WRITING WORKSHOPS – The Good, The Bad and The Interesting-Social Media for Writers

Posted by in Louise Behiel, writing, writing classes | 25 comments

I’m a ho for writing classes.  What can I say?  I love them.  I’ve taken more classes over the years than I can count.  And I’ve always kept my notes and my emails (can you say hoarder?).   Since I always wonder what people think about the classes they’ve taken, I thought I’d share some thoughts about classes I thought were worth the price of registration.  If you’re wondering about a class, feel free to email me at lbehiel@shaw.ca, put ‘class question’ in the topic and I’ll let you know if I’ve taken the class and what I thought about it.

I’m a perpetual student.  Even during the years I wasn’t writing, I was taking romance writing classes.  They kept me connected, in a small way, to the romance writing community and allowed me an unpressured way to build my skills.

I joined Savvy Authors (www.savvyauthors.com) because of their excellent classes.  I’ve rarely been disappointed.  One of the most recent ones I enjoyed was Social Media for Writers.  It ran in October for two weeks.  Taught by Ken Kessler, the class focused on the bare bones of social media: the ‘how-to’ of Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Ken did a good job of walking each of us through a step by step process to set up a Facebook fan page and a twitter account.  We talked a little about our author names, but the class was focused on getting started with social media and finding our way through the process to become online marketers.

Ken’s focus was always on ‘paying it forward’.  He was clear that we needed to be building relationships, both on Twitter and Facebook.  He walked his talk by following each of us and repeatedly mentioning our name on Twitter and FB as we got started.  And his wife, Lisa also jumped in and followed each of us and offered her expertise.  They are a dynamic couple who know their topic and aren’t afraid to share with newbies.

For me, Ken’s approach, his friendliness and his knowledge demystified the entire social media scene.  He was patient and helpful with each of us as we struggled with the face of marketing today.   I am in the midst of an excellent course by Kristen Lamb (more about that later) but I would have been lost in the beginning of her course if it hadn’t been for Ken’s.  He helped me de-mystify social media.  And when I got stuck setting up this blog, Lisa and Ken were the first two people I turned to – I was confident they’d have the answer I needed and that they wouldn’t mind sharing it with me.

If you’re new to this method of marketing and relationship building, or confused about the whole thing, I can’t recommend Ken’s course highly enough.  Definitely an A+


  1. Well it sounds like I will need to find out more about who is having classes and join in. I have tried to blog in the past and could not really get into it. Do you think joining savvyauthors is a good first step even if I never write a book? Thanks

    • savvyauthors is really directed at writers. They’re a wonderful community and very helpful but almost everything is geared to the writers of the world.

  2. I love classes, too. For craft workshops, IMO, Mary Buckham’s and Margie Lawson’s can’t be beat. If you can see them in person? Even better. Also, if you can get to a Donald Maass workshop, that’s totally worth it, too. And if you can afford it, Bob McKee’s story seminar weekend is fantastic.

    • yes, yes and yes, Rhonda. I haven’t heard Donald Maass but the others are awesome. my chapter is having Michael Hague here in Calgary in May – I can’t wait. He is another winner.

  3. Tameri, this was a godsend before Kristen’s class. I had alot to learn about twitter, but i had a strong foundations. Ken teaches at Savvy and i’m sure other places. good luck tracking him down, if you decide that will work for you.

  4. Thanks for the great recommendation. This class sounds like it could help out in the ‘what the heck is this site for’ category. I’ve been stumped by Google + and a little by Twitter. I’ll have to check him out.

    Kristen Lamb is awesome. That’s all I can say about her. 100% pure awesome.

  5. I love to take classes, too. I have realized, though, that it is a form of procrastination for me. After all, if I’m still learning about something, I can’t be expected to do it, right? So I’ve had to cut back where possible. That being said, however, I am just finishing a class on medieval Ireland and just started another class on doing an e-newsletter. And I am trying to get ready to teach my own Savvy Authors class in February on top of that! But I have learned so, so much from each and every one. Even if there wasn’t a lot of participation I kept the lessons and refer to them often. I know I would never be at this point in my novel if it weren’t for them. I also love Kristen Lamb and have bought both of her e-books and want to take her class starting in January. She really got me motivated to start blogging — and look how much fun we’re having!

  6. Julie, truer words were never spoken. I know I can’t keep up this pace indefinitely. work gets crazy in the New Year, so I will have less time. We must be certain to share those secrets and tips as we learn them.

  7. I love your first line! Applies to me too. I have an insatiable desire to learn all I can about the craft of writing and the art of social media. Glad I’ve met you during this class! I agree with Sheila though. We need to find the class that teaches us how to keep up with all this stuff while still having time for writing and a life!!

  8. I think a class for social media is a great idea. It would fast forward the process a lot for people. I feel like I “get” Twitter and have some good twitter tips on my blog, but I would have LOVED a faster track to that knowledge. Twitter and all social media definitely has its own language and customs.

    • Nina, Sometimes the universe lines things up perfectly. The Social Media class and then Kristen Lamb’s class were totally synchronous for me. Couldn’t have been better.

  9. Pat, thanks so much. kristen’s class has been amazing. But I would have drowned without the first social media class. Take care

  10. I like your blog, Louise. Your class time has paid off beautifully.

  11. I love to take classes, too, Louise, and have found so many wonderful instructors that have taught me so much. Ken’s class sounds wonderful for anyone who is just starting out. Now, all we need is a class on how to integrate and manage all this along with the rest of our busy lives! 🙂

    • Sheila, aint that the truth. I can hardly keep up to the blogs we’re creating. and now i’m trying to write them…LOL Ken’s class was great for a very green novice. and his teaching style was supportive and non-threatening. there really was no dumb question. He gave us an awesome gift – especially with kristen’s class right behind his.

  12. Oh hey Louise, you’ve been really busy! But may I just say that I wish I was in that class. Hwo did I miss it? Is it ongoing? Will they have another class? Humm.

    I like you have been swimming so hard trying to keep up with everyone, although I do have to brag on the wana spirit that Kristen Lamb promotes. It’s contagious, isn’t it? Everyone has been so supportive. And I must include you in that statement Louise. Thank you! 🙂

    • Karen, this class has been amazing. I totally agree with you. and I like the idea of it being contagious. I can see us when the classes next are going that we will be able to jump in and offer support to them. Because the community Kristen is creating is based on mutual support. That’s true for both of us.

  13. Love your first line. So funny, but I guess I’m a ho too. 🙂 Thanks for the info, I’m always looking for more too!

    • Coleen, I love classes – I’m a pantser so anything I can learn to implement as I write is wonderful. Ergo lots of classes. This one on social media was a departure for me, but most valuable.

  14. Social media is a little less confusing to me now, Louise, after Kristen’s class. But it sounds like I missed a good one by not finding Ken & Lisa Kessler first.

    • Diane, They were a godsend to me – made Kristen’s class much less confusing – which was a big help with her goal to throw us into Twitter.

  15. Over the years I’ve taken lots of classes covering a variety of subjects, and I’ve yet to be disappointed, but it’s always good to have a personal endorsement.

    • Maris, I’m glad to meet another learning enthusiast. I have had the misfortune of taking a few duds, which I define as a class that doesn’t deliver on its intention which usually shows up by a total lack of participation. I won’t post about those publicly, but I will be honest if anyone asks. Do you have a favorite instructor?

  16. This is good to know, Louise, that you’ve taken so many classes. I’ll be sure to ask you about any other classes I’m thinking about taking. I’m so glad I met you in Kristen Lamb’s class. I’m learning so much from her and finally feel like I know what to focus on with my blog posts. So I’m looking forward to your later post when you talk about all you’ve learned and we can all compare notes and compare how much better our stats are!

    • Lynn, like you I’m glad to have met so many interesting fun people in Kristen’s class. and the material has been amazing. here I am with a blog! I would never have thought it possible. I’m not as regular as i’d like but I’m getting there.

      future comparisons will be great

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