Donna Baier Stein:
Do You Dream of Writing a Novel While Pursuing Your Copywriting Career?

"I’ve been a direct marketing copywriter for 36 years, working for clients like American Express, Smithsonian, World Wildlife Fund, Time, GEICO, and more. Throughout my career, I felt a pull in my heart to write something in addition to sales copy. While my freelance career and work with the Direct Marketing Association giving seminars on copywriting kept me busy, I always made time to do my ‘other writing’ on the side, publishing poems, stories, and two nonfiction books on copywriting from McGraw Hill and Thomson Publishing Group. I worked on a novel on the side for many years as well. That launches this year. An award-winning story collection and poetry chapbook were published earlier as well. I’m a firm believer that knowing how to write good copy is a great lead-in to writing great fiction, too. And that the most interesting writers are multi-talented and have creative drives in many directions.”

— Donna Baier Stein


Donna Baier Stein has followed two career paths as a writer: one as a direct marketing copywriter, author, and seminar presenter and one as fiction writer and poet.

As a copywriter, she began working for Times Mirror Magazines, writing for Popular Science, Outdoor Life, and Woman’s How-to Book Club. She learned her craft under the generous tutelage of Bob Stone, Dick Benson, Joan Throckmorton, and Martin Baier.

In 1980, she went out as a freelance copywriter and has written for clients that include IBM, AARP, Smithsonian, Time, The Nature Conservancy, The Kennedy Center, and many other nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She created and presented seminars on copywriting for twenty years for the national Direct Marketing Association and taught copywriting and writing at universities, corporations, and clubs throughout the country. Her two nonfiction books on copywriting were published by McGraw Hill and Thomson Shore. She served on the boards of directors of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and the New England Direct Marketing Association, where she was named Direct Marketer of the Year in 2004. She is also honored to have been named as the Copywriter of the Year by the American Writers and Artists, Inc. You can learn more about Donna as a copywriter here.

As a creative writer, Donna is the author of Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist and 2015 IndieBook Awards Finalist) and Sometimes You Sense the Difference (Finishing Line Press). Her novel The Silver Baron’s Wife (PEN/New England Discovery Award winner) will be published in 2016 by Serving House Books.

Her stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Writer’s Digest, New York Quarterly, Ascent, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other journals. She was part of a women writers’ anthology featured in O Magazine. She was a founding Poetry Editor at Bellevue Literary Review and now publishes Tiferet Journal. Other awards include a scholarship from Bread Loaf, fellowships from Johns Hopkins University MFA Writing Seminars, and the New Jersey Council for the Arts, prizes from the Poetry Societies of Virginia and New Hampshire, an Honorable Mention and Third Prize from the Allen E. Ginsberg Poetry Prizes, three Pushcart nominations, and more. She is currently completing a new collection of stories based on Thomas Hart Benton lithographs. You can find Donna’s author site here.

Books by Donna Baier Stein

The Silver Baron’s Wife (novel)

Sympathetic People (Short stories)

Programs with Donna Baier Stein

Write Your First Novel Now!

Deep down, I wanted to be a novelist my whole life. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my copywriting career. I loved the money I made, the colleagues I met, the variety and discipline a freelance career imposed.

But there was always this little voice in the back of my head, saying “I want to write a real book.”

I wanted to be a published author, not just someone who wrote letters for other people, i.e., my clients, to sign!

The New York Times recently noted that 81% of Americans say they would love to write a book.

Makes sense that those of us who are copywriters would be among those.And the great news is, that as a copywriter, you can start your “real writing” career already far ahead of the game.

  • You know how to grab readers’ attention.
  • You know how to keep readers engaged.
  • You know how to string words together for easy reading.
  • You know how to manipulate readers’ emotions.
  • You know how to write on deadline.
  • And as a beginner or pro, you’re building a lot of muscle memory simply writing.

And nothing helps you become a better writer – of any sort – than doing actual writing.

That’s why I think copywriters have some of the best odds possible for successful novel writing..

The new course AWAI now offers helps you learn and hone these skills even more in 12 easy lessons:

Lesson 1: Build Your Writing Habit

Learn effective ways to prime your creative pump plus walk through cutting-edge research that helps you build productive writing habits

Lesson 2: Where to Find Great Ideas for Your Book

Donna reveals the best resources for finding ideas for your fiction, as well as which proven techniques can help you generate new ideas

Lesson 3: How to Create Compelling Characters

Discover what basic things you should know about your characters and glean tips on how to make them come alive through the page

Lesson 4: Point-of-View Primer and How to Choose the Best Approach for Your Story

Find out what choices of point of view are available for the type of story you’re writing, and the pros and cons of each

Lesson 5: Write Great Dialogue

Get tips on writing realistic-sounding dialogue, plus learn how to format and punctuate dialogue in your manuscript

Lesson 6: Establish the Setting and Create Your Story World

Find out why a physical setting is so key to good writing and learn ways to describe a setting through different senses

Lesson 7: Starting Strong with Riveting Opening Lines

Discover when it’s best to open with action, dialogue, or straight narration, as well as why editors and publishers pay special attention to your opening lines

Lesson 8: Creating Your Narrative Arc

Find out how to put together a page-turning narrative arc and gain insight into unique approaches like storyboarding and the three-act structure

Lesson 9: Tips to End Strong with a Powerful Closing

Discover when and how to leave your reader with a powerful, satisfying impact, plus see examples of powerful closings

Lesson 10: A Guide to Revisions and Why They’re So Important

Find out why 80% of good writing is re-writing and discover what you must do when your first draft is finished

Lesson 11: When You’re Ready to Publish

Get tips on what steps to take when your novel is ready to go to an agent or publisher, or when you might want to consider self-publishing

Lesson 12: Insider Secrets to Self-Publishing

Learn how to prep your book for self-publication, including interior page formatting, special pages to include, and cover design information to boost sales

The moment you enroll in this program, you’ll have digital access to each of the 12 informative, actionable lessons, plus audio recordings with a dozen celebrated authors including direct response legend and novelist Richard Armstrong!

You’ll also enjoy access to a members-only private Facebook group where students even now are gathering for writing sprints and sharing their work for feedback!

The cost? Just $249 to make YOUR dream of becoming a published author come true!

Order here