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Michael Marano Writing Instruction & Editorial Services

Welcome to Michael Marano Writing Instruction & Editorial Services

What sets Michael Marano Writing Instruction & Editorial Services (part of Get Off My Lawn Personal Instruction & Events, LLC) apart from all other in-person and online options?


Mike's instruction is practical and professional, akin to an apprenticeship, much more like the guidance established agents and editors provide than any academic program. This is robust and entertaining writing instruction, drawing upon a wide range of materials, not limited by ideology, agenda, or snobbery. Mike uses short stories and novels, pulps, comic books, screenplays, teleplays and stage plays, non-fiction, stand-up comedy specials, documentaries, spoken word pieces... any and all narrative forms that are useful.


This is "hands-on" instruction, providing enrollees with a versatile toolkit applicable to the submission of their work to paying professional and semi-professional venues.


Mike has, and always will, live by the creed: "A good editor or instructor helps you to write more like yourself." His goal is to make you much more of the writer you are, and to be better at being the writer you are. And in a world in which AI, working from stolen creativity, is crowding out true creatives, your unique voice, based on your unique experiences, is the most valuable resource you can possibly develop.


You need to truly be you as a writer, and Mike has the means for you to articulate in words and stories the best you that you as an author can possibly be.


Spring, 2024 Workshops and Mini Classes from Michael Marano Writing Instruction & Editorial Services include:

Let's MAKE A SCENE!!! 

Three-hour Online Writing Workshop

Tuesday, March 12

7-10 PM (EST), via Zoom



Ever read a chapter in a novel or story and ask, "What the hell was THAT for?!" Scene construction in prose is a challenge, and that's why we'll be looking at (read: stealing!) the tools top screenwriters and playwrights use to make scenes pop, and how those tools can be applied to constructing chapters in novels. The trick is to treat your characters like actors... if what you're writing would be boring for actors to perform on stage, why should your characters (and your readers!) want to slog through it on the page? Topics include: escalating dramatic stakes; putting tension into your dialogue, and how to best use setting. To enroll, write with the subject line "Making a Scene!"



THE HUNGER GAMES: Revitalizing without Retreading!

Online Writing mini-course of three sessions

Thursdays, March 14, March 21, & March 28, 2024

7-10 PM (EST), via Zoom



There are, supposedly, only seven plots. If that's the case, how do you make a narrative that's uniquely yours and that appeals to wide audiences, especially in a world in which AI is gobbling up and spitting out almost every book ever written? In this innovative mini-course, we'll examine how Suzanne Collins crafted The Hunger Games, an exciting and instantly iconic YA novel, while using familiar and well-established elements and plot points. In addition to a three-week reading of The Hunger Games, we'll dissect other works with similar themes and premises, and do in-class exercises and collaborative projects. The trick is to revitalize, not retread! We'll strategize exactly how to do just that...! To enroll, write with the subject line "Hunger Games."



The Art of the Rewrite!

Online Fiction mini-course of two sessions

Wednesdays, March 20, March 27, 2024

7-10 PM (EST), via Zoom



Steinbeck said, "I'm not a good writer. I'm a good re-writer." We'll examine how to add and/or subtract the right elements to a draft by looking at how screenwriters and prose writers tell the same story. Particular attention will be paid to embellishing setting, adding character-defining behaviors not dependent upon dialogue, and how to approach the writing of a second draft as an adaptation of the first draft. To enroll, write with the subject line "Art of the Rewrite."




The Art of the Mash-Up! Blending Plots & Sub-Plots

Online Fiction mini-course of three sessions

Tuesdays, March 19, March 26, & April 2, 2024

7-10 PM (EST), via Zoom



Learn to create sub-plots that mesh seamlessly with your main story arc, and that don't feel tacked-on. Your main plot, of course, needs resolution, but you owe it to your readers to do that without leaving sub-plots dangling. There's an artistry to weaving plots and sub-plots into an integrated whole. We'll take a detailed look at a classic, multi-award-winning and iconic longer work that was crafted out of four stand-alone short stories. In addition to close readings and examinations of the materials, sessions will entail in-class exercises and collaborative projects. To enroll, write with the subject line "Mash-Up!"

ALL courses and events are available on a sliding scale.


Mike is also available for one-on-one coaching, book doctoring, ghost writing, and consultation. For more information and individual rates, e-mail Mike at   


ABOUT Mike marano

Michael Marano is a horror and dark science-fiction writer whose first novel, Dawn Song, won the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Awards. Stories From the Plague Years, a collection of Marano's new and reprinted short fiction, was named one of the Top Ten Horror Publications of the Year by Booklist. His supernatural crime novella "Displacement" was nominated for a 2011 Shirley Jackson Award. From 1990 to 2022, he reviewed movies for the syndicated Public Radio Satellite System program, Movie Magazine International.


Mike's pop culture commentary has appeared in many national publications. He has literally thousands of book, film, and television reviews under his belt in which he has dissected and analyzed the workings of plot, pacing, escalation, characterization, etc. and he applies that expertise to his editing and teaching. Mike has trained and mentored hundreds of writers over the years, both privately and at creative writing centers.


Novels that he has "book doctored" and edited have been acquired by major New York publishing houses, and short stories he has edited have been reprinted in "Year's Best" anthologies.

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