* Three New Workshops for Writers *

We’re Delighted to Announce Three Spring Workshops – in Key West

Bestselling novelist and nonfiction author Katrin Schumann will lead three workshops for writers, which will be held Thursday March 14, 21 and 28, from 5pm-7:30pm in Key West. These sessions are designed to help writers of all levels with planning, writing and selling fiction and memoir.

Cost is $110 per class or $300 for all three. Registration is limited to 10 students per class, and is open now.

All sessions will be held at the Elizabeth Bishop House, 624 White St. Feel free to email Katrin at kschumann@kwls.org if you have any questions.

* Session #3 is SOLD OUT. One spot left in session #1; three spots left in session #2 *

Email kschumann@kwls.org if you’d like to be put on the waitlist.

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Session 1: So You Want to Write a Novel or Memoir… Now What?

Thursday March 14, 5 – 7:30pm, 624 White St.

You have a great idea, and maybe some pages written or a messy draft. But now that you’ve started, the prospect of writing or editing 80,000 words into a coherent and propulsive story seems overwhelming. This class will help you better understand what kind of ‘engine’ a novel and/ or memoir needs in order to drive readers to turn pages—and appeal to publishers.

We will discuss how to:

  • build a satisfying story arc, using various plotting techniques
  • create characters that delight and surprise, and make them sound real
  • figure out your driving question(s) and theme

Register for Session 1 here.

Please note this class is suitable for novel and memoir writers (not short story or narrative nonfiction).

Jimmy Buffett's 1989 thank-you letter to the Key West Library "for keeping me cool in those hot happy summers not so long ago." (Key West Library on Flickr.)

Session 2: Ace the Opening (It’s Critical for the Success of Your Novel or Memoir)

Thursday March 21, 5 – 7:30pm, 624 White St.

The opening of your book is make or break: readers, agents and editors often stop reading after just a single page. Whether you’re writing novels or memoir, you must bring your audience into the unique world of your story with confidence and creativity—but when you’re so close to the material, it’s often hard to know if you’ve pulled that off. And if you want to publish with a Big Five publisher one day, nailing the opening five pages of your work is key. We will be discussing important elements of craft that will improve your writing, overall.

In class, we will:

  • compare first drafts with final published versions of both novels and memoir, examining the behind-the-scenes editing process
  • look closely at the critical elements of the first sentence, paragraph, and page. How do writers introduce theme, character, setting and plot without information dumps?
  • discuss how to figure out if you’re starting in the right place for your specific project

Register for Session 2 here.

Please note this class is suitable for novel, short story and memoir writers (not narrative nonfiction).

Popup bookstore at the Seminar. Photo by Michael Blades.

Session 3: Finding the Right Literary Agent – and Selling Your Book

Thursday March 28, 5 – 7:30pm, 624 White St.

If you want to break into publishing, you’ll need a literary agent who helps you sell your book in a competitive marketplace. You’ll have to figure out how to summarize your work, write a killer “query letter,” and determine who would be a good match for your project. Established agents get hundreds of queries a day – how will you catch their attention? Oftentimes, doing this work before you’ve even finished writing your book can help you figure out how to 1) stay on track with your story, or 2) be sure your story arc is robust enough.

We’ll focus on:

  • determining your goals for this project and ways to attract the ‘right’ agent for the work
  • how to write the best hook for your book, so agents ask to read the whole manuscript
  • dissecting successful queries in your genre to demystify the process

Please note this class is suitable for ALL GENRES.

Katrin Schumann is the bestselling author of the novels The Forgotten Hours (Lake Union, 2019) and This Terrible Beauty (March, 2020); and numerous nonfiction titles. She has collaborated on and ghostwritten dozens of books. She is the program coordinator of the Key West Literary Seminar.

For the past fifteen years Katrin has been teaching writing, most recently in Key West at KWLS and The Studios of Key West, at GrubStreet in Boston and in the MA prison system, through PEN New England. She co-developed and ran The Launch Lab, helping authors promote their work. Before going freelance, she worked at NPR, where she won the Kogan Media Award. Katrin has been granted multiple fiction residencies. Her work has been featured on TODAY, Talk of the Nation, and in The London Times, as well as other national and international media outlets, and she writes a monthly newsletter about creativity called The Curious Kat.

Register here to take all three sessions (at a discount). SOLD OUT.

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