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The Writer's Compass » Events



  • August 7 – Screenwriters University (Writer’s Digest) – Online Class – 8 weeks – “Conventions of the Screenplay: Formatting, Dialogue, Imagery and Genre”

  • August 18 – The Writer’s Store (Writer’s Digest) – Webinar – “Winning Sci-Fi/Fantasy Story Structure”

1:00 pm (PST), check at

  • September 11 – Writer’s Digest University – Online Class – 12 weeks – “Creative Writing 101”

  • September 19-20 – 14th Annual North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference

College of the Redwoods, Del Norte, Crescent City, CA,

  • September 27 – WC2 Masters Workshops – 3 One-Day Masters Workshops with Art Holcomb, Ace Antonio Hall, or Nancy Ellen Dodd, Los Angeles Valley College, CA

Nancy’s Workshop: “5 Keys for Fixing Your Story”

Frustrated by your progress? Wondering if you’ll ever be able to figure out the problems so you can get your story published or produced? The goal of this class is to teach you 5 Keys that will help you figure out what you are trying to write about and how to write it in the best way you can.

The 5 Keys covered are:

  1. Where are you in story development?
  2. Which voice should you use?
  3. How do you punch up the characters?
  4. How do you figure out where to begin the story?
  5. How do you incorporate details, background, and flashbacks?

Author, teacher, and writer Nancy Ellen Dodd will help “you” analyze your story, the problems you need to address, and your next steps toward completion. This workshop includes advanced material not available in her book The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages. This is a writing and lecture class. Examples will come from participating student’s work during the class and pages submitted in advance.

  • October Wednesdays – IWOSC – 4-week Workshops – based on The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages, “Developing Your Storytelling Compass and the Key Elements”

Using theme, what’s at stake, and sense of urgency to improve your story and the 7-Stage process for more efficiently developing your story. Contact IWOSC through Gary Young at

The 7 stages include:

  1. Forming and Developing Ideas,
  2. Building Strong Structures,
  3. Creating Vibrant Characters,
  4. Structuring Scenes and Transitions
  5. Increasing Tension and Adjusting Pacing
  6. Enriching the Language and Dialogue
  7. Editing and Submitting.


  • October 2 – Screenwriters University (Writer’s Digest) – Online Class – 8 weeks – “Conventions of the Screenplay: Formatting, Dialogue, Imagery and Genre”

  • October 4, 11 (Saturdays) – Conejo Valley Adult School – 2 classes

“Publishing 101” 9:30am – 12:30pm, Room 7

How do you know whether to go through a traditional publisher or to self-publish?  What do you need to do to self-publish and how do you choose whether to do print or eBook?  This class will cover the basics and the differences of publishing and help you to create a book business plan

“Show and Develop Characters – Bring Your Story to Life” 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Room 7

Do you understand and know when to use metaphors, inference or descriptions?  Do you write so that your readers see the characters interacting within their world?  If your story contains too much telling, too many internal thoughts and emotions, this is the workshop for you.  You will also learn about character development.

  • October 17-19 – WC2 West Coast Writers Conference – The Digital Author and Self-Publishing

Los Angeles Valley College, CA,

Nancy teaches and speaks on several essential writing, screenwriting, and publishing topics. If you would like to schedule a workshop, class, or speaking engagement with Nancy Ellen Dodd, please contact her at nancy [at] .

Past Events


  • July 28, 2014 – IWOSC Fiction Writing Panel

7:30 pm, Veteran’s Memorial Building, Culver City, CA Nancy was so busy that she didn’t get the events posted between these dates.

April 21, 2012

LA Times Festival of Books, USC 1:00 pm I will be signing books, USC Alumni Booth

May 2012

IWOSC Upcoming Seminar: 4-Week Class in Orange County Introducing The Writer’s Compass and the 7 Stages Plans to be announced

October 13, 2012

California Writer’s Club of Orange County 11-12:30 Feature Speaker Community Room Orange Public Library & History Center 407 E. Chapman Ave. Orange, CA 92866

November 10 & December 1, 2012

Writers of Kern, Bakersfield, CA: Upcoming Seminar 2 four-hour classes on The Writer’s Compass Location to be decided Seating Limited


April 14, 2012

Romance Writers of America, Orange County Chapter Meeting and first speaker at 10:00 am 12:15 noon I will be the afternoon speaker Brea Community Center, Brea, CA

March 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012

SEMINAR THROUGH IWOSC (Independent Writers of Southern California)

***This is a 4-class Seminar on Wednesdays from 7:00pm-9:00pm.  Registration is limited and thru IWOSC. Contact me or check out the IWOSC website at  or look for my update.***

March 17, 2012

Writers of Kern

One of the speakers at Writer’s of Kern Mini Writing Workshop Bakersfield, California 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

March 11, 2012

IWOSC Reading at Barnes & Noble

of short story “The Eyes of Mark” from eBook Women Alone short story collection 3rd & Promenade, Santa Monica

March 3, 2012

Conejo Valley Adult School

9:30 am – 12:30 pm Class

February 9, 16, 23, March 1, 2012

SEMINAR THROUGH IWOSC (Independent Writers of Southern California)

***This is a 4-class Seminar on Thursdays, February 9, 16, 23, March 1, 2012, from 7:00pm-9:00pm.  Registration is limited and thru IWOSC. Details will be available shortly. Contact me or check out the IWOSC website at  or look for my update.***

January 21, 2012

Speaking at The Writers of Kern, The Clarion Hotel, Bakersfield, California Meeting 10:00 am, I’ll be presenting at 11:15 am

November 19, 2011

Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC)

Veterans Memorial Building, 4117 Overland (at Culver Boulevard) Culver City, California Seminar 10:30 am – 1:00 pm A fee will be charged for this event A follow-up with 4 additional classes will be offered in February through IWOSC More information will be posted at

November 7, 2011

Los Angeles County Library Foundation Dinner Event

Tickets must be purchased in advance

November 5, 2011

Graziadio Business School – West LA Campus

Leadership Theory & Practice class

10:00 am – 12:00 noon Presentation

October 8, 2011

Conejo Valley Adult School – Thousand Oaks, CA

9:30 am – 12:30 noon Workshop

September 24, 2011

Southern California Writer’s Conference – Los Angeles (Newport Beach, CA)

September 17, 2011

Long Beach Branch of California Writer’s Club

3:00 pm Presentation from The Writer’s Compass

September 15, 2011

Library Speaker Series

Pepperdine Univeristy Malibu Campus/Payson Library 4:00 pm See free 45-minute video of Presentation here.

September 3, 2011

San Fernando Valley Branch of California Writer’s Club

1:00 pm Presentation from The Writer’s Compass

July 23, 2011

Inland Empire Branch of California Writer’s Club

11:00 am Presentation from The Writer’s Compass

July 19, 2011

Actor’s Pre-Production Reading of Seventy Times Seven

Screenplay by Nancy Ellen Dodd Investors and invited guests only

July 12, 2011

Academic Forum Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management Session on The Writer’s Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages

July 9, 2011

Bakersfield Home Education Conference

Calvary Bible Church, 48 Manor Street, Bakersfield, California Exhibitor: Sharing The Writer’s Compass with home schoolers

June 25, 2011

5th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair (10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Free & Open to Public)

1:00-2:00 pm I will be selling and signing books at the Pepperdine Graziadio Booth 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard, on the Vision Theatre Back Lot Leimert Park, CA

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