The online home of Jessica Morrell, because stories matter

Conferences & Workshops

Written By: jessicap

exotic skyscapeFrom Idea to Story

May 3, 9-4:30

The Center for Contemplative Arts, Manzanita, Oregon

Writers have long grappled with the problem of taking a flash of inspiration through the marathon process of completing a finished work. That flash is your premise. But a premise on its own is flimsy, must be build it up and need the perfect story people to bring it to life until it becomes a compelling, awe-inspiring tale of… whatever it is you long to tell.

This workshop, for writers of all levels, will address key issues that must be confronted if you are going to assemble a myriad of pieces into a seamless whole. These issues include finding a shape for your story; how to treat plot and character as interdependent; how to avoid typical pitfalls when working. We’ll discuss forces and fears at play such as the fear or inability to finish, which is all too common. We’ll cover the basics of plotting, or if you’re writing a memoir, choosing the right elements and order for it. Participants can bring a brief outline of their plot and first three paragraphs.

typewriterA006We’ll also cover:
  •   Determining if your premise is a true compass that will keep the story on track.
  •  The basic underpinnings of stories—the anatomy of scenes and the anchor scenes that hold it together.
  •  How believable, important stakes power the story.
  • Strategies for handling pacing anxiety and the urge to pad instead of plot.
  •  Perfectionism, mistakes, and daring to make them.
  •  Making tough choices about what to leave in and what to leave out.
  •  How stories and endings are based on the protagonist’s deepest needs and fears.
  • How stories contain meaningful themes and are metaphors for life.


Spring Schedule

with Jessica Morrell

 April 12, Claim Your Story Writing Conference, Ashland, OR

Keynote Speaker: Robert Arellano

Hours: 9-5 Cost: $125 includes catered lunch and beverages. Located at the charming Lithia Springs Resort .Find details and the schedule here.

May 3, Manzanita, OR Workshop: From Idea to Story Every writer approaches a book-length project differently.  This workshop, for writers of all levels, will address key issues that must be confronted if you are going to go the distance.  This workshop will demystify the structure, theme, trajectory, turning points, subplots, & a logical ending. Email for the complete description.

June 3, Willamette Writers Meeting guest speaker:Risk is key to creating compelling larger-than-life surrogate warriors, bad ass anti-heroes, and quirky, memorable cast members for your story.


And please mark your calendars:

{June 19-22, 2014}

7th Annual Summer in Words Writing

Conference, Cannon Beach, Oregon

Keynote Speaker:Matt Love

find the schedule and details here


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