Course Syllabus

Weekly Workshop [DELETE?]

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September 16 – November 24

$425 (if registered before 8/27/2013); $475 (after 8/27/2013)*
Instructor: Emily Stone

This class is limited to 8 participants.

Unlike most of our classes, this one meets at a specific time: 
Tuesdays from 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time

If you cannot attend during this time slot but still wish to enroll please contact our Director of Education, Sharla Yates, to be added to a waiting list for an alternate-schedule class (yates[at]

Exchanging work for review is a great way to motivate yourself to write, and also a way to learn about how different writing techniques and strategies can be used in your writing.  In this class we’ll apply the type of open discussion typically used in “real world” writing workshops, but will conduct our conversations online via Google Hangouts video chat.  Participants will have an opportunity to submit writing samples of up to 5,000 words at two points during the 10-week course, and will receive written feedback from classmates and their instructor. The instructor will also use workshop meetings to discuss general points of writing technique as they apply to the pieces being critiqued.

How it works: Each week two participants will submit writing samples of up to 5,000 words using our online system (each participant will do this twice during the 10-week class).  Other class members and the instructor will read this work and write critiques of it prior to the weekly class video conference. During the video conference the instructor will lead a discussion of the submitted work’s strengths and weaknesses, and of possible strategies for revision.  These conversations will also include discussion of general writing techniques and strategies that are applicable to all participants.

In addition to the weekly video chats, participants can communicate with their instructor and with each other throughout the week using the class’s online message boards.  Weekly readings on the art and craft of writing will also be supplied on the class website.

An important note on participation: A good writing workshop is built on trust, communication, and reciprocal effort among its members.  Therefore, participants are expected to attend all workshop video conference sessions in weeks 2-9, not just those in which their own work is being discussed.  Participants who absolutely must miss a workshop session (for example because of illness or an unavoidable scheduling conflict) are still required to submit a written critique, preferably before the session in question.  Participants who miss more than two workshop sessions, or who fail to submit written critiques for sessions they have attended, will forfeit their opportunity to submit a second piece for workshop consideration.

Week 1 – Introductions, Guidelines, and Writing Craft Discussion
During this week we’ll spend our first meeting getting to know each other, establishing some guidelines for our workshop discussions, and engaging in general discussion about the art and craft of creative nonfiction.  Participants can submit specific discussion questions prior to the meting if they wish.  A schedule for the remaining weeks will be created so that all participants know when they will be submitting their work for discussion.

Weeks 2-9 – Online Workshop Sessions
For the bulk of the class we will discuss work from two participants each week.  This means that all participants will get to submit work two times during the course.  All participants will be expected to come to each week’s meeting having read and written comments for the relevant submissions.  Any additional time after discussion of participant work has ended will be used for general discussion of writing techniques, problems, and goals.

Please note: While we will do our best to accommodate everyone’s scheduling preferences when we create our workshop schedule, there only two time slots each week.  Prior to the first meeting, participants should not plan on submitting work on one particular date, as their desired date may not be available.  Furthermore, all participants should come to the first week’s meeting with work prepared to share with their classmates, as everyone’s writing submissions for the first four weeks of workshop will be posted immediately after the first meeting. If it is close to the class start date and you do not have any material prepared, please contact our Director of Education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Week 10 – Preparing for Publication
During the final week of the class we’ll discuss next steps—what do we do with these essays and chapters once they’re revised and completed? What are some good places to submit nonfiction? What are best practices and common pitfalls when submitting work to publishers, agents, and journals?  We’ll also discuss strategies participants can use to keep themselves writing regularly after the class ends.

Questions? Check out our FAQ page, or please direct them to the Director of Education, Sharla Yates at yates[at]

Please note: due to space limitations, registrants may withdraw anytime until 5 pm EST on Friday, October 4, 2013, but will forfeit a non-refundable application fee of $50. No refunds will be granted after this date, but course credit may be transferred during Week 1 (fees and restrictions apply). For more information please read our FAQs.

Registration includes a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction for U.S. residents only.