Lectures, workshops, teaching

Are you an aspiring author? Do you have a finished manuscript and want to know what steps to take next? Let me help you!

Workshops are best suited for smaller groups. I offer craft-related and business-related workshops for writers just starting out as well as writers ready to become traditionally published. I have worked at a literary agency, a big 5 publishing house, and am a New York Times bestselling author, so I can bring all sorts of perspectives and viewpoints to the conversation.

Writing Craft

Need some guidance on how to troubleshoot your manuscript? I was an acquiring editor at a Big 5 publishing house before becoming an author. Let me bring my experience to the table and help you strengthen your craft. Each presentation is about an hour long, and another hour is advised for questions.

From Brain to Bookstore

How to take your idea and turn it into a novel

Do you have an idea for a book? Do you have no idea where to begin? How do you take your myriad ideas and characters and put them all into a novel? I can help you find the kernel of your story, how to nurture it, grow it, and prune it. I offer tips on process and research, and how to organize your information.
Level: Beginner

Finding the Humanity in Your Characters

How to create characters that breathe

What makes a realistic character? What makes people care? Discover the little details about your characters that create depth and nuance. Tips and exercises included.
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

The Devil in the Details

How to create immersive settings

Worldbuilding is not just limited to fantasy settings. What makes a setting vivid? How do you create worlds bigger than the words on the page? How do you strike a balance between showing and telling?
Level: Intermediate

Raising the Stakes

How to maintain tension and pacing

How do you keep pages turning? It’s not just action that matters, but the stakes. What are stakes? How to define them and how to find them? How does one achieve that “one-sitting” book?
Level: Intermediate to Advanced


A writer can work on their craft, but an author must learn about the business. I provide several different workshops about the process of publishing, what goes into the decision-making process when acquiring a book, and what makes or a breaks a title. Writers who have already written a novel and are seriously attempting to get a traditional publishing deal would find these useful.

Querying & Submission

How to craft a query that will make readers want to pick up your book

Querying is the first step in becoming a published author. In this workshop, I will teach you the anatomy of a query, how to identify those parts in your manuscript, and how to craft an engaging, commercial hook. 
Level: Beginner

The Breakout Novel

What makes a book a commercial success?

We all want to know what makes a book a commercial success. Is there a trick? A formula? This workshop will break down the elements of various bestselling properties—from story to marketing and promotion—and provide a fuller picture of what makes a book a success.
Level: Intermediate

Branding & Promotion

How to promote and brand yourself as an author

One of the keys to success is identifying your appeal and how to harness it. This course will take authors through managing their careers as a public figure, how to appeal to readers, and how to protect your creative self from the ravages of the publishing business.
Level: Advanced

Keynote Speech

What does it take to be published? Talent, timing, but most all, tenacity. My keynote speech touches on all three aspects, and also talks about my experiences as queer, disabled writer of color.

Write What You Know to Be True

Honesty above all

The old adage is Write what you know, but I disagree. You write what you know to be true. I talk about writing what you love, giving yourself permission to fail, how writing to please yourself is more important than writing to be published and how one affects the other.


Unable to attend a workshop? Why don’t you try listening to the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast! My former roommate, good friend, and literary agent Kelly Van Sant and I host a weekly podcast where we discuss all aspects of writing and publishing.


Fees, travel & lodging, etc.

I would love to be invited as faculty to your writing retreat. I require compensation for travel and lodging, in addition to speaking fees. I charge $1000 per course, but am willing negotiate if I am teaching multiple courses or if my books will be available for sale at the workshops or events. If any of these programs interest you, please feel free to contact me!