Steve Liskow  

Writing Workshops & Editing Services

Download the workshop flyer.


Steve Liskow's short stories have garnered an Edgar Award nomination, the Black Orchid Novella Award, and Honorable Mention for the Al Blanchard Story Award, sponsored by the New England Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Steve taught English at both the high school and college level for over thirty years. Combining classroom savvy with his experience as an actor, director, producer and designer for 100 theatrical productions throughout central Connecticut, he offers a practical hands-on approach to writing that applies to all genres of fiction or playwriting.


For more information on editing, send an email with EDITING as the subject line. Include the genre of your piece and the word count in the email and attach a synopsis of no more than five pages. Steve will respond within five work days. If the project fits his expertise and schedule, he will send you instructions about how to submit the MS and discuss payment.

75-90 Minutes

Dialogue helps move your story along, depict character, enhance mood, and create tension. Drawing on his experience as an actor and director and using examples from contemporary fiction, Steve will help you refine your dialogue to make your characters distinct, even as they strengthen your plot and establish a mood. The class includes exercises that apply to all fiction writing: how to speed up or slow down a scene, how to tailor the language to the character, and how to introduce more conflict into the scene. These exercises will help train your ear for what works. Also includes a list of suggested reading.

75-90 Minutes

Modern fiction relies on complex characters who will move your story along and make your reader care. Using examples from recent stories and films, this workshop combines techniques from drama, screenwriting, and fiction to create characters who will help you build a dynamic plot. Topics include developing a biography, creating a strong villain, finding the right name for your character, and using characters who will influence each other.

KEEP IT SIMPLE, SAM (Short story basics)
75-90 Minutes

We may be in a new golden age for the short story, a flexible form that writers can use to strengthen all the skills they need to create a novel, but stands as a rich form all by itself. Using writing prompts and recent examples, Steve will help you focus on the few absolute basics necessary to create a plot, characters, and setting that work together to create a satisfying short story.

2 Hours

W. Somerset Maugham once said, "There are only three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are." Maybe he was wrong, anyway. Different techniques work for different people, and Steve offers methods that take advantage of your own skills and interests. Steve offers a low-stress approach that will produce a few pages every day instead of trying to create a "whole novel" in one gulp. By breaking the novel down to the components of character, plot, scenes, and premise, Steve's exercises will help you whether you like to plan everything out, jump right in, or do a little of each.

60 Minutes

In today's competitive market, a first draft is nowhere near good enough to show to an agent or editor. Steve offers a practical approach on how to polish your work. He starts with the major issues (character, plot, structure, and pacing), then tackles smaller but crucial problems including dialogue, transitions, and tense. He offers hints on proof-reading and copy-editing, and the all-important beta reader to help you make your writing as strong as it can be.



"Steve Liskow's editing is excellent, both on the macro and the micro level. He provides an overview of the book's plot movement and characterization, focusing on cause and effect and motivation. His close reading (line editing) is above and beyond the norm. Overall, I emerged from our editing partnership with the feeling that my work was respected, that he was cognizant of and working with my intention, and that his orientation was toward improving readability, structural integrity, and marketability - exactly what I wanted in an editor."

Claire Ortalda
Award-winning short story writer, member of Sisters in Crime,
Mystery Writers of America and Pen Center USA


"I completed my first novel and wanted some professional feedback. I paid $3K for a developmental edit that gave me virtually nothing. So when Steve offered a free 25 page evaluation, I jumped at the opportunity. What a great decision! In just a few weeks I received an extremely thorough review of the beginning of my book. In fact, I sent him two alternate first scenes and he reviewed them both. He has a nice mix of positive and constructive comments, points out issues that seemed out of place to him, as well as times when the voice was wrong. Yes, this is more than a developmental edit, but it wasn't a line edit either. I'm still kicking myself for blowing that money earlier, I should have saved it for Steve. But here's the best part, after 6 full pages of comments, he stated that most of my issues are not structural and are easy to fix. He told me how to fix them and said that he's happy to help me, but I probably don't need him. Clear evidence of his character. I will use him for my next WIP!"

Tammy Euliano, MD
Sisters in Crime