The Harvey Stanbrough Audio Lecture Series

These are professional, in-depth audio courses from a National Book Award nominee. See the current course topics below in the course descriptions.

These courses are for writers who are serious about the craft. They’re based on the more popular writing seminars I’ve taught over the past 30 years. Take a chance. You won’t regret it.

Or go ahead and keep shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars to the shysters out there who don’t know the difference between a gerund and a potato or whose by-phrase is “Well, I can’t explain it, but I know it when I see it.”

After you’ve bought a course, you can listen to it at your own pace and come back to it as often as you like. Each topic consists of a few to several lecture-quality audio sessions, and each audio session is 10 to 15 minutes long. Some courses have handouts. I will email those to participants as they sign up.

Note: Unfortunately, I cannot license these Courses for collective use by writers’ groups or organizations. If you want any of them, please order them for your individual use. By requesting a course, you agree not to share these copyrighted materials with anyone other than your significant other. Thank you.

How to Sign Up

1. EMAIL HARVEYSTANBROUGH@GMAIL.COM (please put AUDIO COURSE SERIES in the subject line) and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • E-mail address
  • Name of Course(s) you are signing up for.


  • To pay with your PayPal account, send the fee to
  • To pay via credit card, email me and I’ll send you a PayPal invoice. (You don’t have to have a PayPal account to pay via PayPal with a credit card.)
  • To pay by personal check, make your check payable to Harvey Stanbrough and mail it to PO Box 604, Saint David AZ 85630-0604.

3. I’LL EMAIL YOU THE ACTUAL COURSE(S) you purchased as .mpg files. From that point on you can listen to them at your own pace and come back as often as you want. I’ll also email any handouts in pdf format that go along with the Courses you’ve ordered.

NOTE: I offer these lectures only as conscious, critical mind exercises to enable you to absorb the information. What you learn here will seep into your subconscious, creative mind and flow smoothly from your fingertips as your story unfolds.

Audio Courses

♦ Course 1 — Writing Off Into the Dark — $135

Includes 9 audio sessions

Through years of diligent practice, I have advanced the concepts I originally learned about this topic. This is hands-down the best technique I’ve ever learned for writing fiction. Every writer is different, but you can train yourself to be any kind of writer you want to be. With this one life-changing course you can transform yourself.

Increase your productivity. If you aren’t writing 1000 words per hour, three or four hours per day, why not? Manage your fear, How you think of writing, How you practice writing, Heinlein’s Business Rules, Writing into the dark, The difference between short and long fiction, The difference between rewriting, revision, and cycling and much more.

♦ Course 2 — Creating Realistic Characters — $65

Includes 3 audio sessions plus two PDF handouts: Cliché Traits and Unique Character Traits

A much less-thorough treatment of this topic is also available in ebook at Amazon for $5.99.

Introduction and rationale. The kinds of character traits, how to assign them and in what proportion. Creating the protagonist/antagonist and helpers. How and why to create flat/secondary/cardboard characters.

Assigning personal quirks and eccentricities. Using character slams and rooting techniques to craft the character arc. NOTE: I recommend this lecture only to learn about character traits and quirks and to put them in your mind. I do NOT recommend writing character sketches and other such silly techniques.

♦ Course 3 — Writing Effective Dialect — $50

Includes 2 audio sessions plus two PDF handouts: Examples of Dialect and a Dialect Table

A much less-thorough treatment of this topic is also available in ebook at Amazon for $5.99.

Introduction. What is dialect? Why use it? Reading your work aloud. Practicing dialect/pronunciation is essential. Labor intensive. How to write dialect using particular words and truncated or phonetic spellings. Techniques for creating particular effects. Notes on writing effective dialect.

♦ Course 4 — Point of View — $45

Includes 3 audio sessions

Introduction. Many writer confuse POV with narrative voice, but they are vastly different functions. The difference between POV and narrative voice, explained once and for all. POV defined. Narrative Voice defined.

How to establish POV characters. When the narrator is also a character. One way to sketch a POV outline (not an actual outline). Plotting (if you want to plot): the 3-6-3-1 Rule (after John Galishaw).

♦ Course 5 — Writing Great Beginnings — $40

Includes 3 audio sessions and a booklet

Get this one while you can. Once I rewrite the book and vastly revise this topic, this one will probably go away.

Introduction. Story starters. Components of a great beginning. How to capture and hold the attention and imagination of the reader from the beginning. How to appeal to the emotional senses. Replete with examples from truly great writers, known and unknown.

♦ Course 6 — Poetry Techniques for the Fictionist — $130

Includes 8 audio sessions plus one PDF handout: “Getting Punctuation Wrong”

English is an accentual-syllabic, metrical language. As a writer, you should at least be aware of the flow and emotion inherent in rhythms of the language itself. Introduction, including definitions. Rationale. Punctuation for writers. Specific uses and effects of particular punctuation marks.

The use of metaphor, simile, and symbology. The elements of structure. Word selection. The sentence. Setting mood and tone. Sentence length vs. brevity. The paragraph and length vs. brevity. The collection. Notes on archaic language and constructions. Notes on revision. To be a professional writer. Notes on sound.

Our accentual-syllabic language. The sounds of letters and words. Manipulating reader speed. (Note that this presentation is for writers of fiction, memoir and personal essays. If you’re a poet, from aspiring to published, you want Course 7, Writing Poetry.)

♦ Course 7 — Writing Poetry — $225

Complete Course, 15 audio sessions

This course is for poets. I offer a separate, less-expensive course in Poetry Techniques for the Fictionist (see above).

If you’re serious about your work and serious about polishing and honing your craft, your last excuse just left.

Introduction, including rationale and definitions. A brief history. The modes of language. The use of punctuation in poetry. The use of metaphor, simile and symbology. Includes the Elements of Structure: Making every word electric.

Titling the poem. The line (length/brevity, internal rhythm/rhyme, phrases/clauses/caesura). The interplay of Line and Sentence in the poem. Structure expanded to include the stanza, the canto, the poem, and the collection. Techniques for developing structure. Notes on revision and writing naked.

The feminine line, the masculine line, the headless line. The Elements of Sound: Whether and how to intentionally manipulate meter, rhythm; whether and how to use internal rhyme and end rhyme. The effect on the reader of the sounds of letters and words. Notes on blank verse, free verse, the prose poem. On coming full circle (framing the poem, wrapping the poem).

The following audio courses are no longer available.

Writing Realistic Dialogue You can purchase a similar book at Amazon for $12.99 or $14.99 for the paperback.

Writing Narrative You can purchase a similar book at Amazon for $9.99.

The Seven Writerly Sins — You can purchase the book at Amazon for $5.99.

Writing Flash FictionYou can purchase a similar book at Amazon for $2.99. This topic is also included in Writing Realistic Dialogue & Flash Fiction (see above).

3-Hour Seminars on DVD

The following 3-hour seminars on DVD are still available. They cost $25 each. To purchase one or more, send payment via PayPal or email me at for payment by personal check. I will update this list as they sell.

1 Copy Each

Writing Realistic Dialogue

Writing Great Beginnings

2 Copies Each

Conveying Emotion Through Dialogue

Creating Realistic Characters

Writing Dialect

What Others Have Said

“Harvey is simply brilliant! His overall writing style, depth of multi-level plots, character development, and every aspect of his work should be studied by aspiring writers. He is personable and always open to helping others, making him a great teacher. If you have a chance to take one of his workshops, it will be well worth your time!” — Simon Pressland, Editor in Chief at Next Century Publishing

“[Course 1, Writing Off Into the Dark] gave me a jump start to overcome my writing pause. I had pretty much stopped writing for fun. Now I’m heading to the computer to turn off my critical mind and write a story for an anthology. I’ll let you know what happens. Will spread the word about the lectures too. Thanks much.”— Joan Popek, award-winning writer and instructor at Creative Writing Institute

“Harvey is a multi-talented, dedicated artist. He is highly skilled in creating and executing with both words and pictures and is a master poet with boundless energy and creativity. If you want a seasoned professional writer to consult about novels, short stories and poetry, this is THE MAN to contact.” — Larry Long, Independent Writing Professional

“Harvey Stanbrough is not only a terrifically talented and prolific writer, he is a teacher par excellence. He is able to give concrete suggestions as to how the writing process can work for you and his seminars are well worth attending if you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend one.” — Bonnie Edwards, Substitute Teacher at Vail (Arizona) School District, Independent Writing Professional