Monday, November 1, 2010

Something Wicked on Writing

The Writer’s Workshop at Liquid Silver Books

First, I’d like to thank Angie for inviting me today. Who am I? My name is Moni Draper. I’ve written e-books for the last ten-plus years under the pen names of Monette Michaels and Rae Morgan. I am currently a Senior Editor at LSB, but have acted as the acquisitions editor and as Senior Editor over the Terran Realm, a shared urban fantasy world. Enough about me, let’s talk about the workshop.

Some History: As the first Acquisitions Editor at LSB, I took the time in the early years to critique promising authors’ manuscripts. As our submissions grew, I, then Tina Burns and now Tracey West realized we couldn’t coach everyone. The mistakes and issues we saw seemed to be the same ones again and again. We decided to institute free workshops in our Forum, open to our authors and anyone else interested in taking the classes. We had two goals: one was to help our current authors fix common mistakes and issues in their manuscripts and the second was to assist a future crop of authors in honing their craft. A side benefit would be to promote Liquid Silver Books as a publisher who cares about quality.

The Workshops began as a bi-monthly feature in the Liquid Silver Forum, affectionately called SiN. The first year (2009) saw class topics such as Self-Editing, POV, Dialogue, Time Management, Jumpstart Your Writing, and Show versus Tell. From the feedback received and the class attendance, the initial Workshops were more than a success.

In 2010, I took over the coordination of the workshops and instituted monthly classes less a summer break of three months. This year we have taught Plot Structure, Writing Blurbs, Sagging Middles and Hitting the Wall, Writing M/M Romance, World Building, and just last month, Writing Hotter Sex Scenes. November’s class will be Writing the Synopsis and in December, Backstory. Our instructors are editors at Liquid Silver Books and best-selling authors such as TA Chase and Marisa Chenery.

How The Classes Work: The classes are taught usually on a weekend and on the Forum. The direct link to the Workshop sub-forum is as follows:

The classes are taught as a mixture of lectures, Q&A, and writing assignments, where appropriate. When we ask the students to post original material for critiquing by the instructor, we have a Private Room which is password-protected and is only seen by the current class and the SiN moderators. The Private area material remains up for a month so the students can review the critiques and comments and then is deleted and the password changed for the next usage. In the main area of the workshop, all other materials and interaction within the class are then put into their own Room and available for anyone visiting the Public Area of SiN to read at their leisure.

The classes require the person interested in taking a class to sign up. In order to post, the class attendees must be members of the SiN Forum; this entails creating a screen name and a password. All of this is free to anyone who wants to learn more about the craft of writing.

The schedule for the last two classes of the year is a Sticky in the Workshop at the following link:
The Sign Up Announcements are issued at the beginning of each month in which there is a class, here:

2011 Workshops: The schedule for 2011 is in the works, the classes will include repeats (Plot Structure, for example) mixed in with some new topics so that our experienced students can find something to take without repeating themselves. I again anticipate nine monthly classes with taking June, July and August off.

I’d like to invite anyone interested to visit SiN and the Workshop to read the Archives of past classes to see what we are all about. If you find this is something you think you might like to try, please sign up - - I’d love to see you in class!

Again, I want to thank Angie for inviting me. If anyone has specific questions, they can e-mail me at


Angie Fox said...

I met Moni at a writers conference and was really impressed by her take on writing and how great she is at helping unpublished writers learn the craft. Thanks for stopping by, Moni!

Monette said...

Thanks for having me, Angie.

Anonymous said...

I've taken some of these classes and they were a tremendous help to me. I've noticed an improvement in my writing and have gained a clearer understanding of what editors are looking for.
Thanks Moni and everyone at LSB for hosting these workshops.