How to Build a Book: A Writing Workshop

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Class / Workshop
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Program Description

Event Details

Six week writing workshop led by local YA author Michael Thomas Ford. Michael Thomas Ford is the author of numerous books, including Lily, Suicide Notes, Jane Bites Back, What We Remember, and Love & Curses. Under the name Isobel Bird, he wrote the 15-page Circle of Three series. He has been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson and Bram Stoker Awards, and has won 5 Lambda Literary Awards.

Creating a novel or piece of shorter fiction can feel daunting. But just like building a house piece by piece, you build your writing one word at a time. In this 6-session workshop we’ll examine the parts of a book or story and talk about how to approach each one in a way that makes creating the final product less daunting and more fun.


Week 1: What’s Your Style?

Deciding what kind of book you’re writing is similar to choosing a style of house to build. And that choice will influence everything you do next. We’ll talk about living in your book and what that means for you as the writer.


Week 2: The Floor Plan

Every good building project begins with a plan, right? Well, not always. Sometimes you build as you go. Knowing how you work best will give you confidence in working on your project, so we’ll spend time talking about things like outlining, knowing your ending before you begin, and whether you really need to do any of this.


Week 3: Hammer and Nails

Every builder needs to know how to use the tools in the toolbox. In this session we’ll discuss the practical skills that will help you write more efficiently and achieve your goal of finishing a project.


Week 4: Renovation Time

What happens when your words aren’t looking quite the way you want them to? Or when your story isn’t doing what it should? It’s time to talk about editing and revising, and how to do this most effectively.


Week 5: Decorating the Rooms

With the house built, it’s time to add your personal style to it. This session is all about creating a writing voice that is distinctly your own.


Week 6: Open House

If you want to sell a house, you have to show it off. Our final session will allow participants who want to to share their work with the others.



If accommodations are needed for you or your family to participate in this event, please let our staff know