Join us for a 6-week class beginning March 12 — web technology and how to use it as an author.
If you write, you’re probably aware that a web presence is
essential for developing an audience for your work (which is sometimes called a
“platform”). But what do you really need and what’s the best way to set it up?
Even if you have a website and online presence, you might
still be asking those same questions.
The fact is that little decisions you make now can have
drastic effects on the cost and effectiveness of your platform in the future.
This 6-week class will help you sort out these questions,
and put you in a position to not only know what you need to do, but why to do
it and how to do it.
No experience is necessary. We’re going to start from
scratch. We’re going to talk about how the internet works, and build up from
This 6-week class will cover websites, website building,
blogging, mailing lists, and so much more!
Join us on Thursday evening for a professional development class on setting up the legal infrastructure for your work as an author.
There’s a lot of bad and confusing information out there. We’ll share with you what the law says and the best ways we’ve seen other authors implement smart, inexpensive strategies to keep themselves and their work safe.
We’ll cover how to setup a business and banking. We’ll talk about copyrights, trademarks, fair use, and intellectual property.
If you’re serious about creating work for sale, this is must-have information.
This class will help you to put these topics to bed. No more wondering if you understand it or if you’re doing it right. We’ll share stories of other authors with positive results, so that you can be confident you’re on the right track.
This class is live online at 7pm ET. If you can’t make it to the live class, sign up anyway and you can watch the recorded video for 7 days following the class. We expect a small group for this class, so it will be small enough that you can ask questions if you have them.
Someone in the world deserves to read the novel that you’ll write. This is your year to invest in yourself and finally write a great novel.
Our novel writing course begins on January 9th. This is a fantastic resource that you don’t want to miss.
Writing a novel as a busy adult is difficult. It’s a giant
undertaking. It’s not something you instinctually know how to do.
This course has helped developing authors, just like you, to
accomplish giant projects.
The novel-writing 4-class series will cover a few important
Development – You have an idea for a novel, how do
you turn that into 50,000+ words? We’ll explore the structure of how stories
work, so that you can include all of the most important elements. With a little
help, you won’t feel like you’re stretching an idea, or like you’re trying to
cram too much in.
Successful books all share some common elements. We’ll show you what they are. Seriously, this will crack your head open. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing.
Organization – Writing a novel is a major project. We’ll
show you the strategies that professional authors use to keep their work in
order, so that they can effectively write large works.
Writing a novel efficiently takes 100 hours. Writing it
haphazardly will take hundreds more. We’ll help you keep the ducks in a row.
Execution – The fact is, you won’t always feel
excited about writing your novel. The project is just too big. But it’s an
important project, and it’s important that you finish it. We’ll provide
techniques and strategies that keep the process manageable, so that you can
make big progress even when you’re not in the mood.
We’re going to cover all of this in just four weeks. You
will leave the class with a completely different perspective on your novel
project, and you’ll be ready to take care of business.
All classes are offered live online on Thursday evening. If you need to miss a class (or all of them), you can also watch the recorded video for up to 7 days following each class.
The cost of this 4-week course is $299 for OWA members ($349 for non-members).
The Art of Copywriting retreat is coming up on Saturday, September 7, 2019. This one-of-a-kind experience will provide instruction and support from established industry experts.
This retreat will be held from 9am to 3pm in Zanesville,
Ohio. Zanesville is less than an hour
from Columbus, and is also convenient to Newark, Lancaster, Mount Vernon, and
Southeastern Ohio. This retreat will be worth the drive.
Learn more and register here: Retreats.OhioWriters.org. The cost
of the retreat is only $50. OWA Writer and Patron Member pay only $40.
Copywriting is the process of writing content for businesses,
primarily for marketing and advertising.
There are bona fide opportunities in copywriting. Businesses
pay real money for good content every day.
There are a lot of scam “opportunities” for writers out
there as well, so a little guidance is helpful. But if you have the skill set
and you know where to look, you can absolutely get paid to write this content.
Copywriting is a different skill than narrative writing or poetry. Just because you can do the one doesn’t mean you can do the other. Our retreat will teach you the specific skills and techniques you’ll need to effectively write copy.
If you intend to write professionally, you should master
copywriting, even if you absolutely abhor the idea of being an advertising hack.
Here are three reasons why:
1. Get Paid to Be Present. If you can write excellent
copy (and we’ll show you how), you’ll get paid to do it, and you’ll be stepping
into the world of real professional writers. You will now be a peer among
people who are getting paid to write, and who know how to find opportunities.
It’s one thing to network at the local writers group (which you should do!),
but it’s another league to network with people who make their living in words. Opportunity follows opportunity.
In addition, the more you write, the more you’ll write. When
you copywrite, you’ll be acclimating your brain to put words on the page, and
you’ll find that living in that space day in and day out will stimulate your
personal creative projects. Imagine if
you could replace your full-time income with 3-4 hours a day of copywriting,
and apply the remainder of your time to the projects you’re passionate about.
2. Crosstrain. If you want to get better at
basketball, and all you ever do is play pickup games of basketball, you’ll get
better. But you’ll get better faster if you spend time lifting weights, running,
doing drills, and even playing other sports. Focusing on specific skills and
abilities will improve your game faster than just playing the game.
The same is true of your writing. If you want to write
fiction, you can get better by writing more and more fiction. But you’ll see
incredible benefit from mastering other writing skills, which will inform your
process and bring new techniques and values to your work.
3. Self-Promotion. It doesn’t matter how you choose
to publish, you will need to write effective copy for yourself. Unfortunately, we know lots of amazing
authors who can’t write a query letter, their website is a mess, and they can’t
write a compelling Facebook post to save themselves. As a result, their amazing work fails to
attract the attention of agents, publishers, or the public.
Self-promotion is mandatory in every sector of the
publishing industry. Mastering the skill to advertise (even if it’s just
advertising yourself) will pay off in spades. Copywriting is the same communication
skill that makes a great query letter and helps you to grow your audience.
There is real opportunity in copywriting. Whether you see yourself
quitting your day job to freelance as a copywriter or not, there is tremendous
value in adding these skills to your author’s tool bag.
At only $50 (OWA Writer and Patron members save an
additional $10), this is a steal. You’re
going to have a great Saturday on September 7th, and you’ll see
dividends from your investment in yourself for years to come.
We are surrounded by words. Every business, restaurant, or
non-profit you enter is covered with text—signs, pamphlets, brochures, menus,
and so many other items. Businesses and marketing agencies are in constant need
of qualified people to write great content—from postcard mailers, to social
media marketing, blogs, and so much more! Every single word of this content is
crafted (or should be) by a professional writer.
This retreat, from 9am to 3pm, will provide a crash course
in all things copywriting, and give you opportunities to practice and receive
There is real freelance or traditional opportunity for
copywriters who produce great work. We’ll
help you put the pieces together so that you can begin capitalizing on your
We’ll provide coffee and water throughout the day, and break
for lunch for an hour at about noon.
Zanesville is a quick 60-minute drive from Columbus. Our
host for this retreat is right off of I-70. You’ll be far enough from home to
feel “away,” but close enough that you can drive both ways in one day.
This workshop will be taught by Brad Pauquette and Emily Hitchcock. Learn more and register at Retreats.OhioWriters.org.
When an agent or publisher asks about your platform, what
they’re really asking is: If you were to publish a book, who cares?
“Building a platform” is code for increasing the number of people who care what you’re doing.
For most authors, a “platform” includes a healthy dose of social media, a website, a mailing list, etc. But that’s not universally true. For instance, the CEO of a large company may not have any social media at all, but if her job makes people know and be interested in her, that’s a platform.
The key to successfully building a platform is to find a way to engage with more people in a way that you can tolerate, and that your new audience enjoys.
That includes publishing essays, articles, poems, or short stories in magazines, journals, anthologies, or the local paper. That includes speaking to groups, or even joining (or starting!) a new club. There are a myriad of ways to connect with people—your personality will determine which ways you’re best suited for.
And for those of us that weren’t born with a silver spoon or a famous last name, and who aren’t the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, things like social media present an unparalleled opportunity to leverage our voice and gain a following.
There is never a bad time to build your platform. And you
need it regardless of how you decide to publish or distribute your work.
If you’re traditionally publishing through a big or small publisher,
they’ll want to see that you know how to connect with people. They’ll want to
see that when your book comes out, there’s a big group of people that might
make some noise about it.
If you self-publish, you’ll need the same group of people to make noise about your book. You’re the publisher, so you need the same thing out of yourself that any other publisher would need.
Or if you launch a blog, a podcast, a YouTube channel—you
need a platform.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how you’re
distributing it, if you want to write on a professional basis, you need an
Not all platforms are equal. Just because one author has
10,000 followers on Twitter, for instance, doesn’t mean anyone will care when
he has exciting news to share. How he
has built and cultivated that audience will make a big difference. It’s entirely possible that another author
with only 200 followers, half of whom love him to pieces and are super excited
for him, can make far more noise.
Whether you’re starting from zero, or you’ve already built some platform, we’ll give you practical, common sense strategies for productive growth.
We’ll also cover some of the nuances of the business of
publishing, so that you can be prepared to make smart business decisions as an
author. We’ll discuss the opportunities
in each sector of publishing—traditional (Big Five), Small Press, and
Self-Publishing—and how to identify and land good deals in each space.
We’ll also teach you some common sense techniques and
strategies for building and protecting your business and your work.
It would be amazing to live in a world in which the quality
of an author’s work was the only factor in their success. But in the real
world, it takes a lot more than a way with words.
Authors who are successful are indeed talented wordsmiths— and they’ve learned how to work the business side of publishing as well.
Receive the guidance and support you need to complete a novel manuscript. The Ohio Writers’ Association will provide a 4-week intensive class, coupled with a 12-month support system for first-time novelists. Log into your account and navigate to “Register for Classes” to register now.
The month of November is almost over, which means that a significant portion of your writing community is hitting the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) wall. No disrespect to NaNo, but writing a novel in a month is a serious challenge. We have nothing but love and respect for those who pull it off, but for many of us, it may not be reasonable to crank out a novel that quickly, at least not with any expectation that the thing will be worth reading.
What if instead of writing a novel in a month, you make 2019 your novel writing year? (“NaNoWriYe” if you will?) We are offering a 4-week novel writing course in January, followed by a monthly support group check-in for the remaining 11 months. In December, we’ll celebrate all of the complete novels. We think this is a more realistic goal, and with some guidance and support you can draft a great novel that’s worth writing.
This course will be taught by OWA President Brad Pauquette. Brad is an experienced developmental editor, with a client list that includes New York Times bestselling authors and professional athletes. He’s been working with new authors to develop award-winning books since 2009.
Over the 4-week course we’ll cover the fundamentals of crafting an effective novel, practical tools for organizing and executing your project, methods for time management and writing discipline, and narrative technique. You’ll be equipped with the tools to proceed into your project with confidence.
For the support sessions, February through November, we’ll check in once per month to evaluate progress, tackle questions that might arise, and you’ll find solidarity with your classmates. In December, we’ll meet to celebrate our finished manuscripts.
Class participants will also receive two one-on-one support sessions with the course instructor over the course of the program.
In order to complete this class and draft a novel, you’ll need to be prepared to devote 3-4 hours per week to writing independently, in addition to the classroom instruction time.
Writing a novel is difficult. Regardless of your writing skill, it takes an exceptional amount of perseverance and forbearance. This class will give you the tools, motivation, and accountability to complete the project.
This class will be offered in Zanesville, Ohio and in Columbus, Ohio, as well as online.
The price of the class is $499. OWA Writer and Patron members save $30. Register by December 15th to save an additional $20. Class space is limited. We’re committed to small classes, even for the online group, so don’t wait to register.
4-WEEK INSTRUCTIONAL CLASS: *Note: Due to a scheduling conflict with our classroom facility, these dates have been updated. In Columbus – Wednesday evening, 6:30pm-9:30pm, January 9, 16, 23 and 30 – at the Ohio University Pickerington Center, 12933 Stonecreek Dr, Pickerington, OH 43147
In Zanesville – Saturday afternoons, 1pm-4pm, January 12, 19, 26 and February 2 – Columbus Publishing Lab Headquarters, 47 N. 4th St., Zanesville, OH 43701
Online (Live in Zanesville/Interactive on Saturday afternoons. Recorded classes can be watched for 7 days. Provided via Zoom, which is compatible with all computers, tablets, and phones.)
In Columbus (Wednesday evenings, 4th Wednesday of each month)
Zanesville & Web Participants (Saturday afternoons, 4th Saturday of each month)
I can’t make all of the support groups, what should I do?
You’re welcome to take the classes, and come to the support groups as you’re able. We recognize that a year is a long time to schedule out, and you may take a vacation, change work schedules, etc. over the course of the year. These support sessions are for your benefit, so just do your best.
Can I switch support sessions?
If you need to come sometimes to the Zanesville and other times to the Columbus support session, or join via the web, that’s OK. Just let us know ahead of time.
How do I connect to the online courses?
Online courses will be provided via Zoom. Learn more at Zoom.us. It’s easy to connect and participate. Specific instructions will be sent to individuals who register for the class. You can connect to a Zoom class with virtually any computer, phone, or tablet device.
Can I ask questions if I take the course online?
Yes! Taking the class online is just like taking the class in-person, just so you’re watching live. If you watch the recordings of the classes instead of the live class, you of course won’t be able to ask questions and interact.
Do you dream of influencing others on your own blog, or as a guest blogger? Do you plan to promote a book or product now or in the future?
Or perhaps you’re already blogging, but you’re just not seeing the response you anticipated.
Blogging is a unique craft. Just like there’s a difference between novels and advertising copy and short stories, blogging is a unique format with a different set of audience expectations. Understanding the blogging industry and the way that readers interact with your words is a critical step to writing effectively on the web.
Brad Pauquette will teach this class. Brad is an experienced web marketing professional with a decade of experience in publishing. He’s worked with hundreds of authors to produce and market their books, and to help them create effective content for the web. This class will provide practical instruction, real-life scenarios, and practice exercises.
Your class fee includes this Saturday’s class, as well as the writing for blogging workshop on November 3rd.
If you can blog effectively, there is so much to be gained–changed hearts and minds, viral publicity, advertising and affiliate income. But blogging poorly is simply a waste of time (yours and the readers).
OSU doesn’t play until 7:30pm Saturday night. Let’s put your morning to good use.
I’ve been working with authors for a lot of years. We launched our first official class series this year. One of the reasons that we started with our Certified Blogger series is that it truly is a skillset that can be the difference between success and failure for an emerging author. Effectively using the internet is a huge stumbling block for so many authors trying to promote their own work.
If you’re not already enrolled in our classes, you are too late to get the full series. But this week’s class, WordPress 1, is the best stand-alone class that you can take. And we still have a few spots left.
This class will teach you how to use a WordPress website. We’ll show you how to post content, create and revise pages, use categories, install and use themes and plugins, and make simple modifications to your website. This class begins at 9:30a.m. this Saturday, October 6th. Registration closes Friday evening.
Yes, it’s in Zanesville, but it is absolutely worth the drive. It’s less than an hour drive from downtown Columbus to our office in Zanesville. We’ll wrap up by 2pm, and you can still be home in time for the kickoff of OSU vs. Indiana.
If you’re thinking about releasing a book in the future (whether independently or traditionally), or you’re thinking about blogging (or maybe you already have a WordPress website and you’re just not confident with it) this class will give you the skills and confidence you need to make your website work for you.
This class is in the middle of the series, but there are no prerequisites. We’ll be starting from scratch. If you can turn your computer on and get to a website, you know enough to take this class. We’ll be starting from the beginning and learning all of the basic functions of a WordPress website. We’ll use real-life examples to practice and internalize the lessons.
If you want to be an income-earning author, now or in the future, make sure WordPress is in your tool bag. You will use it. This class is a great way to start.
To register for classes, simply login to your OWA account here. If you don’t yet have an account, it’s free and easy to create one. Writer Members of OWA ($35/year), get pretty good discounts on classes.