Get Ready to Publish: Four Seminars

We are excited to present four online seminars over the summer to prepare you for professional publication. If you’re serious about publishing, these seminars will bring you the information you need to make smart decisions and move towards success.

Three Paths: Understanding the Publishing Industry (July 9, 2020) – What are the legitimate opportunities in the publishing industry? How do you find them and how do you avoid the scams?

The Five Steps of Book Production (July 16, 2020) – Professional book production is a 5-step process. If you’re intending to self-publish, this is critical information. Books that complete all five steps are far more successful. If you’re intending to seek conventional publication, it will also be helpful to understand what’s happening behind the scenes.

Query Letter Workshop (August 6, 2020) – You have one shot to make a good impression with agents and publishers. In this seminar, you’ll discover winning strategies for crafting great query letters (and classic mistakes!). We’ll also workshop the query letters of a few volunteers as a group.

Finding Opportunities in the Publishing Industry (August 13, 2020) – You have a complete (or soon-to-be-complete) manuscript, and a budding author’s platform. What are your next steps? This seminar will feature an extensive Q&A on all topics publishing and platform-building.

These seminars will be taught by Brad Pauquette, a publishing expert with more than ten years experience in the publishing industry. Brad has consulted with authors at every level, from first-time authors to New York Times bestsellers. Brad is the president of the Ohio Writers’ Association and the director of the School of Kingdom Writers. Learn more at

These seminars normally cost $59 each to attend.  Due to the ongoing COVID situation, we’ve reduced the price to just $99 to attend all four. If you intend to seek out opportunities in the publishing industry, this is the most critical information you need to make good choices and see results.

All of these seminars are held live at 7pm ET. Attendees who wish to do so may participate and ask questions. If you’re unable to attend the live seminar for any reason, you can watch the recorded video for up to 7 days following the event.

Use this button to register for these online seminars at this reduced price right now.

If you’d like your seminar invitation (with the live link) sent to a different email address, please be sure to note that in the order process. By default, we’ll send the link to your PayPal e-mail address.

If you’d like to pay by a different method, please contact us at

You can also register for individual seminars at the regular price using our OWA Class portal. Click here.

Questions? Please contact us at

Master Copywriting – 3 Reasons This Skill Is Essential to Every Writer

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: 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.

Register today at

Writers Write

The Art of Copywriting – September 7, 2019

We’re excited to bring you four unique retreats this fall. These day-long getaways will compliment your skill set, jump start your creativity, and empower you to reach your goals.

On Saturday, September 7th, The Art of Copywriting will give you the skills and confidence to begin making real money with your writing.

“Copywriting” is the process of creating written content for businesses and advertisements.

Learn more and register for this retreat at

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.

Copywriter Writing Copy Text Content Class

This retreat, from 9am to 3pm, will provide a crash course in all things copywriting, and give you opportunities to practice and receive professional feedback.

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 talents.

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

Critical Reading Workshop is Tonight!

We’ll be critiquing Michael Chabon’s Werewolves in Their Youth at the Capital Club this evening. Bring your thoughts, comments, and your teenage angst!

Questions to ponder while reading:

  1. Chabon is sometimes referred to as one of the foremost “stylists” of his generation (referring not, I think, to a propensity for playing with hair, but rather a propensity for playing with sentence structure)–did any of the sentences in this story strike you as being particularly well formed? Did you notice instances in which the sentence structure or paragraph structure helped carrying the meaning of the text? Were any sentences that were out and out duds?
  2. This story attempts to portray the inner and outer worlds of beleaguered tween boys–how does Chabon build these worlds? What details does he use to make them believable? What details does he leave out? What sort of building block short cuts does he use?
  3. The story is split into two distinct halves and two distinct settings–how does this structure help carry the story’s message and intent?

That’s it for questions!

As always, this event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. The Capital Club is located on the lobby floor of the Doubletree Suites Hotel on South Front Street. Get more details in this ancient blog post.

Check back next week when we’ll be posting discussion questions for you to mull over before the meetup.

Questions? Comments? Got a story you’d love to discuss? Send them to the workshop moderator at See you there.

Next Folk & Fiction Event: 9/25

CCC Members!

The next Folk & Fiction is set for Sunday, September 25th. The event will take place from 3-5pm at Java Central Cafe in Westerville (20 S. State St.).

Folk & Fiction features local authors, poets and singer-songwriters performing their original creative works. The lineup for the upcoming event includes:

Music by The Castros – Based in Columbus OH, Sara and Marco Castro have been making waves regionally and internationally with their heartfelt folky tunes. Named Best Local Band in 2013 by (614) Magazine (and runner-up in 2012 and 2014), the Castros are a staple of the local music scene and have played throughout the U.S. and Europe. Alternating between haunting emotional pieces and catchy and happy tunes, their performances are dynamic and memorable!

Poetry by Chris Minton – A member of the Ohio Poetry Association, The Columbus Creative Cooperative and Writer’s Ink, Chris has had poems featured in publications such as Mad Swirl and Common Threads. He is also a past winner of Brilliant Flash Fiction Magazine’s international flash fiction contest. Chris is also a songwriter and member of the Columbus Songwriters Association. He can be heard around town reading his poems and short stories and performing original songs.

Short Stories by Tom Barlow – Tom is an Otterbein grad and writer of speculative fiction whose stories have appeared in Crossed Genres, Redivider, Hobart, The Apalachee Review, Heater, Plots with Guns and many other magazines and anthologies, including Best American Mystery Stories and the upcoming CCC anthology, Best of Ohio II. His science fiction novel “I’ll Meet You Yesterday” is available from Bundoran Press and his short story collection “Welcome to the Goat Rodeo” is available from PageSpring Publishing.

Come out and support the CCC and enjoy an afternoon of creativity…see you there!

Writing Flash: Reading Workshop Discussion Questions

We hope you can join us for our reading workshop this Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m. We’re discussing strategies for writing better flash fiction and nonfiction. Don’t worry: if you’re short on time, so are these stories. And, all of them are available to read online! For those of you who like to prepare in the parking garage or on your way up the elevator to the Capital Club: you totally can.

We’re reading two fiction stories from the anthology Flash Fiction International. Sovetskoye Shampanskoye (Berit Ellingsen) reads like a poetic abstract to an international crime thriller, and shows just how much you can actually communicate in a limited space. Please Hold Me the Forgotten Way (H.J. Shepard) is a quieter snapshot of a moment in time for its two characters.

We’re also reading two flash essays from Brevity, a flash nonfiction journal: Roots by M. Sausun and Naked  by Alyssa Quinn.

Below are a few discussion questions to think about while you read. Then join us Wednesday to figure out how to fit a world into 1,000 words or less.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. We’ll meet at 7 p.m. at the Capital Club. Get directions here.

Never been to a reading workshop? Check out our FAQ, and feel free to contact the workshop moderator with any questions.

Flash Fiction Discussion Questions

These apply to every story. Answer them all four times if you’re an overachiever, or cherry-pick to your liking. It’s okay.

  • Are these complete stories? What elements are necessary for a story to feel whole? Do these stories contain all of those elements, either explicit or implicit?
  • What are the most powerful sentences in each story? Why?
  • Titles become very important in flash—they really account for a significant percentage of the word count. How do the titles of each story further our understanding?
  • What is omitted in each story? What is included? Why do you think the author made those choices?
  • What does the story gain by its brevity? What is lost?
  • What tricks do the authors use to convey information in few words? What specific words can you find that are doing lots of work?
  • How much do you actually know about the characters in each story? How much more do you guess about the characters, and how does the author influence your assumptions?
  • In the nonfiction essays, the author’s voice (or the “I” of the story—the one who is speaking) takes on a special importance. It’s really this voice that distinguishes the nonfiction essay from fiction. How does this voice influence the story being told?

Critical Reading Workshop: Flash Edition

Planning on taking top honors in the flash essay contest? Come to the reading workshop on July 13 to hone your skills. We’ll discuss techniques for crafting better flash fiction and essays using story selections from the altogether brilliant anthology Flash Fiction International, and essay selections from Brevity, an online journal of “extremely brief” creative nonfiction.

Grab your copy of Flash Fiction International, and bring it to the Capital Club on July 13 at 7 p.m. Stay tuned to the blog for story selections and discussion questions. And don’t worry: the stories, like this blog post, will be brief.

This event is free and open to the public, and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. See you there!

6/12 Folk and Fiction Lineup Set

CCC Members! Our next Folk & Fiction is all set. This free event will happen from 3-5pm on Sunday June 12th at Java Central Café in Westerville (20 S. State St.).

In case you’ve been in hibernation for the last few years, or are new to CCC, here is the deal with these events – we recruit super talented and creative types to share their gifts in the form of original songs, stories and poems.

This event in particular is one you don’t want to miss, so mark your calendars and tell a friend. You’ll be treated to performances from the following:

Rick Barr – Rick has been playing guitar for 30 years and has self-produced several albums of both original songs and cover tunes.  He’s been playing shows in and around Columbus for a few years and is known for sets that feature both classic rock and country.  His latest album is a rock opera titled “Seventy Lies”, which will be available June, 2016 on CD and in online stores.

Matt Betts – Matt is the author of two novels (Indelible Ink and Odd Men Out) and a collected work of poetry (See No Evil, Say No Evil). His work has been published in dozens of journals and his poem “Godzilla’s Better Half” was nominated for a Rhysling Award. Matt also teaches writing workshops and seminars, coordinates writing groups and acts as a panelist in a wide variety of venues.

Jamie Sagle – After working for years with other local bands, songwriters and musicians, for the last several years Jamie has been writing her own songs, which reflect on trials of life and finding the strength within to overcome.  Jamie has been featured on WOSU’s “Songs at the Center” and was recently a finalist in the Columbus Songwriters Association’s Finale Showcase.

Brenda Layman – Brenda is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Pickerington Community Magazine, Ohio Valley Outdoors magazine and other outdoor magazines.  Her short stories have appeared in a number of CCC anthologies. Brenda is also a watercolor artist and a member of the National League of American Pen Women and the Outdoor Writers of Ohio.

Anisa Gandevivala – Anisa Gandevivala is a writer, poet and artist who lives in Columbus, Ohio; her work is about teasing the edges of comfort zones to create growth, and, she enjoys exploring the impermanent nature of things. Anisa studied to be a physician and worked as a leader in healthcare before she became a full-time barrier-breaker and rabble-rouser… she has been featured as a reader and speaker at a number of events and you can learn more about her art and balance workshops via the facebook page, ‘The Connection Experiment’ . Most of the time, she procrastinates when it comes to writing bios because labels can be such a bore.

April Critical Reading Workshop: Character Development

No foolin’—the April critical reading workshop is just around the corner! This month we’ll use Dan Chaon’s quietly uncanny story “To Psychic Underworld” to talk about strategies for developing interesting characters. You can find the full story on Tin House’s website here, or pick up a copy of Stay Awake, Chaon’s newest story collection.

Chaon has earned a reputation for writing stories that are driven by the inner lives of his characters, and “To Psychic Underworld” is no different. Check it out, then join us at the Capital Club on April 13 at 7 p.m. for a casual roundtable discussion of the story.

We’ll post discussion questions before the workshop to help us focus on how Chaon develops Critter, the central character of “To Psychic Underworld.”

Never attended a reading workshop? Check out our FAQ, and feel free to contact the workshop moderator with comments and questions. As always, this event is free and you do not need to be a CCC member to attend. Hope to see you there!


3/20 Folk and Fiction Lineup Set

Okay, CCC members, here are the details on the next Folk & Fiction event, which will take place at Java Central Café (20 S. State St. in Westerville) from 3-5pm on Sunday, March 20th.  On the docket this time we’ve got two truly outstanding music acts – Chris Shaw and Daniel Dye.  Because National Poetry month is coming up, we’ll be doing poetry readings instead of short stories and we’ve got a great lineup of poets.

If you’ve been to a previous event, you know how creatively cool they are! What better way to spend the afternoon on the first day of spring (yes, that’s the day of the spring vernal equinox and the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity…what a day!).  Support CCC by grabbing a buddy and heading over to Java Central on the 20th.  Information on all of our performers is below.


Daniel Dye:  Daniel was born and raised in rural Ohio, but spends much time working and traveling throughout Europe and Asia.  He writes music, and is sometimes accompanied by the Miller Road Band – a combination of cello, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, accordion, and guitar.  His songs have been featured many times on several different NPR programs.  In reviewing his album Blinded Again, called his music “thoroughly organic and full of soul.”

Learn more about Daniel here.

Chris Shaw:  Chris is one of the most talented – and busiest – songwriters in Central Ohio.  He performs as Topher James & Biscuit Brigade and has been featured in Columbus’ 614 Magazine. His EP “Art & Soul” was released in 2014 to critical acclaim. described it as “rich with funky guitar licks” and “lyrically rich storytelling.”  Chris is a member of The Andy Shaw Band, which plays original soul, rock and reggae.  He’s also half of the acoustically-driven Shaw Brothers.

Learn more about Chris here.


We’ll be featuring poets who were published in CCC’s poetry anthology The Ides of March: An Anthology of Ohio Poets.  This is a unique opportunity to hear some of Ohio’s best poets in one place.  Our readers include:

Jennifer Hambrick – Jennifer’s poetry has been honored with a Pushcart Prize nomination, and her debut chapbook was nominated for an Ohioana Book Award.  She also won the Ohio Poetry Association’s 2013 Ides of March contest and has received many other recognitions for her work.

Jack Schwarz – Jack formerly taught writing and literature at two Ohio universities and subsequently worked as a ghostwriter for the Ohio General Assembly.  These days he provides interfaith pastoral care within several area medical facilities.

Hannah Stephenson – is a poet, editor and instructor living in Columbus.  Her poems have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Huffington Post. In 2013 she published a full-length collection of poems.  She is the founder of Paging Columbus, a literary arts monthly event series with a local focus.  Hannah was also the editor of the CCC poetry anthology.

Jordy Lawrence Stewart – originates from the small town of Cedarville, Ohio.  When he isn’t busy writing or studying he also enjoys spending time writing music, painting and diving into the various scenes and creative landscapes of greater Columbus.

Scott Woods – is the author of We Over Here Now and has published widely.  He has been featured multiple times on NPR, was the President of Poetry Slam Inc. and emcees the Writers’ Block Poetry Night in Columbus.