2023 Odyssey Online Classes

Make major progress on your fiction writing with an Odyssey Online class!

Receive individual attention and in-depth feedback
with an Odyssey Online class!

Live, Intensive, Interactive.

Bestselling, award-winning instructors.

Only 3 classes per year. Only 14 students per class.

Application deadline 11/21. Don’t miss out!

The Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust has offered world-renowned workshops for 27 years and has been an innovator in online classes since 2010. Odyssey offers some of the top programs in the world to help writers improve.

Odyssey’s online courses provide live class meetings, challenging assignments, one-on-one attention, and insightful, in-depth critiques.


One Brick at a Time: Crafting Compelling Scenes
Course Meets: January 3 – 31, 2023
Instructor: Award-winning novelist Barbara Ashford
Level: Intermediate

While writers often focus on their characters, plot, and setting, they seldom put as much attention on each scene–whether it is fulfilling its purpose in the story and whether it’s as strong as possible. Stories and novels are made up of scenes, so if your scenes are weak, your piece has little chance of success. A compelling scene engages readers intellectually and emotionally, changes something of significance to the story, and leaves readers eager to turn the page to find out what happens next. One of Odyssey’s most highly rated instructors, award-winning novelist Barbara Ashford, will explain how to design your scenes so they carry tension and power, how to track and develop the emotional beats in a scene to create strong impact, and how to diagnose and fix problems in scenes. Students will study effective scenes and weak scenes, discover the special needs of opening and ending scenes, and learn how to make sure all the scenes work together to create a powerful story or novel. These skills are invaluable for intermediate writers seeking to take their work to the next level.

Emotional Truth: Making Character Emotions Real, Powerful, and Immediate to Readers
Course Meets: January 4 – February 1, 2023
Instructor: Award-winning editor/publisher Scott H. Andrews
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Photo credit: Al Bogdan

According to Scott H. Andrews, editor-in-chief and publisher of the nine-time Hugo Award finalist and World Fantasy Award-winning online fantasy magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the most common weakness in submissions is the failure to convey character emotions in a powerful way.

In this course, Scott will explain the most effective techniques to convey character emotions realistically and powerfully on the page, so that moment by moment, you can create an authentic and evocative experience. He’ll show you which techniques work best for point-of-view characters, and which work best for non-point-of-view characters. He’ll also discuss how to handle multiple emotions, conflicting emotions, and complex emotions, because that’s when stories get really interesting. More than that, the course will cover strategies for developing situations and stories with strong potential for emotional resonance, and how to use character emotions to make every page a gripping read. The character’s emotions may draw readers to the character or repel readers from him, but either way, line by line and scene by scene, you’ll be able to give readers an authentic, powerful, involving experience.

Angled Dialogue: Crafting Authentic-Sounding Dialogue to Convey Information, Escalate Conflict, and Advance Character-Driven Stories
Course Meets: January 5 – February 2, 2023
Instructor: Bestselling author Gregory Ashe
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Dialogue is one of the major components of most works of fiction, yet few writers give it much thought beyond trying to make it sound realistic and trying to make each character have a distinct manner of speaking. But a writer needs to do much more than that to create powerful dialogue. Memorable dialogue that carries tension and propels the story forward can make a huge difference in a story. One tight, brilliant conversation can do so much to convey character, advance conflict, show a shift in power, and generate subtext by suggesting much more than is actually said. If your method of writing dialogue is mainly to think, “What would she say next?” you are missing most of the potential of dialogue. This course will start with the basics of dialogue and build upon those strategies for writing dialogue to serve various purposes. Greg will explain how to evaluate and revise your dialogue to make it as strong as possible. At the heart of the class is the concept of angled dialogue. Dialogue can be angled toward action, or conflict, or a character’s intention, or meaning. Greg will show you how to angle your dialogue to make it the most effective for any situation. You’ll then learn advanced techniques for dialogue that can help you achieve multiple purposes simultaneously. Greg will also discuss the role of genre in writing dialogue. Greg is an outstanding instructor with unique insights to share.

Is Odyssey for you?

If you’re willing to work hard, hear about the weaknesses in your writing, move outside your comfort zone, and try new techniques, then Odyssey Online is for you.

Odyssey also offers many resources for writers, including podcasts, an online monthly discussion salon, a blog, a critique service, coaching, consultations, and Your Personal Odyssey Writing Workshop, an intensive, one-on-one online workshop, customized for you.  

Become the writer you’ve always known you could be!


Questions? Email: jcavelos@odysseyworkshop.org


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