to community educational centers. Over the years, she has taught a great number of adult education classes on many different subjects.


March 2019 Meeting @ ECPI University
Mar 9 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Topic:  Feminism & Romance

Speaker: Katharine Ashe

Workshop Description

Writers and fans of romance fiction are the first to declare that romance is a feminist genre. And it’s absolutely true. Genre romance is largely written, edited, published, and consumed by women, which means that women power a multi-billion dollar industry. Moreover, romance novels offer stories centered on women who, despite conflict and adversity, actually achieve their dreams. But if there’s one thing a romance heroine never does, it’s rest on her laurels. How can writers of romance today ensure that the industry we comprise and the fiction we write reflects our cherished ideals of gender equality while holding onto the things we’ve long loved most about romance novels? Bring an open mind and your WIP for a fun, interactive workshop about the sometimes conflictual, frequently steamy, and ever-hopeful relationship between feminism and romance fiction.


Katharine Ashe is the award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including The Prince, which is on both BookPage and Amazon’s lists of the Best Romances of 2018 so far.  Katharine’s books are recommended by Publishers Weekly, Woman’s World Magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, All About Romance, and many others, and translated into languages across the world.  A professor of history and popular culture at Duke University — and host of the UNSUITABLE Speakers Series about women, history and popular fiction — she is also the convener of Facebook’s Feminist Romance Lovers book club.  Katharine lives in wonderfully vibrant Durham (which now has its own Duck Donuts, thank the goddess!) with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt.


How to Write when Everything Goes Wrong
Apr 4 – Apr 29 all-day

Description: “I could get this writing done…if only life would calm down enough to let me!” Life is far from perfect. Curveballs, and even sucker-punches will be a part of every writer’s life. When adversity hits, creativity can feel like it’s under siege. Take the time NOW to learn how to protect and preserve your embattled muse so you’re ready when a crisis hits. Multi published author and the creator of The Chunky Method of time management for writers, Allie Pleiter has met deadlines in the midst of some imposing traumas. With humor and insight, she shares practical and inventive strategies for staying afloat and staying creative in life’s stormiest seas.

Topics include:

– Survival tips for getting your creative self out alive

– Strategies for calm and gratitude

– Private, professional, and public communication

– Tactics for public speaking

– Writing about it: how, when, and if

Instructor Bio:  : Allie Pleiter is the author of over 40 published novels, two parenting books, and is the creator of the popular Chunky Method of time management for writers. To date, Allie has sold 1.4 million books in 7 countries and 4 languages. Her seventeen-year writing career has included the challenges of keeping the words coming during not one, but four life-threatening illnesses for her son (he’s fine now!). Meeting these obstacles has given her a passion for helping creatives and other high-energy workers survive and thrive in tough times. In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on faith, the creative process, women’s issues. Visit her website at to learn more.


Writing Conflict Hurts
May 6 – May 31 all-day

Description: Writing Conflict Hurts — not just because it makes your characters suffer, but also because it’s painful to create and carry through on a page. However, conflict drives story and holds an editor’s attention, which means it sells books. Conflict also entices readers to turn the page, which helps create a satisfying experience (plus repeat purchases). Bring a story idea to this interactive course and learn how to build, refine or edit your stories by creating compelling conflict and stronger plots, one element at a time. Takeaways include:
* Developing story goals that are hindered by conflict
* How to deepen character and create emotionally satisfying reads
* Better understanding of internal and external conflict
* The “bumpers” that keep your characters acting consistently
* Conflict that catches the attention of editors and agents
* Summarizing and presenting your finished or developing story

Instructor Bio:  Melinda Curtis, an award-winning USA Today bestseller of over 35 romances, is a writing craft geek. Before turning to writing as a career, she worked with a cultural anthropologist and a marketing psychologist on how to create more compelling packaging at the shelf. One class short of a psychology minor, Melinda believes that “knowing more about what makes people tick can add depth to your writing.”


Self Editing or “How’d I miss that?”
Jun 3 – Jun 28 all-day

Description:   Embarrassment Prevention skills. 

Do not send your manuscript to an agent, editor, contest, or retailer until you have worked it over, backwards, forwards and sideways. Show off your writing chops by sending out clean pages.

Let me arm you with all the tips I wish someone had given me, and save you from the embarrassment of the kind of mistakes I’ve made. Sit down with me for an hour, or sign up for a month-long online class, and learn how to easily spot crutch words, spelling weaknesses, inconsistencies, overused words, passive words, repetitious words, slow pacing, redundancies, clichés, poor/incorrect word use, sentence and paragraph structure, punctuation typos, dialogue rhythms and flow, and Point of View issues.

Do not follow in my footsteps! Learn from my mistakes instead and you’ll find yourself leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. Contact Kathryn for more information


Instructor Bio:  Author of page-turning, Romantic Suspense, Women’s Fiction, and Short Stories about feral cats, Kathryn Jane takes readers to places they’d like to live and introduces them to characters they will end up loving.

Fulfilling her passion for education Kathryn presents workshops for both aspiring and accomplished writers and covers a broad spectrum of subjects.  In her spare time (she says laughing), Kat loves spreading kindness and joy to family, friends, and strangers alike.

How to build a smart website that grows your author business
Aug 5 – Aug 30 all-day

Description: Your 24/7 Assistant – How to build a website that looks good, is smart and grows your author business. Walk through the step-by-step process to build a beautiful, intentional and effective website with or without coding. This will be a working workshop. We’ll audit our websites and make updates as we go. Don’t have a website yet? No problem, we’ll walk through the steps to create a great one from scratch.


Instructor Bio:  Tivi Jones has been a professional marketer since 2004. She currently serves as a marketing, branding and communications consultant with clients like PBS, Cisco, Carolina Parent magazine, Forward Cities and more. She loves the brand and community building opportunities marketing presents. While she loves working with big brands, she also loves helping entrepreneurs and “solopreneurs” use effective media, awesome marketing and contagious moxie to create sustainable lifestyle businesses.

What do you do when a horse shows up in your story?
Oct 1 – Oct 25 all-day

Description:       What do you do when a horse shows up in your story? Do you panic? Hit the brakes? Inform her she can’t have a horse?  Not if you take this course filled with basic horsemanship, in-depth equine knowledge, critical terminology and a bonus list of don’ts to save you from looking like a rooky and making readers toss your book at a wall.

Presenter KATHRYN JANE has extensive experience riding in the show ring, on the racetrack, over jumps, cross-country chasing cattle, training horses and assisting veterinarians.

Instructor Bio:  Author of page-turning, Romantic Suspense, Women’s Fiction, and Short Stories about feral cats, Kathryn Jane takes readers to places they’d like to live and introduces them to characters they will end up loving.

Fulfilling her passion for education Kathryn presents workshops for both aspiring and accomplished writers and covers a broad spectrum of subjects.  In her spare time (she says laughing), Kat loves spreading kindness and joy to family, friends, and strangers alike.