The Stakes Must Be Death with Maureen McQuerry: Fueling the Emotional Core of Your Story (Online)

  • Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Class time is Pacific Standard Time, Class Code WR091821MM
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    Registration will close on Thursday, September 16th at 12pm.

Registration is closed

**This workshop will be live streamed via Zoom.** 

As writers we long to hook our readers’ hearts as well as their minds. That happens when we realize that at its core, every story is a survival story. Together we’ll discover how conflict and tension fuel a character’s emotional journey and keep readers engrossed until the very end. Using examples from current literature, we’ll discuss techniques to strengthen your story’s emotional core, hook their hearts and identify the one thing every powerful story has in common.

Optional--Be prepared to participate in short writing exercises. Come with the seed of a story you’ve always wanted to write, opening pages or better yet a work in progress.


  • Registration for this class will close on Thursday, September 16th at 12:00pm (Pacific Daylight Time).
  • This class will be presented via the Zoom video conferencing program. For a great video on how to use Zoom, watch this tutorial.
  • A Zoom link will be sent to the email address you registered with one day prior to the class. Please watch for this email. You may need to check your spam folder for emails from BARN.
  • Tuition assistance is available. Click here to apply.
  • BARN reserves the right to cancel this class in the case of low enrollment and a full refund will be given.

Instructor Bio:

Maureen McQuerry is the author of four novels, 2 board book series, and 2 nonfiction books, including: The Peculiars, Beyond The Door, The Telling Stone, Between, Before And After, Big Ideas For Little Philosophers and the forthcoming Big Ideas For Little Environmentalists.  Her poetry can be found in literary journals.

Her books have been selected for YALSA best fiction, ALA best book, Bank Street Best Books, and sold in 5 languages. Publisher’s Weekly calls her YA and MG work “evocative of The Dark is Rising and Neil Gaimen.” Most recently the Big Ideas series sold at auction to Penguin/Putnam and will be followed by Big Ideas For Little Environmentalists next year.

Maureen taught for 20 years, specializing in gifted education, and was the McAuliffe fellow for WA state in 2000. She currently lives on an island near Seattle with her husband, a hive full of bees, and four chicken sisters.

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