Most Popular Writing Workshop Topics:
Writing as Therapy:
How Keeping a Journal Can Keep You Balanced (Recommended for smaller groups.)
I specialize in working with smaller groups of females of all ages who have been the victims of sexual abuse or mental abuse, children of divorce, children/adults who endured emotionally abusive mothers or emotional abuse by parents in general.)
Writing Memoir: The Art of Editing Your Life
Biography and memoir are often lumped together, but memoir is a more subjective animal. Memoir delves into one slice of your story and the events and people who shaped that slice. Crafting a memoir involves being willing to edit your life to shape a deliberate and compelling narrative arc with a unifying theme. In this workshop, you’ll explore techniques for finding those stories and choosing the best gateway to your narrative. We’ll look at various examples of what works from successful memoir authors and answer tough questions about our personal histories and motives for writing about them. Learn how to: find your voice; decide on your story’s beginning, middle and end; take creative license without lying; shape family and friends into “characters”; lend humanity even to people who’ve wronged you; avoid being sued while still maintaining your integrity. Memoir writing is an empowering genre—it enables you and others to find themselves through storytelling.
First Pages: Solid Beginnings that Hook Readers
A book’s opening pages must command the reader’s attention. Those first sentences make the sale. They seal the pact between author and reader: there is a journey in these pages, and it will be worth your time. In this workshop, we’ll explore techniques for drafting and polishing first pages that engage readers from the first sentence and offer the best gateway to your story. You’ll learn how to avoid the common pitfalls that kill tension and break promises to readers. We’ll look at various examples of what works from successful authors. Learn how to conquer the blank page, get started, and create first pages that hook readers.
Agents and editors are more eager to take on writers who have proven their self-promoting hustle pre-contract. Getting published isn’t just about your book. It’s about you and your sphere of influence—your platform. Platform building is about fostering relationships and meaningful interactions with your audience. Contributing to society in a way that simultaneously strengthens your brand is a recipe for success. In this workshop you’ll learn how to: create a following and gain public visibility; define your target audience and design platform outlets with them in mind; brand yourself in a way that makes you attractive to readers; network effectively.
Small Presses: The Scoop on Being a Big Fish in a Small Pond
There are benefits and drawbacks to every avenue of publishing. Small presses are no exception. They have leaner budgets, but they give writers more attention and control over details like editing and cover design. Is this power worth the heavy lifting a small press author faces in the marketing department? Learn how to navigate the perks and pitfalls of working with a small press, and broaden the scope of your publishing path.
Book Marketing in the Age of the Internet
Shifting your perspective from artist to marketer is difficult, but if you want to be a published author, you have to adapt. In this workshop you’ll learn comprehensive book marketing strategies, including identifying your target audience; social media strategies; blogging; traditional media and publicity outlets; and creating a solid Amazon Authors Central Page.
Query Letter Boot Camp: Getting and Keeping an Agent’s Attention
Learn how to craft the all-important letter that lands you literary representation. What makes them stop reading? What makes them request your manuscript? Learn the 'ins' and 'outs' of one of the most important documents you'll ever write.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Navigating the Submissions Process (with or without an agent)
You have a book. Now what? This workshop is a guided tour of what happens (or can happen) to your book as it transforms from a document on your laptop to a real-life book in the hands and minds of readers. Whether you have an agent or are going it alone as an independent, we'll talk about what to expect when you're "book pregant" so you can position yourself to be successful.
* * *
Topics can be tailored to suit classroom/professional needs. Generally, writing workshops consist of lecture, demonstration and swork time. Workshops can be 45-60 minutes long, repeated for classes throughout an instructional day, or can be expanded to intensive 5-hour programs.
Pricing varies according to group size, workshop length, topic and travel.
Submit workshop request, group size and workshop goals through the website contact form or directly to:
For writing and editing services click HERE.
Hands-on workshops can be tailored to fit your group's goals. As an author of an emotional abuse book, I understand the therapeutic value of writing. Sharing this tool with others is a part of my mission to help people communicate their experiences.
I also present workshops on the general craft and business of writing.
"I had the pleasure to present with Jane Gari at a well-attended workshop on writing memoirs and family histories in September of 2015. Jane was organized, energetic, engaging and knowledgeable. I would recommend her workshop to anyone who has a personal story to tell and is searching for a way to put their history on paper."
and Home to Cedar Branch
"When Jane Gari came to speak to our group, the Flowertown Writers of Summerville, SC, we were wonderfully surprised by her informative, helpful, professional, and sometimes witty presentation! Her strength and confidence yet humility shone, she focused on the topic about which we asked her to speak [book marketing], and my group still talks about her refreshing and polished presentation! Kudos to Jane for a well-done and professional job."
"Jane Gari’s thirty minute session on the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of writing a memoir packed a walloping punch in the time allotted. Peppered with a mix of facts, insights and personal experiences, the skills honed during her years as an educator kept content on track. Jane’s natural ease and affable style of presentation served to inspire and engage all who attended, especially myself."
S. Jane Gari is a consummate professional. She not only is a skilled and talented writer, but she teaches her craft with clarity in a way that holds interest, sparking inspiration and imagination in others.
-Ginny Padgett, President South Carolina Writers Workshop 2011-13, SCWW Conference Chair 2012
"S. Jane Gari's webinar for SCWW [First Pages: Solid Beginnings that Hook Readers] presented a clear path to better openings for writers to enhance their manuscripts. She included ways to begin and examples of good openings to hook readers."
-Tibby Plants, President, South Carolina Writers Workshop