Online and In Person Workshop Presentation Topics

Melissa is a practiced speaker and teacher. She has a background in teaching secondary English/Language Arts, has taught with Southern Methodist University’s CAPE program and has presented for both Duke and North Carolina State University’s OLLI program.

She has presented workshops at various Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and RWA chapter meetings, both in person and via Zoom.

Possible presentation topics include:

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey for Mysteries

Developing Deep Backstory

Writing Compelling Dialogue

Showing versus Telling

What’s your Story: Begin your Memoir 

The Business Side of Writing: Marketing Yourself

Please contact Melissa at melissabourbonbooks at HEY dot com for more information on presenting for your chapter or group.


“I can’t recommend Melissa Bourbon highly enough. A successful hybrid author, former marketing director at a publishing house, and an educator at both the secondary school and adult level, Melissa is well-equipped to present programs for writers’ organizations. She knows how to keep an audience engaged, and offers practical advice and useful information for authors at all levels, from beginner to master.” ~Diane Kelly, Board Member Murder We Write and Triangle Sisters in Crime

“Melissa Bourbon’s “Creating Characters with Deep Backstories” talk provides a useful toolkit for making characters in any genre more realistic. She offers helpful examples and actionable building blocks for authors.” ~Heather Redmond, author of the A Dickens of a Crime series (Columbia River Sisters in Crime President)

Melissa Bourbon knows the importance of story structure in the writing of mysteries. She is able to describe and compare various methods such as the Three Act Structure and Hero’s Journey. 

Melissa’s ninety minute presentation covers the classic structure of The Hero’s Journey and how to apply it to the writing of mysteries. Her presentation is clear, engaging, and relevant to readers and writers of crime. 

Feedback on her courses for N.C. State OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) and for Duke OLLI included, “Extraordinary presenter” and “I am halfway through writing my first novel. This course was extremely helpful and got me even more excited to continue writing.”

Melissa would be an asset to the Sisters in Crime Speakers Bureau.

~Sara E. Johnson, Past president, Triangle Sisters in Crime (Author, Alexa Glock Forensics Mysteries)

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