Lean, Mean Writin' Machine with John Skipp

Want your writing to pack punch? Want every word to leave readers gasping for more? Whatever your genre, John Skipp will show you the moves in this intensive four-week training session.

Your Instructor: John Skipp

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 16 students

Price: $399

Class Description

Every writer wants to craft powerful prose that delivers on its promise, rivets its audience, and keeps the reader desperately turning the pages.

But there are so many ways to lose your audience. And the moment you lose them... they're gone.

The trick is to keep them engaged every step of the way. Staying focused. Making every sentence count. No flab or filler. No wasted words. And never a dull moment

Bottom line: writing is a heavyweight fight between a) every great thing you have to offer, and b) every other interesting thing in the world.

It's not a fair fight. But it's one you can win. By rendering prose that's tight, crisp, and doesn't let up. By developing the ability to look at your own writing with a critical eye, so you can strip it down until it's carved out of rock. 

That's where the training comes in.

Meet horror/bizarro fiction legend and award-winning editor John Skipp. He's had a long and accomplished career, authoring well over a dozen provocative titles; editing anthologies featuring the likes of King, Palahniuk, Lansdale and Gaiman; running two publishing imprints, and transitioning into film (2012 Fantasia International Film Fest winner Stay At Home Dad). 

He's also one of genre fiction's most colorful characters... and he knows a thing or two about kicking ass on the page.

His class, The Lean, Mean Writin' Machine, is designed for all skill levels, and across all genres, from historical drama to futuristic science fiction, westerns and war stories to paranormal romance, fantasy and horror to naturalistic crime thrillers, serious highbrow lit to far-flung bizarro weirdness.

The goal is simple: To trim your writing down to its fiercest, sharpest, deadliest shape. To edit it within an inch of its life. Sharpen it to such a fine point the reader has no choice but to hang on to every word. 

This workshop will include written lectures, opportunities for discussion and questions with Skipp, and writing assignments designed to put your new skills to the test! 


What This Class Covers

Week One – Stripping Down to Fighting Weight

The focus here is on the fundamentals: Analyzing your existing style, its strengths and weaknesses. Running exercises that build literary muscle while cutting verbal flab.

Week Two – The Choreography of Violence

Learning how to write an action scene is the key to compression and concision in all forms of writing. Here's where you learn how.

Week Three – Self-Editing, So They Won't Have To

Seeing through an editor's eyes gives you a whole new sense of what works and what doesn't. Here's where the scalpel truly scrapes the bone down to the microscopic level.

Week Four – The Lean, Mean Writin' Machine

Finally, we apply these techniques to the creation of new work that comes in swinging, until creatively kicking ass becomes second nature.

Goals Of This Class

  • Explore the many different ways that stories build (or lose) their steam
  • Develop the techniques that make for riveting prose
  • Learn to build your worlds richly, complexly, and clearly, without digressing or making your reader's eyes glaze over
  • Practice character perspective, voice, and point of view in motion
  • Discover your own writerly strengths and weaknesses, when narrative push comes to stylistic shove
  • Polish one existing piece, and create one fresh one, using your new skills
  • Learn tools you can apply to every type of writing
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