Great Beginnings

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To capture a reader’s attention and hold it, an author needs a great first sentence, paragraph, and chapter. How do we provide the hook that will draw readers into our stories, no matter the genre? This fun workshop will reveal tried-and-true techniques for launching your novel, short story, or memoir that will make your story’s opening irresistible. If you like, bring the opening paragraph of your work-in-progress, and the instructor will provide a critique and suggestions.

About Kathryn Johnson

Kathryn Johnson's 40+ popular novels (nominated for the Agatha Award, winner of the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller's Best Awards), include historical fiction (e.g., The Gentleman Poet, wherein Shakespeare escapes to the New World aboard a ship bound for disaster) and contemporary suspense. The Extreme Novelist (nonfiction) is the text based on her courses at The Smithsonian Associates and The Writer's Center. More about her at:

Teaching style: Kathryn Johnson’s classes are lecture-based, information rich. Her courses are not of the workshopping variety (in which, participants critique one another) but, rather, offer practical advice on writing and publishing in the 21st century, based upon her ongoing experiences in the publishing world. Handouts on talking points provide an outline for each class. Kathryn enjoys answering students’ individual questions and concerns, and offering career guidance whenever possible. Her mentoring service is available to supplement course work.


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