Workshops

book“Josie is a writer; I would perhaps even go so far as to state that she is a writer’s writer. By that I mean that she lives the life of a writer, and she is able to share those experiences-along with the basics of the craft of writing-with her audience. Josie tells it like it is. Candid, truthful, and friendly, Josie is also wise and through her experiences that she shared with our writers, I know a number of them had an ―aha‖ moment-either about their writing or about their lives as writers.

Josie is also a master at shameless self-promotion, an aspect that many writers shy away from. Her workshop ―Josie’s World‖ emphasized how important it is for a writer to get their work out into the world-and how to complete that task. Her enthusiasm for her work shines through everything that she does, especially her presentations. She will inspire, inform, educate, and entertain your audience. I want to highly recommend her to you as a potential presenter for your next writers’ event.”

Laurie Scheer
Director, UW Madison Writers’ Institute
Associate Faculty Associate

Other Workshop References:

Scott Evans, Director / University of the Pacific’s Conference on Creative Writing

LARA / Los Angeles Chapter / Romance Writers of America

SFRWA / San Francisco Chapter – Romance Writers of America

Sacramento Valley Rose Chapter – Romance Writers of America

Black Diamonds Chapter – Romance Writers of America

JOSIE’S WORKSHOPS

Workshop #1: The Plot Thickens!
It’s not easy to create a riveting 300-page manuscript. Bottom line: excitement comes from a page-turning plot.

In this workshop, writers will learn:

1. The 3 Key Ingredients for a Thickly Plotted, Richly Layered Story
2. The 5 Biggest Plotting Pitfalls
3. The Ultimate Outline for a Story Outline
4. Twist and Shout: Plot turns that Are Necessary to Every Story
5. 4 Quick Fixes for a Scene that’s Going Nowhere

All of these points are illustrated with key scenes from a plot known to everyone…

Those taking this course are invited to send Josie a scene from a work-in-progress (no more than 2 pages) that demonstrates the strength of their personal voice, and 2-4 of them will be showcased in a positive in-class critique. Please submit your scene at least two weeks prior to the workshop.

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Workshop #2: I Can’t Hear You! Finding Your Author’s Voice, and Putting on the Page
“Voice” is a term used in creating writing that describes the uniqueness of the author’s style, particularly as it pertains to character development, dialogue, syntax and diction.

Finding your voice early in your writing process may make all the difference as to whether you get published—and keep getting published after that first novel hits the bookstore shelves.

In this workshop, attendees will focus on:

1. The Importance of choosing the right POV
2. You Complete You: Finding—and Keeping— the Nuances that Make Your Voice Unique
3. Show, not Tell: The Rare Times When Telling Is Okay
4. That’s What He Said!/That’s What She Said! Learning the Chatter of the Sexes
5. Wacky Words, Plodding Phrasing, and Mundane Metaphors that Mangle Your Prose

Those taking this course are invited to send Josie a scene from a work-in-progress (no more than 2 pages) that demonstrates the strength of their personal voice, and 2-4 of them will be showcased in a positive in-class critique. Please submit your scene at least two weeks prior to the workshop.

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Workshop #3: Your First Scenes: Making a Great First Impressions on Agents and Editors
That first line. That first paragraph. That first page. That first scene.

If you’re going to sell your novel, capturing the hearts and minds of those who will read it first – your dream agents or editors – is tantamount.

In this workshop, participants will learn:

1. 4 Page-Turning Tips Every Story MUST Have
2. The Best Place to Start Your Story, and Why (Believe it or not, it’s may not be where you’ve got it now…)
3. When (and When Not) to Use a Prologue
4. How to Integrate a Backstory without Slowing the Pace of Your Narrative
5. How and When to Balance Dialogue with Narrative

Those taking this course are invited to send Josie a first scene from a work-in-progress (no more than 2 pages) that demonstrates the strength of their personal voice, and 2-4 of them will be showcased in a positive in-class critique. Please submit your scene at least two weeks prior to the workshop.

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Workshop #4: “The Pros and Cons of Writing for ‘New York’ versus Becoming an Indie Author

The biggest challenge facing authors — be they currently published, or unpublished — is whether they can turn their love of writing in to a financially successful career.

Even some authors who have been published by “The Big Five” Manhattan-based publishing conglomerates and have debuted on the New York Times Bestseller’s List have questioned whether they can live on the last advance while striving to find a publisher willing to give them the next one.

At the same time, is it worth the time and expense to self-publish your manuscript yourself?

In this workshop, we’ll discuss:

1. Do the Math: Advances, Royalties, and the Cost of Doing Business as a Published Author

2. What it Takes to Get a New York Publishing Contract–and Is it Worth It?

3. So, You Want to Write for New York…

  • Preparing Your Manuscript
  • The Role of a Literary Agent, and How to Get One
  • Networking with Editors
  • 10 Clauses Your Really Don’t Want in a Publishing Contract

4. So, You Want to Self-Publish…

  • Preparing Your Manuscript, both Editorially and Technically
  • Finding and Working with Freelance Editors
  • Book Conversions (ePub and Mobi)
  • Book Covers
  • Promoting Your Books, and Your Brand

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Workshop #5: Anatomy of a Novel Becoming a TV Pilot Seminar

Instructors: Laurie Scheer and Josie Brown

In 2007 former WEtv exec Laurie Scheer held a mediabistro.com seminar in San Francisco entitled How to Write for and Pitch to Women’s TV Networks. Author Josie Brown attended that seminar. The two women-one an entertainment industry veteran and the other a best-selling novelist became fast friends.

Flash forward five years later to 2012 as Josie Brown’s novel Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is picked up for development by Jerry Bruckheimer as a dramatic pilot for NBC-TV. How did that happen? Through determination, grit, and hard work as our novelist never gave up convincing her agents that her books were perfect for TV and our industry veteran coached her through the process.

This seminar outlines the necessary steps writers need to take to move their literary work onto transmedia platforms. Scheer and Brown discuss in detail their working relationship throughout the entire process-from mere idea to sold pilot so you too can sell your prose within the vast television marketplace. 

Topics covered:

 • Adapting literary prose into script format.

• Preparing a TV bible, series treatment, project synopsis

• Selling yourself as a transmedia writer

• Understanding the television development process

• Playing the game-knowing what to ask for when your project is picked up

• Reality Check: Collaboration or Take the Money and Run?

This is an interactive workshop consisting of lecture, presentation, in-class exercises, discussion, and Q&A ending session.

Seminar is for intermediate-to-advanced attendees.

Josie is available to give workshops to your writers’ group. 
You can also attend her two-day workshops in San Francisco.

For information, contact her at mail(at)JosieBrown(dot)com