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5 Writing Classes to Improve Your Craft in 2017

Are you a writer looking to improve your craft in 2017? Here are five writing classes recommended by our owner/publisher Rose O’Keefe. (Plus one bonus class for people interested in cover design).

Lit Reactor is one of my favorite sites for online classes, so I’ll start with a few classes that they have coming up in January 2017:


Writing High-Octane Fiction with Weston Ochse

There’s an art to action fiction. And SEAL TEAM 666 author Weston Ochse—a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier—will show you how it’s done.”

I have been a fan of Weston Ochse’s writing for nearly 20 years. His prose is tight and riveting. If you are interested in improving the action in your work, this is the guy to learn from.


Short Story Mechanics: Find the Framework with Richard Thomas
In two weeks, Richard Thomas will help you nail the mechanics of the short story. Perfect if you’re a beginner, but anyone who wants to do some serious, fast-and-furious writing is welcome.

Another excellent writer to learn from, Richard Thomas is offering a class on the essential elements needed to craft a good story. The focus of this class is short story writing, but the principles can easily be applied to novel writing, as well.


Writing the Weird, with American Monster author J.S. Breukelaar

“In this four-week workshop, you’ll work with J.S. Breukelaar to create characters, structures, and settings that defy convention and push you into unfamiliar—and daring—territory.”

American Monster was published by Lazy Fascist Press and was a finalist for the Wonderland Book Award last year. If you are interested in stretching conventional boundaries and exploring ways to make your writing more weird, I would trust J.S. Breukelaar to show you how!


Block Party with Francesca Lia Block

This is a 10-week class for experienced authors, including professional writers, who are revising their work and for beginning writers hoping to jump start a novel (or even a poetry cycle, short story collection, memoir). Email 

Another writer whose work I have been a fan of since my early twenties. I can not recommend her highly enough! If you do not take this class, you should at the very least be reading her books which are filled with magic, whimsy and love!


Synopsis and Queries: How Do They Work? with Curtis C. Chen
Summarizing your work can be a daunting task, and it’s an essential skill required for getting your work published. Eraserhead Press will be open to submissions again in April 2017, so if you want some help preparing your synopsis and query, I highly recommend this one.

I’ve been a supporter of the Clarion West workshop for years and several of the top authors that we publish have been through their phenomenal six-week residential workshop which is also now open for applications, here.

Not writing related, but equally noteworthy I’d also like to recommend a BONUS WORKSHOP for people interested in cover design:


Fundamentals of Graphic Design: For Publishing and Beyond with Matthew Revert

“Learn the basics of graphic design as they apply to the publishing industry with acclaimed graphic designer Matthew Revert in this four-week workshop.”

Matthew Revert has designed hundreds of book covers for work published in the Bizarro Fiction scene and is one of the top designers working in the small press industry. I love his work and am very excited to see him teaching. I recommend this class for anyone artistically inclined who wants to have some fun.



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