Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New #Writing Tricks & Tools: Masterclasses with Writing Blueprints

In September of 2018, I wrote a post for this blog about Write for Kids and Writing Blueprints, a system of tutorials and worksheets to assist writers in mastering the various aspects of writing, editing, and getting published. That Resources for Writers post needs updating, because site master Laura Backes and her husband Jon have new blueprints by a variety of instructors. Visit the 2018 post for more information about how the program began and the manuscript revision/editing blueprint I explored.

To bring you up to date, I was given access to a few of the newer offerings for review. First up is Mary Kole’s Manuscript Submission Blueprint. Her bio from the website:

Mary Kole has served as literary agent for Andrea Brown Literary Agency and as senior literary manager for Movable Type in New York. She is now a full-time book editor.

She is the creator of Kidlit.com and author of Writing Irresistible Kidlit from Writer’s Digest Books. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and is the Instructor for Manuscript Submission Blueprint.

This blueprint consists of ten units including an explanation of submission options and help with developing a submission strategy. There are bonus packets on synopsis writing and query letter samples. Detailed instructions on how to use the blueprint head up the program.

Mary Kole also offers a separate blueprint on Submission Research: Mastering the Top Three Resources.

A video conversation with Literary Agent John Cusick offers his Best Advice for Writers (about 28 minutes).

And Laura Backes presents a program called 3 Authors, 3 Paths to Publication (about 41 minutes).

This group can be purchased as one power bundle. You’ll find more information about the bundle and its components at the Writing Blueprints website.

Finally, just this month, author Teresa Funke announced her new blueprint coming soon called Mastering Historical Fiction. Teresa is known for her children’s series set during World War II as well as her Bursts of Brilliance blog on creativity. Here’s what her announcement said about the Historical Fiction course:

Whether it's a flashback set in a current-day novel, or an entire work of fiction set in another time and place, Mastering Historical Fiction will be all you'll need to embark on some seriously exciting time travel!

You'll learn:

 • The current market opportunities for historical fiction.
 • The types of historical events that lend themselves to good storytelling.
 • How to avoid major pitfalls like info dumps and imbalances between fact and fiction.
 • Whether you should ever take liberties with history.
 • How to conduct your research and organize your drafts.
 • Whether you should outline or not.
 • How to create believable, engaging characters for your story.
 • How to write dialogue that truly fits your time period.
 • How to choose historical details that make us feel like we’re right there.
 • How to write a children’s book or picture book using historical settings. 

This new masterclass will be available soon at Writing Blueprints. Watch for it at Teresa Funke's class page, and in the meantime, check out Teresa’s other courses.

Note that all courses include an introductory page telling you about the instructor and the course so you know what you’re signing up for.

Pat (Patricia) Stoltey is the author of four novels published by Five Star/Cengage: two amateur sleuth, one thriller that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2015, and the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead (December 20, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards. This novel is also now available in a large print edition. Her short story, “Good Work for a Girl,” will appear in the Five Star Anthology, The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West, scheduled to be released in November 2019.

Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Scottish Terrier Sassy (aka Doggity), and brown tabby Katie (aka Kitty Cat).

You can learn more about Pat at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She was recently interviewed for the Colorado Sun’s SunLit feature that you can find at the Colorado Sun website.


  1. Thanks for this information, Pat. I'm at the point that I'm considering doing something different with my next book. This information could be very helpful.

  2. This is a terrific resource, Pat. Thanks for posting it.

  3. Excellent resource, Pat. I love this blog because it offers such a rich variety of vital information for writers and editors.


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