Photo: Becky Gansky, Angie, Nancy, Megan, and Al

In less than a month–April 27-30,to be exact–some good writing friends and I are hosting a writer’s workshop at beautiful Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs.  This is not your typical big writer’s conference–there are no appointments, no editors to impress.  Just a group of hard-working writers who want to improve their craft.  And we get to work in a castle.  No kidding. 

If you’d like to join us, check out this link.    

If you’ve joined us before, please leave a note about your experience. 

We take pride in the flexibility of this conference–we get together and go with what we think our students need–but since most people want an idea of what we will be offering, here’s a sneak peek: 

Hello, attendees!  

We—Nancy Rue, Alton Gansky, Kathy Mackel, and Angela Hunt—are so excited about our upcoming adventure. Some of you have questions about what will be covered in each track, so we’ve put together brief synopses for you!  We’ll talk more on our first night together, so you know just what to expect.

Oh! And if you’re adventurous, you might want to pack a pair of (modest) pajamas for our pajama party!  Nightwear not required, however.  J

Along with general sessions, we will offer the following “concentrations”:  

Novels With Nancy

            Whether you’re coming with a completed manuscript in hand or simply the germ of an idea in your head, Novels With Nancy will take you from where you are in the development of your novel and guide you through one approach to creating rich fiction. We’ll use a hands-on, workshop approach to:


·         clarifying where you want your book to go thematically
·         fleshing out a powerful plot
·         discovering and getting to know multi-dimensional characters
·         creating setting that is in itself a character


NOTE: This is not a nuts-and-bolts lecture class. Come prepared to write (laptop or long-hand), imagine, and try some things that may sound a little out there! 

And in the afternoon Nancy will teach. . .

Manuscript Mentoring:  “And Then It Got Worse” – Bring your manuscript, summary, plot outline, or just an idea and we’ll work specifically on your special plot challenges

Manuscript Mentoring: “Who ARE These People?” – Bring your characters with you in whatever form they now live (don’t’ let them be shy), and we’ll treat them to an afternoon of hands-on development

Public Speaking for Writers:  Al Gansky

Sooner or later it’s going to happen. You’ve written a book and someone wants you to speak to their church, Rotary Club, women’s luncheon, men’s breakfast, or some other gathering. How should you prepare? How long should you speak? How do you write a speech? Can you get rid of the butterflies in your stomach? Alton Gansky who has delivered more than 3,000 speeches, sermons, workshops, classes, keynotes, and more, will take the student through the basics of speech writing and delivery—and have fun doing it. The class is open to writers or others who need to stand before others and talk.

Writing the Difficult Scenes: Al Gansky

Every novelist (and nonfiction writer, too) faces scenes that are more difficult to write than others. From love scenes to descriptions of violence these scenes tax the writer’s creativity. How much is too much? How little is too little? Alton Gansky, author of 30 books, will give the student the tips and techniques that make every scene, no matter how difficult, do its job.

 Screenwriting: Kathy Mackel

Let’s workshop your story, capture its soul and discover its the visual essence. Define the three-act structure of your plot. Script your opening scene and storyboard your climax.

Polish and Shine: Kathy Mackel

Let’s take apart the first 300-500 words of your story, examine word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, tone, and pacing. We spiff it up together, send you off to rewrite, and cheer when you come back with your shine. Limit 10 writers per session, first come, first serve. Please email Kathy ahead of time with your pages ( Fiction and non-fiction welcome.

 The Freelance Writer: Angela Hunt

So you want to write—but you’re not sure what!  Do you write novels or articles or speeches or plays?  Do you write for pleasure or for profit? Could you make a living with your pen? Angela Hunt will discuss the various markets and show you how you can break into them. She’ll also show you how to tighten up your prose to improve your odds of acceptance.  She’s a firm believer that anyone can write anything, as long as they understand the blueprints!

Reading Analytically: Angela Hunt

Ever read another writer and wonder how they managed to create such a lovely string of words? How they managed to transport you to another place and time? We’ll learn how to read analytically so we can dissect writing to see what works . . . so you can use the same tools to make your own writing sing!

That’s it!  If you’re available, we’d love to have you join us.  



  1. Mocha with Linda


    To quote Kermit, It Isn’t Easy Being Green (with envy!).

    Don’t you and Nancy need someone to bring you coffee, carry your books, you name it. . . .?!

  2. Kathy

    This sounds wonderful. Will you being doing it every year.

    Er, that nightwear not required could be interpreted two totally different ways : )

  3. Lynette Sowell

    I’m looking forward to this. I’ll be there with laptop and notebook, with characters screaming. I might even get some new PJs. 🙂

  4. Angela

    This is our third annual event, Kathy, so maybe we will do it every year! 🙂 And, um, I don’t even want to touch that comment about the nightwear! 🙂


  5. Megan DiMaria

    If it’s at all possible, give yourself a treat and attend this conference. It’s very different from the average conference because there are no editors/agents. But that’s one of the good things (not that I don’t love editor/agents)because this conference doesn’t have the added stress of editor/agent meetings. Plus, you get amazing information and encouragement.

    Go, go, go!!

    A prisoner of hope,


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