Workshops & Events

Upcoming Workshops

Revise & Edit | A Writing Workshop with Author and Editor Deb Vanasse

You’ve drafted a story, an essay, or perhaps an entire book. Now, how to notch up the quality so that publishers say yes?  In this month-long workshop, author and editor Deb Vanasse will share strategies for perfecting your writing projects. You’ll learn to gain perspective on your drafts as you revise for intention, character, structure, foreshadowing, theme, and tone. You’ll also practice editing for language, repetition, redundancy, clarity, authenticity, and continuity. To guide our journey, we’ll use as a text Susan Bell’s The Artful Edit (purchased separately).

Two sections of Revise & Edit are scheduled to begin in October. Advance registration is required for both:

Through 49 Writers (all sessions online): Register at

Through Denali Ventures/ (online plus local sessions at Beach Books): Register here

Workshops by Request

A representative list of the workshops we offer. Custom workshops available upon request Email debvanasse (at) for more information.

Blog and Be Heard

Expressing yourself and publishing your creative work has never been easier, thanks to the blog. In this workshop, you’ll discover how and why blogs matter in the age of social media. Author and blogger Deb Vanasse will show you how to host and post, whether for fun or for a purpose, and they’ll share tricks and tips for getting your blog noticed. Whether you’ve blogged before or you’re just getting started, you’ll leave with new ideas about how to make yourself heard. (1.5 hours)

Windows on Your Characters

Characters that fail to engage are among the most common reasons that books are rejected or poorly received. What are your characters hiding from you? What are they hiding from themselves? Learn to develop compelling, multi-faceted characters that will captivate readers. We’ll also explore why it’s important to be generous with your characters, and how to mine the gaps between what characters want to believe and what they know. (1.5 hours)

Perspectives and Viewpoints: Exploring Point of View

In this class, we’ll review the basics and terms, from first-person to third-person, objective, subjective, and omniscient, looking closely at what introductory approaches leave out: subtleties of psychic distance, transitioning between points of view, and how point of view creates character. (3 hours)

Description and Detail: The Glint and the Squint

Whether you’re an emerging or an established writer, you know the adage “show, don’t tell.”  But how do you decide which details to include and which to leave out?  How do you make sure your descriptions enhance, not distract?  In this workshop, we’ll practice crafting powerful and evocative descriptions, and we’ll improve our use of details through specific revision strategies. (3 or 6 hours)

Ready to Publish

You think your project is ready to publish. Or you thought it was, but you’re not getting the hoped-for results. In this full-day workshop with Deb Vanasse, author of fifteen books with a variety of presses, you’ll practice strategies for determining whether your project, large or small, is ready for market, and you’ll learns the pros and cons of various publishing options. Come ready to write, as the workshop includes a number of hands-on activities to help you fine-tune your approach, no matter how you plan to publish. Included in the registration fee is a copy of Deb’s latest book, What Every Author Should Know: No Matter How You Publish. For an additional fee, get a one-on-one critique consultation on your first five pages, to be submitted in advance. (6 hours)

Sound and Fury: Find and Free Your Writer’s Voice

“Voice is the number one thing that separates the published from the unpublished and, after that, the good books from the mediocre ones,” says literary agent Mary Kole. In this series of workshops, writers will use strategies, exercises, and critiques to discover and enhance voice in all stages of their craft, from prewriting through revision.   Pre-published and published writers in any genre are welcome. (6 hours)

Jumpstart Your Writing

Through guided exercises and discussion, workshop participants will generate ideas, amplify words on the page, and write past stuck points. Topics include the writer’s mind, the writing process, and narrative essentials like character, setting, and pacing. Participants will examine and refine their own writing processes while exploring techniques to mine and enrich the material from which they write. Deb’s book Write Your Best Book will be included with the workshop fee. (6 hours)

Fiction Workshop

The objective of this workshop isn’t to bash and be bashed, or to degrade a published story, or to impress the students or instructor, the goal is to focus on the craft and intent of each piece. We’ll identify the author’s techniques and examine whether they are serving or inhibiting the story’s overall design. The purpose of this style of workshop (besides the joyous experience of talking about writing) is to respond to literature as writers so we might better respond to our own work. (6 – 12 hours)

Web Strategies for Artists and Writers

The internet offers incredible resources for building an audience and promoting your work. Without spending loads of time and money, you’d love to tap into those that best fit your skills and purposes. But with so many options—and so much confusing tech-speak—it’s hard to know where to start. In this three-hour workshop, we’ll cover websites and electronic newsletters, two foundational strategies for every artist and writer. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to refresh your web presence, you’ll leave with information, ideas, and a plan of action. (3 hrs)

Whether you’re an emerging or an established writer, you know the adage “show, don’t tell.”  But how do you decide which details to include and which to leave out?  How do you make sure your descriptions enhance, not distract? In this writing workshop, we’ll practice crafting powerful and evocative descriptions that reveal character, encourage emotional engagement, heighten tension, and expand meaning. Instructor: Deb Vanasse