Get exactly what you need to take your writing further.

The Self-Study Seminar Packs

Writers’ Huddle ran from Feb 2012 – Apr 2018, with monthly seminars for members.

When the Huddle closed, I picked some of our best seminars to make more widely available, for a small one-off fee rather than for a monthly subscription.

Each pack includes four seminars (audio/video recordings), plus nicely edited transcripts and handy worksheets.

The Time Management Pack (#1)

$20

This pack includes the seminars:

Making Time to Write (seminar A and seminar B)

  • The importance of finding the right place and time to write
  • Ways to make the most of the time you have available, however little it may be
  • Simple tricks you can use to boost your focus

Planning to Get Your Writing Done, with Phoenix Kelley

  • Setting tangible, measurable, reasonable goals
  • Making plans to suit the time you have available
  • Methods for keeping track of projects
  • Dealing with feelings of overwhelm or burn-out

Beating Procrastination and Conquering Writers’ Block, with Tim Brownson

  • Making the time to write (even when you’re really busy)
  • Why procrastination happens and what you can do about it
  • Dealing with writers’ block in various forms
  • Finding what works for you, without worrying about everyone else

Creative Giants and Being a Successful Writer, with Charlie Gilkey

  • The characteristics of “Creative Giants”, applied to writers
  • How to define success on your terms, and why this matters
  • Why managing your time isn’t as important as managing your energy and attention
  • Having far too many ideas … or nowhere near enough

The Craft of Fiction Pack (#2)

$20

This pack includes the seminars:

How to Write Dialogue Well

  • The role of dialogue in your story
  • How to lay out dialogue correctly
  • Ways to make your dialogue more convincing
  • Common mistakes that writers make with dialogue
  • How to boost your dialogue with scene-setting and actions

Flashbacks: How to Use Them Well and Get Them Right, with Robert Yune

  • When flashbacks are the best technique to give backstory
  • How to shift in and out of flashback without confusing the reader
  • The biggest mistakes writers make with flashbacks
  • More complex uses, such as parallel timelines

Planning, Structuring and Pacing Scenes, with Roz Morris

  • Why you need to start your big-picture planning with characters
  • The importance of beginning, middle and end within scenes
  • What to do when a scene goes off-the-rails
  • How to adjust the pacing of your scenes

Writing Descriptions that Engage Your Reader and Advance Your Story (video)

  • Why you need description, and what its function is
  • Some different examples of description in novels
  • Why you might not need to describe characters much
  • Seven ways to make your descriptions stronger

The Self-Publishing Pack (#3)

$20

This pack includes the seminars:

12 Writing Milestones to Celebrate on Your Path to Success

  • Why it’s important to celebrate small wins, not just big achievements
  • Early milestones on your writing path, like finishing a short piece or joining a group
  • Later milestones you might be getting close to, like finishing a novel draft
  • How to get moving on each of the 12 milestones, if you’re stuck

How to Use Styles in Microsoft Word (and Why You Should) (video)

  • What styles are … and how they might help your writing in ways you haven’t considered
  • Formatting a blog post using basic styles
  • Setting up your own custom styles
  • Using styles to get your book manuscript ready for agents or editors
  • How styles make it easier to self-publish on Kindle

How to Publish an Ebook on Amazon (video)

  • What you need to have ready before uploading your manuscript
  • How to use KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) to publish an ebook
  • Key issues to watch out for when previewing your ebook before publication
  • Why you should join Amazon’s Author Central, and how to use it

Crafting a Blurb for Your Self-Published Novel, with Bryan Cohen

  • The difference between a blurb and a synopsis
  • A basic framework for a great blurb
  • Using reader feedback to enhance your blurb
  • Utilising other elements on your book page to drive sales

The Freelancing Pack (#4)

$20

This pack includes the seminars:

Six Reasons to Get Into Freelance Writing

  • The flexibility of freelancing: you can do a few hours here and there
  • How freelancing can support the other writing you do
  • Why freelancing will build your confidence (even in the less-than-great moments)
  • What sort of rates you can expect to charge as a freelancer

Freelance Copywriting and Editing, with Linda Angér

  • What to focus on when you’re getting started in freelance writing or editing
  • The importance of asking for (and accepting!) feedback
  • How to edit someone else’s work while preserving their unique voice
  • How to develop strong public speaking skills (and why writers need them)

Freelancing and Entrepreneurship, with Thursday Bram

  • Taking your first steps into freelancing − the two crucial things you must do
  • The biggest, business-killing mistake freelance writers make
  • How to set your prices and how to raise them over time
  • How to gently end a relationship with a client you no longer want to work with
  • Where to find new clients (and why it’s not all about the online world)

How to Find Clients for Your Freelancing, with Carol Tice

  • Getting started in freelancing without working for nothing
  • Marketing methods for locating new leads
  • Setting realistic goals and targets for your future work
  • Avoiding exploitation by scam clients or content mills

The Advanced Fiction Pack (#5)

$20 

This pack includes the seminars:

Story Ideas: Where to Find Them and How to Evaluate Them

  • Coming up with ideas when you might be struggling, without forcing them
  • Possible sources of inspiration for new ideas
  • Evaluating whether an idea warrants further exploration
  • Selecting the best story length for the subsequent project

Heroes & Villains, with Lorna Fergusson

  • The difference between “heroes” and “protagonists”
  • Key characteristics of well-written heroes and villains
  • How flawed your heroes can be (including in children’s fiction)
  • How anti-heroes differ from regular heroes

Handling Viewpoint in Fiction

  • Why viewpoint is so important (but often overlooked)
  • Using first and third person viewpoint effectively
  • Handling multiple viewpoints in one novel
  • Choosing between past and present tense

Seven Ways to Add Depth to Your Characters

  • The importance of memorable characters
  • Using backstory and flashbacks
  • Understanding their perspective and giving them a voice
  • Balancing character and plot
  • Engaging character dynamics and interactions

The Novel Editing Pack (#6)

$20

This pack includes the seminars:

Structuring and Outlining Your Novel, with K.M. Weiland

  • Why structure matters, whether you’re a “plotter” or a “pantser”
  • The ten key structural moments of a novel, and how far through your story they should each occur
  • The difference between outlining and structuring
  • Common mistakes writers  make when it comes to structure

Revising and Editing Fiction (video)

  • The difference between revising and editing
  • Key issues to look for regarding character, plot and setting
  • Typical problems that writers need to tackle during detailed editing
  • Specific examples of detailed editing in action

Seven Things to Watch Out For When You Rewrite Your Novel

  • First steps after finishing your manuscript to plan your edits
  • Improving your book by streamlining characters and plots
  • Avoiding errors and plot holes while making large edits
  • Tips for writers who under-write in their first draft

How to Keep Track of Your Novel When You’re Editing

  • How to work through your first few drafts
  • Dealing with editorial feedback and proofreads
  • Making sure you stay organised during editing
  • How to cope when things get complicated

What to Expect from the Seminars

You can see a screenshot of a seminar transcript and worksheet over to the right. Here’s what to expect from your self-study pack:

Format: The seminars are audio (.mp3) unless otherwise indicated: a few are video (.mp4) where that’s more appropriate for the topic. All are carefully edited so they’re easy to listen to.

Speakers: About half the seminars are with me alone: these are topics where I have the knowledge and confidence to cover everything myself!

The rest of the seminars involve a guest speaker (these are clearly indicated), where I’ve brought in someone else to share their expertise about a topic.

Transcripts: Each seminar comes with a full, edited transcript – with subheadings, key points brought out in bold, and so on.

Worksheets: Every seminar has a worksheet with a summary of key points, suggested exercise, and further reading.

Access to the Self-Study Packs

Once you buy a self-study pack, you’ll be able to instantly download a .zip file with all four seminars plus the transcripts and worksheets. You’ll also get an email with the download link.

If you buy all six packs, you’ll get a big .zip file containing all of them.

If you have any problems, just email me (ali@aliventures.com) and I’ll help you get up and running.

Your Guarantee

Not sure if a pack is right for you? You’ve got a 60 day full money-back guarantee.

If the pack(s) you buy don’t turn out to be helpful for you, just email me and I’ll be glad to refund you in full.

Got Questions?

If you’ve got any questions, just drop me an email (ali@aliventures.com) and I’ll be very happy to help.

Ready to Take Your Writing Further?

You can buy all six seminars at once, for just $50. Or, you can choose from the individual seminars below.