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Welcome!

Thank you for your interest in my work; I am delighted you stopped by.

A bit about me . . .

Educator

If you are here because you are interested in story . . .

I have been teaching the art of story and communications for over fifteen years, during which time I have helped thousands of students and professionals bring their ideas to life.

What started as an early and sincere delight in literature and history turned into focused study that culminated in a PhD in storytelling and media, and a subsequent position at a tier-one university.

But I wanted to do more. I wanted to reach more people and provide them not just with the knowledge I had accumulated over the years, but also actionable, step-by-step processes that would help them find and develop their characters and stories, stay on track, and finish what they started . . . even while juggling busy careers and a family.

I don’t just understand story; I understand storytellers, and the challenging process that articulating a vision can be.

Storytelling is work. It might be the most enjoyable work you ever do, but it is work nonetheless.

I know sometimes you feel stuck.
I know sometimes you feel like your creativity has packed up and left for good.
I know it seems like there is no time.
And I know the frustration of having an exciting idea in your head that you cannot seem to express, and once you try you are certain you can do better.

So I founded Vance Studios and began to teach proactive, results-oriented, step-by-step story courses to people all over the world.

The result is a collection of proven courses that delve deeply into the components of great stories and how to write them.

My goal is to help you become an independent creator who is not confined by rules, who understand the central tenets of storytelling well enough to know when to adhere and when to break with tradition. I want you to be able to take apart your favorite novels, films, short stories, etc. see how they work, identify what you admire in them, and then build on those techniques, making them your own.

That sounds like a lot because it is. The intimidation of the blank page is real.

But the truth is, you can learn how to write unforgettable characters and gripping plots. Your dialogue can be interesting and intense, and you can write a story that keeps someone up until two in the morning.

My courses, YouTube channel, and other resources leverage classic story theory and proven techniques, systems, and blueprints to help you get the work done, and write amazing stories without feeling overwhelmed.

If you have always wanted to write but thought “Who am I?”
If you are in the middle of a story and feel stuck
If you want to get started, but you don’t feel you have a solid idea or any spare time

I am so glad you are here.

I hope my resources help you get started or keep going. Each one was made with a dedication to bring out your creative best.  If you have any questions about these offerings, please do not hesitate to reach out. It would be lovely to hear from you.

Thank you for your time, and I wish you the best of luck with your writing.

~Barbara

Poet

If you are here regarding my poetry . . .

My own favorite form of expression is poetry. I love the intentionality with which you must choose and place each word. I love its focus on sound and the way it asks one to look at the world. It is a challenging art form!  My first book was published in 2010, went on to win two awards and be nominated for several others, and has since found its way into school curricula around the world. I cannot express my gratitude for the interest my creative work.

Please know that every YouTube video you make reciting a verse, your art and social media posts, and your sweet messages mean so much. I am humbled beyond measure that you give my poems your time and share them with others. Yes, I am working on the next book but, no, I do not know when it will be released. I am ever so picky with my writing! If you have questions about the poems, you are welcome to reach out. If you wish to license anything, please visit:  www.copperplatepublishing.com.

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