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Pittsburgh Chapter Writing Workshop
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Journey Steps: No Frills Guide to Plotting with Susan Meier

April 1-28 (4 weeks, 2 lessons per week)
Cost: $15 members; $25 nonmembers
Workshop Summary: Ever wonder what you’re supposed to “put” in between those four or five turning points of your story? Susan Meier’s Journey Steps, No Frills Guide to Plotting, provides quick, easy solutions for any author who has ever wondered “now what?” Topics include the “magic formula” for plotting, the list of five, explanation of plot threads versus subplot and tricks for writing an “edge-of-the-seat” read. Learn to tell your story in one straight-forward paragraph that can be used for pitches! Plotters, pantsers, beginners, intermediate and experienced authors will benefit from this workshop.
Topics include:

  • The “Magic Formula” for plotting
  • Could, Might, Must and Should List
  • Daily Events
  • Logical Next Steps
  • Twists
  • Turns
  • Subplots
  • Explanation of plot threads versus subplot
  • Tricks for writing an “edge-of-the-seat” read

Recommended “Prep” Work from Presenter: As far as prep work, I always assume that participants are working on a manuscript. I tell people to always focus on one (only one) book as we are going through the lessons and doing assignments. That way they can see the effect of the lessons in total. But if I were giving "real" prep work...I think the best way to come into this workshop is with a new story in mind. Have main characters and the characters' goals, motivations and conflicts...things that really will work! It would be great if participants could write out a one paragraph story summary (instructions for which can be found in the archives of my blog) and we'll take it from there.

More about Susan:  A one-time legal secretary and director of a charitable foundation, Susan Meier found her bliss when she became a full-time novelist for Harlequin. She’s visited ski lodges and candy factories for “research” and works in her pajamas.
But the real joy of her job is creating stories about women for women. In her 50 published novels, she tackles issues like infertility, losing a child and becoming widowed with sensitivity and humor. Her books have finaled for and won many contests including Reader’s Choice Awards, Golden Leaf, More Than Magic, Cataromance and RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Her 2013 releases include THE BILLIONAIRE'S BABY SOS, A FATHER FOR HER TRIPLETS and THE FAMILY CHRISTMAS SHE ALWAYS WANTED, as well as an anthology THE BILLIONAIRE'S MATCHMAKER with friends, Shirley Jump, Jackie Braun and Barbara Wallace. Her popular website has recipes, workshops for writers and short stories featuring the characters in previous books. Her Monday morning blog post Dear Writers shares tricks and tips and how to make your manuscript the best it can be.
Registration: To register, please email  with the subject line “Susan Meier’s Online Workshop.” In the body of the email, include your full name and the email address you wish to use for the workshop correspondence. You will receive a confirmation email shortly following.
Payment: To secure your registration, please send payment promptly either by check or electronically through Paypal.

1.  To send a check payable to Pittsburgh Sisters in Crime for $15 for members/$25 for nonmembers directly:

Jennifer Little-Fleck
8 Columbia St
Carnegie, PA 15106

2.  Or use PayPal online:

  1. Log into PayPal at or set up an account
  2. Choose the 'Send Money' Tab at the top of the screen
  3. In the 'To' box, type:
  4. In the 'Amount' Box, type: $15 for members/$25 for nonmembers
  5. Click on the 'Personal' Tab below, and select 'Payment Owed' *This step is very important* Do not choose the 'Purchase' Tab or we get charged a fee.
  6. Click 'Continue'
  7. Review your Payment details, and then click 'Send Money'
  8. You will get an email confirmation from Martha Reed/Pgh SinC PayPal account
  9. ...and that's it!  If you use PayPal, be sure to have them verify your Credit Card or Bank Account so that you also do not get charged a fee of 2.9% + .30 per transaction.


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