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Jump Start Your Novel with Sara Kocek

5/26/2012 From 1 PM to 4 PM


$49 members / $109 nonmembers

Location: St. Edwards University, Austin

Fleck Hall 106

PLEASE NOTE: Some users of Internet Explorer and Firefox occasionally experience difficulties registering online. If you attempt to register but receive an error message, please feel free to call our office at 512-499-8914. Or, if you prefer, you are also more than welcome to pay by check via the mail. To do so, please click HERE to download a workshop registration form. This document includes information on where to mail the form and your check.

Now more than ever, a strong opening is vital for a novel’s success. Your manuscript has mere seconds in an agent’s hands, and in order to stand out from the hundreds of other submissions, your opening pages need to be polished and diamond-sharp. In this class, you’ll have the chance to workshop the first five pages of your draft and receive concrete, constructive feedback from your peers.

If you have an idea for a novel floating around in your head, but you don’t know where to start, this workshop is for you too. We’ll discuss your idea, develop your setting, flesh out your characters, and guide you through writing exercises to get you started. From plotting your outline to polishing your opening page, we’ll cover everything you need to kick-start your manuscript with compelling tension and a vivid, distinct, voice.

This workshop will cover:

• The six elements of a strong beginning
• How NOT to open your first chapter
• How to create a flexible outline that grows with your novel
• How to set—and raise—the stakes of your novel
• Simple methods for organizing your work in progress

Who should attend:

• Writers who are just beginning the process of working on a novel
• Writers who are knee-deep in the process and want to hone their opening pages
• Anyone who has an idea for a novel, but doesn’t know where to start

Sara Kocek holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, where she taught fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction to undergraduates. Currently a staff member at the Writers’ League of Texas, she has worked on the editorial side of the publishing industry at Random House and Penguin. She will share her insider tips and knowledge as a writer who has worked within a publishing house and has learned what editors and their assistants look for in the opening pages of a manuscript.