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First Chapter



Have you always wanted to write a novel or a memoir but never found the time or just don’t know how to start? Do you or someone you know have a family history you want to set down on paper, but find the writing process so overwhelming you can barely construct an opening sentence? If so, this course is for you. Beginning with lessons on how to establish a simple, effective writing practice, you’ll discover the elements that make up good storytelling and what it takes to develop your author’s voice. In lively, engaging sessions you’ll learn how to recognize a good story idea and craft a gripping narrative that comes to life through interesting, believable characters your readers will want to spend time with. Each session includes group writing exercises and a selection of writing prompts and assignments for individual work at home. Participants who choose to do so are welcome to share their work with the group.

This course can be customized for different groups, settings, and writing abilities.

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"A longtime author and journalist, Andrea Weir is masterful at discovering and drawing out stories and crafting them into compelling narratives. Her particular gift as a mentor is how she uses those same skills to guide beginning writers in identifying and developing their own stories. By encouraging the quest to speak one’s own truths, in one’s own words — and acknowledging how hard that can be — Andrea has a remarkable way of guiding beginning writers from aspiration to realization."


Best-selling author of “Feuding Fan Dancers,” award-winning documentarian, and founder of Stories Matter, a mentorship program that joins professional writers and authors with the next generation of storytellers.


From Fear to First Chapter
will teach you how to

✔ Develop a writing practice that works for you
✔ Identify a story idea and craft it into a narrative that captures your readers’ attention
✔ Select the best genre for your work
✔ Develop an effective story arc
✔ Create meaningful characters

✔ Write authentic dialogue that moves your plot forward
✔ Choose the voice, tone, and style that work best

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