If you’ve got a great book idea that’s begging to be published, there’s never been a better time. Self-publishing has become the front-runner in book publishing for independent authors and small publishing houses. According to authorearnings.com, on January 10 of this year:
4 of Amazon’s overall Top 10 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
10 of Amazon’s overall Top 20 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
56 of Amazon’s overall Top 100 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
HOW DO I START? You can do scribbled notes, voice recordings, journal entries, chapter outlines – whatever you choose, the key is to get your ideas out in a way that feels right to you. If it all seems too big and overwhelming, start by writing for just fifteen minutes per day. It’s a really effective, turtle-stepping approach that will move you steadily toward your goal.
THEN WHAT DO I DO WITH MY WRITING? To turn your first draft into a truly wonderful manuscript, your work needs to be shared and developed. A writing workshop or class can give you a supportive environment where you can continue to mine your creativity and learn new skills that will transform your piece into something ready for an editor. We scoped out some of the local writing workshops and courses to help you with the craft of writing.
Mohawk College ~ Writing for Publication Certificate
Mohawk says: Refresh and refine your skills in the fundamentals of plot, prose and character or take specialized courses in a writing form that appeals to you. Whether you’re a would-be novelist, filmmaker, poet, or writer of creative non-fiction, this reinvigorated program will help you jump-start your creativity, improve your technique and most importantly, get you writing. Choose five courses (mixture of distance and classroom) from 23 offerings to earn your certificate.
Best for: Beginner and established writers alike who are interested in creating or enhancing their portfolio of written work. And, of course, for those who love the idea of earning credits toward the certificate.
Want to test the waters? Take the Writers’ Weekend Introduction. It’s an intensive two-day focus on writing fundamentals. Enhance your skills with stimulating exercises, discussion and workshopping with participants and instructor and consider further developing your writing skills.
Brian Henry ~ Creative writing courses and workshops
Brian travels all over southern Ontario to teach his weekly writing courses. Offerings range from the introductory Exploring Creative Writing (loads of fun!) to the down-and-dirty Intensive Creative Writing, plus a variety of weekend workshops. Brian’s blog (http://quick-brown-fox-canada.blogspot.ca) has all the class details plus lots of other interesting stuff for writers.
Best for: People who want to be part of a writing community, share their work and keep their pen moving. More advanced classes are great for working on a specific writing project.
Nest and Story ~ Writing workshops to light your creative spark
Nest & Story’s Toronto workshops are based on the Amherst Writers and Artists method. This tried, tested and true method was created by Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press, 2003). It’s designed to help you turn off the nagging editor in your head to help you access the depths of your creativity. Prior writing experience not required. And it isn’t genre-specific – non-fiction writers, prolific tweeters, shopping list scribblers and famous mystery novelists are all welcome.
Best for: Those who need help getting over writers’ block, and who love laughter, coffee and homemade baked goods… all delivered in a smaller group setting.0