Your story, your writer

Writing Seminars

Allen R. Kates, MFAW

       Allen speaking at storytelling conference in Brazil

Presentations, Writing Courses and Workshops
I have given presentations at writers' conferences, as well as taught writing courses. I enjoy presenting material with humor, wit and clarity.

They include an entire semester's credit course in creative writing at Cochise Community College; a semester's credit course in creative writing at Pima Community College; an 8-week screenwriting course at Pima Community College; 4 presentations at the Society of Southwestern Authors conferences; several 2-day writing and publishing workshops in screenwriting, memoirs, novels, ghostwriting, creative writing and publishing; and presentations at the Gulf Coast Writers Conference, the Tucson Festival of Books, the Storytelling and Transmedia conference in Brazil, and the Sisters of Sleuth writing conference.

Sample of Workshops and Presentations

Here is a sample of workshops I have given. In each case, I can present the subject matter as shorter presentations for writers' conferences.

Secrets for Writing Great Memoirs: the turning points

How do you know what to put in your memoir? In this workshop, we discuss structuring your memoir based on turning points in your life, how to outline and research your story, and writing techniques.


Writing Novels: the story that grabs you

How do you write a good fiction story that somebody else wants to read? How do you make your characters believable and memorable? In this workshop, we discuss the elements that make a good story such as character, plot, outlining, research, action, description, setting, atmosphere, dialogue, scenes, conflict and crisis.


Self-Editing: editing when every word is priceless

In this workshop, we discuss how to improve our stories with better word choice, eliminating repetitions and clichés, shorter sentences and paragraphs, toning down the melodrama, creating mystery and suspense, unloading too many ideas, clarifying the point of view and voice, refining the characters and dialogue, adding detail to the action and using the active voice.


Ghostwriting: writing somebody else’s story without going nuts

Ghostwriting is about allowing somebody else’s story to emerge in their voice, in their words. Can you be nonjudgmental and willing to write things you may not believe in? Are you an experienced, accomplished writer who has mastered writing techniques? Ghostwriting is a demanding profession that requires exceptional ability in interviewing, listening, research, fact-checking, writing and working with clients.


Fictionalizing Memoirs: Turning your true stories into believable fiction

In this workshop, we learn how to convert personal experiences into a fiction story without getting locked into what actually happened. As well as fiction techniques for writing an extraordinary but believable story, we discuss research, becoming objective, turning anecdotes into stories, character, plot, point of view, dialogue; fictionalizing real people and settings.


Screenwriting: Getting Hollywood to read your story

The joke in Hollywood is that executives don’t read. Well, it’s true. I was an executive at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp for a few  years. So how do you get your screenplay read? How do you get it produced? In this workshop, we discuss writing a screenplay that jumps off the page including how and when to construct turning points, the 3-Act structure, and how to get your screenplay into the right hands.


Creative Writing: Becoming a magician of mystery and suspense

You want your reader to keep turning the pages. You want to carry on an internal dialogue with your reader and say, “Oh, you liked that page? Well, wait until you turn to the next one.” In this workshop, we discuss how to create mystery, suspense and tension that compel your reader to turn the page and stay up late reading your book. We explore the principles of good sentence and paragraph structure, withholding information, creating drama, and fiction techniques.


The first 10 Pages: Your manuscript’s most important words

Agents and publishers will often read your first 5 to 10 pages and if they are not completely enthralled, they will file your manuscript in the trash can. How can we construct our first pages so readers are compelled to keep reading? What are the techniques that grab them? In this workshop, we discuss Hooking the reader, Creating a memorable protagonist, Creating a strong, skillful villain, Using humor, Creating mystery and suspense, Avoiding melodrama, Dealing with clichés, Writing and pacing a gripping narrative, Dialogue that leads, and Subtext.

Allen in a Television Interview

If you are considering me as a presenter at a writers' conference, police seminar or writing workshop, here is a television interview I gave about police and PTSD, based on my bestselling book, CopShock, (second edition) Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Allen Appears on Proud To Serve

Right--Allen R. Kates, after appearing on Proud To Serve, RAD-TV, June 2019

Left--AJ Ferrio, Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army.
Middle--Jack Scalia, Host and Interviewer, Proud To Serve

Allen's interview is now airing in multiple venues
on television, podcasts and on the Internet.

Please click on this link:

Allen on BoomGoddess Radio Podcast


Allen R. Kates with Lori DiGuardi on BoomGoddess Radio show, 2018

Back, L--Andrea Gould-Marks, Ph.D., R--Jennifer Davis-Paige
Front, L--Lori DiGuardi, M.S., ACC, Guest Speaker and Author
Front, R--Barbara Peters, MBA

If you wish to contact me, please email or phone

(480) 949-0792 Landline

In Phoenix, Arizona, area...