The Master Class is an immersive in-classroom experience that offers access to a genius who will encourage the students to find and release their virtuosity and skills.  Each seminar is designed to have a finished product at the end of the class and to foster a support group to guide you through the conference and beyond. 

Classes include:

  • instruction
  • writing
  • editing
  • feedback
  • critique
  • a push to a completed project. 

We have hired our most honored and skilled instructors to teach these modules.  Our Master Classes for 2018 are:

Screenwriting - by Doug Richardson - Room 4760

Novel Writing - By Michael Stackpole (full) - Room 4750

Contemplative Memoir - by Peter Dunne (full) - Room 4116

Action Scenes -  by Jonathan Maberry - Room 3219

Self-Publishing - by Brian Schwartz - Room 4730


Peter Dunne - Contemplative Memoir:  Remembering Being.  Being Remembered.

Doug RichardsonWriting stories from our life is a serious undertaking. It might be the most consequential writing we will ever do. However, it is worth every hour, every word. What makes writing our stories important isn’t simply the disclosure of all the wonderfully interesting things and amazingly stupid things we did, but that we can look back on that person, young me, young you, as we grew up, with real affection. Not with accolades or excuses, but with genuine admiration for the reality we faced and the fight we took on. That is what life is about - that fight - because the fight developed our character. Moreover, this becomes especially meaningful when we fully understand how the power of Contemplative Memoir can change our lives.

Learn more from Peter about his Master Class (YouTube)

This is not Autobiography. Autobiography is the chronicle of the storms we pushed through. Contemplative Memoir is the study of the storms that pushed through us. The former is the battle with the world. The latter is the battle with our selves. While autobiography is informative, Contemplative Memoir is formative. Beneath its events lies each person’s unique articulation on matters of character, trust, consequence, fairness, loss, and love.

Combining lecture, writing exercises, lively discussion and debate, laughs and tears, this Master Workshop is designed to refine each writer’s humanity and writing potential.

Register for Contemplative Memoir


Jonathan Maberry - Writing Action Scenes

Jonathan MaberryJonathan Maberry is an NY Times bestselling suspense novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, comic book writer and now his series V Wars is appearing on Netflix. 

Learn more from Jonathan about his Master Class (YouTube)

Well-written fights and chase and action scenes can turn a book into a red-hot page-turner…but they have to be done right. Join NY Times bestselling author and martial arts expert Jonathan Maberry (former bodyguard, 8th degree black belt jujutsu master, and former expert witness for murder cases involving martial arts) for a no-holds-barred workshop on how to write believable and riveting fight and action scenes. Included in this program are choreographic an action scene, understanding what is possible (and what’s not!), myths and misconceptions about unarmed combat, and much more.

In this class, you will learn and complete a full action scene in any genre you are writing. You will leave with a completed scene and a deep understanding of a master storyteller secret.

Register for Writing Action Scenes


Doug Richardson - How To Write a Killer Opening Scene of a Movie

Doug RichardsonDoug is the master of blockbusters having grossed more than any of our instructors at the box office.  His no-nonsense way of teaching will resonate with those serious about getting their movie done. Through the 6-hour class, Doug will guide students to the perfect ingredients for the blockbuster opening.  Structure and plot will be included.  Students will write, share and Doug will guide them to a finished first scene. You only need bring 2 pages for your first scene. If you haven’t written it, but have a pitch, that is fine. Doug will get you on the right path and finish it by the end of class. Your Script will be Hollywood ready.

Learn more from Doug about his Master Class (YouTube)

In this class, the goal is for the student to walk out with a finished first draft of the scene and a better foot forward for the rest of their script.

Register for How To Write a Killer Opening Scene of a Movie


Michael A. Stackpole - Stimulation Writing

Michael StackpolThrough this 6-hour class, Michael will guide students toward the perfect ingredients for their Novel.  Structure and plot will be included.  Then the students will write, they will share, and Michael will guide them to a finished first scene.  The goal being for them to walk out with a finished outline for the rest of the Novel, along with a first scene. 

New York Times Bestselling author Michael A. Stackpole presents his program for preparing yourself to write a novel. This set of 21 exercises is broken down to give you everything from character creation to world building, practical plotting devices, dialogue development and character voice creation tools. This program is a useful, kick-in-the-pants place to start your career. The class will include writing, critiquing and leaving with a finished product.  Michael will continue to mentor after the conference to the students attending.

Register for Stimulation Writing


Brian Schwartz - Self Publishing Boot Camp

Brian SchwartzBrian Schwartz has successfully obtained bestseller status on Amazon for over 100 titles. He will share the proven process he implements so you can do the same for your book!

In this intensive session, Brian covers everything an author needs to know before they self-publish. It is based on the self-publish pledge which outlines what every author should know before they publish. With ten years of experience (working with over 500 authors), this workshop will help authors avoid costly mistakes. It is the latest iteration of a curriculum Brian has been teaching since 2015 and contains 12 distinct modules taught over six hours. Even if an author is seeking to get traditionally published, having the knowledge of the publishing process will be to their advantage.

The 12 modules that Brian will cover:

•    Editing workflows (tips, tricks, and resources)

•    Interior formatting (for Kindle & print-on-demand)

•    Cover design tips and resources

•    Marketplace setup and optimization

•    Advance reader campaigns (ARCs & beta readers)

•    The ideal author website

•    Create & grow your online presence (social media profile)

•    Agent/Publisher queries

•    Getting book reviews

•    Launching an Amazon bestseller

•    Amazon Optimization

•    Book Marketing (long-range strategic planning)

Attendee Takeaways

•    A new clarity in the distinctions of each phase of the publishing process.

•    A better understanding of the big picture and resources required to self-publish successfully.

•    What to consider when hiring help - establishing a realistic budget (in time & money).

•    Realistic expectations when considering a D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) route.

Register for Self Publishing Boot Camp