Welcome and enjoy

Welcome to Louella Nelson’s Blog.  I’m an author, writing instructor, and writers’ mentor. While I get myself educated on blogs, websites, Indie- and ePublishing, and social networking, you can follow me on Twitter @LouellaNelson or Facebook or read a little info about me:

Louella Nelson

Louella Nelson

Lou Nelson Communications: Purveyor of Communications, Editing, Writing Retreats, Career Consulting for Writers.
Louella Nelson Writing Workshops: Teaching and Mentoring Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Writers

University of California, Irvine Extension, and Orange Coast College.  The UCI Extension writing courses are currently on hiatus due to State budget cuts.  Lou is offerering the writing classes locally until the UCI courses are once again offered.

Current Courses

  • Writing Your First Novel or Short Story (mid-September start date–if you are interested, contact Lou in August at lounelson@cox.net)
  • Intermediate Novel & Short Story (mid-January start date; signups in December)
  • Advanced Novel & Short Story (Spring; signups in March)
  • The Business of Selling Your Fiction/Creative Nonfiction(Spring; signups in March)

Orange Coast College

  • English 99, English 100 (Freshman Composition)

Other Courses Developed and Taught:

  • The Writing Business: Editors, Agents, Publishers
  • Niche Novels:  How to Write What You Love to Read
  • Writing the Romance Novel
  • Novel Writing I
  • Novel Writing II
  • Novel Writing III, Works in Progress
  • Improving Everyday Nonfiction Writing

Upcoming classes, seminars, and series:

  • Day-long Plotting Workshop–Saturday Jan 19, 2013–contact OCC/RWA: http://www.occrwa.org/
  • “Sizzling Scenes:  Setting, Scene Goal, and Sensory” seminar at the Romance Writers of America National Conference, Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, CA, July 28 4:30-5:30pm

Previous workshops & master classes:

  • Short Story Workshop (RWA 9-8-11)
  • Plotting in Pajamas (RWA 30th Anniversary Conference 10-10-11)
  • Ride the Rails Writing Retreat, Santa Barbara,CA
  • Order from Chaos:  A Master Class in Plotting the Novel
  • Writing & Selling the Romance Novel
  • Sensing the Scene
  • Realism in Scenes
  • Killer Characterization
  • The Wounding and Arc of Character
  • The 1,2,3’s of Novel Structure (Greek influences and the 3-act structure)
  • How to Write the Novel Synopsis
  • Seminar on Query & Synopsis

Speaker & Affiliations:

  • Friends of the Library
  • Orange County Romance Writers of America (RWA) (past-president, speaker)
  • National RWA (conference coordinator, category coordinator for Golden Heart)
  • Southern California Writers Assn.
  • Various radio and tv venues

Founder’s Background:
Louella Nelson has just re-issued Mail-Order Mate, to be following in August 2012 with Emerald Fortune.  Her writing credits include five novels, including Days of Fire, to be released in the fall of 2012, plus a fantasy novella, short stories, and poetry as well as scholarly works for the literary journals Onyx and Calliope.   As a former magazine editor, she is also published extensively in nonfiction articles, features, technical reports, advertising materials, and photography.  An editor, book-doctor and writer’s mentor, she has been writing and teaching fiction since 1983.  Many of her students are now agented and multi-published.  Lou was awarded the 2010 Distinguished Instructor Award by theUniversity ofCalifornia, Irvine Extension.  She also teaches writing at Orange Coast College.  She received her M.A. in English with departmental honors from California State University Long Beach in 2004, and a B.A. with honors fromChapmanUniversity in English with an emphasis in creative writing in 1998.


  • Distinguished Instructor Award, University of California, Irvine Extension
  • Who’s Who of American Writers (previous edition)
  • Who’s Who of American College & University Students (previous edition)
  • Numerous awards for nonfiction and technical writing

Favorite Books:
Jane Eyre and many other greats in the 19th Century cannon of British literature
Lief Enger’s Peace Like a River
Anything by James Lee Burke (except Tin Roof Blowdown; it made me too sad)
James Dickey’s Deliverance
The novels of James Blaylock
The early gum-shoe detective novels by Raymond Obstfeld
Winter’s Bone
The great historical romances–I cut my teeth on MM Kaye and Colleen McCullough
Silent Joe by T.J. Parker

Currently reading on Kindle:
MacroWikinomics by Tapscott and Williams
Half-Broke Horses by J. Wall
Bewitching by Jill Barnett

Enjoyed recently on Kindle:
How to Write a Novel in One (Not So Easy) Lesson by Jackie Hyman/Jackie Diamond
See my reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Wild Montana Sky by Debra Holland—see my review
Starry Montana Sky by Debra Holland
Beat the Reaper: A Novel by J. Bazell
The Green Glass Sea by E. Klages
Echoes by Jacqueline Diamond–—see my review
Mai Tai One On by Jill Marie Landis
The Hunger Games by S. Collins
Crossed Out by Kim Baccellia
Shanghai Girls
by Lisa See
The Ridge by Michael Koryta
Shanghaied by David Collins

Soon to be enjoyed:
The Submission by Amy Waldman
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Marriage Plot by J. Eugenides
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by J. Ford
Model Home by E. Puchner
Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by R. Clarke and R. Knake
A Clown in the Trunk
by Maralys Wills

More on Lou’s Writing Workshops:
Founded in the mid-90s, Louella Nelson Writing Workshops hosts groups of intermediate and advanced writers year-round for critiques; meetings expand to include discussion and planning for marketing and conference attendance.  Many of Lou’s students are published, agented, and award-winners.  Applying writers must have completed at least two of Lou’s courses at UCI or equivalent, and a writing sample must pass muster by exhibiting a good grasp of fiction and English fundamentals.

Founded in 1986, Lou Nelson Communications specializes in career coaching, manuscript editing and submission, teaching, workshops and retreats, self-promotion, and conference preparation for writers.

Professional Emphases and Personal Interests:
Lou Nelson’s wide-ranging interests include creative writing, composition, critical thinking, teaching/training pedagogy; literature instruction; online instruction; literary criticism; American and British literature; sentimental literature; history; nature; science; the heavens and all the wonders there; outdoor living; fishing; beach life and sailing; social dance; environmental protection; gardening; photography; animals; pets; animal rights advocacy, and SPCA foster care.

She is mom to an awesome daughter, Stacee, and a friend to many amazingly talented, hard-working writers.


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