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Workshops

Prepare to be Professional: Applying to MFA Programs

5/25/23 – 6/29/23         

6pm – 8:30pm

$180

 

This workshop is designed for writers who are thinking of enrolling in a Creative Writing MFA program, but feel intimidated by the application process. Do you fret about how to make your application rise to the top in a stack of fierce competitors? What are the most common pitfalls, and how can you avoid them? You probably know how competitive these programs are and how exacting the admissions requirements can be. Learn to present each aspect of your application in the strongest light, and avoid both the blunders and the omissions that many of your fellow applicants will make. During this workshop, you will complete several drafts of the dreaded "tell us about yourself" statement, compile your literary CV, understand the differences and (often surprising) variations among MFA programs, and consider which program model may be the best fit for you. Though this class is geared for people thinking about or planning to apply to an MFA program in fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry, playwrights and screenwriters are also welcome. A laptop, tablet, or notebook computer is required for this class. Registration closes April 2nd.

 

The registration process:

1)       Email AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

2)       Mention the workshop(s) for which you wish to register

3)       You will receive a message about whether space remains in the class. If space remains, you will receive online payment instructions. Do not attempt to remit payment until you receive confirmation that a seat is available.

4)      Tuition is non-refundable after April 2nd.

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Prepare to be Professional: Presenting Your Work at Public Events

4/30/23    

11am – 3:30pm

$50

 

This workshop is geared for writers who are planning to participate in open mics, literary festivals, a reading series, or who will be reading their work at a writers' or humanities conference. In this workshop we will cover the myriad ways in which to ensure that reading your work to an audience helps you build your reputation as a writer and share the passion you have for your story, poem, or essay. Reading in public is one of the best ways to propel your literary career forward and get yourself invited to other events.  In this workshop you will learn:

  • the critical but too-often-overloooked preparatory steps to take before you ever set foot in the venue
  • how to notate your excerpt or your piece to guide the pace, inflection, pauses, phrasing, and emphasis of your reading
  • how to harness stage fright and make it work for you
  • how to establish presence at the mic
  • what NOT to do at the microphone!

A laptop, tablet, or notebook computer is required for this class.

 

Registration closes April 2nd. The registration process:

1)       Email AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

2)       Mention the workshop(s) for which you wish to register

3)       You will receive a message about whether space remains in the class. If space remains, you will receive online payment instructions. Do not attempt to remit payment until you receive confirmation that a seat is available.

4)      Tuition is non-refundable after April 2nd.

 

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Preparing for the 2023 Literary Grants Application Season

4/18/23 – 5/23/23   

5:30pm – 8pm

$175

 

*** Submission required for admission ***

 

NOTE: Students who've completed one of the following classes with Lyzette in 2022 do not need to apply and may register without a submission:

  • Building a Career as a Literary Artist (Writers.com)
  • For BIPOC Writers: Get Invited to Read at Literary Conferences (Muse & The Marketplace Conference)
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Creative Writers (Loft Literary Center)
  • Lyzette's August 2022 Rooted & Written Fellowship workshop (The Writers Grotto)

All others wishing to register for this multi-week grant seminar must apply. Submit a literary resume and a link to your author website (or your author LinkedIn or Facebook profile). If you are in academia, you may submit a CV in lieu of a resume, and a faculty profile page in lieu of a LinkedIn or Facebook profile. Attach your resume as a Word, Pages, or PDF document only. Email your submissions to AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com by March 31st, 2023.

 

You can secure a grant and focus on your work without the day-to-day pressure of paying bills. While there is no quick fix for securing a coveted grant, there are several strategies that position you to put your best foot forward and avoid the mistakes that other applicants make. This six-week  seminar intensive is geared for students eager to learn how to increase their odds of winning grants, fellowships, scholarships, or residencies from the nation's major funding foundations. We will cover:

  • the best places to locate funding opportunities that are a fit for you
  • getting inside the minds of review panelists (what are they looking for? what turns them off?)
  • avoiding faux pas that mark you as an amateur and brand you as unprofessional
  • how to curate your application package, online presence, and personal statements to portray a three-dimensional view of you, and why this step is absolutely crucial to success
  • the Top 10 Tips for grant applications
  • the often-overlooked importance of being a good literary citizen (hint: Funders actually prefer to give money, space, and financially supported time to these applicants).

This seminar is best suited to students who are interested in securing financial support for a period of one month to one year for writing projects that will start in late 2023 or in 2024. Registration closes March 31st. 

 

Prerequisite: Students must be computer-savvy, serious, focused, committed to completing assignments, and dedicated to the success of everyone in the seminar. Participants complete an emailed pre-work assignment prior to the first class meeting.

 

 

 

 

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Prepare to be Professional: Submitting Your Work for Publications and Contests

4/29/23

10am – 5pm

$70

 

In a safe, supportive community, learn how to plan a submissions strategy, create a plan of attack for your work, research markets, and locate the ones that are the best fits for your writing. It's time to set aside the bevy of excuses about why you're not sending your work out to creative writing journals, magazines, and contests. In this workshop, you'll learn how to plan a submissions strategy, research markets, and locate the ones that are the best fits for your work. Then we will submit short stories, articles, poems, essays, novel excerpts, and/or creative nonfiction pieces to several markets. Begin by learning proper submission etiquette and protocol, avoiding pitfalls that mark you as an amateur and get your submission tossed onto the "No" pile—before editors have even read it.

 

Registration closes February 4th. The registration process:

1)       Email AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

2)       Mention the workshop(s) for which you wish to register

3)       You will receive a message about whether space remains in the class. If space remains, you will receive online payment instructions. Do not attempt to remit payment until you receive confirmation that a seat is available.

 

Tuition is non-refundable after February 4th.

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Prepare to Be Professional: Improving Your LinkedIn Author Profile

3/25/23         

11am – 5pm

$60

 

One of the biggest challenges writers face is getting their work the recognition it deserves. You've been sending your work out—stories, articles, poems, plays—and you know it's good work, but no one's biting. You've applied for grants, travel scholarships, and writers' conference funding, to no avail. You'd love to be invited to present work at Litquake, Beast Crawl, or another high-profile reading series, or to read at a conference. You'd like to publish in literary journals that pay writers, and you'd like to start winning some writing contests. What's the missing link? It could well be your LinkedIn author profile.

Creative writers often suffer from one of these misconceptions:

 

"LinkedIn is just about finding a job."

"It's for executives, lawyers, and doctors, not artists like me."

"I already have a day job profile; everyone can just look at that."

"I'm already on Facebook, so I don't need it."

 

LinkedIn is a powerful marketing and networking tool that offers a lot for writers and, in the Bay Area, is critical for success. Learn how to maximize LinkedIn to increase your audience, get noticed, support your funding applications, meet the Bay Area's literary movers and shakers, and open significant opportunities. A laptop, notebook computer, or iPad is required for this workshop.  

 

Prerequisite: You must have a basic LinkedIn author (not day job) profile set up prior to class. You must be comfortable navigating your computer.

 

Registration closes February 4th. The registration process:

1)       Email AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

2)       Mention the workshop(s) for which you wish to register

3)       You will receive a message about whether space remains in the class. If space remains, you will receive online payment instructions. Do not attempt to remit payment until you receive confirmation that a seat is available.

 

Tuition is non-refundable after February 4th.

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Prepare to be Professional: Get Invited to Read at Literary Conferences

3/4/23   

10:30am – 2:30pm

$50

 

This workshop offers information, guidance, and strategies for writers who wish to apply to have their work accepted at a writers' conference, whether virtual or in-person. In a safe and supportive environment, we will explore how to:

  • choose the right writers' conference for you
  • prepare a polished submission
  • make a professional impression from submission to attendance
  • create a conference plan
  • get financial support to attend
  • practice conference etiquette: the do's and dont's of both applying and attending

Open to writers of all levels who feel prepared to present their work at a professional writers' conference. Students completing this workshop will be prepared to research, select, and submit work to several literary conferences, and will be well-equipped with the conventions and expectations of attending. A laptop, notebook computer, or iPad is required for this workshop.

 

Registration closes February 4th. The registration process:

1)       Email AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

2)       Mention the workshop(s) for which you wish to register

3)       You will receive a message about whether space remains in the class. If space remains, you will receive online payment instructions. Do not attempt to remit payment until you receive confirmation that a seat is available.

 

Tuition is non-refundable after February 4th.

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Prepare to Be Professional: Write Your Artist Statement!

2/11/23  

11am – 5pm

$80

 

Artist statements are not just for visual artists and performers; in the 21st century, writers need them, too. You will use some incarnation of this statement on your own web page and media account, in personal and project statements for residency applications, and in letters of intent for grant and fellowship applications. Your statement needs to demonstrate that you are a thoughtful, deliberate writer who takes her literary career seriously. Bear in mind that this statement speaks for you on grant, fellowship, grad school, conference, and residency applications.

 

Learn how to cast your work in its strongest, most evocative light. In this one-day class, you will read several statement examples; learn how they are used; and then craft, workshop, and revise several drafts of your own statement. Students will complete a series of writing exercises to generate ideas about how to talk about their work. Then they will write, workshop, and revise several drafts until they have a polished statement ready for use. Students should be computer-savvy and comfortable sharing work-in-progress with their workshop peers. A laptop, notebook computer, or iPad is required for this workshop.

 

 

Registration closes closes February 4th. The registration process:

1)       Email AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

2)       Mention the workshop(s) for which you wish to register

3)       You will receive a message about whether space remains in the class. If space remains, you will receive online payment instructions. Do not attempt to remit payment until you receive confirmation that a seat is available.

4)      Tuition is non-refundable after February 4th.

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Prepare to Be Professional: Create and Polish Your Creative Writing Resume

2/2/23

5:30pm – 8:30pm

$50

 

Ready to elevate your writing career to the next level, but not sure how to present your background in an appropriately professional fashion? Whether you have a long list of publication credits or just a few, you need a literary resume that both adheres to professional standards and encourages panelists, editors, and reviewers to learn more about your work. When done properly, this resume helps you:

•     land grants, fellowships, and other funding for your writing projects

•     get invitations to present work at conferences

•     obtain reading opportunities

•     present strong artist residency applications

•     get editors' and publishers' attention

•     be taken seriously as a writer, and not a hobbyist

 

Leave with a shiny new resume and an author bio  that makes your accomplishments--whether large or small--stand out!  A laptop, tablet, or notebook computer is required.

 

Prerequisite: You must bring a rough list of your writing-related achievements, or a draft of your writing resume.

 

Registration closes February 4th. The registration process:

1)       Email AuthorLyzetteWanzer@LyzetteWanzerMFA.com

2)       Mention the workshop(s) for which you wish to register

3)       You will receive a message about whether space remains in the class. If space remains, you will receive online payment instructions. Do not attempt to remit payment until you receive confirmation that a seat is available.

4)      Tuition is non-refundable after February 4th.

 

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Writing the Lyric Essay starts March 16th

Students around a seminar table
Students around a seminar table

The lyrical essay has become a highly popular genre in multiple disciplines, from journalism to the personal essay. Authors from Purpura and Forché to Didion and Dillard have written them. But what, exactly, is this form? Poetic essay or essayistic poem? Both – or neither? The form employs a series of images or ideas, rather than chronicle or argument, to sculpt a narrative. Often inconclusive, lyrical essays reach beyond archetypal classical frames to a meditative sense of place and displacement. In this workshop you will birth, nurture, and release a brand-new lyric essay. We'll begin by identifying key components of the form, learn how to negotiate its terrain, and then get down to the business of crafting a lyric essay. You will engage in extensive revisions of your work, and then during our last two weeks together, submit your finished piece to six literary journals and contests for publication. Students registering for this class should be prepared to create new work from scratch in a concentrated, serious environment. Outside of class assignments will consist of revisions and a few exercises to help ensure that your piece is as polished and economically written as possible. This class is best suited to those who have a basic understanding of craft in fiction or nonfiction. Register now at https://loft.org/classes/writing-lyric-essay

Building A Career as a Literary Artist starts 1/26/22

The author speaking at the podium at the Mechanics' Institute Library
Speaking at the Mechanics' Institute Library

Do you want to publish your work in journals—or better journals, or paying journals? Would you like to query in a way that won't shut you down before you get started, or submit your manuscript with well-earned confidence? Do you wish to be invited to contribute to festivals and fellowships, win grants, establish a name for yourself, craft nourishing and fruitful professional relationships?

 

Building a writing career requires both creative and business skills, as it does for any artist. If you are serious about your writing and want to increase your professional opportunities, as much work needs to happen outside of the studio as within it.

 

Topics will include marketing and PR, applying for literary grants and fellowships, writing a personal statement, creating and using a literary calendar, and learning to present yourself as a writing professional. You will receive a comprehensive packet of handouts to guide you as your career begins to build. Registration is now open! https://writers.com/classes/building-a-career-as-a-literary-artist