professional writing tools

Scrivener Basics Workshop Starts September 21, 2017

Writers in the Grove, a Forest Grove community creative writing group, presents a 4-week workshop for writers called “Scrivener Basics Workshop.” It runs for 4 week and begins on Thursday, September 21, 2017, from 6:30 – 9:00 PM at the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Dream of writing your memoirs? A novel? That story that’s been nagging you for years?

Scrivener example from Autostraddle

Scrivener is a “complete writing studio” to help you from idea to final draft. It holds all your ideas, research, and writing in one place, keeping you focused and on track to publishing. It is the affordable writer’s tool that inspires and helps you write that book.

This 4-week workshop covers the basics of Scrivener including imports, organization and layout of your writing, keeping on task, research, and the basics you need to know.

Scrivener offers a free trial version. You will need to download and install the program prior to the first night of class. Prior publishing experience not required. Familiarity with computers is essential.

Normally these courses are well over $200. As a fundraiser for the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center, the instructor is making this 4-week course available for only $100 with the proceeds benefiting the center.

Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress has been using and teaching workshops and classes on Scrivener for over seven years. Her workshops are educational as well as entertaining. Lorelle has published several books prior to using Scrivener, and many since discovering the writing software program, and it changed her life and her writing. Lorelle has been teaching web publishing, social media, WordPress, and blogging for almost thirty years. Lorelle has also published many tutorials on Scrivener on this site for members and fans of Writers in the Grove and NaNoWriMo.

Bring a copy of a story or collection of stories you’ve written in a word processing program like Microsoft Word on your computer or a flash drive. We will be learning how to import into Scrivener.

You will need to bring your laptop, power cord, mouse (with extra batteries), and something to write on and take notes. You will log into the free WIFI at the Center so ensure you know how to do this before you arrive, or arrive early to get help getting online. It is highly recommended that you bring a water bottle, too. There is plenty of free parking at the center.

There is limited space for this special event so register now to guarantee a seat.

More information, contact the Forest Grove Community and Senior Center.

Register in person or by check or phone with the Forest Grove Community Center: 503-357-2021.

Image Credit: Autostraddle

Scrivener: Free How to Use Book

Scrivener - Your Guide to Scrivener The Ultimate Tool for Writers by Nicole Dionisio - book coverYour Guide to Scrivener, the Ultimate Tool for Writers by Nicole Nionisio is available right now with a direct download for Scrivener users for free. Right click on the link and choose to save the file or target as to save this to your computer. You may also copy it to Kindle or an ebook reader if you wish.

This is a step-by-step manual for Scrivener users guiding you through the process. It covers both Mac and Windows versions, though focuses mostly on Mac. There are some differences between the two versions, but less with every new release.

If you would like to buy the book, it is available as an ebook from

Other books available for sale include:

Scrivener: Organize Your Writing and Thinking

Filing System for Writing and Research - Lorelle VanFossen.In the first of these Scrivener tips and tutorials series, I basically covered “What is Scrivener?, and hopefully you have a better idea about what Scrivener is and how it may help with your writing. I also suggested two Scrivener Bootcamp videos to help you really dive into Scrivener with great tips and techniques by a professional journalist and bestselling author.

In this Scrivener tip, I want you to think of Scrivener as a giant binder. In that binder, you have dividers and tons of paper and photographs you need to organize.

Yes, we are going to start with visualizations. This will help you learn how Scrivener works and how to change your writing style and habits in and around it, and help you learn new words associated with Scrivener.

Imagine all the research you’ve done on your poems, stories, novel, and manuscript. You may have photographs to inspire your thoughts to a place, time, or person. You may have maps pinpointing locations and paths traveled. If you are really diving deeply into a novel or memoir, you probably have research files, digital and paper, the results of days, months, maybe years of studying the topic, place, and people you are writing about. You may have plot outlines, character sketches, and tons of notes.

How do you currently store all this information?

The digital files are most likely stored in folders, either in a collective dump or sorted by topic, place, and possibly date. To access them, you open your file management program and track them down, or open the program you use to view and work with them and hunt for them from there. This typically is Microsoft Word, PhotoShop, or variations on those popular word processing and photo editing programs.

Web pages are typically bookmarked, only accessible when you are online and connected to the web. You might have organized these by folders and subfolders, but it is also likely that you just marked them all as bookmarks in your web browser, the giant dumping ground for web pages you wish to return to in the future.

Tangible materials like papers, print-outs from the web, photographs, magazine and newspaper clippings, paintings, notes, napkins with notes…all these things are either in piles or sorted into folders in a filing cabinet.

Let’s see, you are multiple programs for accessing digital materials. You have reams of paper stuffed into files and folders, and that big metal filing cabinet collecting dust in the corner of your office a few steps from your computer desk. (more…)

What is Scrivener?

Scrivener - Corkboard Example - Lorelle VanFossen for Writers in the GroveScrivener by Literature and Latte is software for writers. It’s tagline is “Outline. Edit. Storyboard. Write.”

Some of the members of Writers in the Grove recently purchased it based upon my advice, and they’ve asked me to present a workshop on Scrivener basics soon. In the meantime, to help people get started, this is an introductory series on how writers can, and should, use Scrivener.

What is Scrivener?

Scrivener is software for Windows and Mac. It is designed for professional writers to ease the process of researching and writing. It is used by professional (and not) writers, authors, script writers, poets, teachers, researchers, and anyone with a writing project.

Microsoft Word or its equivalent is used by most people to “write.” It is a word processor. It processes words. You can style and format them, making them pretty, and even write great papers and novels, setting up table of contents, chapters, page numbering, and indexes.

For a writer who writes many things, or is working on a book, working with a Word document is like writing on a never ending ribbon. Navigation is a nightmare. Finding things is horrid. It’s easy to get lost, repeat yourself, and just lose track of what you are doing.

Think of Scrivener as your pre-production writing tool, the tool you use before you get to Word. (more…)