Advanced novel writing series by bestselling author begins Oct. 5

MEDIA RELEASE • For Immediate Release

just fiction

(STILLWATER, OKLA. / Aug. 19, 2013) New York Times bestselling author William Bernhardt returns to Stillwater Public Library this fall to teach “Just Fiction II: Advanced Novel Writing.”  The six part writing series will take place once a month from Oct. 5 to March 8.  The series, offered by OSU’s Arts and Science Outreach in partnership with the library and Oklahoma Center for Poets & Writers, is open to both old and new students, as well as beginning and veteran writers.

“This will be a perfect class for those who took the first Just Fiction writing course and want to continue developing their writing skills, or for more experienced writers who are comfortable with the fundamentals,” said Bernhardt.  “I think everyone will find this class challenging.  And I also think they'll find they have stronger writing skills when it's over."

Bernhardt’s first series on beginning a novel was held in spring and summer with classes filled to the maximum.

“The overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants is due to Bernhardt’s teaching style,” said Walter Shaw, Director of Arts and Science Outreach.  “He excels in bringing out the best in his writing students.  His experience and expertise as a best-selling author provide students with the real world tools and resources necessary to be successful in their writing.”

According to Shaw, class students asked for a second series from Bernhardt.  Many of those students are encouraging other writers to sign up for the new series.

“Bernhardt knows more about writing than anyone else I’ve gotten advice from,” said John Biggs, Oklahoma City author of “Owl Dreams” and Oklahoma Writers Federation 2012 Crème de la Crème recipient.  “Within an hour of starting the class, I knew I needed to make changes to my manuscript.  No one deals with topics like structure and characterization like Bernhardt.”

“I learned more in the first class than I’ve learned in six or seven years of reading books on writing and talking to people,” said Mary Jo Springer, Edmond, whose manuscript is under review by London Harlequin.

Bernhardt, author of thirty books and winner of both the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (University of Pennsylvania) and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (Oklahoma State University), started hosting writing workshops and small-group seminars in 2005.  The workshops and seminars have educated many authors now published at major New York houses.

Beginning writer Brenda Miller of Blanchard counts the supportive classroom atmosphere Bernhardt creates as a top reason to take the classes.

“It is very motivational to see all of the other students rowing the same boat as me, having the same struggles,” said Miller.  “Bernhardt’s responsiveness, his patience and willingness to take the time to explain concepts in depth has made my novel project seem much more attainable.”

Bartlesville student Kelly Orta agreed.

“Bill is very generous with his time and attention and his explanations are so logical,” said Orta.  “He is like an architect that gives you a great floor plan, and then gives you the tools to go in and decorate it with your imagination.”

The classes, which will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will cover advanced writing techniques.  Class topics include:

  • Oct. 5 – Dialogue: Using dialogue, tags and pacing to accelerate story and bring characters to life, writing characters who sound like real people, and ensuring characters don’t all sound alike.
  • Nov. 2 – Description: Employing stealth description, paring it down to the essential so that readers don’t realize they’re reading description, and using description to develop characters.
  • Dec. 7 – Viewpoint: Getting into your characters’ heads and staying there, considering different approaches to points of view, and considering multiple viewpoints.
  • Jan. 11 – Theme: Getting to the heart of your work, giving readers something of lasting value, and taking a good story and making it unforgettable.
  • Feb. 8 – Editing: The writing process and everything you need to check before you send your manuscript anywhere.
  • March 8 – Publishing: The Author Platform, mastering social media, blogging, making your voice heard, and traditional vs. independent publishing options.

The fee for each session is $89, excluding books.  Participants who sign-up by Sept. 27 may register for all six classes for a reduced rate of $500.00, due in full by Sept. 27.  Other participants can attend one or all of the classes, and fees are not due until the Monday before each class.

For more information on “Just Fiction,” please contact Christine Nichols at (405) 744-8459 or christine.nichols@okstate.edu.  Further information and online registration are available at http://justfiction.okstate.edu/course2.html.