Writing Workshops for Adults

Rosanne has presented workshops at SCBWI conferences and retreats in several regions, the NCTE conference, the NYPL Literary Salon, and Wordstock. She has been on the faculty of the Fishtrap Summer Workshop and teaches online at the Loft Literary Center.

Her adult workshops:

Character and the Seven Deadly Sins is a workshop on creating emotionally resonant characters using the seven deadly sins as a framework for understanding human conflict and motivations at the deepest level. This works well as a 45-60 minute large group presentation. It can also be presented as a 2 hour hands on writing workshop with time for generation of new scenes and sharing of work.

Research and Empathy: writing across cultures More than 90% of writers for children are white. More than 50% of our readers are children of color. Unfortunately published books reflect this divide. The long term answer is to mentor a generation of writers of color, but the short term answer is to encourage all writers to include characters from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. This workshop will cover all aspects of researching a story outside your own cultural experience and also how to use your own experience to gain insight into another culture. This topic works well as both a hands on workshop and a panel. I have a group of authors who write cross-culturally who could fill out a panel.

Sibling Relationships: the heart of Children’s Fiction  Sibling relationships are the primary engine of emotional conflict and growth in a young person’s life. It is a uniquely intense and enduring relationship and can do much to propel your story’s plot and deepen its themes. This workshop will help you find a dozen concrete ways to think about how the sibling dynamic will work in your particular family constellation and three exercises to help you harness the power of the sibling relationship to enhance your story.Participants will come away with an understanding of the factors that influence the sibling dynamic, an understanding of the role of power in sibling relationships. an outline for a scene where the characters underlying struggle is magnified by sibling rivalry, and an outline for a scene where the character’s loyalty to a sibling moves the story in a new direction or adds depth to an existing scene

Finding the Gold in your Story Setting A richly developed setting is integral to most award winning novels and many best selling books. Developing the setting of your story can make the character voices sharper, the action more vivid, and the plot complications more realistic. This workshop will cover ten techniques for researching and writing a compelling setting for your story.

Plotting Novel Length Fiction Agents and Publishers are looking for, not the diamond in the rough, but a fully formed story that will need minimal editing to bring it to market. Give your manuscript the edge by exploring the deeper structure of your full draft and considering the range of options that will make your plot memorable and your conflicts so deep and rich they will command the readers attention. Participants will gain an understanding of what makes a scene work in the context of their own book. They will learn strategies for analyzing the plot arc, character development, theme and emotional strength. They will come away with the first ten scenes of their novel laid out in scene cards and ready for further revision. This is a hands on workshop. Participants should bring the text of a finished (or nearly finished) novel and be prepared to analyze it in depth. It is best done in a 90 minute session or two hour long blocks.

Revising Novel Length Fiction  Every writer has that bottom drawer manuscript—a diamond in the rough that just needs a little something to bring out its best qualities and give it the edge in a competitive marketplace. This workshop will help you look with fresh eyes on a full manuscript and consider a range of possibilities to strengthen the plot, clarify the characters’ voices, enrich the setting and develop the theme. Participants will come away with an understanding of the underlying structure of their story, a scene written from an alternate point of view, a list of potential new plot complications based on the stetting of their story, a list of potential new plot complications based on the theme of the story, a map for a potentially different structure for the story. This is a hands on workshop. Participants should bring the text of a finished (or nearly finished) novel and be prepared to analyze their own work in depth. It is best done in a 90 minute session or two hour long blocks.

Collaborative Marketing: strength in numbers  This is a hands-on and highly practical workshop on book promotion for motivated authors who don’t have a fortune to invest in gimmicks, but are interested in developing a network of useful connections to teachers, librarians, booksellers and readers, using both direct and online resources. Rosanne is the former co-president of the Class of 2K9 debut authors group, the founder of Powells’ League of Exceptional Writers, a monthly youth mentoring workshop and a participant in a number of group author tours.


Tackling Revision like the Pros This workshop is designed for Language Arts teachers of 3rd through 8th grade students. Nothing induces eye-rolling in students quite like a request for a revision of an essay and yet nothing else will lead to the progress in writing that students need. Rosanne will present techniques large and small that are used by working authors and editors to take a book from first drat to award-winning story. This short and practical workshop can be done in conjunction with a school visit.

Rosanne also does week long writing workshops that cover the mechanics of writing a novel in detail. She has taught at the Summer Fishtrap workshop and online at the Loft Literary Center.

To arrange a workshop contact Rosanne.