“Improve Your Creative Writing Skills and Learn How to Write Your Experiences as a Compelling Book . . . while Cruising to the Bahamas.”


Dear Writer,

Write Your Book Workshop & CruiseDo you know you have a good story to tell, but you’re not sure how to write it in a compelling and engaging way?

Have you always wanted to write about your life or experiences, but don’t know where to start?

Are you struggling to focus your ideas and write?

Do you want to improve your creative writing skills and get feedback on your work-in-progress?

And do you take your writing seriously? (Or at least want to take it more seriously?)

Then you’re in the right place, and I’m so glad you’re here.

Let me help you write your bookI am a freelance ghostwriter and editorial consultant, and since I started my business back in 2007, I’ve ghostwritten twelve books for clients and consulted on numerous others. I have an MFA in creative nonfiction and my writing has been published in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and literary journals. Writing is what I do, and I’ve done a lot of it. And over the years I’ve gotten really good at helping other writers and figuring out how to improve manuscripts.

Let’s Talk about Your Writing and Your Writing Life…

Over the years I’ve talked to a lot of people about the books they want to write–people who hired me and people who didn’t. I’ve realized from all these conversations that people often struggle with the same issues.

Writing is a solitary sport. We work on our own, and often have to revise on our own. And we take advice from anyone who’ll give it . . . regardless of whether they know what they’re doing. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if we really want to improve, we have to push ourselves harder, do more, make an investment, and take ourselves seriously even when others don’t.

And that’s not easy. Believe me. I have three kids who are perfectly quiet and well-behaved until I sit down at my desk to write. I know how it feels to put your writing projects aside. But I also know how awesome it feels to do something just for me and my writing life.

Making time to write, reading, and revising are all important investments I make in my writing life almost every day. And I’m always looking for workshops and experiences that will help my skills and benefit my writing in other ways. Investing in my writing has never been a problem for me.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve suggested other writers do the same. Especially when you’re just getting started, taking a creative writing class and getting feedback on your work is essential if you want to write to be read. And anytime you reach a plateau with your work (where you’ve done your best and don’t know what to do to make your manuscript publishable), a professional, outside opinion can greatly improve your writing.

Oftentimes writers think the best time (or the cheapest way) to enlist help is when they’ve completed a manuscript. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned editing clients away because their manuscripts just weren’t ready. No matter how amazing your story, no editor can save a manuscript that’s not written in scenes using creative writing techniques.

Writing workshops are an investment in your skills that, as a writer, will serve you now and with everything you write in the future. And the experience of participating in a workshop–working with an enthusiastic teacher and meeting other writers–will invigorate you and inject energy into your writing practice, whether you’re currently writing or trying to build a practice.

I’ve taught writing workshops before, but in the past few months I’ve partnered with an event planner to put together the most amazing writing experience ever. Seriously, I’ve been dreaming about writing vacations for a long time. And that’s what I want to tell you about.

The Write Your Book Workshop & Cruise is Now Open for Registration!

Cruise - Nassau by faungg's photos CC BY-ND

Source: Cruise – Nassau by faungg’s photos CC BY-ND

I have reserved space aboard the Carnival Elation for their March 2-6, 2017 cruise to the Bahamas to work with a small group of writers to develop their creative writing skills and start writing the book they’ve always wanted to write.

We’ll depart from Jacksonville, Florida, and the Write Your Book Workshop & Cruise will walk you through the same process I use with my ghostwriting and consulting clients to improve their writing, get clear on the story inside them, and plan and outline their books. I’ll teach you how to structure your memoir so it communicates a universal truth that will resonate with your readers. And I’ll teach you how to write so readers get hooked and stay engaged.

This workshop will be ideal for you if . . .

  • If you’re interested in improving your writing and learning the creative writing craft, like writing in scenes; showing versus telling; using setting, characters, and dialogue; and structuring a narrative.
  • If you’re in the beginning stages of writing your memoir or personal experiences, and you’re not sure where to start, this program will help clarify what your story is really about and show you how to arrange your experiences into a compelling book.
  • If you have a collection of blog posts, journal entries, articles, or other short pieces you want to develop into a book, I can help you find the thread that connects all your ideas and organize your material into cohesive and compelling manuscript.
  • And if you’ve got a draft or partial draft that you’re not happy with and know needs improvement, I can help you figure out what’s missing and how to make your book work.

The process I teach in this program outlines the same steps I’ve used over and over again to successfully get my clients’ stories out of their heads and onto the page. And by the time we arrive back in Jacksonville, you’ll know how to write better and how to develop a solid book idea, and you will have started writing your book and have a plan for finishing it.

What Makes This Book Writing Workshop & Cruise Unique?

I will admit: there are quite a few book-writing workshops, and even a few writing cruises, available. So what makes this one different?

First, the best part about this workshop is I’m limiting participation. We’re going to work in a small group, so everyone will get individualized attention during the sessions. You won’t be one of fifty aspiring authors following an impersonal schedule and taking shallow dips in the various aspects of writing, publishing, and marketing a book. You’ll be one of a handful of people, working in-depth in a workshop setting, on specific issues pertaining to your book.

You’ll also get one-on-one attention and feedback on your work in progress. I’ll be reading your manuscript pages and providing suggestions on how to improve. We’ll talk on the phone for an hour before the trip and after we get back. In addition to nearly ten instruction hours on the cruise, I’ll be available for questions and one-on-one meetings while we’re on the boat.

I want this to be a transformational experience for everyone who registers, so believe me, you’ll get as much attention from me as you need so you know exactly what to do to make your book a reality. We’ll figure out how to structure your book, and I’ll teach you the secrets of compelling writing. By the time the boat returns, you’ll have a clear picture of the story you were meant to write, a working outline for your book, and a plan for getting it done.

And I’ve saved the most exciting benefit of this program for last: the setting. Because it takes place on a boat, the Write Your Book Workshop & Cruise is the perfect escape from the everyday distractions that prevent you from starting and finishing your book. You’ll be there with a purpose, on a boat in the middle of the ocean (yay!), focusing on your writing. Let me tell you, as a writer, nothing sounds better than that.

Here’s What My Clients Say about Working with Me…

“Melinda came highly recommended by a friend. After reading about Melinda’s background and training, as well as her experience with helping others, I knew she was the right fit for my project. I had a story that I felt called to write and share, but felt stuck with the overwhelming and daunting process of writing a book. I did not feel qualified to write and did not know where to begin.

“Melinda provided guidance, tools, feedback, insight, and encouragement. Melinda assisted me with the small and large details. From grammar and spelling to developing scenes and characters. Working with Melinda provided the motivation I needed to finish and finish well.

“Thanks to Melinda, I have a completed and well-written manuscript that not only clearly expresses events, but also reveals a transformation.”

Rebecca Miller, Beaufort, South Carolina

“I took another writing class prior to Melinda’s. It was a good class and it delivered everything that was promised. However what I wanted was help producing a well-written book. The coach’s objective was to plug me into a system to quickly and easily complete a book. If I had the ability I could produce a really good book in that class but I wasn’t going to receive the coaching that would show me how.


“Melinda’s course not only offered what I hoped for and needed but her one-on-one coaching session was exceptionally insightful. She took the time to understand my goal and guide me making suggestions on how my business could benefit from crafting and writing a book that would be interesting to my readers while providing them with value and transformational results from my proprietary system outlined in my book. This was clarity and direction that by itself was worth the course investment. I highly recommend Melinda and look forward to future coaching from her.”

Linda Scott, Founder of Changes Life Coaching Center

“Before starting Melinda’s program, I had an idea of what I wanted to do and a semblance of an organized book. Now I have greater clarity over how the book will be organized, greater clarity about target audience, and a better understanding of the importance of writing to them. I have a book outline and clarity on how I will use this book in my business.

“Melinda’s book writing program covers ALL aspects of writing a book! I like how she covered the basics and fundamentals, along with advanced information. She clearly has been involved in writing books and her experience is helpful in providing useful examples. Her passion and enthusiasm for writing are evident throughout the course.”

Teresa O’Brien, Author of Research Done Right

Karina Ward“I was a bit apprehensive and unsure that my topic would be interesting to enough people (note: my book isn’t about my profession). In addition I couldn’t envision my way to the end of the book and how I would conclude it.

“Melinda gave me valuable insight and excellent tips on how to resolve those concerns. After taking her course and talking with her directly, I am confident in my idea and how to accomplish the tasks necessary to write my book.

“I recommend working with a coach like Melinda. She is trained in her profession and accessible when you need her help.”

Karina Ward, www.kwmarketingconsultants.com

self-aware-parent-two“Before I found Melinda I had a collection of articles that I wanted to turn into a book, but I didn’t know where to start or what to do next. She gave me some direction and guidelines so my book could become a reality.

“I wanted to work with Melinda because she respected what I wrote. Every other editor that I interviewed told me that my work had to look a certain way or sound a certain way if I expected anyone to buy my book. One editor changed almost every word in one of my essays! Melinda edited my work and gave me suggestions, but she respected my writing and my voice. She didn’t want me to sound like everybody else, she allowed for my originality.

“Since working with Melinda, all my articles are arranged and compiled in a cohesive book manuscript. Her suggestions on my introduction helped me bring everything together, and now I’m confident my message comes through.”

Cathy Cassani Adams, Author of The Self-Aware Parent: 19 Lessons for Growing with Your Children

“Before taking Melinda’s program, I had a really hard time just getting started writing my book. I felt like I had a ton of ideas in my head yet I was unable to transcribe them to paper. Ascertaining her services gave me the commitment I needed to get through the book. I was no longer on my own and had someone who could guide me. The fact that this was an investment made all the difference in the world.

“I also just flat out didn’t know how to write a book. I had been writing and writing but it seemed like I was getting nowhere. Melinda’s services helped me to find my voice and move in the direction I wanted to go. She helped me to get through the jumbled up mess in my head and get going towards a finished product.

“One of the most exciting parts about working with Melinda was gaining momentum. I was feeling stuck, with no direction and the book camp helped me to gather my numerous thoughts and ideas and put them together into a plan. Melinda was a resource that helped me get my thoughts from my head to the paper. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

“Without Melinda’s program, I would never have had the motivation to move forward. It has still been a slow process for me, but I can’t imagine how slow it may have been without Melinda. I think I would have given up completely.

“Now my manuscript has more direction. It has a stronger voice and the message is not jumbled up into a wordy dissertation. And I have much more confidence in my work. After our coaching sessions I think that I am able to see things through to the finish. Like I said, I think without making the commitment, I may have abandoned the project.”

Amy Menna, Author of Reflections of Hope

Let’s Find the Story You Were Meant to Write…

Aside from helping my clients achieve their dream of becoming an author, the best part about my job is that I can do it from home. I started my business when my first son was born, and I’ve been lucky enough to stay home with all three of my babies. But let me be honest about something: although I love my children and in my heart want to be around them all the time, in my brain I’m still a writer and writing requires solitude.

The thing about getting away to work on something—especially when you have a lot of commitments and distractions at home—is that you can take advantage of it and accomplish an amazing amount in a limited amount of time. What can you accomplish in four days on a boat? A lot.

Here’s Everything You Get When You Register for the Writing Cruise

The Vacation

Four days aboard the Carnival Elation, March 2-6, 2017. We’ll leave Jacksonville, Florida, at 4 p.m. and cruise to the Bahamas. We’ll arrive in Freeport Friday at noon and stay until 7 p.m. Saturday we’ll arrive in Nassau at 8 a.m. and stay until 5 p.m. Sunday will be spend at sea, and we’ll arrive back in Jacksonville on Monday at 8 a.m. You can choose an interior or ocean view stateroom. Your meals while on board are included.

When you book before January 3, 2017, the cruise fee is:

Stateroom photo by Connie Ma CC BY-SA

Interior Stateroom: $304*

Ocean View Stateroom: $379*

*Rates are based on double occupancy and don’t include taxes, port fees, gratuities, or optional trip insurance. Non-workshop participants (if you want to bring a friend, spouse, or family member) pay only the room fee.

The Workshop

Two one-hour phone consultations (one before we leave and one after the cruise). I’ll read your material (drafts, outlines, notes–whatever you have) before these calls so I can provide you with specific instructions and feedback both in writing and on the phone. And I record these calls and will send you an mp3 recording of our conversations so you can listen as often as you need.

Successful young man with laptop at the port

While onboard the ship, we’ll meet and greet Friday evening for dinner. Saturday morning, before arriving in Freeport, we’ll meet as a group for about two hours for our first workshop. After spending the afternoon writing and exploring Freeport, we’ll meet again after dinner for a short session.

I’ll keep office hours while we’re at port, so you can ask questions. Saturday evening, after spending the day in writing and exploring Nassau, we’ll meet for two more hours of group instruction. While at sea on Sunday, we’ll meet for a two-hour morning session and a two-hour afternoon session. Then we’ll wrap up Sunday evening with a discussion on next steps (writing, revising, publishing, etc.) and open Q&A.

When you book before January 3, 2017, the workshop fee is only: $997

So you get an inclusive cruise vacation to the Bahamas and a life-changing, dream-launching book planning and writing workshop for less than $1,500! And if you bring your husband along (he can hang out by the pool while you plan your book), both of you get away for less than $2,000.

Of course, your satisfaction is guaranteed! If you don’t feel your workshop experience helped you clarify your book idea and make progress on your writing, I’ll refund the workshop portion of your fees.

But you have to book before January 3, 2017 to get this deal. After that, prices are subject to availability. And remember that I’m limiting participation to a small group. So act now.

Click Here to Register for this Workshop

Now, imagine sitting down at your desk and writing with clarity and confidence the book that’s been burning inside you. Imagine having a solid chapter-by-chapter outline and a plan for getting the book written. Imagine knowing how to write so people really want to keep reading. You can have all that, but big goals require big action.

Sure, it’s easy to think you can just write the book on your own. But if it were really that easy, wouldn’t you have done that by now? Wouldn’t you have clicked away from this page by now? If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a writer—and from just living life—it’s how fast a time flies. If you don’t register for this workshop, or take some kind of big action to get your book done, you’ll probably still be struggling along a year from now, no closer to getting your book done.

Click Here to Register for this Workshop

I hope to see you in the Bahamas!

Let me help you write your bookSincerely,


P.S. Remember, participation in this writing cruise is limited and early bird pricing ends 1/3/17. Click here to register for the workshop and get a great deal on this amazing book writing experience!

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