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"Anatomy of a Scene" Online Class Package

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10/3/2020 From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

$247 for members (special discounted rate!)

$427 for nonmembers

For the month of October, we’re excited to debut a new virtual class series titled “Anatomy of a Scene.” Scenes are the building blocks of our stories and there are certain types of scenes, or certain aspects of scenes, that are particularly challenging to write. The three full-day classes in this series will focus on a different type of difficult scene. 

Class Breakdown: The morning portion of these classes will be lecture-based, while the afternoon portion will be a scene workshop. Every registrant will have the chance to submit a scene for the workshop. The instructor will choose 10 submissions to workshop in the afternoon. The class will receive the chosen scenes ahead of time. Everyone who registers will be allowed to ‘view’ and participate in the workshop, although they might not have their own work critiqued (again, only 10 will be chosen).

Before purchasing, be sure to check the dates. As always, there are no refunds on classes.

Each class can be purchased individually by clicking on the class title.

Can't make every class? No worries! All registrants will have access to the class recordings for the entire month of October.


"Anatomy of a Scene: Getting Intimate" with Tracy Wolff

     Saturday, October 3, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Learning how to write (and grow) intimacy between your characters will revolutionize your story and your storytelling.

Join bestselling young adult and romance author Tracy Wolff as she discusses the elements that grow intimacy between characters... both in and out of the bedroom. Tracy will spend the morning walking you through the seven keys to creating chemistry, tension and connection between your characters, and will use the afternoon to work with class participants to increase intimacy in their own scenes.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Tracy Wolff is a lover of vampires, dragons and all things that go bump in the night. A one-time English professor, she now devotes most of her time to writing dark and romantic stories with tortured heroes and kick butt heroines. She has written all of her sixty plus novels from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her family.


"Anatomy of a Scene: A Deep Dive into Dialogue" with Stacey Swann

     Saturday, October 10, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


As readers, there are probably a lot of craft issues we can look past. We can forgive less than inspired descriptions if the characters win our hearts. Or we can handle slightly flat characters if the plot sizzles with tension. However, if the book or story we’re reading has cliched, dull, or simply lackluster dialogue, it will be hard to keep turning the pages. Every stilted line will remind us we’re reading words on a page and keep us from immersing in the world. But there’s good news, too! More than any other aspect of writing, there are clear and useful rules for creating effective dialogue.

In the morning session of this class, we will explore all the major aspects of dialogue writing: how to avoid the most common mechanical errors, how to let your characters’ voices emerge through dialogue, how to handle interior monologue, and how to craft the best physical beats and descriptions to surround your dialogue. We’ll pull back to investigate the best ways to craft entire scenes that are dialogue-based. In the afternoon, we’ll dig deep into the 10 selected scenes to hone these skills and practice implementing them. By the end of the day, students will have the toolset to create conversations that crackle and pop!

Stacey Swann holds an MFA from Texas State University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her fiction has appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, and other journals, and she is a Contributing Editor of American Short Fiction. Her debut novel, OLYMPUS, TX, is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2021.


"Anatomy of a Scene: Violence: When, Why, and How" with Gabino Iglesias

     Saturday, October 17, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

In this class we will study the nature of violence and then frame it within a narrative to understand its role in storytelling from helping with the hook to delivering satisfying endings. We will look at the most common types of violence and their relationship to various genres. We will also work on pacing, choice of words, and economy of language to maximize the impact of our violence.

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, editor, professor, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He is the author of ZERO SAINTS and COYOTE SONGS and the editor of BOTH SIDES. His work has been nominated to the Bram Stoker and Locus awards and won the Wonderland Book Award for Best Novel in 2019. His novels, short stories, and essays have appeared in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and have been published in five languages, optioned for film, and praised by authors as diverse as Roxane Gay, David Joy, Jerry Stahl, and Meg Gardiner. His reviews appear regularly in places like NPR, Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Criminal Element, Mystery Tribune, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other print and online venues. He has twice been a juror for the Shirley Jackson Awards and has judged the Newfound Prose Prize, the Splatterpunk Awards, and PANK Magazine's Big Book Contest. He teaches creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University's online MFA program and offers a series of low-cost workshops for writers. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias.






$247 members (sign in for member pricing)

$427 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Registration at the special pricing will close at the end of Friday, October 2, 2020. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time. 

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit


This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to