There’s tremendous value to 1-1 writing relationships. There’s equal value to collaborating with a group of kindred creatives searching for a safe and supportive environment to grow their writing craft. Although writing a story can feel natural to you–or a journey you need to complete alone–writing workshops can give you the background education needed to level up and master your craft.
And yet, sometimes writing workshops can fall short of your expectations. Why is this?
In Abigail’s writing workshops, she makes it a priority to surround you with a small group of writers interested in studying, crafting, and editing the same GENRE you’re interested in reading, writing, editing, and publishing. Using her experience in the publishing and production world, Abigail Perry is a Creative Writing and Film Teacher – Turned – Certified Story Grid Editor with literary agency experience determined to guide your writer’s journey with a supportive, differentiated, and constructive online learning environment.
If you’d like to study theoretical education on the craft of writing while meeting and networking with a group of people with common interests, while also receiving feedback from an experienced editor and teacher, explore one of Abigail’s 7-week writing workshops today!
“I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to take a deep dive into genre and story analysis with Abigail Perry’s Rising Writer Masterclass. Abigail’s passion for storytelling sparked rich class discussion, and I’ve gained tools that I know will take my revisions to the next level.
– Jennifer Klepper, USA Today Bestselling Author of Unbroken Threads
This is a 7-week course that strictly focuses on writing and editing Women’s Fiction with essential writing craft tools and principles. Sectioned into three units, the intention for this course is to teach Women’s Fiction writers how to apply writing and editing resources like James Scott Bell, resources from literary agents who specialize in Women’s Fiction, and Story Grid to their manuscripts, from loglines and back covers to a scene-by-scene analysis.
There’s a lot of discussion about what makes a Women’s Fiction novel — this course is about helping you write a WF book that can hook target readership with market appeal!
“I participated in Abigail’s Women’s Fiction Story Grid Workshop and am so grateful I did! Through analyzing novels and movies, she teaches you how to dissect and improve your own writing. She takes you through the process from wide view (your story’s logline) to narrow (a scene’s story event), plus everything in between, honing in on what works or why it doesn’t. She provides so many resources to help along the way and she is readily accessible for consultation at any point. I strongly recommend taking one of Abigail’s workshops for writers at any stage of their career. She will definitely help you take your writing to the next level.” – Raquel Levitt, Fiction Writer
How does it work?
In Abigail’s online Women’s Fiction workshop, you’ll study theoretical education on the craft of writing and editing Women’s Fiction while meeting and networking with a group of writers with common interests (WF!). This learning environment makes for engaging and meaningful discussions impossible without diverse perspectives, and it establishes routines and deadlines that will test your limits while making the writing and editing process fun. Additionally, you’ll work in groups to take implicit lessons from best-selling writers and experienced editors and explicitly apply them to your craft and critique of other group members’ assignments, with templates and resources Abigail shares throughout the course to help you communicate your story strengths and weaknesses.
Additionally, you will receive written and/or verbal feedback on all writing assignments in Unit 1 and the first chapter/scene (or scene of your choice) of your novel from the instructor, Abigail K. Perry, a Certified Story Grid Editor who specializes in Women’s Fiction and has literary agency experience, working directly for VP and Senior Literary Agent, Carly Watters of P.S. Literary Agency.
Who is this workshop for?
Women’s Fiction writers looking to master characters, genre, and editing skills that help you edit your own work and provide cogent feedback to critique partners. It’s also for writers looking to establish disciplined habits with deadlines that hold them accountable, partake in group discussions on writing and editing Women’s Fiction, learn practical writing and editing tools, principles, and practices, follow a program with guided curriculum, and satisfy a love for learning.
What will we cover?
This workshop is sectioned into three units that study writing tools and principles to help writers better draft and edit Women’s Fiction. These include:
UNIT 1: On Premise and Characters (Weeks 1-2)
In these weeks, we will study the craft of developing characters with key qualities often seen in a Women’s Fiction heroine and/or cast, as well as the essentials to writing loglines and back covers. Understanding what motivates your characters and identifying obstacles/supporting characters that challenge them is essential to crafting an emotionally, character-driven novel. Also, understanding how to pitch your novel not only clarifies what’s clear vs. confusing in your manuscript—but also identifies marketable ways to capture an agent’s attention in a query letter, and target readers with a back cover synopsis that meets genre expectations andstands out.
Some Essential Questions May Include:
- What makes a Women’s Fiction novel?
- What is the difference between Literary, Upmarket, and Commercial Fiction – and how can I categorize my Women’s Fiction novel for agents/publishers?
- How can you use resources like Save The Cat! and Story Grid to write your novel’s logline?
- What are a Character’s Objects of Desire? How can you identify the difference between what a character wants and what a character needs?
- How does your character appeal to a Women’s Fiction audience? Who are some stellar WF characters that stand out, and why do you think they elevated bestsellers?
- How is your protagonist constantly in conflict with your antagonist?
- How can you write a back cover for your novel that targets your story’s internal and external genres, using James Scott Bell’s outline in Write Your Novel From the Middle?
UNIT 2: On Genre and Structure (Weeks 3-5)
These weeks are dedicated to instruction that applies Story Grid’s internal and external genres most apparent in Women’s Fiction novels. Although you’ll never pitch your manuscript using SG genre terminology, understanding essential obligatory scenes and conventions that uphold your story’s core values and themes will make the writing and editing process more focused and clear. Sometimes Women’s Fiction writers grow frustrated with their novels because they lack internal and/or antagonistic substance. Being able to label your manuscript’s Global Genre and Sub-Genre(s) can resolve plot issues flattening your character and manuscript arcs.
Some Essential Questions May Include:
- What are Story Grid’s internal genres; how do I pick the Global Genre for my Women’s Fiction story?
- What is my hero’s Mirror Moment?
- What is my character’s “special gift” and how is this achieved or forsaken in the climax of my book?
- How do my internal genre and external genre fuse together in my climax?
- Why do we need masterworks when writing our manuscripts?
- What is the difference between a theme and a controlling idea?
- How do the controlling ideas and synopsis in The Husband’s Secret, The Storyteller, The Giver of Stars, and Mrs. Everything identify potential external and internal stakes?
- What’s the difference between a masterwork and a comparative title (comp)?
- What makes a strong comparative title and what are some great comparative titles for my story?
Some Women’s Fiction authors and stories covered may include: Cecelia Ahern’s P.S. I Love You, Jennifer Weiner (Mrs. Everything, In Her Shoes), Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret, Emily Griffin’s Something Borrowed, and JoJo Moyes The Giver of Stars (which could be categorized as historical fiction-women’s fiction, but a good one.)
*Writers will not need to read the entirety of these novels in order to participate in the course (although there’s an advantage to having done so!). They should be familiar with the work. Keep in mind some weeks might require screening assignments in addition to reading assignments.
UNIT 3: On Editing (Weeks 6-7)
The final weeks of this course are dedicated to setting you up for success not only as a writer, but as an effective and mindful editor of your work and your critique partners. Switching from a creative mindset to an analytical perspective of evaluating what advances a plot and develops a character, you’ll learn how to analyze a story scene-by-scene. These weeks become particularly active as writers share the first chapters/scenes of their novel and gain confidence in communicating their observations of what works and doesn’t work in the shared scenes (as well as scenes from Women’s Fiction Masterworks).
Providing feedback and self-reflection are crucial to any learning process, and it’s important to find your writing group that understands and uses a common language to discuss and assess everyone’s work.
Some Essential Questions May Include:
- Why is it important to use the Socratic Learning Method when analyzing scenes?
- How can I write a scene that works, advances the plot, and develops characters?
- Why does understanding a scene’s “workability” help me provide cogent feedback to critique partners?
- What is the Global Genre in Something Borrowed and how are Rachel’s wants and needs suggested – and the story’s genre expectations – established in the opening chapter?
- How does the first chapter of P.S. I Love You create a Story Event?
- What are the five commandments and value shift in the first chapter of The Giver of Stars?
- How can I edit my manuscript scene-by-scene, and why will this knowledge help me provide more cogent feedback to my critique partners?
- What do I find as the most confusing about analyzing scenes?
What tools and resources will we get?
- Private online community using Slack
- Small group session for personal connections (no more than eight students a course)
- Weekly accountability with recommended reading and screening assignments, and structured writing assignments
- Accelerated study with an experienced teacher and Certified Story Grid Editor with literary agency experience, and who specializes in Women’s Fiction
- Invaluable resources for continued study
Investment for 7-week course:
$595 (Needs 6 students to run)
Join the Women’s Fiction Workshop!
Yes! I want to join the Women’s Fiction-Focused next session!
This workshop s is limited to 8 students and needs at least 6 students to run. Small class sizes ensure that you receive personalized attention from Abigail and other classmates while learning and networking.
To be eligible, you must complete an application to determine if this learning environment is the best fit for your writing craft goals and needs. I cannot consider anyone who does not submit the application form, and I do not accept everyone who applies. If selected, I’ll contact you with additional information.
Thank you for your consideration, and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or request a 20-minute consultation call!
The next course will run in Fall 2020, keep a lookout for deadlines for this course soon!
The next Women’s Fiction-Focused Writing Workshop starts:
Note: If you are not selected, you will not be notified. Thank you, and good luck!
Abigail K. Perry is a Certified Story Grid Editor with professional teaching, literary agency, and film production experience. In addition to writing masterwork guides that help people learn how to write, read, and edit like a writer, she works as a freelance developmental editor/book coach and diagnostic editor, and is a monthly columnist for DIY MFA. Abigail also teaches Genre-Focused writing workshops for the genres she specializes in, which include Women’s Fiction, YA Fantasy, Upmarket Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Scripts. As a podcaster, she’s a passionate advocate for the butterfly effect stories have on the individual and world, which she shares with listeners on her podcast, STORY EFFECT.
Reach out to Abigail if you’re a writer looking for an editor who will help you grow as storyteller, and who has experience in differentiated instruction, traditional publishing, and film.