Becoming a Master Writer

Sep 19, 2022 9:00AM—Sep 23, 2022 12:00PM


Write On, Door County Writing Center
4210 Juddville Road
Fish Creek, WI 54212

Cost $500.00



Take your writing to the next level by drilling deeper into the finer points of story telling



Take your writing to the next level in this series of topic-specific workshops designed to drill deeper into the finer points of story telling: memoir, journaling, characterization, dialogue, and research. In addition, you’ll learn how to overcome writer’s block whether you’re a planner, or if you write by the seat of your pants.  By the end of the series, you’ll have the skills, confidence and strategies to take your writing to a professional level. Each session will include short writing assignments, plus the opportunity to have your work critiqued.

Sessions include:

  • Capturing Your Story: The Art of Memoir You don’t have to be old, famous, or an ex-President to have a story to tell. We all have personal experiences worth capturing and conveying to others. In this session we’ll explore strategies for identifying significant themes and anecdotes from your life, then molding them into a coherent whole.
  • Writing to Heal All of us have — or will — experience the loss of a loved one.  In my case, in addition to the expected deaths of grandparents and parents, I’ve witnessed a car-train collision that killed three people, lost my sister to suicide, and endured the death of my youngest son because of an accidental heroin overdose. Even though death is a part of life, it need not be crippling or debilitating.  In this session, we’ll look at strategies — including journaling and writing — to help you move forward, through and beyond the pain and into a future that can once again be filled with hope — and even joy.
  • Planning vs. Seat-of-the-Pantsing Are you a meticulous planner, or do you just wing it? In this session we’ll explore writing strategies designed to add variety to your palette of writing techniques. If you’re a planner, we’ll explore how seat-of-the-pants writing can help you connect the dots. If your style is more free-form, we’ll look at how peeking at the road ahead can inspire your writing in the here-and-now. This will be a writing lab.
  • Research: Writing What You Don’t Know Creating believable characters, building accurate settings and scenes, or even crafting a work of non-fiction all require research.  But how can a writer get answers without the search becoming permanent procrastination? In this session, we’ll explore research tips and tactics, including interviewing strategies for getting even the most recalcitrant person to open up to you.
  • Characterization Through Dialogue: When characters talk to each other, the story moves forward and the reader learns about the speaker. In this class, you’ll learn how to find the right words to put into the mouths of your characters. We’ll dig into the do’s and don’ts of creating effective dialogue and, through writing exercises, learn how dialogue can transform story telling into story showing.


  • The class will be held in person Monday through Friday, September 19 – 23, 9 am – noon.
  • Tuition for the master class is $500. Write On members receive a 10% discount. To become a member and save, please click here. To register online for the class, please click the button below. For other registration options, please call 920.868.1457.
  • Class size is limited to 15 people.
  • Write On will adhere to current health department guidelines.
  • Participants are responsible for securing their own housing for the week. For a listing of accommodations, please visit Destination Door County.


Novelist, writing coach, and manuscript editor John DeDakis is a former editor on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” DeDakis is the author of five mystery-suspense novels. His fourth novel, Bullet in the Chamber, is the winner of Reviewers Choice, Foreword INDIES, and Feathered Quill book awards. In his most recent novel, Fake, protagonist Lark Chadwick is a White House correspondent dealing with “fake news” in the era of #MeToo. Fake earned Honorable Mention for the Reviewers Choice Award and was a Finalist for Killer Nashville’s Silver Falchion. A native of La Crosse, DeDakis now lives in Baltimore. DeDakis, a former White House correspondent, is a 1977 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism school and worked as news director at WLSU radio (NPR) in La Crosse and as a reporter/anchor at WMTV (NBC) in Madison. His first two novels, Fast Track and Bluff are set in south central Wisconsin. Website: