Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”

– Ludwig van Beethoven

Navigating the writing and publishing world without help can be like walking through a maze blindfolded. There are myriad aspects of writing, from plot and dialog to characters, subtext, and much more. Many of these elements work in subtle ways, but have a powerful influence on the success of a story, and ultimately on the career of a writer.

The publishing world has its own obstacles which can be formidable to the uninitiated. Having a great mentor who is a published author, who has experience in the publishing world, and who has helped many other authors get published, empowers you to maximize your talent and effort and achieve the greatest success possible.


Advanced Fiction Writing

Advanced Fiction Writing will be offered begins February 2018.

Lesson 1 – Am I Good Enough?

Lesson 2 – Finding Yourself in Your Story

Lesson 3 – Structure

Lesson 4 – Building a Scene

Lesson 5 – Super Structure

Lesson 6 – The 4th Dimension

Lesson 7 – Dancing with Your Reader

Lesson 8 – Working with Agents and Editors

Lesson 9 – Marketing Your Book

Lesson 10 – The Long Haul


Ten weeks of Revision begins July 2018

Ready to dig deep? Sign up now for ten weeks of video lessons and an interactive forum. Find out why Joyce has so many students who’ve moved on to publication. Class begins October 10, 2016. Each week you gain access to a new videotaped lesson – watch it on your own schedule, and participate in our interactive forum.

Lesson 1 – Little Things Mean A Lot
Lesson 2 – What’s My Problem?
Lesson 3 – Kill the Narrator
Lesson 4 – Words Mean Stuff
Lesson 5 – Eliminate Default Settings
Lesson 6 – Raise the Stakes
Lesson 7 – What’s the Story About?
Lesson 8 – Revision Techniques
Lesson 9 – Peer Review
Lesson 10 – Professional Critiques


The Essentials

Classes in The Essentials Series examine all areas of a particular brand of writing. This is the perfect class for everyone since we “don’t know what we don’t know.” Essentials courses are for writers of all levels.

Picture Book Essentials

Picture Book Essentials is a ten-session class for writers of all levels. In this class, you’ll learn about all aspects of picture book writing. Joyce includes information on everything from humor, to revision, and finding your inner child. Students will also have access to a password protected forum where they can interact with each other, share assignments, and ask questions. Picture Book Essentials is now offered as an On-Demand course.

Picture Book Essentials – On-Demand

Interested in writing Picture Books? This On-Demand course consists of ten video-taped lessons geared to every aspect of picture book writing. This is the same class offered in the past. This discounted price of $149 gives you 85 days of access to the lessons which you can watch on your own schedule. There is NO forum or feedback in the On-Demand classes. Pay now for immediate access.

Referred by?


Here is a preview of what you’ll find in this course:

Lesson One…………Know Your Reader

Lesson Two……Generating Story Ideas

Lesson Three….Structure: Putting the Bones Together

Lesson Four…….Creating Characters Kids Love

Lesson Five…….Rhyme: The Math of Poetry

Lesson Six……..Use Your Words: Language and Imagery

Lesson Seven……Plot: More Than Fluffy Clouds

Lesson Eight……Humor: Remembering Funny

Lesson Nine…….Revision: But it’s only 500 words?

Lesson Ten……..Marketing: Publishers and Parents

Fiction Writing Essentials

Fiction Writing Essentials is a ten-session class for writers of all levels. In this class, you’ll learn about everything from pre-book decisions to marketing. Each session will include a video lecture, handouts, and assignments. Students will also have access to a forum where they can interact with each other, share assignments, and ask questions.

Ten weeks of videotaped lessons delivered via the internet complete with forum for posting homework and interacting with Joyce.

Here is a preview of what you’ll discover in this course:

Lesson One…………Know Yourself as a Writer

Lesson Two……Concept and Pre-Book Decisions

Lesson Three….Chapter One: How to do Everything at Once

Lesson Four…….Character: The Soul of Your Novel

Lesson Five…….Voice: The Poetry of Fiction

Lesson Six……..Dialog: The Drama of Fiction

Lesson Seven……Plot: The Easiest Thing to Get Wrong

Lesson Eight……Structure: The Key to Emotion

Lesson Nine…….Revision: Why You Need More Than You Think

Lesson Ten……..Marketing: Facing the Dragon

Mama Gets Hitched by Deb Sharp – available at See more books by Joyce’s students at Sweeney Success Stories.