Challenge,  Fun Stuff,  workshops

Your Favorite?

Michael La Ronn Does His Favorites…

Michael La Ronn, who is a great writer and also has an amazing YouTube channel, decided to do his top ten favorite WMG Workshops and Classes. It is amazing video, fun and well done. Watch it. I have it posted below. Thanks, Michael. He describes some of the classes far, far better than I can because he is coming from the student side of things.

But WMG Publishing has over 300 different active workshops, classes, lectures, and extra fun stuff about writing and publishing on Teachable. And more starting up every month. Yes, it is a lot. Any aspect of writing and publishing you need help with, we seem to have covered it. Or will if you ask us.

And on we have tried to make some sense out of all the classes, with direct links to them on Teachable, although I must admit, even we fall behind at times on keeping up with all the stuff we offer. In fact, I had to go look up Michael’s #10 since I had honestly forgotten all about that one. Not kidding.

So watch Michael’s great video and if you have favorites, post them here or on Michael’s channel. Or write me directly with your choices.



  • Connor Whiteley

    Tough one, next to impossible because they’re all so good. My top 10 would be:
    1- Advanced Pacing. That 100 word choice task you mentioned is fascinating to do.
    2. Tags in fiction (tags are always fun)
    3. Power words
    4 plotting with depth
    5 depth and advanced depth
    6 emotion in writing
    7 licensing 101
    8 covers
    9 sales copy
    10 teams

    I’ve probably missed some great ones but those are the top 10 that have helped me the most off the top of the head.

      • Brian Woods

        Depth fundamentally changed how I think about writing. In fact all the courses I ve taken so far have been rewarding.

        There’s always an ah ha moment!
        And rewatching the course again after completing you find you things you didn’t notice the first time around.

        No one else delivers usable information like Smith and Rusch.

        I’ve been looking for this kind of practical learning for years.

        Very happy to have finally found it.

        I enjoy getting a “not sure what you were thinking'” from Dean as much as a “you nailed it.”

        • dwsmith

          Thanks, Brian. Really appreciate that. We wish someone would have helped us with all this stuff when we were coming in. So we’re trying to be a resource to help writers with just about any question. And also, we are working to keep learning ourselves. Amazing how much you can learn when you try to break something you do naturally down into the why you do it, and then try to explain it. Every class has been a learning experience for us as well, which is why we keep doing them.

  • Aniket Gore

    Oh! I’ve so many so hard to choose. But after going through Advanced Pacing it’s the most fevorite one.

    Advanced Pacing
    Stages of Fiction Writers
    Power Words
    Writing into the Dark
    Plotting with Depth
    Writing Endings
    Popups – Studying Mystery (all of them)
    Point of view
    How to write magical system

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Aniket, but just to be clear, Aniket had a bunch of the foundation classes before taking Advanced Pacing. All the Advanced classes really push the envelope into stage four writing.

  • Frank Theodat

    My top 10:
    – Depth
    – Advanced Depth
    – Killing Critical Voice
    – Writing Short Stories
    – Research (Depth 3)
    – Edit Your Work
    – Writing as Investment
    – Speed
    – Making a Living with Short Fiction (Pop-Up)
    – How to Monetize Short Fiction

    There are about 5 or so more I could list, but these are the core for me. I have plans to invest in more craft specific courses soon. Short fiction is my chosen medium and I’ve invested a lot of time and money to practice everyday. My long term goal is to master of the short form.

    I first discovered WMG workshops back when i was researching Lester Dent. Found your free video on his Master Plot formula and that was the first workshop I purchased. That was three years ago. The rest is history.

    Many thanks to you and Kris for helping me take my fiction education seriously and for providing many of these opportunities to learn, study, and improve the craft. Looking forward to more workshops, especially any focused on short stories in the future.

    • dwsmith

      Frank, thanks for the great list. And every collection class we do is focused on short stories in that theme, and pretty much every special workshop through a Kickstarter is focused on short stories. Collection classes you write five, special workshops you write one. So those are there at the moment, but focused directly on short stories, there will be more. Thanks!!

  • Barb

    I took Depth and Teams when they weren’t on Teachable, so they’re no longer in my dashboard… (but I still have my notes and assignments in a special folder! *grin*). I absolutely loved Teams!
    I love the classic workshops Time Travel and Writing Series, and the Kickstarter specials (Steampunk and Magic Systems).
    Also, any chance of resuming Shared Worlds? I do have an unpublished/unsent Cave Creek story that I didn’t have time to send when you published the first books…
    I hope to take more in the future, but for me, the most informative was the in-person Anthology Workshop – I hope you will restart that one as well at some point.
    For those who have never tried them, yeah, highly recommended! Unfortunately the Business ones are very US-oriented, so for non-Americans like me they’re not always useful – but the craft ones are just spot on!
    Happy writing and studying!

    • dwsmith

      Barb, write me about Depth and Teams and I’ll send you codes to get them on your dashboard. No problem.

      We have been talking about more Cave Creek and more shared Worlds class. It is on the list and I really would love doing it.

      You do know that story you can publish as you want. Thanks for the comments!

  • Nathan Haines

    The depth workshop was probably about the fourth or fifth workshop I took. I’d been steadily progressing and improving. And once I took that workshop I wrote my next story.

    My first readers, both authors, immediately said “wow, those classes you’ve been taking really paid off, huh?”

    I’m not going to lie. I was pretty pissed off. But there no use denying the facts. The Depth in Writing workshop clearly explained a bunch of things I sort of introduced knew I should be doing, but explained why, and built on it will by week.

    Simple concept. Clearly taught. And it anchored everything else I’d been working on so much that everyone noticed a sharp increase in readability.

    Between that and Writing Into the Dark, I think I really saw the biggest jump ahead over beginning writers.

  • Cora

    I have a lot of fun with his Power Hour on the first Saturday of the month. It’s an hour and a half write-in and he answers questions. I love the sense of community and also learn some really cool stuff.

    • dwsmith

      That is Michael La Ronn that does that and I have heard that a number of times. Thanks, Cora.

  • Alexander Boukal

    My Favorite WMG Workshops(in no particular order, they are all eye-opening and give a boost to your craft and confidence)
    1. Depth
    2. Advanced Depth
    3. Applied Depth
    4. How To Create Automatic Depth
    5. Plotting With Depth
    6. Character Development
    7. Tags
    8. Cliffhangers
    9. Power Words
    10. Pacing

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Alexander. That’s a great list for anyone really wanting to jump their writing skills forward.

  • Graeme

    I’ve tried a good number of these by now — I’d have to say the Motivation lecture, the Depth workshop, the Short Story workshop and the short story Great Challenge are my favourites.

    And if someone was just starting and wanted to write short stories in particular, I’d recommend taking the workshops in that order. I took the Short Story workshop before Depth, and I would have benefited more if I’d done it the other way around — that Depth workshop puts down a solid foundation, and the practical writing assignments are the best way to learn, I think.

    (One of the Writing into the Dark lectures or workshops would probably be on here too, but I haven’t taken the workshop on that one, just read the book. So I can certainly recommend the book, and I would think the workshop covers very similar ground.)

  • Fabien Delorme

    Mine is:

    1. Depth
    2. Novel structure
    3. Applied depth
    4. Advanced depth
    5. Fiction sales copy
    6. Power words
    7. Cliffhangers
    8. How to edit yourself
    9. Killing critical voice
    10. Author voice

  • Keith West

    In no particular order, here are my top ten:

    Advanced Depth
    Sales Copy
    Pacing/Advanced Pacing
    Writing into the Dark
    Heinlein’s Rules
    Killing Critical Voice
    The Decade Ahead
    Bite-Sized Coyright

    I am a little behind on Bite-Sized Copyright and The Decade Ahead due to time constraints and taking multiple workshops at once(Power Words and Kickstarter exclusive workshops and the Ghost Stories Collection Class), but since those don’t have assignments, I’ll get caught up once some day job commitments are off m y plate and I’ve finished the Collection Class. I’m planning on taking Research, Applied Depth, Teams, Tags, and Cliffhangers over the next year along with the Advanced Classes.

    I have to agree with Michael. The Lifetime Subscription has been worth the investment.

  • Zoe Cannon

    I have a lot more left to take, but my top five so far are:
    Teams (huge and underrated game changer!)
    Advanced Depth
    Killing Critical Voice

  • amy

    Just going for my top three, which were early game-changers for me:

    1. Depth. Depth, depth, depth! A must-have, and a total revelation.
    2. Cliffhangers
    3. Short stories – a chance to see whether what you’re doing is actually working. Hugely valuable feedback. So good I paid to do the course, and saw the quality of what I did shoot up, having learned big lessons from my first attempt.

    Incidentally, Dean, I’ve heard you say throughout the courses that we shouldn’t over-polish our work because it will remove our voice, and that we can’t hear our own voice.

    I just published my first book and gave a copy to a friend. She said she could hear my voice in it and that reading the book was like having me sitting next to her.

    I was amazed! I knew I was writing with *a* voice, but I hadn’t realised it was *my* voice.

    Weird. And you were right, clearly!

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Amy, and the voice lesson is one to hold tight and remember. You can’t see it, so rewriting and polishing usually takes it out, but when you leave it in, amazing how readers love it.

  • Linda Maye Adams

    My top five:
    1. Depth. If your budget is limited and 7o8 can only take one class, this is it. It will change how you write and show you how much junk advice is out there, keeping writers from being published.

    2. Ideas to Story.

    3. Story structure

    4. Research (needs depth to do)

    5. Tags

  • Hope Zane

    My favorite is the Killing Critical Voice class. Although I was already on board with writing into the dark and following Heinlein’s rules, that class was so helpful in identifying and clearing out critical voice on a whole other level.