April 2, 2020

A Novel Way to Promote Your Writing (Part 2)

Judith Nembhard 
A passionate fiction writer.


           Consider also as a possible venue a community senior center. Here the director is tasked with providing varied and interesting activities to keep the clients engaged, and you have just what they need.  Admittedly, there is usually a routine that the center follows, but something different and valuable to the clients, as a workshop on an aspect of the language would certainly be, is an attractive offer, so they would welcome your presentation.
            College English departments also are a fertile resource for presenting a workshop on writing. Most colleges have a campus-wide activity period each semester. A lot of activities go on during this time, organized by clubs and other groups. At such a time, an English professor may invite a guest to his or her class. As an instructor, I invited a writer to my class, and it proved extremely satisfying for both the students and me. Later I, too, was invited to address a group of English majors during one of their activity periods. This is a time when you can give useful highlights on the writing life to young people who may be interested in becoming writers.
            What topics can you focus on for these workshops? When you were starting out as a writer, you got the usual advice to write about what you knew. The same holds true for a workshop. Prepare a session on a topic that you know well and pitch it to the individual in charge of the group that you are interested in working with. And you may give the same workshop to different audiences. When people ask for help with their writing, a lot of the time they’re thinking of grammar and mechanics. They usually are unsure about usage and where to put those pesky commas. I have found that people like to get information that makes them feel more comfortable using the language. An hour-long, hands-on session on topics such as the most often misused words and phrases, easy ways to punctuate sentences and clauses with the comma, along with a few pointers on capitalization thrown in would make a useful workshop presentation. With a colorful packet, relatable examples, and a lot of interaction, you should be able to carry off a successful session.
            A workshop on editing can be a boon to aspiring writers, such as those in a community writing club. You can present a sample piece of writing to show the difference between editing and revision. This topic lends itself to being an effective demonstration workshop, utilizing power point efficiently: Points for emphasis in the demonstration would be Addition, Deletion, and Rearrangement as effective revision techniques.  Also, a handout can be prepared to show the ways to edit for major errors, emphasizing that editing should focus on one thing at a time: for example,  indention for paragraphing; subject-verb agreement problems; punctuation, especially to avoid those run-on sentences and comma faults; and using semicolons effectively.
            All the while you’re presenting ideas in the workshop, enjoying great interaction with the attendees, you’re building your credibility and earning appreciation for your work as a writer. Always have your business card handy to leave behind. Talk-up your book at each opportune moment during the workshop. You may even use material from your book to illustrate a particular technique. 
         A workshop offers real value to those who attend. It satisfies a need and provides an opportunity for individuals to reach out and learn more. For you as a writer, it builds relationships that can pay off in book sales. The workshop attendees have a valuable take-away, and you have the collateral of expanding the influence of your work.

Judith Nembhard was born in Jamaica and grew up amid the island’s lush scenery, which influenced her writing. Her early fascination with language led her to complete three degrees in English, including a doctorate from the University of Maryland College Park. Her articles have appeared in professional journals, religious and secular magazines, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. She writes Christian fiction. She has earned writing awards in the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, Deep River Books Contest, and Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. She is featured in the Southern Writers Magazine Galaxy of Stars.

Her book, Dark Days On The Fairest Island was a finalist in the Southern Christian Writers Conference (SCWC) Notable Book Award in its category.

Judith is a woman of faith and has shared her spiritual vision with audiences at commencement and Women’s Day celebrations and women’s retreats. She has given workshops on writing and improving public speaking skills.

Judith has two adult sons. She has teaching and writing as her greatest loves and reading as her most passionate hobby. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


  1. Hi Judith, I have made notes on this to use. Thank you. I really liked your advice about: "You may even use material from your book to illustrate a particular technique." This is true for people who are doing a workshop on writing. However it is also true for people who are speaking on other subjects, especially if you are write devotionals.
    Thank you for the tips.

    1. Hello Susan, What you've said is so true. I have used incidents and other information from my books a number of times, particularly on my blog. There is so much to draw from in those books that we've labored over so lovingly.
      Thank you for a comment that Suite T readers can certainly use.

  2. So agree, Judith, that there are many ways to reach readers. I've spoken at senior centers and at schools and I was blessed as much as they were. Thanks for good examples!