Allen R. Kates, MFAW

Free Writing Workshops

Memoirs, Novels, Self-Editing, Ghostwriting

Tucson, Arizona

Past workshops were a great success and lots of fun!

   Unfortunately, due to my heavy workload, I have to postpone this year's workshops. I'm hoping to offer them again soon. Thanks for your patience.


“Allen's classes are always lively, fun and informative.”

     —Sally Greenleaf, Patagonia, AZ


   Remember the story you always wanted to write or have been working on for some time? Now is the time to get it moving. I hope my workshops will inspire and enthrall you. They will also make you laugh a lot. Get ready for a fun-filled day that will help focus you.

   If you don't come out of my workshop excited and ready to write, then I will give you double your money back!

   The workshops are free. However, we are asking for a small donation to a local charity. Details will be announced soon. Whether you decide to donate or not is up to you and everyone is welcome to attend the classes.


Saturday (postponed), 2012: Writing Memoirs

Saturday (postponed), 2012:  Writing Novels

Saturday (postponed), 2012:  Self-Editing

On request: Ghostwriting



9 AM to 4 PM




Lord of Grace Lutheran Church, 7250 N. Cortaro Road (at Ina Road), Tucson, AZ 85743. Please see map for directions.


   Sign up for a Workshop
Everyone is welcome, but adults only.
Please see details for each workshop below.


   Reserve your Seat

   Although these workshops are a lot of fun, they are for serious-minded people who wish to write, are actively writing or are professional writers. You will learn a lot! And have a good time, too.

   If you would like to sign up for a workshop, please contact Allen at (520) 616-7643.


“I liked the informal, relaxed atmosphere and comfortable pace. This was the inspiration and practicality I needed.”

    —Lloyd Sharp, Patagonia, AZ


Writing Memoirs: the turning points

Saturday (TBA), 2012

How do you know what to put in your memoir? What is too much, what is too little?

In this workshop, we discuss structuring your memoir based on turning points in your life, how to outline and research your story, and writing techniques.

Writing skill level: Beginner to Advanced. Prerequisite: None

For more details, please click here


Writing Novels: the story that grabs you

Sat. (TBA) 2012

How do you write a good fiction story that somebody else wants to read?

What are the ingredients? How do you make your characters believable and memorable?

How many drafts do you need? How do you adapt your true life story to fiction?

In this workshop, we discuss the elements that make a good story such as character, plot, outlining, research, action, description, setting, atmosphere, dialogue, scenes, conflict and crisis. We examine the purpose of each draft and how many drafts we may require.

Writing skill level: Beginner to Advanced.

Prerequisite: None

For more details, please click here.

Self-Editing: editing when every word is priceless

Sat. (TBA) 2012

Whether you are a fiction or nonfiction writer, you have to edit your work. But what if your family and friends tell you that your writing is so good you should not change a word?

Well, they are wrong. Every work can benefit from objective analysis and editing.

In this workshop, we discuss how to improve our stories with better word choice, eliminating repetitions and clichés, shorter sentences and paragraphs, toning down the melodrama, creating mystery and suspense, unloading too many ideas, clarifying the point of view and voice, refining the characters and dialogue, adding detail to the action and using the active voice.

Writing skill level: Beginner to Advanced.

Prerequisite: None

For more details, please click here.

Ghostwriting: writing somebody else’s story without going nuts

On request

Ghostwriting is about allowing somebody else’s story to emerge in their voice, in their words. Are you willing to sublimate who you are and your own ideas and listen to another person’s story with tolerance? Can you be nonjudgmental and willing to write things you may not believe in? Are you prepared to suppress your own identity?

Do you have empathy and compassion for others? Are you an experienced, accomplished writer who has mastered writing techniques? Are you a published book author? Do you have a good visual sense when looking at photographs?

If you have answered Yes to all these questions, then you are ready to be a ghostwriter.

Ghostwriting is a demanding profession that requires exceptional ability in interviewing, listening, research, fact-checking and writing.

Writing skill level: Advanced.

Prerequisite: You are an experienced, accomplished writer and researcher and have written a book, or many articles or short stories that have been published.

Without prerequisite: If you do not consider yourself experienced enough to ghostwrite just yet, but see yourself doing it in the future, please contact Allen to discuss your direction.

Focus of the workshop: We will not discuss ghosting business writing, but we will delve into the nonfiction categories of memoirs, life stories, family histories, biography, history and psychology.

For more details, please click here.