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Speaking & Training

Are you looking for a speaker for your conference, class, or writing group? 

Here's a sample of the workshops we can present.

Or click here to see our upcoming events.

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.

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.

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.

What to Do When Procrastination Strikes

It’s time to sit down and write in your Work in Progress. Then, inevitably, the irresistible, all-encompassing urge to clean your desk strikes. Or you just have to finally delete those pages of ancient emails. Or call your third cousin. Or . . .

Procrastination, distraction, writer’s block—they strike every writer who sticks to it long enough. The only way to reach The End of your project is to figure out how to slay your procrastination monster and get the words back on the page.

In this class, we’ll cover:

  • Types of procrastination

  • How to determine the root reason of your procrastination

  • Tools & strategies to regain motivation & focus

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Meet the Speaker

Erin Servais is a book editor, author coach, and the founder of Dot and Dash, LLC. Erin speaks internationally about writing, editing, and entrepreneurship. She also leads the Writing Accountability Group, with over 1,300 members on Meetup, where she teaches writers the skills to make progress toward their writing goals. 


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Speaking Events

August 17, 2023

ACES: The Society for Editing


ChatGPT for Editors: Leveraging AI to Transform Your Workflow and Upgrade Your Efficiency

Harnessing the power of ChatGPT now will increase your productivity while future-proofing your career in an increasingly AI-integrated industry. Think of ChatGPT as your assistant that can automate the tedious parts of your job so it becomes less about catching mistakes and more about fine-tuning your content.

You can integrate this AI tool into your existing copy-editing workflow to supercharge your efficiency and improve your accuracy. It can help with content editing, too, by offering suggestions and even writing your editorial reports. In the end, it means less grunt work, faster turnaround times, higher-quality projects, and happier clients and bosses. 

Learning objectives:

  • Establish foundational knowledge of artificial intelligence and large language models

  • Forecast AI’s effect on the publishing and communications industries

  • Explore ChatGPT functionalities in an editorial workflow

Past Speaking Events

Northwest Editors Guild

June 15, 2023

Panel Moderator

Red Pencil Conference

ACES: The Society for Editing

March 23, 2023

Columbus, Ohio

National Conference

Editors Canada

August 10, 2022

International Webinar


ACES: The Society for Editing

March 17, 2022

National Webinar

Professional Editors Network

November 9, 2021

National Webinar

ACES: The Society for Editing

July 15, 2021

National Webinar

ACES: The Society for Editing

April 23, 2021

National Conference (Online)

Rosemount Writers Festival

March 27, 2021

Online Workshop

Women in Publishing Summit

March 2021

National Webinar

Romance Writers' Club

March 2021

National Webinar


The Sensitivity Reader Podcast

January 2021

Professional Editors Network

October 8, 2020

National Webinar

Rosemount Writers Festival

September 26, 2020

Rosemount, Minnesota (canceled due to COVID-19)

ACES: The Society for Editing

May 1, 2020

Salt Lake City, Utah (canceled due to COVID-19)

Professional Editors Network

April 14, 2020

National Webinar

Portland State University

April 2020

Online Presentation

NaNoWriMo, 2019

Weekly Ask the Editor Table; NaNoWriMo write-in

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Writing Accountabilt Group

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, and business writing. 


In the monthly goal-setting Meetups, 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 host sixty-minute virtual writing sprints, open mics, Ask the Editor sessions, and more.

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

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