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A Series of Middle-Grade Mystery Novels by John Madormo

Writing Workshops
John Madormo, a Chicago area screenwriter, author, and college professor, has created a body of work that has attracted the attention of motion picture producers and publishers. John has sold a family comedy screenplay to a Los Angeles production company, signed a contract for a three-book deal with a major New York publisher, and was recently named the Grand Prize winner of a national writing competition.

John has taught writing classes at the collegiate level for more than three decades.   He has created a series of workshops for student writers, aspiring adult novelists, and struggling screenwriters from ages 8 to 88.  

John's workshops are intended for a variety of audiences:

●  elementary students

●  middle-grade students

●  high school students

●  college students (writing majors and education majors)

He also conducts workshops for writers, young and old, at other venues as well:

  ●  libraries

    ●  writers' clubs

    ●  writing conferences

   The workshops include lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises and instructor/peer critiques. Each workshop is tailored to the 
appropriate age level. 

Here are some of John's most popular workshops:

●  "The Elements of Storytelling"

●  "Creating the Mystery"

●  "Marketing the Manuscript​"

   ●  "So You Want to Be a Screenwriter"
In "The Elements of Storytelling," John discusses the following principles:

●  Plot and subplot

●  Creating unforgettable characters

 ●  Maintaining empathy for your hero

●  Making certain your protagonist isn't perfect

● Introducing physical and emotional goals for your protagonist

●  Creating a believable villain

●  Choosing setting and locale

●  Weaving hurdles and obstacles into the storyline

●  Making certain that the obstacles escalate in each new scene

●  Choosing strong nouns and verbs

●  Avoiding weak, bland, linking verbs

●  How to handle writer's block

●  Maintaining the proper vocabulary level for your reading audience

●  Using, but not overusing, alliteration and consonance

●  Conflict, conflict, conflict

●  Foreshadowing, foreshadowing, foreshadowing

●  Choosing the correct title for your book

●  Working from either a synopsis or an outline

●  Should you write what's in your heart or what the market will bear?

●  This session includes a host of interactive class exercises

In "Creating the Mystery," John includes the following components:

●  Knowing the ending of your story before you begin

●  Introducing the hero, the villain, and the crime early in the story

●  Beginning your story "in media res"

●  Writing in first person vs. third person

●  Adding suspense

●  Creating the proper mood

●  Maintaining believability

●  Interspersing clues throughout

●  Including Red Herrings

●  Keeping your plot lines unpredictable at all times

●  Creating chapter-ending cliffhangers

●  Conducting the necessary research

●  Maintaining the writer's invisibility at all times

●  As well as in-class writing activities

In "Marketing the Manuscript," you will be asked the following questions:

What is the age range of your reader?

What is the genre of my manuscript?

Is this a stand-alone book or a series?

How much time can I devote to promotion?

What is my promotion budget?

Am I willing to interact with readers and accept their feedback?

Have you built a website for your book?

Have you set up a Facebook page?  Will it be a fan page or an author page?

Have you joined Goodreads?  Do you plan to?

If you've written a children's book, are you familiar with COPPA?

How can I promote my book on Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, etc.?

Should I create a blog?

How can I advertise my book on the Internet?

Should I respond to a negative review?

How do I find an agent?  Do I really need one?

If I can't find an agent, will editors read unsolicited manuscripts?

What is an advance?  How does it work?

What percentage of a book's selling price does a writer receive in royalties?

If I can't find a traditional publisher, should I self-publish?

And on and on and on...

In "So You Want to Be a Screenwriter," the following topics are addressed:

Choosing your genre

Creating an original premise

The three-act structure

The 5 successful elements in every screenplay

Scene selection

Assigning plot points

Writing compelling, believable dialogue

Creating unforgettable characters

Proper screenplay formatting

Adapting a manuscript into a screenplay

Finding agents and managers

Joining the Writers Guild of America (WGA)

Soliciting producers

Finding an entertainment attorney

Signing a release

Attending pitchfests or pitching your script online

Hiring a script consultant or screenplay proofreader

Differences between an option and a purchase

Choosing the right screenplay software

...and much, much more

If you would like John to conduct in-person writing workshops at your school, library, writers' club, writers' conference, etc.,
(within a two-hour drive of the Chicagoland area)
the fees are as follows:  

                                       $150.00 per hour fee (plus travel expenses)
                                       $500.00 for a half day (plus travel expenses)
                                       $850.00 for a full day (plus travel expenses)

If your school or organization has limited funding available, contact John directly at [email protected].  In certain circumstances, a reduced fee may be available.

There are times during the year when John is free to travel to a location more than a two-hour drive from the Chicagoland area.  In those instances, lodging and meals (plus travel expenses) would need to be provided.
"Thank you so much for visiting Braeside last Friday! It was really interesting to hear about your journey as a writer, and the workshop was extremely helpful. Since many of the students are just starting to write their stories for Writers Conference, your guidance and expertise in the planning stage was perfect."

Darien Parker, Library Media Specialist 
Braeside School, Highland Park, IL

"My students were thrilled to find out that a real author was going to visit our school, and John Madormo didn't disappoint.  My middle school students are seasoned readers and writers, and they learned so much from him about the writing process and the publishing world.  He told fun stories and had my students enthralled.  It was a fun and inspiring morning.  His workshop is highly recommended."

Eileen Campe, The Prairie School of DuPage