05 November 2015

Resource for writers: Margie Lawson Writers' Academy

It's kind of a long story, but I'll try to tell the short version. I wanted to Octsober again this year. My goal was to give up alcohol, tobacco, refined sugar, and television for the entire month of October.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I know, I know. The only thing I'm addicted to that I didn't try to give up is caffeine. *shudders to think*

Anyway, I knew that if I wanted to have even the remotest chance of success with Octsobering I was going to have to find some other activity to fill my time and distract me from the extreme discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. What I decided on was taking a couple of courses from the Margie Lawson Writers' Academy (LWA) - one to help me with my WIP and one to help me learn more about the business side of indie authorship, especially book marketing and publicity.

I'd taken my first LWA course (on writing a series) back in October 2012 and had a good experience, and now that I've taken two more, I have no qualms about recommending them as a resource for writers who are looking to improve their craft and/or learn more about publishing.

At the time of this article, LWA courses are $50 each, which I think is a great deal. You get a live instructor (though I suppose if they were undead I wouldn't know because it's all online) who has prepared the course materials and responds to assignments and questions. I will say that the quantity and quality of instructor interaction varies from course to course, but all the courses are taught by working/published authors who have first-hand experience with whatever the course topic is.

In particular I would recommend any course taught by Becca Syme. I took her Indie Insider course and got a lot of value out of it. Whether you're still on the fence about going indie vs. traditional with your work or you, like me, have already self-published several books and aren't yet getting the results you want, this course has a ton of useful information, and Becca's responsiveness and the quality of her feedback is fantastic. She's also teaching a Sticky Author Newsletters course this month (Nov. 2015) and again in the spring of 2016.

In addition to online courses on publishing and craft (e.g. point of view, worldbuilding, writing historical fiction, characterization, dialog, etc.), Margie Lawson offers week-long, in-person Immersion Master Classes in the U.S. and Australia, which are geared toward helping writers deep edit their novels; lecture packets, which are like self-paced courses without an instructor; and now even a writing-intensive Caribbean cruise (Dec. 13-20, 2015). Personally, I like that Lawson offers instruction in so many different formats (online w/ instructor, self-paced, in-person) to speak to different writers' learning needs.

If you're looking for ways to learn more about writing and/or publishing, I recommend checking out the Margie Lawson website to see if any of her offerings fit your needs.

Sione Aeschliman, LLC provides high-quality editing and coaching services at fair rates to support emerging and established writers in achieving their writing and publishing goals. To inquire about my services or ask a question, email me at sioneaeschliman (at) gmail (dot) com.

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