Compelling Openings Course

Hook Your Reader 
the First Page

A Uniquely Formatted Online Course to Create a Compelling Opening 

What to Expect:

  • Starting 9/14, participants have 12 days to watch instructional videos and do exercises via a private webpage. Participants spruce up or create a dynamic opening for a book, memoir, or short story of up to 300 words. 
  • By 9/25, opening pages are submitted to who will anonymously distribute them to participants via a link.
  • By 10/4, participants review other writers’ openings and answer three questions: 
    • Does it make you want to turn the page and keep reading? 
    • What hooked you? 
    • What would have been an even stronger hook? 
  • Instructor emails summary of participant feedback to each writer prior to 10/9. 
  • On 10/9, group meets on Zoom from 1-3 p.m. to review and discuss feedback received.


Registration Due by 9/14

Limited to 15 participants

Register Here 



C. Alex Smith started her writing career as a political blogger on the Daily Kos in 2008. She was invited to be one of three editors on a well-researched weekly blog concerning economics, politics, environmental concerns, medicine, and science.  There, she cultivated far left celebrities to guest post on the blog including Robin Upton (host of  Unwelcome Guests), Gar Alperovitz (author of Beyond Capitalism), Roger Rothenberger (author of Beyond Plutocracy), and Prof. Richard D. Wolff (Economic Update, The New School in NY). She was also instrumental in getting the blog reposted on several political news sites and maintained the blogs social media presence. 

She moved on in 2014 to being the host of Spec Fix Pix, a podcast for fans of Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror. 

After moving back to Arizona in 2018, she became a co-founder of Flagstaff Writers Connection. She continues to work for FWC to maintain their internet presence, host the local Critique Circle and Publishing Club, and to provide occasional workshops and courses on writing and the publishing industry.

Since 2008 she has been writing science fiction and alternate history. She has five complete manuscripts and three partial manuscripts. Two of her manuscripts took second place at the Arizona Authors Association Literary Contest.

Introducing The House of Authors


HBO premieres the prequel to Game of Thrones 

8/21/22 at 9 pm EDT and 6 pm MST

The original Game of Thrones turned out to be one of the most popular shows HBO ever produced. So much so that they assigned their best writers to the show and hired excellent acting talent. The House of the Dragon prequel will likely get the same red carpet treatment. That means writers have an opportunity to learn from these top-of-their-game professionals.

Watch an episode and enjoy it. Then watch it again and take notes. Here are some handy forms to help you keep track of your findings.


Review Form


Writer Recap


Episode 1        

S1E1 Script



Episode 2 

S1E2 Script



Episode 3

S1E3 Script



Episode 4

S1E4 Script



Episode 5

S1E5 Script



S1E6 Script



S1E7 Script



S1E8 Script



S1E9 Script


If you notice something I missed, please leave me a comment below. I will keep track of all our findings and publish them on this Playlist and at this Website.