Creative Writing for Entrepreneurs: Access Your Hidden Talent and the Power of Words

Communication through writing is one of the most valuable skills for entrepreneurs.

Posts, tweets, emails, blogs, business plans and booklets are some of the tools we use to educate and engage investors, partners, clients, and customers about the value of our products and services.

These do not have to be dry, boring, or overly complex – on the contrary. Your writing may benefit from some professional polish, but the essence of your own words and style will best convey your company’s reason for being.

This workshop is designed to help free and empower the creative writer in you to brainstorm ideas and more effectively write (and speak) about your business, while deepening your relationship with your own “brand.”

This will be a supportive, non-judgmental approach to creative writing practice, so come prepared to take a step out of your comfort zone and have some fun!

FREE TO ATTEND – RSVP HERE.

Location:

San Antonio Public Library
600 Soledad Street

Free 3-hr parking next door – validate ticket inside the library

Lead by Now Write! editor: Laurie Lamson

Laurie is an award-winning writer with over 80 produced scripts for clients that include banks, universities, health organizations, Levi Strauss and the U.S. Army.

As a lifelong student of creative and dramatic writing, Laurie enjoys sharing support and encouragement with fellow and sister writers and has created many writing workshops.

Empowering Creative Writing Workshop

with Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson 

Want to write, but not sure how to get started?
Having trouble completing a novel, story, memoir or screenplay?Overwhelmed with ideas?
Just feeling stuck?

Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson is offering a 4-week creative writing summer workshop designed to get you writing with clarity and enjoyment.

Each class begins with Laurie’s Writer’s Yoga including a guided meditation/imagination exercise to get grounded, present and open to your own creative flow.

We’ll discuss the cultural purpose of storytelling and hone in on your own values and perspectives – a big part of developing a unique voice and staying motivated as a writer.

We’ll practice some of Laurie’s favorite writing exercises designed to to quiet the inner critic and get your creative juices flowing while exploring key elements of dramatic writing.

A safe creative environment will be established through a non-judgmental approach to feedback. This way we avoid premature criticism that tends to stifle good writing.

Join The Workshop and Get Empowered as a Writer

Schedule: Monday evenings, July 25 – August 15, 7-9pm

Location: Summer Studios, 2161 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

Reserve your spot (limited to 8 participants): (310) 325-8801

Cost: $120 for series

Instructor: Laurie Lamson

Laurie April 2016Laurie is a professional writer, filmmaker and editor. She has completed several screenwriting assignments and currently has three of her own scripts in development with producers. Her short film Family Values in the Goddess Years played in festivals from Berlin to San Francisco.

Laurie has a passion for encouraging fellow and sister writers. For three years she was telecon host for the International Screenwriters’ Association. She designed and taught two creative writing series for teen girls. She was also editor of three writing exercise anthologies published by Tarcher/Penguin: Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, Now Write! Mysteries and Now Write! Screenwriting.

Learn more about Laurie’s philosophy on writers and writing.

Contributors’ Recent Work

Now Write! Contributors’ Recent Work

The holiday season has arrived and it’s a wonderful time to enjoy the work of fellow and sister writers.  Great writers make great readers… and vice versa! There’s something here for everyone including literary fiction, creative nonfiction and mysteries.   See also the recently updated: Writing Books by Now Write! Contributors for gift ideas for writers and a chance to win a FREE GIVEAWAY.

voyageof-strangersVoyage of Strangers audio book by Elizabeth Zelvin (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Lake Union Publishing (Sept. 2014)

The year is 1493, and young Jewish sailor Diego Mendoza has returned from Columbus’s triumphant first voyage with tales of lush landscapes, rivers running with gold, and welcoming locals. But back home in Spain, Diego finds the Inquisition at its terrifying peak, and he must protect his spirited sister, Rachel, from betrayal and death. Disguising herself as a boy, Rachel sneaks onto Columbus’s second expedition, bound for the new lands they call the Indies. As the Spaniards build their first settlements and search for gold, Diego and Rachel fall in love with the place, people, and customs. Still forced to hide their religious faith and Rachel’s true identity, the brother and sister witness the Spaniards’ devastation of the island in their haste to harvest riches. 

PatBooneFanClubPat Boone Fan Club by Sue William Silverman (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Univ of Nebraska Press (March, 2014)

A one-woman cultural mash-up explores identity among the mishmash of American idols and ideals that confuse most of us—or should. Pat Boone is our first stop. Now a Tea Party darling, Boone once shone as a squeaky-clean pop music icon of normality, an antidote for Silverman’s own confusing and dangerous home, where being a Jew in a Christian school wasn’t easy, and being the daughter of the Anti-Boone was unspeakable. And yet somehow Silverman found her way, a “gefilte fish swimming upstream,” and found her voice, which in this searching, bracing, hilarious, and moving book tries to make sense of that most troubling American condition: belonging, but to what?

escapeofmalcolmpoeThe Escape of Malcolm Poe by Allison Burnett (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Writers Tribe Books (Sept. 2014)

For the past ten years, Malcolm Poe has dreamt of escape. His plan is simple: The day his youngest child starts college, Malcolm will leave his devoted wife to resume the creative life he abandoned for marriage. As the hour of his departure nears, Malcolm buys a blank notebook to chronicle the riot of his memories, passions, regrets, and aspirations – an ascent into the deluded imagination of a middle-aged man who believes it is never too late to start over.

Mothers and Lovers mothers&loversby Maria Flook (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Roundabout Press (Dec. 2014)

College professor April O’Rourke is in over her head when she moves next door to a family in trouble, including a teenage son, who has returned home from reform school.  She is mesmerized by her young neighbor but his unorthodox bond with his mother has earth-shaking consequences for everyone. This sweeping novel overturns sacred traditions and maps the scissoring boundary lines of family ties and carnal attraction.


The Armor of God, Vol. 1 armorofgodthe first book in a trilogy by Diego Valenzuela (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor)

(Oct. 2014)

A once-beautiful planet razed by a malignant alien virus shields itself from the wreckage of the world: one remaining human settlement is a domed city, where the last humans live comfortable lives, awaiting their inevitable extinction.

Eighteen-year old Ezra Blanchard must take part in military service, but when the army discovers Ezra’s blood possesses extremely rare qualities, he is trained in Zenith, a top secret facility where Ezra discovers humanity’s last glimmer of hope.

Quiet Dell quietdellby Jane Anne Phillips (Now Write! Fiction contributor)
Scribner; Reprint edition (July, 2014)

In Chicago in 1931, Asta Eicher, a lonely mother of three, is desperate for money after the sudden death of her husband. She begins to receive seductive letters
from a chivalrous, elegant man named Harry Powers, who promises to cherish and protect her, ultimately to marry her and to care for her and her children. Weeks later, Asta and her three children are dead.

Emily Thornhill, one of the few women journalists in the Chicago press, wants to understand what happened to this beautiful family. Determined Emily travels to West Virginia to cover the murder trial and to investigate the story herself, accompanied by a charming and unconventional photographer equally drawn to the case. These heroic characters, driven by secrets of their own, will stop at nothing to ensure Powers is convicted.

River CityRiverCity (a Jason Colefield Mystery) by Doc Macomber (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Floating Word Press (April, 2014)

As a frozen fog lifts, River Patrol Deputy, Jason Colefield, motors ashore on idyllic Sauvie Island to recover a body. Colefield has a history with the island and any return triggers unpleasant boyhood memories. This visit he comes face-to-face with his childhood nemesis who leads him to the bullet-riddled body of a young boy he claims he stumbled upon while hunting. Colefield suspects the man is lying but it will take more than just gut instinct to prove it. As the story unfolds, with more twists and turns than the majestic Columbia River, island life is disrupted, family secrets exposed and it becomes clear the past isn’t done with him.

PayoffPayoff (a Simon Fisk novel) by Douglas Corleone (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Minotaur Books/ St. Martin’s Press (Aug. 2014)

When movie studio mogul Edgar Trenton’s teenage daughter, Olivia, is kidnapped during a violent home invasion in Calabasas, California, former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk is called upon to ensure a smooth ransom exchange. But once it becomes clear that the kidnappers never intended to return Olivia to her parents, Simon must follow a lethal trail that will lead him from the powdery white sand beaches of the Cayman Islands through the wild jungles of Costa Rica, and into some of the darkest and deadliest cities of South America.

GoodasGoneGood As Gone (a Simon Fisk novel) by Douglas Corleone (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press (Aug. 2013)

Former U.S. Marshal Simon Fisk now works as a private contractor, tracking down and recovering children who were kidnapped by their own estranged parents. He only has one rule: He won’t touch stranger abduction cases. He’s still haunted by the disappearance of his own daughter years ago when she was just a child, still unsolved, and stranger kidnappings hit too close to home.

 

Writing Books by Now Write! Contributors – Updated

Now Write! anthologies belong on every writers’ bookshelf – the perfect gift for the writer in your life.  Now Write! contributors have  a number of their own writing books that can make the ideal companion gift to encourage your favorite writer.  

(Note: Now Write! editor Laurie Lamson is the host of International Screenwriters’ Association’s free teleconferences.  Many Now Write! contributors have been guests speakers – podcast links are provided below.)

FilmGenreforScreenwriterFilm Genre for the Screenwriter by Jule Selbo PhD (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor)
Routledge (Aug, 2014)

A practical study of how classic film genre components can be used in the construction of a screenplay. Based on Jule Selbo’s popular course, this accessible guide includes an examination of the historical origins of specific film genres, how and why these genres are received and appreciated by film-going audiences, and how the student and professional screenwriter alike can use the knowledge of film genre components in the ideation and execution of a screenplay.

Explaining the defining elements, characteristics and tropes of genres from romantic comedy to slasher horror, and using examples from classic films, Selbo offers a compelling and readable analysis of film genre in its written form. The book also offers case studies, talking points and exercises to make its content approachable and applicable to readers and writers across the creative field.

** Intl. Screenwriter’s Association podcast with guest Jule Selbo **

** FREE GIVEAWAY **
ALAN WATT’S MY FIRST NOVEL

“Like” the Now Write! Facebook page (and if you wish, post something about what you are working on) for a chance to win:

MyFirstNovel

My First Novel edited by Alan Watt (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
contributors incl: Cheryl Strayed, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror contributor), Janet Fitch, Jerry Stahl, David Ulin, Merrill Markoe, Dan Fante, Sheri Holman and many more
Writer’s Tribe Quest (Aug. 2013)

Have you ever wondered how your favorite authors got their start? How did they make the leap from closet scribe to published author? In My First Novel: Tales of Woe and Glory, twenty-five authors recount the variety of hurdles, both internal and external that they had to overcome on their journey.

The Essential Guide for New Writers, From Idea to Finished Manuscript by Valerie Storey (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Dava Books (February, 1995)

EssentialGuideDesigned for both beginning and established writers, this is a complete writing workshop in just one book. From first draft jitters to completing a polished manuscript for publication, the material is presented in a fun and informative progression filled with ideas for brainstorming plus checklists and writing exercises. Chapters include full coverage of characterization, plot, setting, dialogue, and marketing and query letter techniques. Besides end-of-chapter writing assignments, the book concludes with a strong question and answer section.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Da Capo Lifelong Books (August, 2012)

YouCan'tMakeThisSTuffupOffering new ways of understanding the genre, this how-to guide from the “Godfather behind creative nonfiction” (Vanity Fair) helps writers of all skill levels thoroughly expand and stylize their work.

What is creative nonfiction? It’s simple: true stories, well told. And yet—it’s not so simple.  Telling true stories can be hard work, but worthwhile.  It’s the hottest genre in the publishing industry.

Frank, to-the-point, and always entertaining, Gutkind describes and illustrates each and every aspect of the genre with depth and clarity. Invaluable tools and exercises illuminate key steps from defining a concept and establishing a writing process to the final product. 

The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life by Dinty Moore (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Wisdom Publications (April, 2012 – hardcover)

MindfulwriterExplores how a lifelong pursuit of writing and creativity helped open me to the path of Buddhism. The book explores these ideas through sixty writing quotes, from Buddhist writers such as Pema Chodron and from others, including Flannery O’Connor and August Wilson. Each of the quotes is discussed in a short page or so, revealing the similarities between artistic awareness and mindful thought.

** Dinty Moore’s guest post:
Writing and Creativity at a Peculiar Crossroads **

The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within, 2nd edition by Alan Watt (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
The 90-Day Novel Press, 2010

90daynovelGet the first draft down quickly! The 90-Day Novel is a day-by-day guide through the process of getting the first draft of your novel onto the page. The 90-Day Novel was workshopped at LA Writers’ Lab over three years and has helped hundreds of writers complete their work. Some of Watt’s students have gone on to become bestselling authors and win major literary awards.

The Hollywood Pitching Bible: A Practical Guide to Pitching Movies and Television by Ken Aguado and Douglas Eboch (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)

Expanded 2nd Edition (Aug. 2014)

hollywoodpitching-bibleBreaks down the art of pitching in Hollywood step by step. From choosing the right idea, to selling it in the room, this book tells you how it’s done, in clear language, suitable for the beginner or the seasoned Hollywood professional.

With decades of combined experience working in Hollywood as buyer, seller and teacher, the authors, Douglas Eboch and Ken Aguado, have created the definitive book that will demystify the pitching process, supported by a reasoned, logical point of view and supported by numerous specific examples.

If you want to work in the Hollywood creative community, you must know how to pitch. This book will show you how to succeed.

Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing (and not getting eaten) by Pen Densham (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions (2011)

RidingthealligatorAn artist-friendly screenwriting guide to success, with a non-dogmatic approach to finding your own personal creative process.

Pen draws from his own extremely simple breakthrough techniques, shares his inspiring philosophy of finding a personal well of creativity from your inner voice, to overcoming the many challenges in a unique business, managing stress, the real secrets to selling your work, finding the right agent and being true to one’s nature to create a lasting and passion-filled career.

**Pen Densham’s Guest Post and Free Download:
Creative Person’s Survival Manual
** 

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast
with guest Pen Densham
 **

The Hidden Tools of Comedy by Steve Kaplan (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions (July, 2013)

toolsofcomedyUnlock the unique secrets and techniques of writing comedy. Kaplan deconstructs sequences in popular films and TV that work and don’t work, and explains what tools were used (or should have been used). While other books give you tips on how to “write funny,” this book offers a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanics and art of comedy, and the proven, practical tools that help writers translate that understanding into successful, commercial scripts.

The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 5th Edition, Expanded & Updated by David Trottier
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Silman-James Press, 2010

screenwriters-bible-5th-editionOne of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting, this is a friendly guide through the Hollywood morass. The new edition offers expanded coverage of dialogue writing and character development, the latest in proper screenplay format, a new section on jumpstarting your career, new advice on creating and delivering pitches and much more.

Rewrite 2nd Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in your Screenplay by Paul Chitlik
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008

Rewrite2ndEd A step-by-step process to take your script from first draft to submission draft.  Chitlik reveals the hidden structure of screenplays, sequences, and scenes, as he guides you through the process of examining your draft, restructuring it, and populating it with believable, complex, and compelling characters. Along the way he outlines how to make your action leap off the page and your dialogue crackle.

Story-Maps-book Story Maps: How To Create a Great Screenplay by Daniel Calvisi
 (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor) and Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan by Daniel Calvisi 
and William Robert Rich
Act Four Screenplays (January, 2012 and March, 2013)

Learn the secrets to writing a great screenplay from a major movie studio Story Analyst. Master the structure and principles used by 95% of commercial movies by studying detailed breakdowns or “Story Maps” of several recent and classic hits in all different genres.

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast
with guests Daniel Calvisi and William Robert Rich
**

Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Greatyour-screenplay-sucks by Will Akers(Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008

A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed.

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association podcast with guest Will Akers **

storydesignStory Design: Creating Popular Hollywood Movies
by Richard Michaels Stefanik (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Amazon (February, 2013)

Story Design analyzes the dramatic structures found in some of the most commercially successful and popular movies ever produced. This second edition includes detailed analysis of WIZARD OF OZ and AVATAR.

Savvy Characters That Sell by Susan Kouguell (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)

self-published, September, 2011
 $1.00 off discount code: G22GAZPD 

SavvyCharsCover * An essential and inspirational hands-on guide for creating and crafting compelling characters

* An invaluable resource analyzing and referencing over 220 Hollywood, independent and foreign films, offering 34 screenwriting exercises, and providing six templates from fictional scripts

* Accessible, fun, and thought-provoking screenwriting exercises geared to develop characters in each vital element that comprises a successful screenplay.

Learn how to create believable, compelling and gripping characters with distinct characterizations, motivations, and behaviors, and how these people can best drive your plot forward in a meaningful and plausible journey.

** Intl. Screenwriters’ Association’s podcast with guest Susan Kouguell **

If you’re a Now Write! contributor with a writing book not listed here, please post the details as a comment here. Thank you!  

Now Write! Contributors’ New Work – In Time For Holiday Shopping!

Now Write! contributors are prolific working writers.  Just in time for holiday shopping, here are some of their newest works – all published this year, or even this month.  There’s something for everyone, so check out this wonderful array of new books.  

And if you’re looking for a gift for an aspiring or professional writer,  of course a Now Write! anthology is perfect.  You might also want to explore Writing Books by Now Write! Contributors.

Happiness as a Second Language: A Guidebook to Achieving Lasting, Permanent Happiness
by Valerie Alexander (Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Goalkeeper Media, Inc.  (April, 2013 – Kindle Edition]

Happiness-AlexanderHappiness as a Second Language teaches happiness the same way you would learn any language that wasn’t spoken in your home. Being happy is completely within your reach, but you have to do the work to get there.

Simple and straightforward with easy-to-follow instructions  and familiar sample situations, this “ultimate textbook” is touching, often heartbreaking and sometimes hysterical.  Start now, and you will be fluent in Happiness before you know it.

*** Read Valerie’s guest post: Writer Happiness. ***

Limited Sight Distance: Essays for Airwaves
by  Robert Root (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)

Amazon (February, 2013)

limitedsightdistanceCollects the best of the “Thinking Out Loud” series of essays Robert Root recorded for Michigan Public Radio in the 1980s. In them he muses on the old house in which he lives, the neighborhood around it, memories of growing up in Western New York, the seasons he observes, the sensations of traveling, encounters with the cosmos, and interludes in the natural world—the things that make him want to think out loud.

The Village Sang to the Sea: A Memoir of Magic
by  Bruce McAllister (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor)
Aeon Press (February, 2013)

VillageSangDuring the Cold War a 14-year-old American boy, Brad Lattimer, moves with his family to a fishing village in Northern Italy.  It’s no ordinary village, but Brad is welcomed like a long-lost cousin.  This is the village where Mary Shelley may have dreamed her dream that became Frankenstein. It is certainly the village where Brad, too, will start to dream strange dreams and write his own first stories; where he will fall sick because the village’s magic has its hold on him, wanting him to become something other than a boy–something that can never leave it–something it can have as its own for eternity.

Nursing a Grudge 
by Diana Orgain (Now Write! Mysteries contributor)
Amazon (November, 2013 – Kindle Edition)

nursingagrudgeBook Four in the Maternal Instincts Mystery Series 
: Bringing up baby—bringing down a killer.

Kate Connolly would like nothing more than to cuddle with her new baby, except to solve her next case and become a bonafide P.I. She gets her chance when San Francisco’s hottest critic writes a particularly scathing review about the trendy new restaurant, Philosophie. The critic’s boyfriend falls to his death under mysterious circumstances from Painted Rock Cliff, and Kate fears that the restaurant critic may be targeted next. Battling sleep deprivation, diaper blowouts and breastfeeding mishaps, Kate muddles through her own investigation, Mommy style.

Downtrodden Abbey: The Interminable Saga of an Insufferable Family
by Gillian Fetlocks (aka Billy Frolick,  Now Write! Screenwriting contributor)
Thomas Dunne Books, (December, 2013 – Hardcover)

downtroddenabbeyWelcome to Downtrodden Abbey, where a battle for the deed to the property is waged between legitimate aristocrats and pretenders to the throne.  The overwrought melodrama takes the reader upstairs and downstairs, into parlors and drawing rooms, boudoirs and bathrooms, and across every class—from the classiest to the classless—in the social pecking order of Edwardian England. A wicked sense of humor skewers your favorite Downton Abbey characters in this winning parody.

The Incredible Sestina Anthology
by Daniel Nestor (Editor) (Now Write! Nonfiction contributor)
Write Bloody Publishing (October, 2013)

The-Incredible-SestinaThe book collects more than 100 examples of this poetic form, from Sherman Alexis to Louis Zukofsky and everywhere in between: sestina classics; modern masterpieces; double sestinas, comic sestinas,  minimalist takes; Jonah Winter’s world-famous “Bob” sestina; selections from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and much much more.

Slice of Moon
by Kim Dower  (Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror contributor
Red Hen Press (October, 2013)

sliceofmoonIn her second poetry collection, Kim Dower retains her whimsical style while reaching deeper inside what it means to be human — writing of love, longing, motherhood, vulnerability, death — with the same humor and accessibility of her earlier work, but with greater lyrical intensity, irony, poignancy. The collection is a rainbow rope of entwined emotional fibers, each one a different expression: funny, sad, angry, loving, strong, fearful, sexy. She  weaves these colors beautifully to create a book that resonates with honesty and the complexities of life.

If you would like to recommend your own or someone else’s book as a great holiday gift – please give the details in a comment below.  Thank you!