Click on the image for more information.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Instead of markets, let's do workshops today.

Editor's note: I've had a workshop with Cindy Vallar. She's an outstanding instructor who really knows her topics. --Highly recommended.

Workshop title: Norse Scotland
Instructor: Cindy Vallar

Workshop dates: Monday, 1 June – Tuesday, 23 June

Workshop description:

In this year dire portents appeared over Northumbria and sorely frightened the inhabitants. They consisted of immense whirlwinds and flashes of lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air. A great famine followed soon upon these signs, and a little after that in the same year on the ides of June the harrying heathen destroyed God’s church on Lindisfarne by rapine and slaughter.
–Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 793

As in England, Vikings invaded parts of the Western and Northern Isles of Scotland. They ravaged the monasteries and enslaved the people. But the images we conjure up of the raiders provide only a small glimpse into the world of the Norse people, for the Vikings were pirates. Those who followed were settlers who established homes and integrated their way of life with that of the Gaels and Picts. By examining the history and archaeology, ships, raiders, famous Norsemen, women, marriage, the Norse in the Northern Isles and Hebrides, and life in general, participants will have a better understanding of Norse Scotland.

Cindy enhances the participants’ experience through discussions and assignments. She also shares excerpts from her novel, The Scottish Thistle, and her short story, Odin’s Stone, to illustrate how aspects of Norse culture survived into the 18th century and how she weaves fact into fiction. A list of terms, a resource list, and a timeline accompany the lessons. There are discussions and assignments to enhance the twice weekly lessons. At the end of the workshop, Cindy provides a free edit of a chapter from participants’ manuscripts set in Scotland.

To Register, go to this website


Writer U presents:
Magic, Monsters and Amour: Creating a Believable Paranormal, Fantasy,or SF World

Instructor: Marilynn ByerlyWhen: July 6 - 31, 2009

Cost: $30 per class.

Are vampires, fairies, and space aliens real? If you create the rightbackground for your novel, they will be to your reader. Marilyn Byerly,lauded by reviewers for "building a world that combines both integrity anddepth in an entertaining way," shows you how to develop a fantasy, sciencefiction, or paranormal world from to invent creatures topopulate it...and how to make your novel utterly believable. She'll teachyou the ins and outs of research, fresh ways to use creatures like vampires,and the means to avoid various traps many authors have fallen into.

Topics include:
* The three methods of world-building--their advantages and disadvantages
* World-building questions and resources
* What not to do in building your world* How to create the perfect alien or magical character
* Putting your world-building on the page
* Avoiding SF hazards, magic messes, and info dumping

Marilynn Byerly's two passions are writing and teaching. She has taughtwriting, reviewed books, and published writing articles. Her articles havebeen used as course work for writing and publishing programs at severaluniversities. Her romance, science fiction, fantasy, and suspense novelshave won awards including the National Readers Choice Award, the Sapphire,the Affaire de Coeur, and the Write Touch.