Through my friendship with Roommate and my affiliation with Writers Retreat Workshop, I've gotten to know some fabulous people in the fiction-writing biz: writers, editors, publishers, mentors, and teachers. One of the best teachers of fiction-writing I've met is Donald Maass, head of the Donald Maass Literary Agency in NYC and author of a number of books on writing, including Writing the Breakout Novel and Fire in Fiction. His agency's client list features best-selling authors like Todd McCaffrey, Anne Perry, and Jim Butcher. Don is not only an excellent teacher, but he's a really good guy and a good friend.
Lorin Oberweger, writer, program director, and independent editor, is also a dear friend and a fantabulous cheerleader when it comes to inspiring creative-types. And this year Lorin's company, Free Expressions, is bringing Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel Intensive Workshop to our neck of the woods, September 19-25.
From the website:
This retreat and workshop includes:
- All meals and comfortable, private sleeping accommodations with private baths.
- Morning classes with Donald Maass, geared toward building students’ specific projects using concepts covered in his popular, Writing the Breakout Novel book and workbook.
- A private thirty-minute consultation with Donald Maass, who will read the first fifty pages of each student’s manuscript.
- A private consultation with Editor-in-Residence and Program Director Lorin Oberweger.
- Opportunities to confer with other professional writers on staff.
- Afternoon and evening writing time and voluntary critique groups.
- Group follow–up discussions and pitch practice with Donald Maass.
- Complimentary copy of the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.
If you enroll by July 15, you receive $75 off. For more information, visit the Free Expressions website.
If you're a fiction writer or if you've got a fire in your noggin about being a fiction writer, this is truly an amazing opportunity. As an aspiring novelist, I can't tell you how valuable it is to have the chance to have a Big Time New York Agent read 50 pages of your novel. Usually it takes a barrage of query letters (that you've edited and adjusted a dozen times) just to get an agency to give you the time of day (no offense to my agent friends). For a lot of us, this service is almost worth the price of the entire workshop.
Not only are Don and Lorin a power duo of teacher/mentors, but the always awesome Roommate is on staff too. If I could take the time off from work, I would be there for the whole thing; as it is, I'm certainly going to try to capitalize on my friendships with these folk to take advantage of some of the after-work and weekend activities. I hope to see you there.
Brief gripe: How can the Sheraton Louisville call itself the Sheraton "Louisville" if it's in Jeffersonville, Indiana? Ugh, that bites my butt.