Writing and Publishing Creative Writing Projects: Improve your voice!

Sally Apokedak, Literary Agent

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25 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Voice is the first thing a reader notices

    • 2. Introduction ~ How you can set a mood with your words

    • 3. Point of View ~ Options

    • 4. Point of View ~ Tenses

    • 5. Point of View ~ Things to consider

    • 6. Dialogue ~ Punctuation

    • 7. Dialogue ~ Tags and Beats

    • 8. Dialogue ~ Telling characters what they already know

    • 9. Dialogue ~ New speaker/new paragraph

    • 10. Dialogue ~ Tags that work

    • 11. Dialogue ~Contractions

    • 12. Dialogue ~ Slang

    • 13. Dialogue ~ Echo

    • 14. Dialogue ~ Ly adverbs

    • 15. Diialoge ~ Invisible tags

    • 16. Adjectives and Adverbs

    • 17. Compound Adjectives and Verb-a-lized Nouns

    • 18. Incomplete Sentences

    • 19. As and Ing Construction

    • 20. Pacing and Varied Sentences

    • 21. Redundant Words

    • 22. Redundant Thoughts

    • 23. Sensory Words

    • 24. Passive Construction

    • 25. Mood


About This Class

Interested in writing and publishing? Whether your creative writing project is a novel or a creative nonfiction book, you should join this course to learn how to draw in agents, editors, and readers with your voice.

You have seven seconds to grab a reader's attention. We'll write first chapters of novels or creative nonfiction, and learn how to draw readers in with fantastic voice.

Narrative Voice for Novelists: How to Suck in Readers From Page One

This is part of a series of courses that will help you if you are trying to get an agent, sell to a publisher, or sell your self-published books directly to Amazon. After reading thousands of queries, I've come to believe that four things are essential if you want to write novels that will sell.

VOICE is one of those essentials. It's the first thing we notice when we open your manuscript or book.

Whether you're writing novels or creative nonfiction, this class can help you. If you're unpublished and having a hard time breaking in or if you're published but having a hard time breaking out, this course will help you. You'll get the voice lectures that I give at writers' conferences around the United States, but you'll get them at a fraction of what they normally cost. Plus, you can take them in your own home, at your own pace, you won't have to pay for a hotel, and you'll have lifetime access to these lectures.

You'll also be able to ask me questions in the class forum--I will make myself available one day a week to answer any questions you have. 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING about Sally's online writing courses:


THIS is the course that will shower you with confidence and give your voice the punch it needs.

~ Robyn


Sally is a wealth of knowledge . . . I'm looking forward to taking more of Sally's classes on Udemy.

~ Cheryl


Sally is a great teacher and is obviously extremely knowledgable . . . The topics move quickly, and you won't be bored.

~ Hannah


Sally is a very enthusiastic and involved instructor and makes the course valuable and enjoyable for everyone.

~ Rachel


I can understand why Sally Apokedak is a sought-after teacher at writer's conferences. First, Sally (if I may) knows her stuff. . . .

~ Deborah


This class shows you both the science and art of writing. . . . If she produces another course, I will be sure to return!

~ Rebecca R.


The material is fun and easy to learn . . . I highly recommend any writer or aspiring writer take it to improve their writing.

~ Teresa


Thank you for your incredible class. It was a valuable, valuable learning experience. . . .

~ Kimberly


Thank you so much. I got a lot out of the class and it gave me a lot to think about. I'm grateful for all the feedback.

~ Christie


Thank you so much for your feedback . . . throughout the course. I appreciated how much you know about this field and your willingness to share your expertise.

~ Sandy


In Sally's video lectures, she made me think about writing like I hadn't before, especially the weeks about voice and theme.

~ Margo L. Dill

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING about Sally's conference classes and retreats:

. . . thank you again for a fabulous weekend. I left encouraged and energized . . . It was a wise investment and fun.

~ Jean Wilund



We had so many wonderful comments about you and your class on our evaluations. We hope you'll be able to join us again next summer.

Blessings, Lindy Jacobs, OCW Summer Conference Director


Hello Sally,

I hope you realize how much wisdom and knowledge you imparted during your time at the wik13 conference in Birmingham. . . .

~ Heather L. Montgomery Assistant Regional Advisor Southern Breeze SCBWI

What this course promises:

To teach you how to make your voice more interesting and compelling in the fiction and creative nonfiction you write.

What this course does not promise:

That you'll get a book contract.

Some questions this course answers:

  • How do I write in the close-third-person point of view?
  • Should I be writing in past tense or present tense?
  • How can I improve my narrative voice when I write fiction or creative nonfiction?
  • How can I use metaphors in a novel I'm writing?
  • Category:Business


  1. Over 40 lectures and 2 hours of content!
  2. add snazz and pizzazz to the fiction you write by using figures of speech!
  3. choose the strongest POV for the novel you're writing.
  4. spiffy up your novel before you send it to agents and editors with solid self-editing tips.
  5. write your novels and creative nonfiction with an engaging voice.
  6. write books with confidence.


  1. All you need is pen and paper, or a computer, and a story idea.
  2. I am putting basic lectures in, so you can take this course if you know nothing about writing a novel. More advanced students can skip the basic lectures.


  1. If you want a conference-quality writing course without the cost and hassle of traveling to a conference, this class is for you.
  2. If you have always wanted to write a novel, this is a good course to start you out right.
  3. If you're writing a novel and need to editing tips for revision, this class will help you.
  4. If you want to know what a literary agent really thinks of the novel manuscripts in her slush pile then sign up.
  5. If you're already published and getting starred reviews, then this course will be a waste of your time. :)