Online Workshops

Online Workshop Details


Structure of every regular workshop:

— Each week for six weeks video lectures will be available for the writer to listen and watch in their own time.  (Video lectures will be about 4 to 7 or so minutes long each and there will be about six or so of them per week depending on topic.)

— Each week will include an assignment which will need to be sent as an attached file within five days. We will work personally with each writer or book designer, and send the assignments back to each person before the end of the week. (The assignments are not mandatory, but suggested to get the most out of each workshop.)

— Then each week we will record a short (5 minutes or so) video talking in general (never giving names) about the assignment for everyone in the class to watch. Then the following week’s assignment and lectures will be available.

— Each new video will be released on the same day of the week as the first one for six weeks. So if the workshop starts on Tuesday, the new weekly video sessions will be released every Tuesday.

— Once you are signed up for a workshop, you can come back over the years to review at any point you want.


— The classic workshops used to be regular workshops, but you can sign up for them, and go through all the videos as fast as you would like. All six weeks are there. The homework assignments are still there, as well as some of the responses from a previous workshop, but you do not send in any assignments. You just do them for yourself. And you can come back over the years as often as you want without any extra costs.

Classic workshops and lectures are at:

Regular workshops are all SIX WEEKS LONG.

Classic workshops you can go through as slow or as fast as you want.


Cost of online workshops is $300.00 each. (Payment instructions either on Teachable.)

Cost of Classic online workshops is $150.00 each. (Payment instructions when you buy the workshop on

Cost of Subscription to All Workshops is $3,000. (Payment instructions when you buy the subscription on Write Dean for more information. Over $18,000 in value.)


NO REFUNDS. However, your money can be moved to a different workshop down the road if you have schedule or health problems. We will work with you.

My e-mail address for these workshops is Please put only WORKSHOPS in the subject line. Or if I do not respond, please try again. I try to respond fairly quickly, meaning within the same day, two at most.


We have put together a curriculum of the workshops. You can find it at

We will be updating it…


Regular Workshop Schedule

Each regular workshop is 6 weeks long.

Again, it will take you about three hours per week on your own pace to do each of these if you do the assignments. These are the starting dates of upcoming regular workshops on


  • #53… June 4th… Writing into the Dark
  • #55… June 4th… Teams in Fiction
  • #56… June 5th… Writing with Depth (start with this one)
  • #58… June 5th… Advanced Depth
  • #60… June 5th… Killing Critical Voice


A List of All Regular Monthly Workshops (no real order)

Depth in Writing (Start with this one.)

Advanced Depth
Writing into the Dark
Teams in Fiction
Paradox in Fiction
Killing Critical Voice


A List of All Classic Workshops (no real order)

— How To Use Tags
— Dialog
— Novel Structure
— Author Voice
— Point of View
— Writing Mystery
— Writing Fantasy
— Character Development
— Point of View
— Research
— Writing Westerns
— Writing Dialogue
— Writing Thrillers
— Writing Series
— Adding Suspense
— Character Voice
— Productivity
— Ideas to Story
— Genre Structure
— Expectations
— Writing Science Fiction
— Writing Time Travel
— Cliffhanger
— Pacing
— Think Like a Publisher
— Business of Writing 
— Writing Secondary Plot Lines 
— How to Edit Your Own Work
— Emotion
— Licensing 101
— How To Study Writing

— Applied Depth
— Magic Bakery
— Action in Depth
— Plotting with Depth




  • Karen Fonville

    Hi, Dean,

    If your two new kitties came from a single person home, and that person never had anyone over except maintenance people or movers, there would not be any chance for them to have been socialized other than to their human. That’s what I’m facing with my two now… I tried to board them when I came out for one of the workshops and it did NOT go well because of that fact… My boys are just fine with me, but let there be a knock at the door, or people in conversation walking past the windows, and those two hide inside the chair or head upstairs for safety. Hopefully, when they do meet Ella, Gally and Sir Duke, they will bond with them. Sometimes it takes observing trust to generate trust….


    • dwsmith

      They came from a house with a massive amount of cats. Forty or more, sort of a hoarding situation, or a collector of cats gone over the top. No real human contact at all. And from what I understand, they were isolated in a basement area and only brought food. They are going to take time to socialize in, that’s for sure.

      • Donna

        If anyone can help these babies along, it will be you and Kris. Your love of and devotion to furbies is one of the reasons you two are some of my favorite people.

  • Melissa Bitter

    Since I would like your workshops to succeed and do well, so that they stick around long enough for me to take the several I’m really interested in taking, (Just finished Depth last month, would like to take Suspense, Character Development, Advanced Depth, Cliffhangers, Thrillers, etc.) I thought I would pass along a tip.

    I’ve begun listening to Joanna Penn’s podcasts again last week (listened to several episodes as I drove to and from work and on lunch breaks), and she has found good success with targeted facebook ads for her non-fiction work. You might try the same. Take a small percentage of your income from the workshops or non-fiction books and put it toward marketing efforts.

    I know you and Kris always talk about how the best marketing you can do is to write the next book, but for your non-fiction work, you might try dangling a fishing line in some new fishing holes to see if you can snag some new people. 🙂 Your classes are great, I’d like to see them filled to capacity so that they stick around long enough for me to afford to take them all.


    • dwsmith

      Took me a moment there to follow you, Melissa, but I finally got what you were saying through my thick skull. You were suggesting we market the workshops. We do all sorts of marketing on our books but have always left the workshops to just word of mouth. Pretty sure we might just leave them that way.

      The problem isn’t the money coming in, the problem is my interest. As long as I keep coming up with new stuff and also am challenged by the teaching of an ongoing workshop, they will keep going.

      But also, you are right. For example, we have a couple workshops in October that have no one signed up. I do tend to look at those, even though I am still interested in keeping them going, as a “what’s the point.” So sort of between a spot here.

      And yes, Joanna’s postcasts are great. We know marketing, just never thought of doing it for the workshops. Thanks, but I kind of doubt we will. Word of mouth is good enough for now and when it isn’t, the workshops fade away.

      • Melissa Bitter

        Dang! Sorry for completely dropping the context on that one. Yes, I was referring to you letting workshops fade away.

        I can totally see your points, of just doing what interests you, while keeping the WMG flotilla of boats heading downstream. Totally justifiable and reasonable, no objections here. But, I have to admit that a lightning bolt of panic shoots through me each time you mention dropping a workshop. (It happened again when I read your reply above, ha ha, I know, stupid.) I worry that you’ll drop one that I’m planning/hoping to take in the future.

        My comment above was me jumping in with an alternative suggestion to save the drifting workshops that you were considering cutting loose, with the hopes you’d add an oar through marketing–or an off-board motor–to give those little, magic-bakery boats of knowledge a chance to build or regain momentum before you completely let them go.

        For example, I’m really, really interested in taking your suspense workshop, but I need to focus on the more foundational workshops first: Character Development and Advanced Depth. And then there are all the other workshops that would help round out my writing…. See, little lightning bolts of worry shooting through me as I wonder if I have enough months to take all these classes before you sink them, or be able to show interest in a new class while it’s being built.

        Okay, I just had an idea spark in my desperate, plea filled mind. What if you turned the workshops you decide to scuttle into books? I know how much you like to write writing books, and you already have an outline for the structure of the book, and the content you would want to go into it. (Maybe this existing outline would be a deterrent?) Would it be interesting enough for you to convert the workshops that bore you into books? This way, we could still learn those topics from you, but you wouldn’t have to do a thing with them other than collect a check every month?…

        I’ll shut up now, no more begging, I promise. I’ll deal with whatever you decide to to. 🙂
        Looking forward to signing up for one of your classes in November.

  • Patrick R

    Kicking off 2016, I thought to share that I’m having way more fun in writing after doing the Depth online workshop (and nearing the end of Plotting with Depth). So, there are big opportunities for more output. All up to me now.

    Great workshops. Dive in.

    Thanks Dean, Kris. All the best in 2016 – and to all.


  • B

    Hey Dean,

    Are you guys no longer offering pitches and blurbs after March? It’s not listed at any point after that. I was considering taking it after I got through all the craft related workshops first.

  • Miguel Angel Alonso Pulido

    Hello, Dean. I have a question concerning your workshops. As a beginning writer I want to improve my craft and I’m thinking on taking some of your workshops. As english is not my native language I’m a little worried. Have you ever had a foreign writer in your workshops? How did they fare?

    • dwsmith

      All the time and they fare just fine. And from how you typed this question, you won’t have an issue at all. Lots of overseas writers take the online workshops and this year at the Anthology workshop we had two from Europe and one a French-speaking Canadian. All three did great.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Hi Dean! I’ve been trying to write a short story every Monday, but I don’t seem to be able to stick to the program. I’ve ended up with two novellas instead. It’s messing me up. I think the problem is, I got so invested into writing rich, deep openings, it’s become hard to let go of the depth and make the plot move forward. This is so frustrating. And with the anthology workshop next year, I need to write shorter than 8 K (my minimum length record so far.) Do you think your short story online workshop would help with that?

    • dwsmith


      First off, don’t learn something like this for a conference. Artificial. But learning to write shorter has advantages in your career. Many, actually, in selling. But more so, I find it interesting you are blaming depth for length. It really doesn’t work that way if depth is done right. 400 words or so is more than enough, more than that without movement forward means you are plowing the readers into the bottom of the lake and readers will hate that and leave just as much as they do without depth. So writing with depth should have nothing to do with length. I can write a very deep short story in two thousand words without an issue. So you are looking first off, in the wrong place for the reason you are writing long.

      There are many actual reasons a person writes long. One is walking to plot points instead of trusting the reader and jumping. That always adds in boring stuff. Or basically coming up with ideas that don’t contain into a short story but must be longer. Those two are the main reasons writers write longer than they want. Never depth done correctly.

      So would the short story workshop help you? Maybe, but not for the reason you suggested. Other than I would be able to tell if you are going overboard on depth. Or just walking to plot points, or what. But don’t do it for an artificial deadline like a workshop. Do it to improve your sales and writing.

      • Kate Pavelle

        Your reply made me smile, Dean! When I learn something, I tend to overdo it for a while (In any discipline, not just in writing.) It’s quite possible I plow the reader into the lake bed sediment, yeah. Also, the walking? I can see myself doing that. I’ll be mindful of that and see what happens. Regarding the seminar, I’ll wait till summer or fall and see if you offer it again. Aside from saving up for the Anthology workshop, I’ve been really busy writing and publishing and making book covers. Workshops slow down my RAM a lot and I tend to drop projects, and this would be a bad time. But I”d like to do it this year, it’s a good skill I don’t have. Thank you!

  • Julie

    Dean, in your new business workshop, how much of the course is on US-specific things? I live in the UK and am wondering how much of it would apply to me (certainly the kinds of business you can set up here are different – limited company, sole trader, etc.).

    • dwsmith

      Julie, some would be US specific, but most would be the idea, the principle behind it. The structures, the reasons for doing something, what writers in general need to know. Not being a tax accountant or lawyer, I can’t get into specifics much at all. But the principles behind doing a task will work for all countries and businesses. How to do them exactly will different slightly is all.

    • dwsmith


      Writing with Depth Workshop, basically called just Depth. It is the place to start and the foundation under so much stuff. Basically, the workshop will teach your the fundamental way to pull readers into your stories and hold them.

      I did a curriculum of workshops at

      I need to update it since I did it back in November, but it will give you an idea. Any questions, feel free to write me.

  • Harvey Stanbrough

    I just finished the Writing Mysteries workshop and wanted to offer this critique in case it will help other writers.

    First, I found that the actual workshop more than nailed the description on the website (above).

    This is an actual writing workshop. Dean teaches you how to write mysteries in the ten most popular subgenres. Plus there are extensive notes on writing Thrillers (used to be a subgenre of Mystery, but is now on its own).

    He doesn’t teach plotting, but he does teach what’s required in each subgenre of Mystery (in other words, How To Write it).

    In each subgenre, he provides instruction on five areas:

    1. Focus-of and details-about the sub-genre.
    2. Types of writers best suited to write the sub-genre (with examples).
    3. Can it be used in other genres?
    4. Focus on the POV character “type” needed and the focus of the POV character.
    5. Focus of the opening. What needs to be in the opening. What will draw readers in.

    Those five areas make this workshop pretty much invaluable if you want to learn to write mysteries or how to inject mystery/suspense elements in other genres. (He also offers a full Suspense workshop.)

    The weekly assignments were also good. I won’t comment specifically on those because how well they work for you will depend on your level of skill. If you’re a beginning writer (a few novels/a couple dozen short stories under your belt), I have no doubt you’ll find them all very useful.

    So I recommend this workshop if you

    1. Want to write in a Mystery subgenre, or
    2. If you want to learn Mystery elements to include in other genres (SF, Young Adult, etc.).

    Thanks Dean.

  • LInda Maye Adams

    I did the Depth – Research workshop. I’ve always thought that I could never do historical fiction. Every time I heard writers about historical fiction, they treated it like they were doing a term paper for college and were being graded by the readers. In some cases, it was because they liked the research more than the writing itself, and in other cases, it was outright fear that the 1% of the reader who knew the actual fact was going to call them out. So what I saw from other writers was actually very discouraging. I’m not detail-oriented, and researching the weather on a particular date or the size of a sewer grate (actual things I saw from other writers) was huge turn-off.

    But this class showed me that there was a different way of doing research, and that it could actually be fun! It also gave me a method to store the research that I happily stole for work. And it showed that I already had the bones of the direction I should go, some of which were in my stories already, but others I wasn’t taking advantage of. I’m currently using it to write a story for anthology call.

  • Camille

    I have what might be a quite silly question, for which I apologize in advance:

    Is the “Novel Structure” workshop what the “Genre” classic workshop used to me? (I need to choose my Kickstarter reward and have been dying to, but too poor to, take the genre structure workshop for some years now, until now. *sheepish*)

    • dwsmith


      Nope, very, very different. Genre Structure works on how to identify each genre and the main elements in them. Novel structure is about the overall structure of novels. So far, in three weeks, I think there is one video skimming over genre. There will be another or two later on, but nope, very different workshops with very different focuses. Feel free to write me if you have more questions on anything.

  • Amy Laurens

    Dean, the character development workshop is listed as classic in the descriptions, butnot elsewhere. Is this a preemptive indication that it will be classic soon? I have two classic credits up my sleeve and if character development is available it’s top of my list! :3

  • Sharon Landis

    Greetings Dean
    I understand that you wrote the book “Captain Proton and the Defenders of the Earth” 😊 wonderful little book! 😊 I personally own one of these books. I live in Allentown PA and I was wondering if you ever autograph books. For I would love my book to be autographed and date by the author. 😊

    • dwsmith

      I do. You would need to send it to me with a self-address stamped envelope to get it back to you and who I should sign it to. Write me directly if interested.

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