Blank Notebook

Speaking & Training

Are you looking for a speaker for your conference, class, or writing group? Look no further. 

Here are workshops we present:

Writing Goals Strategy Session

Maybe you’re sitting on a half-dozen unfinished manuscripts. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book, but you can never seem to find the time.

If you want to finally reach “The End” of your manuscript, you need to get clear on your goals and figure out your game plan.

In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create effective writing goals that build upon each other

  • Invent a reward system, track your progress, and celebrate your wins

  • Discover a writing routine that works for your schedule and your life

  • Troubleshoot writer’s blocks, including distraction and negative self-talk

  • . . . and all the tricks and strategies you need to keep yourself in your chair, actually writing, week after week.

In addition to the presentation, you will receive a free workbook to help you plan your writing journey.

Romance Writing 101

What better way to make money than by bringing true love into the world? Whether you’re looking for a solid side hustle, a full-time dream job, or a fun hobby, romance writing can be the answer for you.

In this 60-minute workshop, you’ll learn the ins and outs of romance writing, including its:

  • Subgenres

  • Tropes

  • Plot requirements

  • . . . plus what makes it different from other genre-fiction writing, top tips for monetizing, and how to win the hearts of romance fans the whole world over.

Before You Write, You Have to Research

Even “pantsers” don’t jump into page one completely blind. In order to start writing, you need to have a basic idea of who your characters are, what they’re going to do, and where they’re going to do it. The more details you build from there, the easier it will be for you when you start writing. We’ll discuss brainstorming:


  • Character: backstory, personality, physical looks, quirks

  • Plot: genre, theme, plot formulas, subplots

  • Setting: location, time, relationship to characters

Then we'll learn how to get these details onto paper and ready for your first draft.

Mirror, Mirror: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Almost every writer has that dark night of the soul when you are sure all of your writing is garbage and you must have fooled everyone who ever liked what you’ve written. And—let’s face it—for lots of us, that dark night stretches into weeks and months. That feeling of being a fraud is called “Imposter Syndrome.” It is incredibly common, and you can overcome it.


In this action-oriented workshop, I will explain tactics you can use right away to stop Imposter Syndrome when it starts.

Demystifying Types of Editing

Developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, proofreading, beta reading . . . What’s the difference?

Reading through editors’ websites and publishing resources can be a labyrinth of jargon and confusing terms, making it hard to determine which is the right type of editing for you, your book, and your budget.

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • What each type of editing entails

  • When it typically takes place in the publishing process

  • Which level of editing your manuscript needs.

By the end, you will also understand the steps to the editing process, your full range of options, and your best next step.

Do you have another idea, or would you like to discuss one of the above? Let's chat:

green suit no background.png

Meet the Speaker

Erin Servais is a book editor, author coach, and founder of Dot and Dash, LLC. Erin speaks nationally about writing, editing, and the writing life. She leads and teaches the Writing Accountability Group, where she helps writers make weekly progress toward their writing goals. She also runs the Dot and Dash Writing Community on Facebook, where writers learn techniques and share about their work.

Upcoming Speaking Events

August 10, 2022: Editors Canada

International Webinar

Join Jacquelynn Lyon and Erin Servais every Wednesday night for our Writing Accountability Group classes and write-ins.

Past Speaking Events

March 17, 2022: ACES: The Society for Editing

National Webinar

November 9, 2021: Professional Editors Network

National Webinar

July 15, 2021: ACES: The Society for Editing

National Webinar

April 23, 2021: ACES: The Society for Editing National Conference

National Webinar

March 27, 2021: Rosemount Writers Festival

Online Workshop

March 2021: Women in Publishing Summit

National Webinar

March 2021: Romance Writers' Club

National Webinar


January 2021: The Sensitivity Reader Podcast

October 8, 2020: Professional Editors Network

National Webinar

September 26, 2020: Rosemount Writers Festival

Rosemount, Minnesota — canceled due to COVID-19


May 1, 2020: American Copy Editors Society's national conference

Salt Lake City, Utah — canceled due to COVID-19

April 14, 2020: Professional Editors Network

National Webinar

April 2020: Portland State University

Online Presentation

NaNoWriMo, 2019: Weekly Ask the Editor Table; NaNoWriMo write-in

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Training & Group Facilitation

Writing Accountability Group

This free group is for writers and aspiring writers who want help setting and reaching their writing goals. It's for all kinds of writers, including people developing books, short stories, blogs, articles, poetry, journals, and business writing. 


In the monthly goal-setting Meetups, we have visiting publishing professionals give presentations and classes, and then we have a discussion about members' projects and how to overcome any individual blocks or obstacles. At the end, we commit to our writing goals for the upcoming month.

We also have weekly, sixty-minute virtual write-ins, where we each work on our separate projects.


The Writing Accountability Group currently has more than 600 members. 

They say accountability is the glue that bonds commitment to results, and that's precisely what this group has done for me. Sharing my goals with other writers motivates me to actually achieve them, and when I fall short, the positivity and encouragement that comes from this group is unmatched. 


I love many things about the monthly Writing Accountability Group that Erin leads, but mostly its community of writers from all walks of life and new knowledge I acquire from amazing presenters. 

Ruzana Glaeser

The Writing Accountability Group has really helped me focus time to work on my writing despite my busy schedule. I also have found feedback from Erin to be useful and humane.
Kim Kolstad

The write-ins are great. It helps me to have a quiet moment to reflect on my work. The Beta Reading and Editing on my novels has helped me focus on the area within my stories where I need to improve.
Denise Simsek

Erin is available for your group training. To learn more, email

Sign up for the Dot and Dash newsletter and get professional advice for free, right in your inbox.