March – Airing Dirty Laundry, Writing for the Trues with Marilyn Baxter, March 6-17, 2017 – $30
Use Family Stories, Eavesdropping and Cable TV to Create Writing Income
Airing Dirty Laundry offers information and tips on how to create a source of outside income by writing short stories for the confessions and romance magazines. This two-week workshop is geared for writers who want extra income while waiting to sell their first book, are between royalty checks or simply want an extra income stream.
This course takes students step by step through writing a confession. It begins with learning the market, developing hooks and compelling story lines and structuring a story properly. By the end of the course, students should have a story ready for submission.
Additionally, participants will be given the opportunity to submit the first few pages of a story they start during the class and have the pages critiqued by published writers. Two stories will be selected toward the end of the class to receive a full critique.
The goal of this class is to instruct students about the genre and writing techniques specific to it so that by the end of the two-week class they will have a complete (or nearly complete) story ready to submit to one of the magazines.
A copy of one of the following magazines if possible: True Confessions or True Story.
Please keep posts about any certain topic in the comments section of that topic. PM me if you want to make sure I know you’ve posted and don’t miss any questions. Be courteous to your fellow students. Take personal stuff off-loop. Feel free to email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Put ADL (Airing Dirty Laundry) in the subject line to help me identify class business. And all lessons will not only be posted in the group, but uploaded to the Files section as well.
Day 1 (Monday): Lecture on the confessions magazines – what they are and why write for them – and information about the market such as pay rates, story lengths, and the differences between each magazine.
Day 2 (Tuesday): Q&A about Monday’s info. Photo exercise. Photos posted on a blog (www.airingdirtylaundryphotos.blogspot.com) for you to use to develop a story.
Day 3 (Wednesday): Lecture on the importance of a good hook and story ideas and where to get them. The class will be given twenty (20) photos. Use one photo to develop a hook for a story you will write over the next two weeks. Assignment: Write a three or four sentence blurb about your hook and post it on the loop if you want a public critique. Be sure to reference by number which photo you’re using. If you’d prefer a private critique, send to me privately. The day’s lecture will include some examples from the stories I’ve sold.
Day 4 (Thursday): Q&A time plus continued critiques of hooks.
Day 5 (Friday): Lecture on story structure and how it differs from other types of writing. I will give examples of several of my story openings to illustrate. We will also discuss showing versus telling and dialogue. Assignment: outline your story and start writing. Q&A time.
Day 6 (Monday): Q&A time for those nagging questions you have about hooks, story structure, transitions, show versus tell. Assignment: Keep writing.
Day 7 (Tuesday): Lecture about manuscript format plus odds and ends including short features in the magazines. Q&A time. Assignment: Submit first 3 pages by 8 PM Central Standard Time to be critiqued by me. Please send to my private email address and post on the loop that you sent it as a safeguard to make sure I receive it.
Day 8 (Wednesday): Lecture with information from the current editor of the Trues about what they’re looking for. Submissions information and rules will be discussed as well as the contract process and payments.
Day 9 (Thursday): Two winners from the entries submitted earlier in the week will be announced and will receive a full critique from me. General comments about the entries. Excerpts will be published with author’s permission. Q&A time.
Day 10 (Friday): Lecture on record keeping, taxes and online resources. Final Q&A.
Marilyn Baxter has sold over forty stories and a half-dozen short feature articles to the confessions and romance magazines. She has also sold to an e-zine called Chick Lit Review and an anthology titled, appropriately enough, I Confess. She appears in both the 2008 and 2009 Bylines Writers’ Desk Calendar and her article “Short Shorts – Not Just a Fashion Statement” was featured on the Writing for Dollars website. In November 2008 she took the NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote 50,000 words on a book she had started way too many years before. When Silhouette Special Edition announced an online pitch contest several months later, she hunkered down, finished the book and submitted a synopsis to the contest. One of eleven finalists, she received a request for her full manuscript, putting her a tiny step closer to the dream of being published in novel format. The book was ultimately rejected. In 2013 Marilyn entered Boroughs Publishing Group’s “What’s in a Name” novella contest, where the novella title had to be based around a song. She was a finalist, which meant her novella would be published, but didn’t win. However, she had the most popular vote and not only was her novella published in 2014, but she was invited to submit a full-length manuscript. That book, Direct Deposit, was published in 2015 (and is the book rejected by Harlequin). Direct Deposit was followed later in 2015 by Picture This. Her next release from Boroughs is Heart of Stone, a Christmas novella out later this year. Additionally, Marilyn was part of the first group of authors hand-picked by Roxanne St. Claire to kick off her Barefoot Bay Kindle World. The result, When You Touch Me, has consistently been in the top ranks of Amazon Kindle Worlds romances. Marilyn is a member of Heart of Dixie RWA and serves RWA on both the local and national levels. She lives in her empty nest in north Alabama, enjoys gardening and crocheting, and dotes on her granddaughters. And in addition to all this, she works part time as an administrative assistant for a boutique law firm. http://www.marilynbaxter.com/