Santa Barbara Writers Conference
For one week in June
At the beautiful Mar Monte Santa Barbara

Dale Griffiths Stamos
Dale Griffiths Stamos leads the Story Structure For All Genres workshop.
Dale has been part of the SBWC faculty since 2004.
About The Workshop
As the title implies, in this workshop Dale concentrates on structure and on story. In both fiction and nonfiction, she looks to help writers strengthen those all-important story elements without which the novel, memoir, play or screenplay will fall apart, no matter how beautifully worded. She looks at pages from attendees' work in the context of the whole story, helping them, in other words, to strengthen the parts in ways that contribute to make a more compelling whole. STORY is at the heart of every good story.
Click here to download Dale's workbook on story: "It's All About Story."
What some of Dale's students have to say about her workshop:
Dale Griffiths Stamos is a master storyteller, but she is so much more than this. After several workshops, after watching Dale work with many writers including myself, I began calling her the "Story Whisperer." She has the keen ability to come alongside a writer, one who may be struggling with story, or some bit of work, to listen to the writer's words with engagement and gentle encouragement, and to pull out of them the inner meanings or deeper truths, that even the writer did not know were there.
 –Nicholas Deitch

I want to thank Dale for her insightful comments at the 2017 SBWC on my manuscript, The Lake of the Woods Mystery. She asked questions that nailed the weaknesses in my plot. Amazing that she could do that without even reading the first few pages! I have worked with two different writers' groups, and not one of my readers questioned my protagonist's possible motive. During the workshop I appreciated very much her ability to find the weak points in story after story!
 –Mary Marca

Among the incredibly talented SBWC faculty, Dale stands out as an enthusiastic, gifted teacher and insightful consultant for writers striving for excellence in craft and structure.
 –Sharon MaHarry

I have a Master's in Writing and have also been involved with the Santa Barbara Writers Conference for the last 13 years and for some reason didn't 'discover' Dale's workshop until 2013. When I finally found her class, my only regret is that I hadn't found her sooner as a mentor on my writing journey. In addition to being a brilliant and very quick thinker, Dale can think in multiple directions at once and address story and structure from a variety of creative approaches without compromising the integrity of the writer's story. She also isn't biased towards any one genre and is excellent at addressing writers' work in fiction, narrative non-fiction, plays and screenplays.

What I appreciate about Dale's approach to workshopping is that—unlike the majority of other teachers' workshops out there—she looks at the entire body of your work instead of just sections of a chapter or story. It is only this way, from my humble experience, that the narrative arc can be truly addressed and improved upon. Otherwise, we are only getting feedback on small, isolated and out-of-context sections of our project.

Dale is passionate and present with her students without ever being pushy; she is nurturing and supportive without ever being a push-over; and her enthusiasm is infectious. It is without hesitation that I recommend Dale as a writing teacher.

 –Rachel Sarah Thurston

Dale Griffiths Stamos is an accomplished teacher of the story telling craft. I have witnessed Dale in action as she combines the art of inquisitive inquiry with intuition when helping writers find what works and what doesn't in their story. When I hear of a writer struggling with structure, I send them to Dale because she is the "Queen of Story Structure," and possesses a thorough understanding of, and keen insight into, the heart and soul of story.
 –Ginger Swanson, Ph.D., Depth Psychologist, Documentarian

I am deeply appreciative of the attention Dale paid to my book concept, both last year and this year. In the months between the last workshop and this one, her voice was in my workroom, letting me know from week to week which parts of my writing worked and which parts didn't work. I am gradually sensing more and more that I am moving in the right direction. And, seeing her this time, I also sense that I am moving faster as well. She is a great Mentor.
 –Steve Wood

Dale ran a great workshop at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. She has a gift of seeing the big picture of a story and then breaking it down to its parts. As a beginning writer, I need to develop that ability. So I appreciate that she took the time from her own writing to mentor at conferences. Her presentation on premise made that little bulb go on upstairs, especially her point that each chapter needs a premise as well. That gave me direction on what I need to address in my manuscript.
 -Gayle Taylor

Dale has the ability to quickly identify the essence of any piece presented for any genre; (short story, novel, memoir, poetry, or play) and to shift our understanding of how to shape the story to serve the desired premise. I liked needing to think about the premise of any piece, which, once identified immediately clarifies what elements are necessary to support that premise and which elements are best reserved for another piece. I also liked thinking about the overall structure of a story, which is like thinking about the foundation and framework for a building prior to picking out the wall colors and carpeting. I appreciated the document "It's All About Story" Dale wrote, assembled and copied for her attendees. I will be referring to this document between now and next year's SBWC to better define, then tighten my stories. And finally, I appreciated the encouragement and positive constructive feedback she provided to the two selections I presented during her workshop. Her comments were extremely valuable and will help spur me on to completion.
 –Barbara Schoeberl

Dale had an almost clairvoyant ability to decipher people's stories. It was incredible to watch. I also think it was generous of her to supply her writing guidebook.
 –Kelly Samuels

While I appreciate all of the feedback I received from the SBWC instructors, Dale's workshop provided me with an overall perspective of the story structure I've been wrestling with on my own. She asked very pointed questions specific to my manuscript in order to rein it all in.
 –Rhonda Jean Seiter

SBWC: At a Glance
The Santa Barbara Writers Conference gives published and unpublished writers alike the opportunity to improve their craft, to associate with helpful professionals and to mingle with other writers.
Workshops are at the heart of the conference, and the SBWC offers an exceptional faculty. There are about 30 different instructional workshops offered each day on everything from fiction (all genres) to non-fiction (biography, memoir and travel writing), to screenwriting, poetry, children's and young adult lit, marketing and ways to get those creative juices flowing.
The Conference is proud of its many successful alumni — like Fannie Flagg, Dr. Spencer Johnson, Gayle Lynds, Catherine Ryan Hyde, and Christopher Moore, to name just a few.
For more information, click here.