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Second Chances Sale

December 15, 2022 8:00 AM - December 31, 2022 5:00 PM CST



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Welcome to the WLT Second Chances sale! From now until December 31, 2022, we’re releasing 10 of the year’s best classes for a limited time. These classes include everything from fiction writing for beginners, turning your personal experiences into fiction, self publishing in 2022, writing about your own creative work, and more. 

NOTE: This is not a live class registration. When you register, you’ll be receiving access to previously recorded classes taught for a live audience. Registration includes access to any handouts, readings, and slides the instructor originally shared with students. The videos will be available for viewing immediately upon purchase, and will expire on March 31, 2023.

Descriptions for each class recording can be found below. To purchase access to the recordings, all you need to do is add your preferred tickets to your cart and check out. You’ll then receive an email with a link to the class recordings and any class materials.

“Introduction to Fiction Writing: A Crash Course on Craft”

with James Wade

Improving your fiction writing is not unlike improving yourself. It takes discipline, honesty, and a certain amount of grace.

In this crash course on craft, we’ll explore how style, tone, setting, and voice impact your work. We’ll also give you tips and exercises to get better at each of them. We’ll dig deeper into conflict, word choice, and how to manipulate language to make it do what we want. We’ll talk about the difference in writing styles, the effect they have on readers, and how you can find your own style, or improve on the one you already have. This class is about the joy and passion of language and the beautiful things it can do.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “Good class, excellent content, delivered in a smooth and congenial fashion and lots of questions answered.”
  • “The instructor was well prepared. The class included an excellent lecture and exercises. The instructor answered questions and encouraged writers.”

“Starting Your Novel: How to Create an Opening in Dialogue with Your Ending”

with John Pipkin

A good opening is the key to unlocking the rest of the story. This class is intended to give writers useful strategies and techniques for starting a novel.

Sometimes writing the opening of a novel can seem a daunting challenge, an obstacle to writing the rest of the book, especially when the long-arc of the novel seems to be stretching off into the invisible distance. But a well-written opening can actually help you structure and outline the rest of the story, and the process of writing an opening offers a writer the opportunity to explore the story’s main ideas.

We’ve all heard that an opening needs to “pull a reader into the story,” but what exactly does this mean, and how do you do it? Should you begin with character? Plot? Setting? Theme? A short sentence? A long winding sentence? We’ll look at a variety of published examples of effective openings, and we’ll do some brief in-class writing assignments to identify ways to figure out what kind of opening may work best for your novel. We’ll look at how research can be helpful not only for finding useful content for an opening, but also for providing new ideas for new stories. Also, we’ll discuss how the opening of a novel is in dialogue with other parts of the novel.

Often when the ending of a novel isn’t working, it’s not because of the ending itself, but because something in the beginning of the story still isn’t fully developed. Knowing how to revise the opening can help make your whole novel feel like it is arising organically out of the opening pages.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “There were plenty of examples and the class was clearly structured and covered everything promised. I learned more than I expected to, which is ALWAYS gratifying!”
  • “By far the most excellent writing class I have ever attended. I was able to put the lessons to immediate use for my work in progress. Thanks so much.”

“Crafting a Vivid Scene from Beginning to End”

with Chaitali Sen 

A scene can be simply defined as characters doing something in a particular place at a particular time. Vivid scenes allow the reader to live in the world of your story, forge a deep connection with your characters, and become so enthralled with the action they can’t wait to turn the page. In short, well-crafted scenes make your work memorable.

In this class for writers of fiction, we will analyze a few complete scenes from literature and use the same elements to craft our own scenes from beginning to end. We’ll discuss how to enter and stage a scene, how to introduce conflict and create tension, how to lengthen a scene so that we can do more with less, how to make the scene come alive on the page, and how to exit a scene on the right note. We will also have a chance to discuss our struggles with writing good scenes and brainstorm ideas to get past our blocks. The goal is to go home with a draft of a scene that can become an anchor for crafting more scenes.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “This class with Chaitali Sen was extraordinary. She knows her craft obviously but she also is skilled at how she imparts the information and had a good rapport with the group.”
  • “This class finally gave me a way to continue writing intuitively, but now I have some structure and concrete ideas for assessing the scenes to see if they are working or not. So excited!”

“The Components of Novel Structure: Looking Under the Hood of Our Fictional Worlds”

with Stacey Swann 

There are many metaphors for a book. It can feel like a world unto itself, conjured like magic, or a living and breathing animal with a life of its own. It can be a vehicle that transports or a doorway that pulls us in.

Sometimes, we may be tempted to not approach our novels with a clinical mind; if we pull out an x-ray machine or open up the hood, if we start diagramming and labeling, could we damage the spirit of the book? I say no! Successful novels need both the messy magic of our subconscious as well as our own inner auto mechanic. We need a familiarity with the parts to make sure they are all working together for the most harmonious whole. In this class, we’ll open up the hoods of our novels to see if all the parts are running at their best. First, we’ll look at our point of view choices and the “clock” of our novel. Then we’ll move on to discussing throughlines and arcs. Finally, we’ll take a look at just a portion of the many organizing structures used in fiction. By the end of the class, you’ll see your work in progress more clearly and have the tools for your future repairs!

What students had to say about the class:

  • “I’ve done a few WLT classes, and this was the best one I’ve taken.”
  • “There’s no way to improve this class–Stacey picked some very helpful structural elements to talk about and she’s a really good teacher.”

“Memoir 101: Everything You Need to Know to (Finally) Start Your Memoir”

with Jessica Wilbanks

Starting a memoir and looking for strategies for generating material and finding structure?

The most haunting memoirs aren’t just autobiographies. Instead, they pivot on a subject that mystifies and confounds the writer, about which they cannot quite make up their mind.

In this class, you’ll begin to mine your life for material and work through a series of generative prompts designed to turn rich, messy fragments into surprising and powerful prose. We’ll steal liberally from the sensory world of poetry, the narrative world of fiction, and the fact-driven world of journalism, even as we plumb the depths of interior life. Along the way, you’ll learn how to build a strong narrative arc, write vivid scenes, and prioritize the details and images that make prose come alive.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “Jessica mixed stories from her own writing experience with that of other authors in a really helpful, relatable way. She gave us a lot of material to refer back to, plus some technical tips.”
  • “I would certainly recommend this class because it offered really useful guidance and exercises for memoir writers.”

“The Truth Told Slant: Personal Experience Turned into Fiction”

with Nan Cuba

Do you have personal stories you want to fictionalize?

People we’ve known, moments we’ve witnessed, conversations we’ve overheard, places we’ve been: these influence aspects of our fiction. Sometimes, a whole experience is so profound, we decide to use that memory as inspiration for a story. But how does a writer free herself from the restrictions of facts in order to follow craft requirements for producing meaningful art? This class will introduce techniques for identifying appropriate material and then adapting it for fiction. Personal examples will be shared, and participants will be guided through a sample exercise.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “This class exceeded my hopes. Lots of information, provided clearly, and the content was exactly as promised. The chance to interact with other participants and apply new knowledge in hands-on exercises was so valuable. Nan Cuba is a gem!”
  • “The exercises were stellar! At first, I thought I would have nothing to write — then, it all made sense. I can take this to many things I am working on.”

“From Query Letters to Artist Statements: Mastering Writing About Your Own Creative Work”

with Courtney Maum 

Writing about our own writing is one of the hardest—but most vital skills for aspiring authors and published authors alike.

In this class, author of 5 books and noted book coach Courtney Maum will teach you how to look at your body of work like an editor and promote yourself as a capable, talented and professional writer any gatekeeper would be lucky to work with. We’ll look specifically at query letters, artist statements and bios, and also talk about pitching your work out loud.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “Courtney was specific about what to do and what to avoid on a topic that is too often overlooked or only discussed obliquely. She’s very knowledgeable on the topic, too. It had tangible suggestions for how to improve.”
  • “It was chock full of very useful information.”

“Launch to Success: Self Publishing in 2022”

with Deanna Roy

The best methods for releasing a self-published book change radically every year.

Whether you are working on your very first book or are about to launch your latest title, in this class we will review:

  • Changes in the self-publishing landscape since last year, particularly in Booktok’s rise to prominence, the new Kindle Vella platform, and standout Patreon and Kickstarters for authors.
  • Release timelines, your book budget, and social media preparedness.
  • Production matters of formatting your ebook and paperback and decisions about releasing widely or exclusive to Amazon.
  • A release strategy that gives your book the best possible start, including metadata, keyword research, category choices, and advertising.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “I’ve taken some great classes from WLT and this was one of the best. Very well-organized, packed full of specific, practical do’s and don’ts from a knowledgeable source with up-to-date resources.”
  • “I absolutely would recommend it, even if you’re not sure about self-publishing (which I think most of us are still debating for various reasons.) The overall value, both in terms of content and financial investment, is excellent. Deann’s genres are about 180 degrees from the kinds of things I write, yet everything she presented was still spot on and helpful for what I’m writing. Thank you, WLT. Another winner!”

“The Author’s Escape Plan: The Personal, Emotional, and Financial Logistics of Becoming a Full-time Author”

with Laekan Zea Kemp

Pantsing your way to becoming a full-time author is not an option.

You need a plan–one that considers the emotional and logistical implications of leaving behind the stability of your 9 to 5, as well as the financial safety nets necessary to make it work long-term. In this 3-hour class, we’ll cover considerations, safeguards, and the timing of your transition, as well as help you find answers to some of your most pressing questions like, “How much money should I have saved before I quit my job to become a full-time author?” and “How often should I sell new projects in order to create a financially sustainable career?” There will be time for individual planning, as well as a short Q&A following each section of the presentation. Attendees will receive a copy of the 100-slide presentation , which will be full of valuable information and additional resources.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “Wow, all of the WLT classes that I attend have been great. This class was no exception! The class covered everything from the right-brain side of things to the left-brain side of things. It answered questions that I did not know that I had!”
  • “Laekan is so knowledgeable and organized! I loved her slides and the format that allowed for writing down our plans for 4 minutes every so often. I now have a new plan for how to use my time! I have a new chart for the next few years of writing goals!”

“The Nonfiction Book Proposal: The Basics & Beyond”

with Cinelle Barnes 

Learn what goes into a proposal, why and when you need it, and how to write one that stands out.

In this three-hour class, Cinelle Barnes will share not only the basics of proposal writing but a decade’s worth of essential takeaways from her work as an author and editor of several nonfiction books, a book coach to several essayists and memoirists, a screener and judge for various literary contests and submissions calls, and a former grant and proposal writer for a global organization.

She’ll help you understand what an editor or agent might look for in a proposal, what kinds of information or language will help you stand out, how to organize and format your particular proposal for greater impact, and how to go from promising idea to deliverable concept. Using a slide presentation, worksheets, and excerpts from real (acquired, rejected, and in-progress) book proposals of her own, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes tour of how Cinelle has honed her proposal writing skills over time… resulting in several published books and maximal, compounding returns.

What students had to say about the class:

  • “This was an excellent class! The presenter was brilliant! So accomplished.”
  • “The expert advice provided was valuable.”


December 15, 2022 8:00 AM CST
December 31, 2022 5:00 PM CST