Write Now readies writers for next chapters in their writing careers

Whether you’re a newbie trying to put that first story into words or a successful author, check out Sno-Isle Libraries’ wide array of Write Now classes that run through 2019.

Write Now is designed to help authors at every level across multiple genres. Popular subjects include marketing, genealogy, writing for youth, and writing practice and encouragement.

All Write Now classes are free and are suited for older teens through adults, said Jackie Parker, Sno-Isle Libraries Lead Librarian for Reader Services and Write Now organizer.

“They should come and bring a friend,” Parker said. “The great thing is this is a free writing course. Any equivalent writing course is really expensive. This makes it accessible. And it’s here in Sno-Isle Libraries where you already are.”

Hundreds of writers have taken Write Now classes in the past three years. This past year, Write Now had 529 writers take 59 classes between February and December, Parker said.

The next two Write Now classes are scheduled for July 13: Writing the Picture Book from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Lynnwood Library, and Creative Approaches to Book Marketing from 1-2:30 p.m. at Mukilteo library.

Some Write Now classes have limited space and require advance registration.

Coupeville resident Heide Horeth channeled her passion for children’s nutrition into “4 Ways to Yummy: A Children’s Vegetable Cookbook” and self-published it this year. She’s selling it on her website, 4waystoyummy.com, plus Amazon and Etsy, and at several stores on Whidbey Island. Now she wonders what to do next.

“As someone who just published a children’s vegetable cookbook and is blindly trying to find ways to sell, I find what I need most now is organizational skills,” Horeth said. “I feel like I need to keep track of every contact I make, as well as each customer’s wishes and sales info.”

Horeth said she’ll make the trek off island for Creative Approaches to Book Marketing.

“I love these Write Now classes!” said Jeanne Bartlett of Marysville. “Attending these classes got some of the participants to form a writing critique group that meets monthly at Marysville (Library) and that has been a great boost to my writing and networking.”

This is the sixth year Sno-Isle Libraries has offered writing classes, starting with the Author Next Door series in 2014. Parker said the program title changed to Write Now in 2016. “Attendees liked hearing from authors, but many said they wanted to learn how to be authors themselves,” she said.

Every Sno-Isle Libraries community library will have Write Now classes. Parker tried to balance popular Write Now classes (the perennial favorite, “Family History: Writing the Story When They Left No Stories”) with Write Now classes she hasn’t been able to offer before.

Several community libraries will offer more Write Now classes that will be added to the Sno-Isle Libraries Events Calendar during the year, Parker said. Some community libraries like to tie their Write Now classes to the popular National Novel Writing Month in November.

Each library chooses which class or classes to offer. All Write Now classes are taught by local authors, 28 of whom have their published works available in the Sno-Isle Libraries collection.

When Parker created Write Now for 2016, she reviewed 120 applicants and vetted 80 instructors and their course materials. When she selects classes each year, she makes sure instructors are still available and their courses are current.

Parker tweaks Write Now a little each year to make improvements. This year, she’ll collect attendees’ ZIP code information.  The information will help her better target where to offer Write Now classes in 2020 so they’re closer to more attendees. She knows that’s an issue for Whidbey Island residents when many of the classes they want are in Snohomish County.

“That will help us fund Write Now classes more intentionally in the future and direct the funding to each library better,” Parker said.

Parker also wants to add new classes and instructors in 2020 to target the growing market for young-adult novels.

Authors who live in, write about or set a story in the Sno-Isle Library District will have their published work collected at their home branch, Parker said.

2019 Write Now Classes and Locations (Not all classes are listed in the Events Calendar)

Arlington: The Writer’s Online Presence; Promotions and Publicity for the New Author

Brier: Family History: Writing the Story When They Left No Stories

Camano Island: The Craft of Fiction; The Writer’s Business Mindset: From Idea to Sales

Clinton: Book Marketing from Your Couch; Everything You Need to Know About Editors

Coupeville: Piggyback Picture Books

Darrington: You Wrote a Book, Now What?

Edmonds: World Building in Historical Fiction; Writing the Standout Query Letter; From Driftwood to Sculpture: Poetry Revision Workshop; Book Marketing From Your Couch

Freeland: Feeling the Flow; Writing for Regional Newspapers and Magazines

Granite Falls: Self-Editing Tips for Self-Publishing Writers

Lakewood/Smokey Point: A Bookseller’s Tips for Pitching, Selling and Promoting Your Novel; Editing with an Agent’s Eye

Lake Stevens: Thick Skinned, Well Crafted

Langley: A Bookseller’s Tips for Pitching, Selling and Promoting Your Novel; Creating Your Writing Persona

Lynnwood: Writing the Picture Book; Piggyback Picture Books

Mariner: The Writer’s Online Presence; Revision with Precision

Marysville: The 30 Chapter Memoir; Marketing Your Self-Published Novel

Mill Creek: What Can You Do with First Person?; Creativity Techniques to Leap Over Writing Ruts

Monroe: Someday is Now

Mountlake Terrace: Creating Your Writing Persona; Someday is Now

Mukilteo: Creative Approaches to Book Marketing

Oak Harbor: Marketing Your Self-Published Novel; Marketing Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels

Snohomish: Writing the Short Mystery; Get the Lit Out: Submitting for Publication in Literary Magazines

Stanwood: Your Story: Creating Your Writing Persona

Sultan: Writing Poetry Inside Out; A Simple But Strong Structure