Webinar

Raising the Stakes: How to Hook–and Keep–Your Reader’s Attention

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern

Level All Levels

A deep dive into strategies for establishing what’s at stake in your writing.



 

Additional Information

As a writer, how can you break through all the noise of the world to grab–and keep–your reader’s attention? How can you establish what’s at stake in your work in a way that’s both honest and compelling?

In this webinar, we’ll focus on the problem of how to ensure that there’s something in your creative nonfiction story—a compelling question or element of suspense or promise of something to come— that hooks your reader in the first paragraph or two and keeps them going, all the way to the end. You will come away with several concrete strategies for meeting this challenge.

Through close analysis of great writers of creative nonfiction, we will uncover how to turn even the most mundane experiences and idiosyncratic interests into writing that’s urgent, exciting, and meaningful.

In this webinar, you will:

  • DISTINGUISH between a work’s opening “hook” (how it first grabs our attention) and its larger significance or “stakes” (why it matters, what the reader can take away from it);
  • ANALYZE how masters of the craft hook our attention in their opening pages and convey the larger significance of their work;
  • CONSIDER why the stakes of a piece don’t need to be life or death in order to be deeply compelling;
  • LEARN rhetorical strategies that will get readers to invest their time and attention in your work.

There will be time for a Q & A at the end of the presentation.

This webinar is ideal for any writer looking for ways to establish what’s at stake in their writing, but will be especially helpful for writers who want to ensure that their submissions stand out in the slush pile.

All registrants receive a recording.

Closed captioning will be available.

Course Presenter

Course Registration

$25.00

Out of stock

Become a Supporting Subscriber today and get up to 10% off your purchase.

Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories

Testimonials

I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill

Webinar FAQs

  • How do I prepare for the webinar?

    We usually open the webinar 3-5 minutes prior to start time (see webinar invite) so you can check your audio settings and make sure everything is working properly on your end. The host will welcome everyone and ask you to introduce yourself and share where you’re joining from in the text-based chat. Participation in the chat is optional.

    The actual webinar program usually gets rolling five minutes after the start time. This is also when the recording starts if you watch the video afterward.

    No one can hear you or see you during the webinar. The only people who are visible and can be heard during the webinar are the instructor and host.

    Audio Settings:
    If you’re unable to hear any sound during the webinar, please look at the bottom left of your Zoom window for Audio Settings, and click the small arrow to check your settings.

    Getting familiar with the Zoom software

    There are several ways to interact with the presenter and other students during the webinar:

    *Live chat

    *Formal Q & A window

    Live Chat:
    The live chat is where you can exchange messages in real time with other students attending the webinar, as well as the instructor and host. Usually your chat visibility defaults to just the presenter/panelists. If you want everyone attending to see your chat message (and most people do), then you need to select “everyone” or “all panelists and attendees” in the chat window.

    How to banish the chat:
    We encourage you to make use of the live chat throughout the webinar because it’s one of the great benefits of joining the live event. However, some find the chat distracting and would like to turn it off. As of today, Zoom doesn’t allow students to disable the chat, but there is a way to effectively “banish” it if you do not want to see it:

    1. Click the Chat icon at the bottom of the Zoom window
    2. When the Chat appears on the side of your window, click the small arrow icon and select Pop Out, which separates the Chat into its own free-floating window
    3. Then, using your cursor, drag the Chat off the side or bottom of your screen

    Formal Q & A:

    All webinars include time for Q & A with the presenter. This will be included in the recording.

  • How can I download the webinar recording?

    In most cases, unless you see the download arrow under the recording window, you will not be able to download the recording. You will have ongoing access to the recording link to view at your leisure. You can download any supplemental materials provided by following the links in the webinar recording description. The recording will be sent to you three days after the live event.

  • I did not receive the recording for a webinar. Can you re-send it?

    Yes, we’re sorry this happened. These messages are sent from “[email protected]” and sometimes go missing. Please email us and we’ll respond with a link to the recording.

  • When will the recording be available?

    We ask for 3 days to send you the recording. If you do not receive it within that time frame, please contact us and we’ll assist you.

  • Can I still register for [x] webinar?

    If the webinar is not marked “sold out,” you can still join.