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Writer's Hourly Workshop

Writer's Hourly Workshop 2018 with Michael A. Stackpole

The seminars cover everything from the very basics and writing in a franchise universe, up through plotting and characterization, and even cover presenting your manuscript and strategies for success in the age of digital publishing. Why hope for success when you can learn from working writers and guarantee it?

    To sign up for all of the seminars please click here or contact the Dragon Con Office @ (404) 669-0773.

    Cost for ALL seminars:

    • $140 + tax (member price)
    • $240 + tax (non member price)

    To sign up for individual seminars please click here or contact the Dragon Con Office @ (404) 669-0773.

    Cost for individual seminars:

    • $8 + tax (member price)
    • $108 + tax (non member price)


  • Individual sales at show $10 + tax per session (member price)
  • Individual sales at show: $110 + tax per session (non member price)

***There is also a free event, on Friday from 7-9pm, in the Hanover A-B room. It’s a writing sanctuary/meet and greet, to let folks do some writing. At the end of the first day folks’ brains are usually brimming with ideas. The writing sanctuary provides a place where people can play with them, meet other writers, and bond.


Seminars List


10:00 AM Before You Write: New York Times Bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole will walk you through all the things you want to consider before you sit down to begin your writing career. This will cover everything from how to plan projects, how to make time for writing and the plethora of mistakes writers make which hold them back from becoming the best writers they can be.  

11:30 AM Urban Fantasy Remixes:  Fairytales, Folklore, and You:  How do you take an age old tale and make it new?   You change the setting or change the ending.   You think outside the box.   What if Mount Olympus is a mega-corporation and the gods are the executive staff?  What if Freddie Mercury was a siren and that's how we all know Bohemian Rhapsody by heart?   This workshop will show you how to take elements from fairytales and folklore and use them to make new stories or to add depth and color to existing fictional universes.    

1:00 PM Build and Break a Character or Two: In an interactive seminar, New York Times Bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole will work you through the rigors of creating realistic characters and show you how to make them grow within a story. He’ll share many of the advanced techniques he uses for creating characters of depth, intrigue and humanity, who manage to grow in realistic but seldom predictable ways. You’ll learn how to create the sort of characters that can carry whole sagas and keep readers locked in and waiting for each new book’s release.  

2:30 PM 101 Ideas In an Hour: Ever wonder where writers get their ideas? Join New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn as he guides you and your fellow workshop attendees on the path to creating characters, aliens, magic systems, and societies that you can use as jump-off points for literally hundreds of stories, novels, and even multi-book sagas.  

4 PM Cooking Up Conflict: Conflict is the engine of all stories, and too many of them fail to use conflict to its full potential. New York Times Bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole will walk you through the various types of conflict and provide you a toolkit that will allow you to shape individual stories or build them into an on running saga. You’ll learn whole new ways to approach your stories during the design phase, and how to kick them into a higher-energy orbit when they run out of steam.

 5:30 PM Getting Combat Right Myke Cole, novelist and veteran, will help you evoke battle scenes that are both compelling and realistic. Covering everything from the mechanics of weapons-handling to the emotional state of crisis-response, Myke will help those without experience paint a believable picture, and fellow first-responders tease out their experiences on the page. He'll give you a tour of the thick of battle, from ancient Sparta to modern day Iraq, ensuring you have the tools you need to take your reader there, too.

7 PM-9PM After Hours Writing Sprints First day of workshops are over, and you're probably brimming with new ideas. Let's get them out on paper before the weekend hits. Hosted by Alison Richards, this is a chance to bring your notebook or laptop and meet in Hanover A-B for two hours of writing sprints. Get some work done, as well as take time to mingle, meet your fellow workshoppers, and have some fun brainstorming ideas with a bunch of other writers. Go snag supper to go, and get some words down.


10:00  AM Like, Love and Lust: We've said it over and over again - it is essential that all stories have some form of romance in them.  The percentage of the story depends on your plot, but writing it is not as easy as it seems.  Join novelist Alison Richards to learn the basics of how to build different kinds of relationships between characters, and the dos and don'ts on writing those passionate love scenes.

11:30 AM Freelancing 101: Want to know how to pitch an editor? What do you do when you finally get your assignment? What should the document you turn in look like? How do you invoice them once they publish the piece? We all want to freelance, but sometimes getting paid to write seems like a bridge too far. Bryan Young, a professional freelancer and writer, will take you through the steps from meeting editors to pitch all the way to getting paid.  

1:00 PM 21 Days To A Novel: New York Times Bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole presents his three week program for preparing yourself to write a novel. This set of 21 exercises is broken down to give you everything from character creation to world building, practical plotting devices, dialogue development, and character voice creation tools. This program is a practical, kick-in-the-pants place to start your career.  

2:30 PM Write Better Books Faster: New York Times bestseller Joseph Nassise takes you through a 7 step story structure process that will have your readers begging for more! Topics include the structure behind every modern blockbuster and how you can put that to use to take your readers on an emotionally powerful journey.

4:00 PM Crafting a Short Story Telling a complete story in 7,500 words or less is easy when you create the key points in advance. This workshop will examine the fundamentals of a short story, such as: plot, point of view, setting, character, dialogue, resolution etc. Participants leave with the complete foundation for a short story of any genre, as well as the knowledge of how to find a market for their work. Presented by Chantelle Aimée Osman, author, freelance editor, and owner of A Twist of Karma Entertainment, LLC.

5:30 PM Plotting: New York Times Bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole unravels the mysteries of creating compelling plots. A novel is a huge undertaking, written over weeks or months, and the plot has to hold it all together. From creating an outline to maintaining flexibility, this seminar gives you the insider knowledge that will separate you from all of your peers.  


10:00  AM Finding The Story: New York Times Bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole takes you through a series of exercises that will let you build a story from the barest spark through twists and turns. He’ll give you several story recipes and show you how you can work from them to create delightfully complex and engrossing stories.

11:30 AM 50 Editing Mistakes Authors Make Join Chantelle Aimée Osman as she covers the best methods for approaching editing your work. We’ll go over the top mistakes that editors find and correct in author’s manuscripts, from grammar to dialogue, giving you the edge of a polished final product. Chantelle will also discuss the uses of freelance editors in perfecting your manuscript.  

1:00 PM Social Media 101 for Creative People: You've heard of Facebook and Twitter, but did you know beyond checking on the lives of your friends and stalking celebrities, you can use these, and many other social websites, to help support your career? Novelist and social media expert Alison Richards will take you through the tangled jungle of networking. Learn all about the basics on how to set up professional accounts on these sites, as well as at least another dozen to showcase your work, interact with followers, and create a loyal fan base eager to know all about your next project!  

2:30 PM Perfecting Your Pitch and Query Letter (novels & screenplays - interactive) Learn how to write (and deliver) the perfect elevator pitch. Most authors know how to write—until it comes to writing about themselves. We’ll go over the key points in both in-person and in-writing pitches and how to make yourself and your work attractive from the word go. Presented by Chantelle Aimée Osman, author, freelance editor, and owner of A Twist of Karma Entertainment, LLC.  

4:00 PM Winning with Serial Fiction E-readers and increased time demands have shifted how many readers consume stories. Shorter fiction (flash fiction through novellas) is more manageable for writers and readers, quicker to publication and often more profitable than longer works. New York Times bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole has written in many series, and produced works of all lengths. He’ll show you how to plot a series, provide some basic structures to use and point out ways that your shorter fiction can create a new audience for your longer-form fiction.  

5:30 PM Is Your Story Ready to Sell? New York Times bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole gives you the “mission checklist” to make sure your novel is ready to publish. He’ll cover the basics from how to know if you want to do one more draft, on through how to produce and package your book for sale. If you think you’re ready to pull the trigger on publishing, or if you want to make sure you’ve got all the pieces in place, this seminar will provide you with answers to all your questions, and some you didn’t even know you should ask.