Writing Workshops

I’m available to lead writing workshops online or at schools, libraries, conventions, and other locations. Workshop sizes can range from three to 20 participants, and they can run from an hour-long standalone workshop to a whole series over the course of several weeks. (With regard to in-person workshops, I can only offer multi-day events in the Columbus, OH area.)

“My online Odyssey class with Lucy Snyder was fantastic! The combination of reading, writing, critiquing, and live online video classes allowed for great engagement with the material and with the other students. I learned a lot ….”
— Neil Flinchbaugh

Each of my workshops includes discussion and practical in-class exercises intended to help participants develop the skills they need to become better writers. Students will come away with valuable resources they can explore and use after the sessions are over.

I have a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Goddard College and I directed the workshops at the Context Convention in Columbus, OH for eight years. I’ve led workshops at Odyssey Online, Goddard College, Seton Hill University, StokerCon, Gen Con, the Teaching & Learning in Higher Education Conferencethe Massillon Museum, Sinclair Community College, and several public libraries and regional conventions.

Here are the kinds of workshops I offer:

  • Critique Workshop — This is what many writers think of as a typical writing workshop. Students bring work in progress or write new work that we share and discuss as a group. This kind of workshop works best over the course of several weeks so that students have a chance to implement and test what they’ve learned from their in-workshop critiques.
  • Creative Kickstart — Free-writing and creativity exercises to help any writer get started on a project, plus tips to help break through writing blocks and improve productivity.
  • Game On! — A basic overview of writing for games. Students will learn about the special concerns of game writing and about how to get started in the industry.
  • The Plot Thickens — A discussion of the mechanics of various plots and narrative structures and how they can be applied to fiction, games, and nonfiction. Lucy will take students through a basic plot/synopsis brainstorming exercise.
  • Sharpen Your Point of View — What first, second, and third person viewpoints mean, and why and how to use them in fiction, creative nonfiction, and games.
  • Riveting Descriptions — This session will focus on word choice and using evocative language to improve descriptions. We’ll look at classic examples of great descriptions and then work on improving passages in progress.
  • Building A Better World — How to create and establish a believable setting in fiction and games. If you’re writing supernatural horror, fantasy or science fiction, grounding your story in believable details is critical to “sell” your reader on the speculative elements of your narrative. One way to do this is through excellent world building. In this workshop, students will learn how to create and establish a richly believable world for their fiction that engages and immerses readers.
  • Characterization and Dialog — Characters are at the heart of stories; dialog helps define characters and drives plot tension. In this workshop you’ll learn to develop characters, consider word choice, and define their voice through dialogue. The workshop will present essential tips to improve dialogue and explore how to write dialogue that rings true, deepens character, creates conflict, and more.
  • Writing Short Stories — A basic introduction to writing in the short fiction genre. We’ll discuss different short story styles, lengths, and how to get published.
  • Writing Horror – What’s the difference between gothic horror and quiet horror? Body horror and splatterpunk? Does a novel really have to blood and guts to count as horror? Join five time Bram Stoker Award winner Lucy A. Snyder for a discussion of horror and its subgenres. The session will feature exercises on creating an atmosphere of dread and a discussion of current markets.
  • Subtext – Subtext deals with implicit narrative information: what a character actually means, even though he or she isn’t talking about it directly. It’s about underlying meaning in fiction. This workshop will help you think more deeply about subtext and learn techniques for employing it in your own work.
  • Writing Weird Fiction – You may have heard of weird fiction. Is it just horror with tentacles? What makes it especially weird, anyhow, and how can you connect with readers who appreciate it? Join Lucy A. Snyder for a discussion of this genre, its history, and its peculiar market expectations.
  • And Then The Murders Began: Writing Great First Paragraphs – Author Marc Laidlaw recently wrote, “The first line of almost any story can be improved by making sure the second line is, ‘And then the murders began.'” While often true, most writers can’t actually use this technique. In this module, we will examine the first paragraphs of recent award-winning short stories to show why (and how) they work to hook readers. Afterward, we’ll work on improving paragraphs in progress.
  • A Creative Guide to Crowdfunding – Sites like Kickstarter, Patreon, Indiegogo and GoFundMe offer writers and other creators opportunities for gaining the funds to pursue their creative dreams. This workshop will show participants how to set up and run successful campaigns and how to avoid major pitfalls.

“The online Odyssey class with Lucy Snyder was awesome. It opened my eyes to so many new approaches to description and I feel it has taken my writing to the next level. Blending reading a variety of stories as examples of how description can affect the mood and tone of a story with practical technical advice, and writing and critiquing with other classmates, it was a great learning experience.”
— Roger Kunshick

If you’re interested in bringing me in to lead a workshop, please contact me: