Celtic Hearts Writing Workshops

Feel free to join some of these great courses! You do not have to be a member to join! Expand your mind this season!

February 2011 (4 weeks February 1st thru 28th)


Instructor:  Dr. L. Pepper Norris

You’ve finished your novel, magazine article, or non-fiction work and are ready to send it out. Now what? Are you really ready for it to sell? Have you thought about how to handle all the business details that come with success? Are you taking advantage of the tax breaks that come from simply finishing the work-in-progress?

For instance: If you write in a pen name, who will hold the copyright to your book? Did you know that a single rejection letter can save you thousands in income taxes? Do you know how to set up a small business and deal with things like getting a tax ID number? Do you know how to avoid a random audit on your business and personal income taxes and how to keep red flags off your tax returns? Should you set up a corporation or an LLC? And what’s the difference? And how do you make a small business a sub-chapter S corporation? What are the tax advantages of doing so? What is a registered agent, why do you need one, and how do you get one? Can you prepare the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, etc., for your small business? When should you just use an assumed name for your business, and how do you get one? Will your small business require a business license?

The class will handle all this and more. From whether or not setting up a business is the right decision for you, to how to go about setting it up, what kind of business to set up, and how to minimize your tax liability. All on a shoestring. If you’re serious about being a professional writer, this class is for you.

Instructor Bio:

L. Pepper Norris has a paralegal degree from the University of San Diego Law School and has over twelve years’ experience working with business attorneys in both California and Oregon. Though she’s self-employed as a full-time researcher and non-fiction writer, she still freelances for attorneys throughout the US, doing research and preparing legal documents for them. She’s also worked a number of years with tax attorneys and consultants in helping business clients reduce their tax liabilities.  She also has a doctorate in education and has 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.




February 2011 (2 weeks February 1st through 15th)

Class #2: Mind Your MANnerisms (How to make your heroes behave like REAL men)

Instructor: Dr. Stuart

Having trouble getting your hero to sound and act like a real man would?

Take a two week journey into the mind of a real man as he offers tips on how to make your characters behave with real male mannerisms.

Topics include:
Sports (5 quarters of football and 365 days per year)
Sex (Morning, Nooners, and the Great Outdoors) 
The Way we See Women (Appearance and Clothing)
Engineering (Boys and Their Toys)

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Stuart a multi-degreed businessman with an exciting history.  He’s even worked with professional athletes!  Throughout the years he’s survived many exciting (and terrifying) dating adventures but now as the happily married spouse of a published romance author—he finds that his experience is invaluable as a reference too for writers.  While finding the love of his life was a real challenge, if there is one thing he knows when it comes to sex and romance…it is the “mind of a man”.  Dr. Stuart has edited and offered valuable commentary to his wife’s work and offers to do the same for those who have an open mind.

Dare to take a peek inside a man’s mind!




March 2011 (4 weeks March 1st thru 31st)

Writing Fight Scenes

Instructor: Rayne Hall

Even if you’ve never wielded a weapon, you can create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement. You will understand different types of weapons and how to write about them, and apply the five-part structure of great fight scenes. Decide how much violence your scene needs, how to describe the terrain, how to create reader emotion, how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how. Learn about female fighters, improvised weapons, self-defense moves to get your heroine out of trouble, female fighters, adapting your writing style to the fast pace of the action, and much more. Write a fight scene so entertaining and so realistic that it stays in the reader’s mind.

If you wish, you may submit a scene for critique by the instructor at the end of the course.

Instructor Bio:
Rayne Hall has published 22 books (under several pen-names), seventy short stories (mostly fantasy, paranormal and horror) and thousands of articles. She has a College Degree in Publishing and a Masters Degree in Creative Writing.   A member of the Society of Authors (the British organsation for professional writers), she worked  many years as magazine editor and creative writing teacher. With a love of ancient arms and armour, she has flint-knapped her own set of stone-age weapons. She practices martial arts as a hobby (from kickboxing to professional wrestling – though she’s a master at none).



April 2011 2 weeks April 1st thru 16th)

Class #1: Seize the Reader: Write compelling openings that don’t let go!

Instructor:  Anthea Lawson
You have one sentence. One paragraph. A page if you’re lucky. Make the most of your chance to grab the reader, whether they’re an agent, editor, or bookstore browser. Learn how to escape the most common pitfalls and pull the reader into your story.

Drawing on years of experience giving workshops, as well has her insights as a contest judge and critiquer, RITA-nominated author Anthea Lawson will lead this two-week workshop. We’ll look at examples of novel openings, dissect what works (and what doesn’t), and explore common problems writers have with their beginnings. This is a hands-on workshop with lessons posted every-other-day. Questions and comments encouraged!

Instructor Bio:

RITA-nominated author Anthea Lawson is a dynamic, engaging instructor. She has presented workshops at the Emerald City Writer’s Conference, been the featured speaker for RWA chapters throughout the NW, and has taught online for Hearts Through History and East Valley RWA. Anthea is a teacher by both trade and inclination — her day jobs have included client education for a large-scale coffee roaster, and a sought-after fiddle instructor for both kids and adults. She brings enthusiasm and a deft touch to her teaching, invariably giving students “lightbulb” moments as they participate in her engaging workshops.




April 2011 (4 week version April 18th thru May 13th)

Class #2: Pitch Like a Pro for Writers (includes Editor pitch session*)

Instructor:  Kerri Nelson

Want to practice your pitch for an upcoming pitch session to an agent or editor?  Need help refining your pitch to include in a query letter?  Well, practice makes perfect!

Sign on for this handy four week pitch practice workshop, taught by multi-published romantic suspense author, Kerri Nelson.

*During class you’ll get to practice pitches for up to 2 different novels AND at the end of class you’ll have the opportunity to pitch before a real acquiring EDITOR from a major publisher!*

Over the past five years, Kerri has pitched more than thirty different books in every imaginable genre (from erotica to young adult) to multiple agents and editors with a tremendous success rate for follow-up requests for both partial and full manuscripts.  She has sold fourteen novels and novellas in the last eighteen months after perfecting her pitch process!

In this intensive interactive course, Kerri offers up the secrets to nailing your pitch, how to score a home run with editors, and how not to stop short of getting the results you want!

Start the year off right with the book contract you’ve been waiting for!

Students from prior classes have sold 3 book deals to Sourcebooks, been offered representation by agents, and many other successes after perfecting their pitch with me.

Instructor Bio:

Kerri Nelson has always been passionate about reading books but when she wrote her first poem in the second grade, she discovered her love of writing. At the age of sixteen, she became a columnist for her local newspaper as the high school correspondent for the weekly “Panther Tales” column. She won the Outstanding Young Journalist of the Year Award for her efforts. 

After an education and career in the legal field, Kerri began to pen romantic suspense novels with a legal or law enforcement theme. She currently lives in the sunny south with her romance inspiring husband and her adorable children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her baking homemade goodies for her family. Kerri is an active member of Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Futuristic Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Writers.

In addition, Kerri has been contracted to publish fourteen books with six different publishers in multiple genres.  She continues to pitch both live and online to agents and editors on a monthly basis and has received requests for nearly one hundred percent of her pitches!  Check out her website at:www.kerrinelson.com




May 2011 (2 weeks May 2nd 16th thru 31st)

Red Carpet Writing: Screenplay Steals for Novelists

Instructor: Amber Scott

No special effects. No stuntmen. No 3D. As our reading audience becomes more technologically advanced and Hollywood further competes for their attention, how can we keep readers hooked on our books? We level the playing field! We learn from the competition. These stolen screenwriting techniques will give your novel an edge in any market. Don’t worry, using them is completely legal!

Instructor Bio:

Amber Scott began writing genre romance and screenplays five years ago, during her infant son’s naptimes. She has a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Nevada, Reno. She’s a member of the Desert Rose RWA chapter in Phoenix, AZ and a staff contributor (‘First Mate’) with 1st Turning Point.com. A mother of two little ones now, and far from a domestic goddess, she lives vicariously through her characters’ fates, loves and complications.



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Denise Alicea
the authorDenise Alicea
This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

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