Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  workshops

Course Curriculum

Updated Because of the Sale…

You can find this workshop curriculum at any point on the front page of my web site on the right under the Curriculum tag. There are a bunch of workshops, pop-ups, lectures, and other classes that I tried to put in some sort of order. If I missed something or didn’t add it in for some reason, just write me with questions.

Remember, until the 8th, everything is half price on Teachable. Everything, including classes, lifetime subscriptions, everything. Full instructions and reasons for the sale are in the previous blog, but all you have to do is hit purchase and then put in the code:


and you will get the workshop at half price.

Workshop Curriculum 9/1/2020

I’m going to divide these down into areas of study.

And the numbers are my suggestions on the order to take these workshops because many of them build on others. (Two types of workshops are included. Regular and Classic.)

All workshops and courses can be found on Teachable. Just hit “see all courses.”

Pop-Ups and lectures are below the workshop lists.


1… Depth
2… Advanced Depth (Depth required)
3… Writing into the Dark (Depth required)
4… Teams (Depth suggested to help)
5… Killing the Critical Voice
6… Research (Depth #3) (Depth required)
7… Information Flow (Classic workshop…Depth suggested)
8… Endings (classic workshop)
9… Writing with Speed (Depth required)
10… Pacing (Classic workshop)
11… Writing with Emotion
12… How to Use Tags in Fiction Writing (Classic Workshop. Depth required)
13… How to Study (Classic Workshop)
14… Secondary Plot Lines (Classic Workshop)
15… Advanced Character and Dialogue (Classic Workshop)
16… Point of View (Classic Workshop. Depth suggested)
17… Author Voice (Classic Workshop. Depth suggested strongly, as well as Advanced Depth)
18… Cliffhanger (Classic workshop)
19… Plotting with Depth (Classic Workshop. Depth required)
20… Novel Structure (Classic Workshop)

These twenty workshops will jump you so far ahead in your writing skills, you won’t be able to see it, but your friends and readers will. And I know, interesting that Teams workshop is the 4th most important, but trust me, it is a foundation course and important.

All workshops have six weeks of videos and five assignments and response video. About 45 videos per workshop.

Don’t worry about the Advanced Character title in the Dialog workshop. It was just a name that got stuck on it to help people understand it.

One way to take all these courses at a reduced price is to sign up for the lifetime subscription to workshops. All of these workshops, classic and regular are in the subscription. Everything is on Teachable.


MORE CRAFT-FOCUSED COURSES (Depth suggested for all of them except Ideas)

… Character Voice (classic workshop)
… Adding Suspense (classic workshop)
… Ideas (classic workshop)
… Character Development (classic workshop)
… Expectations (Classic workshop)
… Writing in Series (classic workshop)
… Writing Short Stories

No suggested order on these, but the order above would do.

You also might consider for craft work the Shared World Class and the Year of the Cat class. Very craft focused.



If you are having trouble with your attitude about writing, getting to the computer, and so on, here is a list of workshops that would help you. Don’t even think of starting into these workshops without first getting Lecture on Heinlein’s Rules. Or read my blog posts or get my book about the topic. And yes, a couple of these workshops are also on the craft workshop list.

I would take these in the order I have them listed.

1… Attitude Workshop
2… Killing the Critical Voice
3… Writing into the Dark
4… The Magic Bakery (classic workshop)
5… Publishing 101
6… Speed (Depth workshop required)
7… Productivity (classic workshop)
8… Edit Your Own Work (classic workshop)

ALSO… You might want to consider the Decade Ahead quarters and Licensing Transition (Both now extended for another year on all of them.)



If you are having trouble with your publishing and business of writing and so on, here is a list of workshops that would help you. Don’t even think of starting into these workshops without first getting Lecture on Heinlein’s Rules. Or read my blog posts or get my book about the topic. And yes, a couple of these workshops are also on the craft workshop list. Also, you might want to do Lecture… Stages of a Fiction Writer.

1… Publishing 101
2… Covers 101
3… Licensing 101 (And then Licensing Transition)
4… The Magic Bakery (classic workshop)
5… Sales Writing
6… Advanced Business Lecture Bundle (all 6)
7… The Future Series (all 4)
8… Shared World Class
9… Think Like a Publisher (classic workshop)
10… Productivity (classic workshop)

The order above is my suggested order. There is a new workshop starting in October called MAKING MONEY WITH YOUR WRITING that will be added into this list when it is posted in a few days.



… Writing Romance (classic workshop)
… Writing Mystery (classic workshop)
… Writing Fantasy (classic workshop)
… Writing Thrillers (classic workshop)
… Writing Science Fiction (classic workshop)
… Genre Structure (classic workshop)

The mystery workshop and romance workshop in this area can be used in most genres. Might want to take them even though you have no thoughts of being a mystery writer or a romance writer. Genre structure will help you figure out where to tag and list your books when putting them out for sale.


Pop-Ups are something we started for topics that didn’t fit in a lecture form or a workshop, and all of them have a story prompt that you can write and turn in. Sometimes actually on the topic of the Pop-Up. They are $150 each normal price.

They are usually from 12-15 videos long and are very focused. We have done 22 of them so far and plan on going right on into the future with them. You can get them in groups of five or ten at discounts, or buy three random ones of choice. We do not have a lifetime subscription to the Pop-Ups. The Pop-Ups mentioned in the Lifetime Workshop subscriptions are from three years ago when we did a bunch of weekend workshops and we called those Pop-Ups. The only way to access those is through the Lifetime Workshop Subscription.

So Breaking these down into areas of interest… (and yes, a few are in more than one area)


(These are in no recommended order…)

#3… Short Romance Fiction

#4… Clean First Draft

#6… Writing Mysteries into the Dark

#12… Writing Flash Fiction

#15… You’re Stuck, Now What?

#17… Locked Room Mysteries

#18… Nothing is Good Enough

(Also the four new ones #23-26 on writing different aspects of science fiction)



(These are in no recommended order…)

#5… Remaining Focused

#9… The Author Problem

#10… Selling Fun for Fiction Writers

#11… Thinking Big for Fiction Writers

#15… You’re Stuck, Now What?

#18… Nothing’s Good Enough

#21… Fear of Success

#22… Dealing with Toxic People



(These are in no recommended order…)

#2… Your Own Bookstore

#5… Remaining Focused

#7… Second Hand Sales

#8… Kickstarter for Fiction Writers

#9… The Author Problem

#10… Selling Fun for Fiction Writers

#11… Thinking Big for Fiction Writers

#14…Making a Living with Short Fiction

#16… Writing Business Structure

#18… Nothing’s Good Enough

#19… How Can You Survive the Business Downturn?

#20… Learning How to Work from Home

#21… Fear of Success

#22… Dealing with Toxic People


Okay, that gets the 26 Pop-Ups in some sort of order that at least helps narrow them down to areas of interest. The very first Pop-Up about three wonderful comic book writers is not in any of these areas. Just doesn’t fit.


Lectures are normally $50 and are focused on one point. They vary in numbers of videos. So here are the main ones divided in different categories.


(There is no set order, other than Heinlein’s Rules is the most important of them all. Descriptions of each are on Teachable.)

Heinlein’s Rules

How to Write a Short Story: Basics (7 point plot outline)

Writing into the Dark (basically my book… full workshop has much more detail.)

How to Research (again, short and the Research classic workshop is a ton more detailed.)


Master Plot Formula

Writing Endings

Think Like a Science Fiction Writer

How to Write a Page-Turning Story

Short Stories to Novels



Heinlein’s Rules

Writing into the Dark (see above)

Read Like a Writer

Writer’s Block and Procrastination

Carving out Time

How to Research (see above)

Pen Names



Stages of a Fiction Writer

Starting or Restarting Your Writing

Writing as Investment

Think Like a Science Fiction Writer

Paying the Price







Heinlein’s Rules

Pen Names


Writing as Investment

Designing a Science Fiction Cover

Designing a Mystery, Cozy, or Thriller Cover



Corporations for Writers

Taxes for Writers

Movie and Television Negotiation for Fiction Writers

Wills and Estates for Fiction Writers


IP Valuation



— Numbers of Different Tip of the Week lectures. Each cover 13 weeks, 13 different tips. You can also buy all 104 tips at once.

— Fiction Writing Myths Bundle… Creation.  5 bundled myth lectures. Price is $200 for the bundle normally.

— Fiction Writing Myths Bundle…Roadblocks. 5 bundled myth lectures. Price is $200 for the bundle normally.

Find any of this on Teachable.


  • Britt Malka

    So many brilliant workshops. Yay for a new October workshop about selling fiction.

    Shouldn’t you add the one about writing descriptions to the course curriculum?

    • dwsmith

      You mean the Sales workshop on writing descriptions of books? It’s a regular workshop and critically needed by just about every writer I have met.

  • Richard Sayer

    Hi Dean,

    Thanks for another half price sale. I was looking for the Endings workshop and did not see it. Am I missing something?



    • dwsmith

      Endings, Romance, and Information Flow workshops are headed to Classic Status in the next day or so. They will be available there before the sale is done.