Writing Courses & Resources

Hi! I'm Melissa Bourbon, the founder of WriterSpark. As a full-time writing coach, freelance editor, writer, podcaster, and content and resource creator, my goal is to be your partner on your writing journey. Whether you want to develop your writing with one of our self-paced, online writing courses, need dedicated one-to-one coaching time, or want a freelance editor to help you with your writing project, I am here for you! ⬇︎ Start by claiming your FREE Quick Guide to Writing Dialogue!

Ready, Set, WRITE! Course
Ready, Set, WRITE! Course

The WriterSpark Ready, Set, Write! course teaches you the nuts and bolts of creating everything you need to tell a compelling story. It covers:

Character Development
Story Structure
Scene Development
The Core Story Elements (POV, writing great dialogue, mood, tone, setting, and more)

By the end of this course, your virtual toolbox will be filled with everything you need to write your first novel.

Click the course logo above to learn more

Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery Course
Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery Course

This course teaches all aspects of writing a cozy mystery. Develop your cozy hook, your setting, craft your sleuth, the victim, the suspect pool, the villain, and flesh out the supporting cast. Create the crime, set up clues and red herrings, and use the cozy template to pull all the elements together.

By the end of this course, you will have created everything you need to write your cozy mystery.

Click the course logo above to learn more

Fiction Writer's Character Bible Workbook
Fiction Writer's Character Bible Workbook

Keep track of your cast of characters on the alphabetized list, and create character snapshots, story snapshots, relationship maps, and family trees as you write (or after the fact). This Fiction Writer's Pocket-Sized Character Bible will help you remember those pesky details that are so easy to forget. Available in three sizes.

Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery Workbook
Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery Workbook

Understanding the many elements of a mystery is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. How do the sleuth, victim, villain, and suspects work together to form a cohesive plot?

How do you mine the news for story ideas, then how do you make them your own?

Ready, Set, WRITE! Workbook
Ready, Set, WRITE! Workbook

Steps to create complex characters
-Goal, Motivation, Conflict, Disaster
-Three Act Structure
-Hero’s Journey
-Skeleton Outlining
-Setting; Point of View; Dialogue; Tone; Mood; Voice
-Constructing a scene
-Scene and Sequel
-Motivation-Reaction Units

Explore the Site

Are you an aspiring author? Someone craving new knowledge? Or maybe you want a craft refresher or need motivation. Wherever you are on your writing path, WriterSpark can help. Look at our resource books, online courses, and site content.

View our Cheat Sheets
View our Cheat Sheets

Get amazing information in a condensed format

Writing Tips
Writing Tips

Articles on the craft of writing

The Hero's Journey
The Hero's Journey

A Database of Books and Movies


What Say Our Happy Clients Have to Say

"Bourbon’s class Ready, Set, WRITE! covers about 20 lessons with bonus material. I’ve learned more writing basics from her than I did on my college campus. She’s so very detail oriented and practical.

The examples she uses for each topic are plentiful and relatable. It’s so easy to connect with the direction Bourbon is trying to move you in. I’ve found every lesson of hers invaluable.

I highly recommend this class. I had tears well up in my eyes when I completed the last lesson. I don’t want to part with learning from her."

-Trace Hartman

Trace Hartman
Trace Hartman Student, Ready, Set, WRITE! and Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery

“I am ready to actually start achieving my dream of writing my first novel! Through WriterSpark Writing Academy’s Ready, Set, WRITE! novel writing course, I see the writing process less daunting and my personal goals more attainable.

Melissa Bourbon is a natural teacher, exciting motivator, and knowledgeable guide. Her own experience as a writer is shared fully with her students in a delightful and easy-to-follow format. The instruction, support, feedback, and encouragement she offers is of the highest quality, and I am excited to be a part of her future WriterSpark Academy Courses!"

Annette Cutler
Annette Cutler Student, Ready, Set, WRITE! and Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery

"I liked how the instructor organized the topics and her exercises and downloadable content were excellent. The pacing was very good. There were sufficient examples, but not too many, so there wasn't a lot of fluff. The lectures were succinct and thorough.

I also very much appreciate the fact that she is a cozy mystery writer herself - and a prolific one! Her presentation of the material was clear and easy to understand. She speaks well - not too fast, not slow, she looks professional - all of which made me feel like I was in good hands.

Thank you very much Melissa!"

Tammy Barker
Tammy Barker Student, Field Guide to Writing a Cozy Mystery


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