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“April’s workshop in Paris was a delight. She takes a complex subject and breaks it down into more manageable parts.  We had a clear programme at the outset and each session topic was covered thoroughly. Her content is immediately useable. April has a very nice easy, relaxed style when it comes to presenting her material.  I can highly recommend April’s workshops whatever your level of interest in telling a story.”

~ Vivien McKnight, Creativity Developer, UK & Spain 

“After participating in her workshop on story, I was inspired, informed, and anxious to return to my writing to implement all I had learned. If you have an opportunity to take one of her classes, do so!”

~ Jude Walsh Whelley, Writer, Dayton, Ohio 

“April’s Deep Story Design workshop exceeded my expectations. I have been struggling with my story and its characters. April’s devotion to clarity and deeper pursuit of writing gave me invaluable insights into improving my writing and making the characters come alive. She has a gentle and relaxed style in presenting her inspiring knowledge. I highly recommend her workshops.”

~ Tinni Zacco, Writer, Vancouver, BC 

“I’ve attended quite a few writing classes and workshops over the past four decades, but none has taught me as much or helped me more than Deep Story Design Online.”

~ Prof. Douglas Gray, Writer, Columbus, Ohio

“It was pure chance that I stumbled on April’s Deep Story Design workshop, and I’m so glad I did. She reawakened my belief in myself as a writer, and left me full of ideas on how to approach both structure and character design for a novel I’ve been struggling with for some time. Highly recommended!”

~ Shirley Rudolph, Writer, Vancouver, BC

Events and Workshops

Next Event

Deep Story Design Online
Oct 3rd to Nov 21st, 2018


Revision: Madness and Magic
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
Vancouver, BC


Design Your Story in France
Writing Retreat & Workshop
July 3rd to 12th, 2019

Workshops & Online Courses

Inspiring Strategies for Successful Storytelling

As a writer, you want to write stories that work, stories that satisfy your audience, stories that come alive with meaning. This is true whether you’re writing a novel, a screenplay, or a memoir. Live workshops and online courses are designed to offer practical writing skills coupled with inspiration and motivation to help you write the stories you want to tell.

Live workshops are scheduled on a rolling basis throughout the year. Check the Events page regularly for course updates or sign up for the monthly newsletter to be the first to learn about new courses and discounts.

Deep Story Design Online

Mastering the principles of story structure and the stages of character development is essential for writers who want to design stories with depth and resonance. Deep Story Design is an 8-week online course that integrates lessons in story structure and character development with exploratory exercises that will allow you to:

  • Understand the principles of classical 3-act story structure and how it provides the framework for your unique story design.
  • Develop strong characters that propel plots and embody transformation.
  • Uncover personal truths that reveal the depth and authenticity of your creative voice.

What you learn in these 8 weeks will serve your writing for years to come.

This course is taught once or twice per year and includes live sessions and instructor feedback. To find out when the next session will be offered, check the events schedule above or email for info.


DSD Writer’s Choice Courses

Many elements must work together to create cohesive and compelling stories. Writer’s Choice Classes focus on a single topic of the writing craft in order to give writers a chance to delve into a specific element of writing, such as plot planning, scene construction, creating conflict, character motivation, and more.

Planning Your Plot
Plot consists of a story’s particular pattern of events that leads us from the beginning to the end of the story. These are not random events, but a series of causally related moments that increase in tension over time and resolve into a meaningful conclusion, a “good ending.” In this course you learn to conceptualize and plan a plot that suits your story.

Creating Compelling Characters
Character is your portal into story. A character’s desires, motivations, and conflicts with outer and inner forces are the basis of story and fundamental in shaping the type of transformation that lies at the heart of strong stories. But how does a writer create believable, compelling, and evolving characters that can propel a story’s plot? In this course writers are introduced to four levels of character development that weave together to create highly motivated, three-dimensional characters.

Crafting Your Character’s Arc
Characters are meant to grow and change in a story, but how and when does that happen? In this course, writers design their character’s “arc”—that personal journey of transformation that lends meaning to narrative. By exploring the character’s outer desire and inner need within the context of beliefs and values, a map of growth emerges that guide the unfolding story.

Shaping Your Scenes
Scenes are the building blocks of story. Knowing how to write compelling scenes is essential to the writer’s craft. In this course writers learn about the different types and functions of scenes and how to use them effectively to bring your story to life.

Outlining Your Story
An outline can be a loose sketch, a highly detailed, scene-by-scene plan of your story, or anything in between. The purpose of the outline is to give you a boost of confidence to believe you can reach your goal before you set out trying to achieve it. In this course, writers are invited to adapt a simple outline template for the story they want to write.


Learn more about our next class!