Deep Dive into Self Editing

Announcing a Deep Self-Editing Workshop Series

Did you completed your NaNoWriMo challenge of a 50,000 word manuscript?


You're Amazing

No, really. Only 12-18% of participants in NaNoWriMo manage to win the challenge. You are among the persistent few and I, for one, salute you.


Maybe you didn't take on the NaNoWriMo challenge but you have a manuscript that is a complete first draft ...


nearly complete first draft.

That's still amazing. It takes persistence, and you are among the minority of the 81% of people who say they want to write a book or script someday.

The first draft tells you, the writer, the story. The next few drafts are about making the story palatable for a reader. That process is called Revision.

Cline Library and Flagstaff Writers Connection are teaming up to help you with the Revision process.

Join other local writers in a 6 month journey to systematically scrub your manuscript or script and get it ready for critique and then agent review. Workshops will be held about every 2 weeks on the weekends. The sessions will include a lecture, question and answer session, step wise exercises to buff your manuscript, and buddy exercises so you can meet other writers and form writer/critique alliances. All lectures and handouts will be published to the internet afterwards, so if you miss a lecture you won't miss out on any of the steps.

Let Your Manuscript Cool

Now that you completed this monumental amount of work, what do you do?

Nothing. Well, nothing with this first draft manuscript. Let is sit and cool off for 2-4 weeks. I mean it! Lock it up if you have to. Don't touch your manuscript or look at it for at least 2 weeks (4 weeks is better.) If you do that, I'll show you something magical at our first workshop.

Well maybe doing nothing is a too hard after kicking butt in word count for days on end. You don't have to completely sit on your hands. Brainstorm your NEXT manuscript. Have you seen our Brainstorming tab above? Or just start writing a new manuscript. Pantsers, you know who you are, I'm talking to you. Don't let those good writing habits you just developed go to waste.


1/26/19: Pre-Editing: The Cloud, Story Drivers, Story Structures, First Read Through, Series/Motiff

2/9/19: "Series": Working with Series, Series Grid, Key Scenes, Theme, Story as a Whole, Scrivener

2/16/19: Cutting: Word Count, Timekeeper, Values, Acts, Sequences, Scenes, Beat Sheet, Synopsis, Scrivener Cork Board

3/2/19: Scenes: Scene vs. Sequel, Scene Eval, Character Driven, Plot Points, First and Last Page.

3/23/19: Point of View and Causality

Week 6 TBA: Tension, Conflict, Emotion, Visceral Response
Week 7 TBA: Dialogue and Setting
Week 8 TBA: Action and Body Language
Week 9 TBA: Thought, Exposition, Backstory, Color Analysis,
Week 10 TBA: Voice: Rhetorical Devices, Backloading, Simile, Metaphor, Cliche
Week 11 TBA: Word Searches, Grammar, Final Buffing, Critique Exchange
Week 12 TBA: Left Overs, Troubleshooting, More Critique Exchange

All sessions will be 10 am to 12 pm at the NAU Cline Library, 2nd floor Learning Studio. Parking is free on weekends in the back of the library off of Riordan Rd, behind Dunkin Donuts.
Cline Library and Parking

Fantastic Writer's Salon

What can we, as writers, learn from a fanciful children’s movie?

At the height of Potter Mania, 6 hr after Deathly Hallows was published, it sold 5000 books a sec. Deathly Hallows sold more books in the first day than any other author that YEAR.

Fantastic Beasts, Rowling’s first foray into screenplay writing, grossed $814 million worldwide. The film was nominated for 5 BAFTAs (British equivalent of an Academy Award), including Best British Film, winning Best Production Design. In this country the movie took two Academy Awards,winning Best Costume Design, and becoming the first Wizarding World film to win an Academy Award.

Clearly, J. K. Rowling resonates with a large audience of people. I believe that's because she is one of the most complex and layered writers of our time. I mean to convince you today that the more you dig into her work, the deeper the meaning, the more complex and interesting her work becomes.

Join us on Sunday, November 18 to watch the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts saga, Crimes of Grindelwald. We will hold a writer's salon at 2:30 pm at Nancy Brehm's house, 925 Sinagua Heights Dr. in Flagstaff.

I'll give a brief presentation about the peculiarities of Rowling's writing and things to consider while watching the movie. I'll cover how Rowling hooks you with:
  • Genre Bending Worldbuilding
  • Confirming your Postmodern Beliefs
  • Masterful Narrative Slow Release.
Rowling has been called the most important Christian writer since C. S. Lewis. I'll talk about how she delivers meaning:
  • Meaningful Resonance
  • Ring Composition
  • Subversion of stories we share in common
  • Characters and elements that symbolize larger concepts
  • Literary Alchemy
  • Dante's Divine Comedy

At 4 or 4:30 pm we will watch the movie together.

After the movie we'll meet back at Nancy's house for BBQ sandwiches, while we discuss the film.

Please RSVP at if you think you're coming so we can get an approximate head count. You can let us know right up to and including Sunday the 18th.

Write Your Novel in November

Want to be inspired to write that novel you've been planning, but feel like you don't have the time? Trying to overcome a huge case of writer's block? Want to meet other writers? NaNoWriMo  or National Novel Writing Month is you chance.

Each year on Nov. 1 about half a million writers from all over the world converge on the internet and at local Write-In locations to work toward the goal of creating a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 PM on Nov. 30. That's a novel about the size of Catcher in the Rye.

The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMothe Young Writers ProgramCome Write In, and the “Now What?” Months.

In 2017:
  • 402,142 participants, including 95,912 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.
  • 972 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 646 regions on six continents.
  • 1,195 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.
  • 65,962 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • In past surveys, 86% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo helped them learn what they can accomplish when determined. 89% of respondents said that NaNoWriMo made them more excited about writing and 87% of student participants in our Young Writers Program said that it made them more confident writers.
  • Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s CinderSee a full list of our published authors.
  • Each year, authors offer mentorship to our participants through pep talksPast author mentors have included Gene Luen Yang, Roxane Gay, John Green, N. K. Jemisin, and Veronica Roth.
To get started in NaNoWriMo, use this Step by Step Guide.
  1. Fill out a Profile so other writers with similar interests can find you.
  2. Brainstorm a story for your Novel with NaNoWriMo or with Flagstaff Writers Connection.
  3. Announce your Novel to the world. This will help you stay the course when things get tough.
  4. Plan the plot for your Novel. Or don't. Pantsers welcome!
  5. Select Flagstaff AZ as you home region. Each region has leaders who schedules meet and greets and writing sessions which usually take place at coffee houses or bookstores. Our leaders are Cory and Anna. Writers Connection has already scheduled 3 Write Ins (see below.) These sessions encourage writers to collaborate and share ideas. If you’re not into the idea of writing in public, the NaNoWriMo website also has numerous message boards so you can talk to writers from all over the world.
  6. Come November, WRITE! And earn Badges for reaching milestones.
  7. Get help and inspiration when you get stuck. The encouragement that you receive is unparalleled. The website even e-mails inspirational quotes and messages to your WriMo inbox daily.
  8. Update your word count until you get to 50,000 words or more.
  9. Claim you Win by pasting the full text of the novel into the NaNo word counter.
  10. NaNoWriMo also hooks you up with people who can help you find out what to do with your novel once it’s been completed.

Come to the NaNoWriMo Kick Off Event

10/31/18 at 10 pm to 11/1/18 at 1 am at East Flagstaff IHOP, off Route 66 and Postal Blvd.

Get Involved in Flagstaff

This year Flagstaff Writer's Connection is teaming up with NaNoWriMo to bring you Write-Ins at Mother Road Brewery on Butler Ave.

Join us on 11/13, 11/20, and 11/27 from 5-7 pm. Mother Road is providing Satchmo's snacks and selling fine craft beer to lub the process.

Spend the first 30 min meeting other writers in the area and the last 90 min or more at hard core writing.

More from 

A Path to Creativity Workshop with Sandra Marinella

Your Story Matters

Ignite you passion for writing down the self in ways that will tap into your personal creativity. This 5 hour workshop will help you find the stories you need to tell while giving you the chance to explore a path to your personal creativity. There will be opportunities to share your writing in a nurturing environment. This workshop will engage writers of all levels, novice to advanced.

After the workshop there will be a book signing and Meet and Greet at Oakwood Restaurant.

Sandra Marinella is an award-winning writing instructor and author of The Story You Need to Tell, an inspirational guide to transformational storytelling. The book is the result of Marinella’s pioneering work with veterans and cancer patients, her years of teaching writing, and her research into its profound healing properties. Riveting true stories illustrate Marinella’s methods for understanding, telling, and editing personal stories in ways that foster resilience and renewal. She also shares her own experience of using journaling and expressive writing to navigate challenges including breast cancer and postpartum depression. Each of the techniques, prompts, and exercises she presents helps us “to unravel the knot inside and to make sense of loss.

Profits from her work support cancer research. 

Find out more at

Book Signing

Sandra Marinella will be signing her book, The Story You Need to Tell.
There will be gifts & treats & a talk by the author.
Saturday, August 11
5:30 – 7:30pm
Bright Side Bookshop
18 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001


Saturday, Oct 13th, 2018
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Continental Rm., 2nd Floor
2380 N. Oakmont Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Price $55

Lunch on you own at Oakwood Restaurant

Register with Nancy Brehm:


Or Send Registration Form and Check to:
925 N. Sinaqua Hts. Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Virginia G Piper Center Summer and Fall Courses

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU is proud to announce new creative writing classes and workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, poetry, screenwriting, flash, hybrid forms, and more for Summer and Fall 2018:

Start Date
Class & Instructor
July 10
Aug 4
Aug 4
Sep 4
Sep 8
Sep 10
Sep 15
Sep 24
Advanced Fiction Workshop with James Sallis
Sep 29
A Deeper Image: A Poetry Workshop with Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Oct 2
Oct 4
Oct 20
Oct 27
Nov 16

All classes take place at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281). Hours and costs vary. Discounts are available for students and ASU affiliates. To learn more and register, you can download a flier, find classes on facebook, visit our website at

Writing Workshop: Characterization and Dialogue by Susan Pohlman

Writing Workshop

Sorry. This workshop is full.
Use the "Contact Us" tab in the lower right to be added to the waiting list. 
Watch for our next workshops in Oct.

Saturday, August 25 2018
10:00 am-4:00pm
Continental Country Club
Continental Room
Second Floor
2380 N. Oakmont, Flagstaff

Cost $55

Characterization and Dialogue

What makes a character jump off the page and keep an agent, publisher or reader hooked all the way until the end of the book? How does a writer create believable, compelling, and effective dialogue?

Understanding characterization and dialogue is crucial to effective storytelling. Come enjoy a day of camaraderie and craft as we unlock the secrets of great writing.

In this cross-genre hands-on workshop we will explore techniques for creating characters that your readers or audience won't soon forget.

Susan Pohlman

Facilitator Susan Pohlman, author, editor, and ASU writing instructor, is the founder of The Phoenix Writers Network. Her memoir, Halfway to Each Other, has won numerous awards. Her essays have been published in a variety of publications.