Workshops and Master Classes


“Your First 30 Pages: The 3 Essentials”

Saturday 26 May 2018
10:00 am– 4:00 pm EDT    $295


Immerse yourself in a day of workshopping the opening of your novel-in-progress with me and your fellow emerging writers.

It all happens online – no travel, no stress.

When I teach Master Classes in person, I’m always delighted by the camaraderie they foster, and the publishing success that many participants go on to achieve. But not everyone can attend these “in the flesh” events.

That’s why I’m so pleased to now offer my Master Classes online. You’ll get the same camaraderie, the same in-depth discussion about your book’s opening section, and the same expert guidance from me, but without the stress and expense of travel. We’ll get together online – the same way I conduct the “My Writing Mentor” program – in a relaxed video meeting.

Your First 30 Pages

As the author of ten novels published by major publishers, I know that agents and publishers want a manuscript to captivate them immediately. That’s why it’s essential to polish the opening section of your book so it’s the best it can be.

In this Master Class we’ll analyze the first 30 pages of each writer’s novel. Space is limited to 8 people. The small group ensures plenty of time for my critiques of everyone’s work plus constructive discussion involving all.

You’ll learn the 3 essential elements – specifics of story structure, character development, and style – that agents and publishers look for in a book’s first 30 pages, and on which they judge whether to continue reading or not.

This is an intensive day, running from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Eastern time, so we’ll take several breaks, including a one-hour lunch break. While the focus is on serious analysis, you’ll enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and friendly support.

“Barbara, your critiques drilled deeper and were on a level that I’ve been looking for. Thank you. There was great value in this session, and our group discussions were so helpful.”

– Nancy Jarmin

“I learned so much. A game-changing experience full of epiphanies.”

– Gwen Tuinman

“These were all great lessons, which I’ll now carefully apply to the rest of the book.”

– Dennis Evanosky

Here’s How It Works

Step 1: Register. To ensure a standard of proficiency in the group, you’ll be asked, when you apply, to send a 5-page writing sample from your work-in-progress or a previous piece. Once accepted into the class, you simply register – then you’ll be all set to join us on May 26.

Step 2: Share. Before the class, everyone sends their 30 pages to the other participants and me for a close reading, so everyone comes to the class ready to learn about their own work and contribute comments about the others’ work.

Step 3: Class. On Saturday May 26 we’ll gather in a relaxed video meeting via Zoom. Zoom is free, and easy to use; all you need is a webcam, standard with most computers. I’ll explain the 3 essentials for a book’s first 30 pages, give critiques of each writer’s work, and lead constructive discussions.

You’ll finish the day with vital tools for making your book’s opening irresistible to agents, publishers, and readers.


“The suggestions made were very helpful. And I found the online platform really easy to use – an excellent way to do things: no travelling, no traffic, no stress.”

– Joan DeJesus

“I can’t tell you how much your Master Class has helped me focus, select words, and edit.”

– Hyacinthe Miller

“I’m so appreciative about all the comments. I was sure I was missing something important, but I could not put my finger on just what it was. Now I have a good sense!”

– Marie Parsons

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • A small group, limited to eight people who are as serious about writing as you are
  • I’ll explain the 3 elements that any book’s first 30 pages must contain if the book is to succeed. These specifics of story structure, character development, and style are what agents and publishers look for, and on which they judge whether to continue reading or not. You’ll learn if your work has these 3 essentials, and if not, how to create them.
  • I’ll pinpoint the strengths in your writing so you can build on them, and offer suggestions on how to address any weaknesses.
  • Your fellow emerging writers will offer constructive comments about your work, and you’ll do the same for them.
  • I’ll give brief talks on crucial aspects of craft, such as writing dynamic dialogue and mastering POV

If this Master Class is for you, email me at to tell me you’d like to apply. I’ll get back to you with full details. Join us!

Master Class: $295

Special Discount Package: The Master Class and my popular online video series Your Path to a Page-Turner. (Combined value: $470) Discount Package: $395.

“I took Barbara Kyle’s excellent Master Class when I was stuck with my first novel. That great experience was a turning point. I’ve just finished my fourth book and Barbara’s wise words still guide my way.” 

– Bestselling author Robert Rotenberg, author of Heart of the City

“Barbara, what I appreciated most was that your suggestions were true to my story. Thank you for all your encouragement and support. You helped me find the right path.” 

– Cryssa Bazos, author of Traitor’s Knot

“Barbara Kyle is a rare combination of great teacher, canny editor, and supportive fellow-writer.” 

– Award-winning writer Barbara Wade Rose, author of The Priest, the Witch, & the Poltergeist

“Barbara, you are the single best writing teacher I have ever had.” 

– Tom Taylor, author of Brock’s Agent

“Barbara, you are a master. I’ve learned so much from you.” 

– Ann Birch, author of The Secret Life of Roberta Greaves

Some Previous Events


9 September 2017
Toronto, ON
Toronto Romance Writers
(RWA official chapter)
Master Class: Scene Stealers: Secrets to Structuring Powerful Scenes



28 October 2017
Ajax, ON
Writers Community of Durham Region
Master Class: Your Inner Actor: How Writers Can Use Actors’ Techniques

Alabama Writers’ Conclave Conference

15-17 July 2016
Birmingham, AL

I gave the conference keynote address: “All the World’s a Stage: The Actor In the Writer” and a master class: Scene Stealers: How to Build Powerful Scenes”. My thanks to the organizers, especially T.K. Thorne for a wonderful conference.

“Crafting the Page-Turner” Writers’ Symposium

17-18 October 2015

It was a great event!

With guest presenters from the top ranks of the publishing industry, my “Crafting the Page-Turner” Writers’ Symposium gave writers an exceptional chance to interact with industry pros ‘up close and personal’.

Speakers included legendary agent Al Zuckerman, founder of Writers House, one of the largest literary agencies in the world, and Patrick Crean, one of the country’s preeminent publishers with his own imprint at HarperCollins. Workshop presenters included acclaimed authors Barbara Kyle and Robert Rotenberg. Plus, literary agent Martha Webb conducted pitch sessions for writers to pitch their story and get her immediate feedback.

A fruitful event, with plenty of happy “buzz”!


Praise for Barbara’s Workshops:

Barbara, you’re an inspiration!

Wayson Choy

Internationally acclaimed author

I took Barbara Kyle’s excellent Master Class when I was stuck with my first novel. Those two great days were a turning point. I’ve recently finished my fourth book and Barbara’s wise words about plot, dialogue, voice – and most of all character – still guide my way.

Robert Rotenberg

Bestselling author

Barbara, you are a master. I came home exhilarated by two days of helpful critiques from you and my classmates.

Ann Birch

author of Settlement

I was so excited about writing again, I was up half the night! The workshop provided insightful, practical approaches and made the prospect of writing a new novel a lot less daunting.

Marnie Maquire

Barbara, I took your advice and loved the result.

Marissa Campbell

author of Avelynn

I had the good fortune to attend several of Barbara Kyle’s workshops…They provided a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of writing and publishing and valuable feedback on my own writing…Barbara’s insightful evaluation encouraged me to complete the novel.

Mike Field

author of Incarceration

I learned more from Barbara Kyle in a half-hour than I have in countless workshops and books. A riveting, energetic, and positive experience.

Trish Kerr

Toronto Writers & Editors Network

Praise for Barbara’s Manuscript Evaluations:

Barbara, thanks so much for all the help in getting there.

Steven T. Wax

author of Kafka Comes to America, (Starred review in Publishers Weekly)

I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done to improve my writing. I believe your insight and advice helped my book win Honourable Mention for the Rupert Hughes Award.

James Lamb

A huge thank you for the feedback on my novel…It truly has been that light bulb moment.

Anne Shillolo

Barbara Kyle’s evaluation was a game changer. I received advice and suggestions that vastly improved my manuscript’s clarity and vision. Working with Barbara is like having a secret weapon in your writing arsenal.

Nancy Raven Smith

author of Land Sharks

Barbara Kyle is a master storyteller, and she’s especially gifted at helping writers see what’s still missing in their work.”

MaryAnn McGuigan

author of Crossing to Brooklyn

You assess writing with extraordinary clarity. Thank you very much.

Barbara Wade Rose

award-winning writer for the Globe and Mail and the New York Times

You are the plot master. It was just the advice I was looking for to put me back on track and hone in on the core story.

Francis Vanden Hoven

Kyle is a master at her craft.

RT Book Reviews

Barbara Kyle enlightened me how to mend my wayward chapters and knock my plot into a compelling story. Few can do what she has: taking a good amateur writer to the elite few of a top New York agent.

Rico Provasoli

Barbara’s evaluation delivered thorough, detailed feedback that taught me a lot about the craft…She told me exactly what she (and agents and publishers) seek in the first 50 pages, and gave me specific comments about what did and did not work in my story, and why.

Matt Phillips

What I appreciated most was that your suggestions were true to my story and my characters. Without exception I found high value in each suggestion and observation.

Cryssa Bazos


Barbara Kyle

Barbara Kyle is the author of seven acclaimed historical novels – the Thornleigh Saga series – all published internationally, and of contemporary thrillers, three under pen-name Stephen Kyle, including Beyond Recall, a Literary Guild Selection. Her latest novel is The Traitor's Daughter. Over 500,000 copies of her books have been sold in seven countries. Barbara has taught writers at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies and is a popular guest presenter at writers' conferences. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.

Barbara’s master classes, online programs, and manuscript evaluations have launched many writers to published success, including bestselling mystery author Robert Rotenberg, historical novelists Ann Birch, Tom Taylor, and Barbara Wade Rose, debut novelist Christine Higdon, thriller writer Carrie Rubin, and Steven T. Wax for his award-winning memoir.