March 21st Program

Building Stronger Stories



Sheila Athens

Sheila Athens is a traditionally-published author and a book coach who specializes in mainstream fiction, women’s fiction and romance.  After getting her start as a book coach at Author Accelerator, she founded her own private coaching and editing business, where she’s edited dozens of manuscripts. Her clients have gone on to gain agents, Big 5 publishing contracts and successful sales in the self-publishing realm. Her schedule stays full due to word-of-mouth advertising from her many satisfied clients. Her debut novel, The Truth About Love, was a finalist for the 2013 RWA Golden Heart Award before being sold to Montlake. She has stayed current on the publishing landscape by serving as chairperson for the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Agent Pitch Events.  For more about Sheila, visit


In this session, we’ll talk about two important parts of the storytelling process.

First, we’ll talk about the big picture story elements—how a writer can and should identify the point and shape of her story before she starts writing. We’ll examine how to identify the important scenes that amplify your protagonist’s character arc. 

Secondly, as GRW members prepare to submit their work to the Maggies, we’ll talk about those all-important first few pages—how a manuscript can grab the reader by the collar and pull her into the story. Those first few pages are valuable real estate. Let’s use them wisely. 

Get ready for a fast-paced and lively discussion as Sheila Athens shares her knowledge from having edited dozens of manuscripts in the romance genre and beyond. 

Program Information

Each program costs $7 to $10 (cash or check at the sign-in desk).

  • $7.00 for the morning session and speaker

  • $10.00 for the morning session and speaker and afternoon writing space.

  • So you can pay $7.00 if you want to come hear the speaker, stay for good news, network, and then leave.

  • Or you can pay $10.00 if you want to do all that and spend the afternoon writing or editing with your fellow writers.

  • That price also includes beverage service as there will be a beverage station all day.

  • That no longer includes breakfast.

  • Members and guests must be 18 years old to attend.

Meeting Schedule:

9:00-10:00 Coffee and Networking
10:00-11:00 Featured Speaker
11:00-12:00 Book signing/Business Meeting

P.O. Box 1484
Buford, GA 30515
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Hyatt Place Atlanta/ Norcross/ Peachtree
5600 Peachtree Pkwy
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092
Phone: (770) 416-7655

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