Well, we’re off and running in the New Year here at WMG, and if your New Year’s Resolution was to improve your writing or book publishing skills, there’s no better place to be than WMG—online.

That’s right, I said online. As in online workshops and a forthcoming virtual lecture series.

We have no fewer than seven workshops coming online in the next two months, two of which have already begun—Book Cover Design and Interior Book Design. But no worries if you missed them the first time. Both classes will be offered again soon.

Along with my lovely cohort, Dean Wesley Smith, I’m teaching both classes simultaneously. And I must tell you, it has been a fun experience.

Once I got over seeing myself on camera, mind you.

You see, I’ve always been a “behind the camera” kind of girl. I hate having my picture taken or being videoed, and although I was encouraged to consider broadcast journalism in grad school, I solidly chose print instead. In fact, it was all they could do at the paper to convince me to print my “mug shot” (as we term head shots in the newspaper biz) in the paper from time to time with an editorial.

I’m no stranger to teaching, of course. I taught as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri and as an adjunct professor at the U of O. And I’ve already taught design workshops here at WMG.

But those were all in-person activities. If you make a weird face or have a funny voice, it’s no big deal. You can’t see your own expressions, and you can pretend your students are just thinking really hard if they get pained looks on their faces. And your voice is always different in your own head than out of it.

But online workshops don’t work without video and audio. And you really need to watch what you just recorded to see how it works.

Fortunately, I haven’t majorly embarrassed myself yet. But there’s still several weeks to go. Heck, you might want to take the class for that entertainment value alone (VBG).

Seriously, though, if you want to become a better book designer—or even if you just have the intellectual curiosity to learn all the many facets of design that go into making a book—watch for the upcoming classes.

And if improving your writing was on your list, Dean has five workshops coming online in February, and all have space left at the moment. Click here for details or to sign up.

As for me, seeing myself on camera has led to some New Year’s resolutions of my own. But that’s a topic for another day.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.