More about Maggie's Writing Classes

Maggie has taught classes for the Des Moines Public School Community Education Department for over 14 years.  Classes coincide with the school's academic calendar.  The classes are offered beginning each September, January, and March. You must register for these classes through the Des Moines Public School Community Education Department at that time by clicking here.


Maggie also teaches writing classes through the Iowa Prison System, an honor bestowed upon her in 2005 by then Governor Tom Vilsack.  She teaches writing at the Mitchellville Women's Prison and two of the Iowa men's prisons.  However, while Maggie would love to meet you in person, she would prefer not to meet you under those conditions!

Class Information

How to Write A Novel

Loop ompuer wriin

Maggie presents a two-hour class, one Thursday night each week, for four-weeks on how to write that novel you've always wanted to write.  


Starting with the very basics of where to get story ideas, how to create character archetypes, how to find your central story theme.  We discuss your character's and your overall story's goal, motivation and conflict, and how to use a conflict diagram.  We'll discuss some tricks to untie those plot knots we write ourselves into and modern plot diagramming using turning points.  You'll find out what scene beats are and how to use them.  Even if you're not into writing fiction, you'll find the same writing principles apply to non-fiction, such as memoirs, as well.  


You'll also learn manuscript preparation and how to submit to agents and editors.  


There's writing exercises to get those creative juices flowing and you'll leave with lots of handouts and resources. 


So come on and join us.


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How to Get Published

Book pages

In this one Thursday night, two-hour class, I talk about the three ways of publishing your manuscript - traditional publishing, vanity publishing and self-publishing.  You'll learn the pros and cons of each so you'll have a better understanding of the current publishing industry.


Once through the class, you'll be more informed to make a decision on which publishing option is best suited to you.


For traditional publishing, we talk about everything from query letters to what to do once a deal has been offered.


For vanity publishing, we talk about what they are and why you should stay away from them.


For self-publishing, we talk about how to go about formatting your manuscript and how to get it for sale onto retailers' sites.


Bring your questions and get answers.


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