Instructional workshops are one of the most effective places to learn about craft. Everything's in context, so there’s no theory-versus-practice discrepancy. The teaching is catered to the group members and to the authentic challenges we all face. Plus, reading other people's writing critically really helps you look at your own writing; you learn to read like a writer.
We're here to help you become a better storyteller. We're here to help you become a more insightful story reader. Our critiques of your work are never driven by the ego of the person critiquing; they're driven by a compassionate desire to help you improve. We are here, however, to challenge and to push you towards improvement, not to tell you your writing is great (unless it truly is).
Live, Direct Interaction
So often I find in editing or commenting that there are limits to how much can be articulated through margin notes. Effective editing and feedback often requires a dialogue. The video chat format is the next best thing to in-person workshops; you get immediate feedback and you can follow up on it to be sure you understand readers’ concerns.
We use an app called Zoom, which allows for a group video chat, the next best thing to an in-person meeting. We've had several self-professed technophobes claim Zoom is very easy to use.
Minimum bandwidth requirements:
For group video calling: 600kbps/1.2Mbps (up/down) for HQ video. For gallery view: 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (up/down).
Frequently Asked Questions
How many times do we meet?
A semester = 8 meetings.
How long is each session?
When do we meet?
Fall semester runs from September through December. Spring semester runs from late January to May. The Thursday group meets 2:00 to 4:00pm (U.S. Central Time); the Sunday group meets 1:30 to 3:30pm. See the schedule below for specific dates.
What if I can't make one of the dates?
No problem. I usually record the meetings and then post a private link for writers within the group to check out later.
How many times would I be up for critique?
At least twice. If the group is smaller, three times.
Can't I just find a writing group where I live?
Absolutely. You may want to do that in addition to this group; you may want to do that instead of this group. But this group is likely more instructional than your local writing group, and we’re led by a career writing instructor.
Am I expected to offer critiques to others?
Yes! That work is one of the most important parts of the learning process. Putting effort into really pondering what’s working and what isn’t working is incredibly important.
What's the cost?
$320 for a semester.