top of page
Blank Notebook

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.

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.

green suit no background.png

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 1,200 members on Meetup, where she teaches writers the skills to make progress toward their writing goals. 

Email: Erin@dotanddashllc.com

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Speaking Events

What to Do When Procrastination Strikes

February 8, 2023, at 6:00 Central

 

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 . . .

Has this happened to you? You’re not alone.

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

Cost: free

Treating Authorship as a Business

March 8, 2023, at 6:00 Central

It’s tax season again, the perfect time to discuss thinking of your writing as a business. Yes, that activity you pour your heart into in the early hours before the kids wake up or after work is done, dinner has been consumed, and the dog has been walked can be a money-making machine.

Treating your writing as a business comes with lots of advantages—like writing that new laptop off on your taxes! And it comes with responsibilities—like paying business taxes.

During this class, our guest presenter, Mike Kowis, will teach you how to:

  • Determine if your writing is a business or hobby (differences and advantages/disadvantages of each)

  • Choose a business entity (sole proprietorship, LLC, S corp, etc.)

  • Record all sales, income, and expenses

  • File tax forms

Cost: free

Meaningful Work: Aligning Your Career With Your Values

March 23–25, 2023

ACES: The Society for Editing

Columbus, Ohio

Can you build a successful editing career without sacrificing your personal values and ethics, whether you work for yourself or someone else? Yes, you can! Hear from several editors on how being ethical in your work helps you build expertise and attract like-minded clients.

In this panel, we’ll discuss incorporating your values in how you: 

  • Create your niche and provide services

  • Select projects, clients, and volunteer work

  • Communicate who you are to potential clients


We’ll also chat about what happens when you say yes to a project that doesn’t match your values and how you can say no instead.

Learn more about the conference here.

Past Speaking Events

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
 

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

bottom of page