BEYOND THE FIRST 50 PAGES: When the Real Work Begins

Full 6-week Workshop / Winter 2015

WHEN: 6 Consecutive Thursdays (February 5, 12, 19 and March 5, 12, 19 – no class on February 26) from 7-9 pm

WHERE: Kenmore, WA (location details provided upon registration)

COST: $375.00 (enrollment limited to 9 students)


Are you a fiction writer envisioning publication? Have a great idea that’s starting to unfold on the page? Not sure if the story really works? If you are ready to find out, we can help.

BEYOND THE FIRST 50 PAGES: When the Real Work Begins is designed to help novel writers who are seeking to put their best work forward. This course focuses on story structure and character progression in novel-length fiction, and is best suited for writers who have a work in progress with a minimum of 50 pages drafted.

It’s all about story.

Publishing, and readers, expect more from writers than ever before. For a book to sell in today’s market, every novelist must carefully consider the architecture of their story – plot, pace, and progression.

There are no magic formulas, no keys guaranteed to unlock success. But there are four basic tests of a winning manuscript: Is the idea compelling and fully developed? Does the plot unfold in a series of meaningful events? Are the characters strong enough to carry the story to a pivotal moment? At the end, will readers feel the journey was meaningful?

Strong writing still matters.

A good idea is only the beginning – craft can make all the difference. Using the 5-focus story structure as its foundation, this course will help you assess where you are and what you can do next. By learning to utilize story-building and character development tools, you can enrich your writing and strengthen your book:

  • 6 Workshop Sessions: This workshop series is founded on a specific approach for analyzing and crafting the core organization and progression of a story – particularly long-form fiction. Through a combination of instructor review & feedback, targeted discussion, and skill-building exercises, this craft-intensive course is designed to strengthen and support your writing and creative process. Small group format encourages group participation.
  • Proven Techniques & Tools: Learn how to assess and refine your approach using the Five Focus plot analysis, the Story Spine, and Character profiling
  • Professional Teaching Team: Work closely with three respected publishing industry professionals, experienced instructors and published writers.

Want to register? Email us today at



Summer Extension Course

WHEN:           4 Thursdays (Next session Summer 2015)

WHERE:         Kenmore, WA (details provided upon registration)

COST:             $225.00

This 4-session mini-workshop focuses on developing character arc as a function of the five-focus story structure introduced in the original workshop series. The extension course is a supplemental series designed for students who have completed the original course, or have a sufficiently advanced work in progress. We will include a brief review of the five focus concept on the first night of the course, but this series is not an ideal fit for a beginning writer in the early stages of drafting a manuscript.

*Class size is limited to 7 students

*Returning students receive priority registration 

For additional information, or to register: 




Instructor Bios:


Scott Driscoll is an award-winning instructor with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, has taught creative writing for the University of Washington Extension for twenty years and makes his living as a freelance writer and teacher. Scott’s first novel, BETTER YOU GO HOME, was released by Coffeetown Press in October 2013. For more about Scott, visit his website:

Jennifer McCordis a 30 year veteran of the publishing trade. Throughout her career, Jennifer has worked in nearly every aspect of the industry—as a writer, editor, instructor, and consultant. Jennifer lends her expertise in the book business to writers and publishers through her consulting and coaching business, Jennifer McCord Associates. Currently, she is also an Associate Publisher and publishing consultant for Camel Press and Coffeetown Press. Jennifer can be contacted at

Roberta Trahan is the best-selling author of the epic fantasy THE WELL OF TEARS (47North, September 2012) and has just completed the next book in the Dream Stewards series, THE KEYS TO THE REALMS (47North, May 2014). Her post-apocalyptic science fiction novella AFTERSHOCK is also available through Amazon Publishing’s new digital-first short fiction imprint StoryFront. You can learn more about Roberta at




2 thoughts on “Courses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s