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Workshops

Build Your Author Toolkit begins May 17th!

Do you know how to create a literary CV, author bio, artist statement, and "About Me" statements? When conference directors, funding panels, and residency committees meet around a table to discuss your application, are these tools of the trade hobbling you or helping you? In this month-long seminar, learn how to create professional documents that, regardless of your experience level, broadcast that you are a serious, committed writer worthy of genuine consideration

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Gain The Edge: Professional Development for Writers starts April 13th

Students gathered around a seminar table

This intensive hands-on workshop will provide you with the career savvy you need to stand out from the crowd of writers who, though they may be talented, lack the marketplace acumen they need to boost their opportunities from good to great. Learn a comprehensive set of professional practices that translate your talent into actionable, real-world skills for escalating your literary career. Learn how to increase your chances of earning grants, landing residencies, and getting published. Over the course of this workshop, you will acquire the practices and strategies you need to reveal and take advantage of scores of opportunities for your work–skills you can put into immediate effect! Many students have garnered their first literary grant, writing conference invitation, or publication credit after completing this course.

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For Writers of Color: Ace Your MFA Application starts May 15

Have you thought about 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? How can you navigate and make the most of a program in which you— and the topics about which you write—are in the minority? 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 class, 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. This workshop is geared for writers of color who are thinking about or planning to apply to an MFA program in Creative Writing.

Fund Your Muse: Winning Literary Grants & Fellowships, July 10th, 2021

Photo of a class in session

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 single session class 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. The class 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, or brand you as unprofessional

*why curating your application package, online presence, and personal statements to portray a three-dimensional view of you and your work 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).

 

Students must be comfortable navigating websites. The class includes an emailed pre-work assignment that participants are expected to complete before the first class meeting. Registration now open.

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Practical Strategies to Launch Your Creative Writing Career, 7/24 & 7/31

This interactive two-session class is designed for creative writers who feel ready to take the essential steps necessary to advance their literary careers. In this class you'll learn the importance of maintaining a polished, professional presence--online and offline--that gets you noticed by the right readers, publishers, and gatekeepers; how to create a literary calendar that forms the foundation of an upward career trajectory; how to locate and pursue reliable opportunity resources, and leverage them to increase your chances of getting noticed; why you must have an artist statement, and how to write one (they aren't just for visual artists any more); how to apply the seven tools of highly effective creative writers. This class is a hands-on, learning opportunity to engage in research, writing, partner exercises, and online profile work; we'll have screen breaks for lunch, and as needed, ten minutes in the AM and again in the PM.

 

Class includes an emailed pre-work assignment that participants are expected to complete before the first class meeting, and students will complete homework between the first and second meetings. Participants should be comfortable navigating websites. Reserve your spot before seats run out!

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Professional Submission Strategies, Tools, & Tips for Writers of Color begins August 12th

Photo of Lyzette teaching a seminar

In a safe, supportive community catering to writers of color, 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 journals, newspapers, magazines, and contests. In this boot camp-style workshop, you'll learn how to plan a submissions strategy create a plan of attack for your work, and learn how to research markets and locate the ones that are the best fits for your writing. Then we will focus on submitting short stories, articles, poems, essays, novel excerpts, and/or creative nonfiction pieces to over 15 markets. In a safe, supportive community, you'll 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.

 

*Learn where to locate legitimate, respectable markets
*Become proficient in navigating the publication landscape
*Get practical tips on formatting submissions that look professional
*Find out what the most popular submission platforms are and how they make your life easier
*Write your author bio
*Create a Research Collection Sheet to identify individualized markets
*Submit short stories, articles, poems, essays, novel excerpts, and/or creative nonfiction pieces to over 15 markets.

 

Enrollment is limited for this class. 

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Launch Your Literary Opportunities with LinkedIn begins June 9th

*An unknown person sees my LinkedIn profile, listens to my readings, reads my work, and nominates me for a $2,000 foundation arts award.
*After seeing my profile, an organization in another county asks me to teach a workshop at their local library for a $600 honorarium.
*The curator of a national blog asks me, through LinkedIn, whether I'd be interested in being a guest blogger on his essay website.
*I receive an offline invitation to attend the National Book Critics' Circle annual party, from someone who'd connected with me on LinkedIn just a few months earlier.
*A Board Member of a local reading series, having followed my writing career's progress over several years on LinkedIn, invites me to join the series' Selection Board.

 

The days when LinkedIn was the exclusive purview of attorneys, physicians, scientists, corner-office CEOs, and job seekers, are long gone. LinkedIn is a marketing platform that writers often overlook—even while grant review committees and residency vetting panels research their shortlisted candidates on the platform, seeking evidence that your online presence buttresses and mirrors the quality of your application. When these reviewers come to your profile, will your profile buoy and support your application materials, or will it get you tossed into the "No thanks" pile?

 

In this workshop, you'll learn how to design an author profile that will support your funding and residency applications, expand your audience, allow you and your work to get noticed, and open doors to a host of literary career-growth opportunities. Book your seat now!

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Building a Career as a Literary Artist starts March 2nd!

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?

 

Do you want to build a career as a literary artist?

 

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. In this six-week workshop you will:

 

*Discover how to connect with the literary scene to develop local, regional, or national opportunities
*Write several drafts of the dreaded–but all-important–Artist Statement (yes, authors need these, too, not just visual artists)
*Polish up (or begin!) your LinkedIn profile
*Learn to harness professional free and low-cost tools to help track your writing output, submission markets, contest entries, and grant applications
*Develop a literary calendar
*and much more!


This class is geared for creative writers who are ready to engage in the not-so-sexy but essential steps necessary to advance their careers and promote their work. Register now!

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