The Pacific Institute for Professional Writing (PIPW) announced a weekend workshop program for writers of fiction and nonfiction. Two intensives are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 12 & 13, 2014. Both workshops are interactive with attending writers working assignments throughout the day to receive immediate feedback from publishing professionals, Shelly Lowenkopf and Toni Lopopolo.

“PIPW’s goal with each educational event is to give writers the best tools to push their writing to higher, more completitive levels,” said Kate Sexton, PIPW Executive Director. “With Shelly and Toni we have two of the most experienced writing instructors in Southern California pooling their knowledge of today’s standards. Both bring their past and present knowledge of fiction and nonfiction writing and publishing. Ms Lopopolo is a literary agent and Mr. Lowenkopf is a published author, independent editor and masters writing instructor at UCSB. This is rare and dynamic real-world talent whom writers can learn from.”


Noir Fiction Intensive: Push the Boundaries of Characters

Is there a dark side to your characters and their stories? The full-day workshop will show writers how to: “Go dark—very dark—and become publishable. Every great protagonist has flaws, a darkness or pain that motivates them into action. Hear your pages read aloud and discussed. Learn what’s great, what needs work such as: story, character, dialogue, plot, style, pacing, and other skills.


Emotional Impact of Story Intensive

Story is KING. Characters are Story. This workshop will stress the crucial importance of Story in fiction and narrative nonfiction. Understanding story is hardwired into the human brain so that we understand the eternal, universal forms, not formulas. Learn story’s structures, goals, agendas, consequences and more.

Each writer must bring pages to the workshop to receive feedback and assignments throughout the day. Each writer attending must own and read this title: Self-Editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Browne, before the attending the conference.

About the Instructors

Shelly Lowenkopf

Author, executive editor, masters writing instructor at USC and UCSB, co-founder of PIPW — Shelly Lowenkopf is a living embodiment of book publishing who has spent his entire career in the business. Writers will walk away with a deeper understanding of the craft of writing after attending one of Shelly’s workshops.

Toni Lopopolo

Toni’s career in publishing began as a book publicist at Bantam Books, progressed to marketing then as an executive editor at Macmillan and St. Martin’s Press. She has taught writing on both coasts and became a literary agent 24 years ago. With her relocation to California, she continues educating writers so that they have a chance to get published.

Click for more information about the instructors…

Seating is limited for each workshop.

The cost is $125 per workshop or $220 for the entire weekend. This price will increase April 1, 2014. Ojai’s AJ Chinese Cuisine will host the weekend in its banquet room with a full Chinese buffet luncheon included in the price. More information is available at

Please note: This weekend of workshops is not a part of Ojai Wordfest.


PIPW Weekend Intensive Workshops

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13

Fee: $125 per workshop or $220 for both days (includes buffet luncheon)

Dates and Times: Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm – Sunday 10 am to 6 pm

Location: AJ Chinese Cuisine, 842 East Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

Register online at: or email


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