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Sponsored by Pennwriters, Inc., October 5, 2024

Zem Zem Banquet & Conference Center
2525 West 38th Street, Erie, PA

WRT Virtual RelayThat


Check back in June for 2024 Descriptions!


Click Here to download the full 2023 schedule. 


TinyBurst--- PITCH---
--- Debra Rae Sanchez

Debra Rae Sanchez

 Sign up for this event at Registration Table. Pay a small fee at the door. Share 10 minutes, one-on-one, with Debra Rae Sanchez, editor and translator from Tree Shadow Press, for possible publication. 



--- 2023 WORKSHOPS ---


TinyBurst--- FUELING OUR ENGINES  --- (Thinking Outside of the Box: Stoking the Fires of Your Imagination)
--- Janyce Brawn

Janyce Brawn

We all imagine differently. How do you express and explore your imagination to further your creative projects? In this workshop, we will do a series of activities to consider what we see, touch, smell, taste, and hear to stoke the fires of our imagination. By thinking outside of the box and using our five senses with various techniques we will investigate, for instance, how the taste of a sour lemon and the smell of peppermint can enhance our creativity. We will find that the feelings we have for certain types of music can increase our focus and boost our openness to generating new ideas and becoming more creative. In any art form, you need negatives and positives for conflict to make a complete work. So, building spatial awareness through drawing negative spaces can foster imagination and creativity and help us imagine how the negative elements such as heartache, loss, and hurt in our writing can create a more dimensional character. Imagining “what if” when we use word cubes, or a dictionary allows our imaginations to expand in a fun new way too. Art, music, and literature have always gone hand in hand, and today we can explore how this works. At the end, participants will have new strategies to stoke their creative fires as they move forward in their future writing. A handout will be provided at the end of the workshop.


TinyBurst--- HORSEPOWER --- (How to Properly Use Horses in Your Story) --- 

--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyWhether you write historical, fantasy, or contemporary fiction, if horses play a role in your story, you need to know what an equine can and can’t do, how they react, and what it’s like to work around a thousand-pound animal.

Annette Dashofy has owned, trained, and ridden horses for much of her life. She has taken the spills, given medication, gotten bit, kicked, and stepped on, all so you don’t have to! This presentation will give you a basic knowledge of terminology, conformation, breeds and their uses, gaits, as well as feed, tack, and support staff. Be sure to bring your story-specific questions.


TinyBurst--- BEWARE THE HIGHWAY MEN --- (Get to Know Your Villain) --- 

--- Annette Dashofy

Annette DashofyAs writers, we spend a lot of time getting to know the heroes of our stories, but not so much the villain or antagonist.

In this interactive workshop, you'll learn the tools necessary to create a bad guy your readers will love. Or love to hate.

There will be exercises you can use to flesh out your own stories and characters, so come prepared to write.


TinyBurst--- SUNROOF OR MOON ROOF --- (Story as a Shapeshifter)

    --- Timons Esaias

Timons Esaias

Many writers seem to be convinced that each element of their story is sacred and unchangeable, a belief that can leave them blocked or inflexible, or without ideas.

That premise is not true at all, and this hour will attempt to teach you how to change key elements, change genres, change outcomes, and change your career. You'll see that the "same" story can be written anew repeatedly, without actually repeating. (That's how series work, after all.)

Your own life experiences can be transformed into something unrecognizable (especially to lawyers), without losing the magic that makes it important. We will smelt story ore, and pour it into new molds. Malt balls will, of course, make the whole thing worthwhile.


TinyBurst--- GAS OR DIESEL --- (What to Put In)

    --- Timons Esaias

Timons Esaias

Once you've stripped all the bad stuff out of your first draft, it's time to address the important matter of adding Good Stuff: significant details, POV signifiers, color characters, theme music, and more.

For long works Tim will suggest a series of focused "preliminary passes" to make, each addressing a specific issue.

We'll get to the heart of craft: how to really write, without using the same five sentences over and over. 


TinyBurst--- TRIP ITINERARY --- (Timelines)
--- Catherine McLean

Catherine McLean

 Time seems so ambiguous but it plays a crucial role in plotting and provides necessary logic to the order of events. Learn the various types of timelines and simple ways to check for errors in your story's time flow.



TinyBurst--- THE WHEELS GO ROUND AND ROUND --- (Does Your Fictional Prose Have Rhythm?)
--- Catherine McLean

Catherine McLean

 Does your fictional prose have rhythm? It should. Learn the art and craft aspects to writing words, sentences, and paragraphs that sound like an orchestra not a kazoo.




TinyBurst--- A VIEW FROM THE OVERLOOK --- (Make Your Descriptions Active) 
---  Kathy Otten

Kathy Otten"Show don't tell," is the mantra of most writers, agents, and editors.

But how do you describe a scene without telling the reader what it looks like?

In this workshop, we'll look at ways to take boring descriptions and make them active.



TinyBurst--- THE PEOPLE WE MEET --- (Using Body Language to Show Character and Emotion)
--- Kathy Otten

Kathy Otten

 In this workshop we'll look at ways to use body language to show your characters moving and reacting on the page, allowing your reader the opportunity to create their own visuals of each scene and engaging them with your story.




TinyBurst--- LEAVE THE MAP BEHIND  --- (Put on Your Pants: Tips for Successfully Pantsing Your Way to a Complete Novel)
--- Mary Sutton

Mary Sutton

If the idea of writing a detailed outline, or performing extensive research, before beginning your novel scares you, you’re not alone. It is possible to write a novel, “from the seat of your pants”—as long as you have some guiding principles.

This class talks about some of them and how you can successfully apply them to your writing.



TinyBurst--- THE DAILY COMMUTE VS. THE SUNDAY DRIVE --- (Alternatives to the Daily Writing Habit) ---

   --- Fritze Roberts 

Fritze Roberts

With passengers (children and dependents), back seat drivers (a day job or two), road closures (a pandemic), and stop-and-go traffic (all the other demands on our lives), when are we supposed to open up the engine (write)?

The standard advice is to develop a “good” daily writing habit. But current research is starting to explain why this doesn’t work for everyone. So, what else can we do? Enter the Un-habit. Attendees will develop skills in:
• Intentional decision making
• Planning and goal setting
• Working with flexibility
• Breaking unhelpful habits
• Building healthy habits of thought

You’ll leave this workshop with a trunk full of tools (completed worksheets and commitments) that will help you actually get writing done—no matter what the rest of your life looks like. You can go with the flow and reach your goals.


TinyBurst--- LICENSE AND REGISTRATION PLEASE --- (This Is the Grammar and Punctuation Police) ---

   --- Fritze Roberts 

Fritze Roberts

“Using too many -ing phrases bores the reader.”
“Vary your sentence lengths.”
“There should be a comma here.”
“You’re using passive voice, choose stronger verbs.”
“The POV switched from first to third.”

Do you feel like you’re constantly being pulled over by the grammar and punctuation police? Ugh. The nitty gritty can be so frustrating when you just want to put the pedal to the metal and tell a good tale.

But…readers feel like backseat drivers when they start to notice flaws in your story mechanics. Knowledge of a few basics will get you back to cruising, and your readers engrossed in that hero’s journey.

This workshop will be a fun overview of sentence structure, punctuation (including commas and dialogue), verb tense, POV, and voice. Expect to work alone and/or in small groups on exercises and worksheets.



If you’re ready, you can sign up using the button below (registration takes place on the main, Pennwriters, Inc. website). Or click the More button to continue learning more about the Writer's Road Trip.