Writing Workshops

Join me for exciting craft workshops!

Book Me for a Workshop or Speaking Event

I’ve taken three of Marjetta’s workshops and each one has been amazing. Her depth of knowledge combined with some really keen insight has helped me immensely.

Melody Maysonet—author of A WORK OF ART

Marjetta’s next-level workshops always help me dig deeper into my novel than I ever thought I could. Often when I arrive, I’m feeling pretty stuck and discouraged in my WIP. When the workshop comes to a close, Marjetta has unstuck me and I’m ready to dive in once again. I highly recommend them as well as her one-on-one critiques!

Jill Mackenzieauthor of Spin the Sky

Marjetta is one of the best writing instructors I’ve worked with. She is the master of plot and character development. I leave every workshop Marjetta teaches with newfound knowledge that propels me to the next step in my writing process. When she critiques your work you walk away with a clear idea of how to craft a book that hooks readers, develops and maintains tension, and leads to a satisfying resolution. I couldn’t recommend Marjetta more.

Stacey Rameyauthor of The Homecoming

I have been attending Marjetta’s Thursday nights critique group for a long time. I never miss one because her coaching is incredibly powerful. Her suggestions and recommendations are always right on, and I walk away every week with more knowledge and more tools in my writing kit. I have to add that the revisions I commit myself to after every one of her workshops reshape my sentences, paragraphs, chapters and sometimes even the entire manuscript for the better. Always well prepared, she knows writing and is an articulate and effective speaker.

I highly recommend any of her teachings, if you can get in her classes. She’s in great demand and deserves to be.

Yves Masson

Past Writing Workshops

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Getting Out of the Slush Pile

19 Things Your First Page Must Do: You know the saying, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression,” and it’s no less true for manuscripts than it is for people. This writing workshop focuses on making the best possible first impression with your first page and how to keep the dynamism of that first page on every page of your manuscript.


1Voice and Character

The relationship between character and voice is an important way of creating dynamic and fresh narration. This writing workshop focuses on ways to identify and hone your character’s voice so that infuses every page of your manuscript.


So You Wanna Be a Writer?

Two versions of this writing workshop explore the habits of mind and potential career paths in writing for elementary or high school students. Learn the value of research, the ethics of eavesdropping, the importance of grammar, and how to start building your writing portfolio now.


Who’s Really Reading KidLit?

The challenge of writing for children and young adults is that many adults have to love a book before it gets into the hands of children. This interactive lecture looks at the many layered audience of children’s literature.


The Social Pitch, or How Not to Humiliate Yourself at a Conference

It’s no secret that I love writing conferences. I love being with other writers and complaining about things that no one else in the universe cares about (like, omg, isn’t ariel such an annoying font and why are comma splices slipping through the copy edits on books published by major houses?) Also, spending time in the presence of master writers whose work I admire and learning writing techniques from them is incredibly valuable to my development as a professional writer.


But let’s be real: most people attend conferences to meet agents and editors.


Marjetta GeerlingAnd let’s be even more real: writers, in general, are pretty socially awkward and when faced with an actual agent or editor will often either A. freeze up or B. babble on and on and on.


I’m a babbler, for sure, and have embarrassed myself so many times over the past fifteen years that it’s, well, embarrassing.


And now let’s be even more realer than before: I’ve had two agents so far in my career, and both of them were somehow connected to conferences I attended. I’ve had some major jumps in my writing ability come from brutally honest critiques from agents and editors at conferences–critiques that at first broke my heart but later pushed me to the next level or writing.


We all know to work on our query letters, our blurbs, our synopses, but when a real live editor at a conference says to us, “So, what’re you working on?” we can’t just recite our carefully memorized one-liner, or worse, two paragraph blurb. Believe me, I’ve tried. It doesn’t work.


So, in an effort to save you, Dear Writer, from the mistakes I’ve made in the past, I offer a workshop specifically geared to all things pitching.


Story Structure

Good stories have strong story structure. This writing workshop proposes a variety of tools for constructing, deconstructing, and evaluating your story’s structure. Ample time is given for discussing story issues. The goal is for participants to leave the workshop with a clear revision plan for structure.


Writing for Tweens and Teens:

This introductory writing workshop discusses the world of children’s literature, what it is, who is in it, who we write for, and how to join this active community of writers.


Radical Revision

Margetta Geerling Creative WritingRadical Revision is a day of guided revision exercises geared toward helping you see your current work in progress with new eyes. Whether you’re struggling with a blocked story or just started a brand new project, the exercises are meant to unlock hidden layers in your characters and stories. Participants should leave the workshop with new insights and an exciting revision plan.


Re-Vision Your Revision

Re-Vision Your Revision is a one-day writing workshop focused on bringing new life to your revision process. We all know that writing is rewriting and that revision makes our manuscripts stronger. However, it is easy to get stuck in revision ruts and feel frustrated with stories that we once loved. RYR will give you concrete, interactive strategies for truly re-visioning––that is, to see again or see anew––your work. Participants should bring a scene they are struggling with, writing tools (computers, tablets, notebooks—pick your poison), and an adventurous spirit.


SCBWI BootCamp Basics for Beginners

Editors, Agents, and Query Letters, oh my! Picture books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, graphic novels, chapter books–which one do you want to write most? How do you break into the diverse field of children’s literature?

How do you reach your audience? Improve your writing? Make the connections needed to get it published? Boot Camp Basics is a day-long overview of the ABCs of children’s literature. Learn how to get your project written then published! Whether you’re still in the planning stages or have a manuscript ready to send to agents and editors, this writing workshop will provide valuable tips on how to get from where you are to where you want to be.