Month of Mastery: Online!

Writing a book this November? Need support or extra motivation? Willamette Writers is here to help with our Month of Mastery!

Three Master Classes

This fall, we will be offering a series of three online workshops on writing craft tailored to educate, invigorate, and inspire you to complete your first draft.


Sign up for two workshops and you will have the added option to meet weekly online with a cohort group throughout the month. Each group is led by a volunteer with unique facilitation skills and passions. Check out our range of cohorts (more info below) guided by educational frameworks, genres, or inspirational topics. Your cohort will celebrate successes, reflect on shared experiences, and keep one another energized throughout the month!

Your Month of Mastery

It’s all here: Community, Craft, and Career. By the time you conclude, you’ll certainly be able to look back on November as your Month of Mastery!

Workshop Details

  • Workshop #1: Getting Started, with Trevor Dodge. October 24, 9:30am-12:30pm PST.
    • And so we begin! Trevor Dodge will be teaching tips, techniques, and strategies for getting the ball rolling on your first draft.
    • 9:30am-11am: Workshop
    • 11am-12:30pm: Breakout rooms with cohort introductions, workshop reflections, and writing time.
  • Workshop #2: Conquering Writer’s Block, with Susan DeFreitas. November 14, 12pm-3pm PST.
    • It’s mid-month. Ideas percolate but you procrastinate? Fret not! Susan DeFreitas will guide you through ways in which you can conquer your writer’s block. See the light at the end of the tunnel!
    • 12pm-1:30pm: Workshop
    • 1:30pm-3pm: Breakout rooms with cohort groups, workshop reflections, and writing time
  • Workshop #3: What’s Next? Time To Edit, with Karen Karbo. December 5, 9:30am-12:30pm PST.
    • You’ve made it, well done! Now breathe. The month is over and you have that draft in your hands, but now you need to refine and revise it. Karen Karbo will help you take that objective step back and stock your toolkit with approaches to editing that you’ll be able to use again and again.
    • 9:30am-11am: Workshop
    • 11am-12:30pm: Breakout rooms with cohorts, workshop reflections, and writing time.

Click here to register for individual workshops.

Have questions? Read more below, then check out our FAQ here.

Choose Your Cohort

Cohorts will meet online weekly for 90 minutes, as well as for 90 minutes at each workshop date of October 24, November 14, and December 5.

Group One – The MICE Quotient: Assessing Your Story Type with Kirstin Fulton. Mondays at 1pm.

Forget genres. Join this cohort for a look at the four basic factors of story—milieu, idea, character, and event. We’ll use Orson Scott Card’s M.I.C.E. quotient, a powerful story development tool that can be used by any writer in any literary style, to consider your primary story type and how that can serve as a guideline for how to start and end your piece.

Each week, we’ll focus on one of the four story types. We’ll start with a deep dive into the elements of the type and a review of famous works of literature that exemplify it. (Feel free to bring any examples that come to mind!) Then we’ll open the floor to discuss your own work and how the focus type plays into the story you want to tell.

Lunch encouraged. See you there!

Group Two – Literary Fiction with John Miller. Tuesdays at 7pm (except November 24, which will be 12pm).

In this cohort, join a poet to write a novel– that is, let your writing for the day take off from a single moment, image, sense or word!  I’ve decided to try it this way, every day, for the 30 days of November.If we need a prompt, I’ll give mine for that day– I’ll have been thinking about it all day.  Introduce ourselves briefly to start, then debrief at the end in order to get us ready to write the next day.

Wine or beverage welcome onscreen, but not required.  Video is encouraged.  Look forward to seeing folks!

Group Three – Shitty First Drafts with Maren Anderson. Thursdays at 2:30pm (except Thanksgiving*).

This cohort is for those of you who want to finish a book, but never have because you get stuck in constant editing. We will write gleefully fast and badly with wild abandon (just like Anne Lamott suggests!) with the assumptions that:
1.     No one will ever see our first drafts.
2.     We cannot have a good second draft without an extant first draft.This cohort is designed to:

  • Help you write a first draft of a novel (without revision!
  • Help you carve enough time out of your daily life to write every day
  • Help you form a writing habit
  • Get you involved in a writing community

This cohort is NOT a traditional “creative writing” class:

  • We won’t be sharing (much)
  • We won’t be responding (much)
  • We don’t care (much) about quality, only how close you are to done.

Creating is for this month. Editing is for next month.

Cohort meeting Thursdays in November, 2:30 pm (*not Thanksgiving. We’ll pick another day for that week’s meeting)

Group Four – Cocktail Stories with Gail Pasternack. Fridays at 12pm.

In this cohort we will use cocktails to inspire our writing and use the art of mixology as a metaphor to crafting stories. Each session will start with a mixologist from Scotland taking us through the Cocktail Codex and demonstrating different techniques of cocktail making. We will then explore the development our ingredients/characters, the stirring (or shaking) of conflict, the importance of atmosphere/setting, and more. Then it’s off to the “bar” to write!

We will meet Fridays, 12pm (The early-ish hour is to accommodate our Scotland cocktail guide. And while perhaps it’s too early to drink, it’s a great time to crack down on writing and then celebrate later in the day with an end of the week happy hour).

Group Five – Tarot Talk with Mark Teppo. Sundays at 10am.

Tarot Talk. Sure, writing a novel is a mysterious process, steeped in the sweat of ciphers and brooded over by enigmas. But it doesn’t have to be like that. You can divine your way to a draft using creative ingenuity and tarot! This cohort will stay in touch with their mystical woo-woo energies, while sticking with well-grounded rituals of daily affirmation and persistent use of butt-in-chair.

Registration Details and Pricing

  • Willamette Writers Members: 
    • One workshop with cohort: $50
    • Click here to purchase individual workshops without cohort: $30 each for members.
  • Guests
    • Two workshop bundle with cohort: $60
    • Click here to purchase individual workshops without cohort: $40 each for guests.


Have questions? Check out our FAQ here, or email the office directly for more information. Happy writing!