Trinity Arts Writers Workshop

Workshop is part of our name. We are committed to share the talent and knowledge of our members.

Mini-Workshops will be conducted on a variety of topics related to the writing craft and the process of getting work published.

If you would like more information or you are interested in presenting a program contact the Mini-Workshop Committee Chairperson

Mini-Workshop Plan/Schedule - 2019

Twenty-five percent of our organization's name is Workshop.

Some of our members volunteer their time and energy to develop educational programs for the benefit of all members on various aspects of the writing craft. Thanks to those members willing to share their talent and knowledge, we plan to put on a Mini-Workshop every month in 2019. The presenters facilitate the workshops, present material and lead exercises to hone writing skills.

The workshops are usually offered early on the first Saturday of each month at no cost to attendees and do not interfere with the normal reading and critique activities. Based on feedback, the programs deliver value and the attendees appreciate the efforts of the volunteers.

contact Workshops Committee to add your workshop topic


Managing time in your writing project.

1901 - January 5th

The workshop delved into the aspects of time that should be considered in every writing project.

Participants discussed techniques to improve their writing skills by effectively addressing the various elements of time.

  • Time Shifting
  • Tense
  • Urgency
  • Passage of Time
  • A Point in time
  • Handling time gaps
  • Flashbacks
  • Transitional time words


  • Examination/analysis of examples in participants' own work.
  • Vocabulary and trigger words
  • Identified time wasting activities.


  • participant learned techniques to improve their writing skills
  • Earned dividends of many hours of (found) time over the time invested in this workshop.

A time shift can be annoying and confusing.

Get your story’s “present” going at a good pace before you slip into its past.

Transitions can be short. A two-word scene transition? ...That night ...

Managing conflict in your writing project.

1902 - February 2nd

... the challenge main characters need to solve

Participants in the workshop examined the aspects of an essential element of fiction, conflict.

Discussed techniques to improve writing skills by effectively addressing the various elements of conflict

  • Types of Conflict
  • The Purpose of Conflict in Fiction
  • Showing Conflict
  • Exercises


  • Examination/analysis of examples in participants' own work.
  • interactive group activities.


  • participant learned techniques to improve their writing skills

A Grab-bag of Grammar 'gotchas'

1903 - March 2nd

Alton Bostick passed on a few 'quick and dirty' tricks to help writers conjugate a few contrary verbs and negotiate the grammar minefield cratered with direct objects, intransitives and past participles.


  • Lie & Lay
  • Sit & Set

Bob Dylan's song:

Lay Lady Lay

  • correct? [ ]
  • incorrect? [ ]

Developing Character Voice

1904 - April 6th

Let's get vocal: How does your character sound?

Stephanie Zitrick moderates

  • Presentation
  • Exercises
  • Takehome

Cover Design: The Back Cover

1905 - May 4th

You can judge a book by its cover!

In this MiniWorkshop we'll examine some of the essential elements of book cover design, specifically zeroing in on the back cover. Graphics will not be covered. We'll examine traditional examples and discuss contemporary trends.

Concepts reinforced with exercises.

  • Analysis of participants' own work.
  • Interactive group activities.


  • participant will learn and discuss essential elements of a book's back cover design

Copyrights and copy-wrongs

1906 - June 1st

Do you need to buy a federal copyright? We will answer that question and explode the myth that you cannot quote song lyrics in your book. And more.

Copyright Issues

Manuscript Submission

1907 - July 6th

Manuscript Submission: The End is Near

When: July 6th, 9:10..9:50am

Where: Arts Council / Boys Ranch

Description: A guide to landing an agent or publisher for traditional publishing.

  • Working with an agent or publisher – Is it for you?
  • Self-Editing
  • Submission Process
  • Dos and Don'ts

How to Introduce Characters

1908 - August 10th

Call Me Ishmael:

How to Introduce Characters That Are Hard to Forget

When: August 10th, 9:10..9:50am

Where: Arts Council / Boys Ranch

Description: One of the biggest bugaboos in manuscript submissions is when the author doesn't properly introduce the protagonist within the first chapter. Will West shows how with examples on how to introduce a character give it shape, depth and a personality on the page.

Body Language & Emotions

1909 - September 7th

When: September 7th, 9:10..9:50am

Where: Arts Council / Boys Ranch

Description: Cate Murray will discuss the process of communicating non-verbally through conscious or unconscious gestures and movements.

Pre-publication Checklist

1910 - October 5th

When: October 5th, 9:10..9:50am

Where: Arts Council / Boys Ranch

Description: Paul Kocher presented.

Self-Editing – Phase I: Proofreading

When: November 2nd, 9:10..9:50am

Where: Arts Council / Boys Ranch

Presented by Neal Ostman

The workshop will cover strategies for effective proofreading, different methods and techniques, tools and helpful websites. Examples of editing ‘tightening’ will be provided with comments on that type of error. Sharing of ideas and experiences will be encouraged.

Workshop Archives

Copyright Issues

1802 - February 3rd

Alton Bostick conducted a Mini-Workshop on Copyright Issues

KAV Method

1803 - March 3rd

Sharon Johnson conducted a Mini-Workshop to share:

  1. Tips from LoneStar Ink, the writing conference she attended earlier this year. Speakers included, but were not limited to, Dave Farland and J. Scott Savage. She'll cover matters such as how to hold the readers attention, the "KAV" method, and how to work tension into a story line.
  2. Tips that will be helpful for writing a pitch on #PitMad.

Magazine Clipping

1804 - April 7th

Harry 'The Hat' Robbins led a fast paced program where each participant used magazine pictures, scissors, glue and poster board to generate: A story title, main characters, and first lines of an opening scene.

Bam! Bam! Bam! In about 40 minutes all finished their exercise including explaining their finished work.

What results?

Titles like: Leak, Let, She's Back and She's Pregnant. Characters like: Bridgit, Brock, Rage, Flo, Sando and Inga. Opening scene first lines like: It's 1:00 am, Inga met Sando only six hours ago but she's already convinced her SRA mission will succeed.

YouTube Trailer

1805 - May 5th

Susan Hodges presented a program on creating a YouTube Trailer. In one minute you create a buzz that excites the visual, auditory, and emotional of potential readers. It's a great hook and can result in sales

Story Structure

1806 - June 2nd

Sara-Meg Seese presented the June program on story structure. She covered elements of Aristotle's classic Beginning, Middle, End / Acts I, II, III then related them to a detailed Master Story Planning Worksheet.

Scene Development

1807 - July 7th

July 7th - Dennis Coburn moderated a free format session (Plot Luck style) on Scene Development. Participants discussed the role of SCENE as a unit of story structure, analyzed specific examples of their own work and exchanged ideas.

Scenes are units, building blocks of a story structure much like concrete blocks are units of a wall

Online Editing Service

1808 - August 4th

Sara Meg Seese talked about collaborative developmental editing, copy editing and formatting work she does through an online service, fiverr. She explained the gig pricing structure and shared the pros and cons of using the system, including the advantage of having them take care of billing, tax forms, etc.

Character Development

1809 - September 1st

Sept. 1st - Dennis Coburn moderated an exercise on Character Development. Participants chose a character from their own work to analyze and discuss with others. In a group setting, peers peppered the writer with questions to discover opportunities for character development including reactions, growth and emotions. They explored characteristics to stir emotional connection and increase reader investment.

Takeaway: Learn something about your character you didn't already know.

"the process of creating a believable character in fiction by giving the character depth and personality."


from a dramatist's POV

1810 - October 6th

Text - what is actually said in dialogue

Subtext - The emotions, memories, inferences, references, allusions, and/or innuendos that underly and support the text

October 6th - Sara-Meg Seese, presented BASICS OF DIALOGUE from a dramatist's POV. Using Dialogue analysis on a selection of her work HORSE WITH NO NAME, participants examined and discussed elements:

  • Lead lines: open a new subject. Often, but not necessarily, a question.
  • Response lines: continue the same subject
Direct-answer a question or respond to a response without significant subtextIndirect -answer the question or respond to a response but with significant subtextParry-respond to a lead line with another question or an attack/accusationAvoid - attempt (may be effective but doesn't have to be) top change the subjectDelayed -generally a direct response that comes after other responses that had significant subtext already

Stated lines: Provide facts (or presumed facts) that are not intended to be lead lines and do not carry significant subtext. LESS than 5% of all dialog is usually stated lines.

POV Development

1810 - November 10th

Field trip - A people watching - who-dunnit / offsite exercise on POV at Denny's

On Saturday November 10th, Dennis Coburn moderated an exercise on Point of View.

Participants joined a small group and chose a character in the restaurant. They agreed on a scenario with a few basic facts. Then each group member wrote a story segment from an assigned point of view.