Media Bistro is a hugely entertaining and useful website with information about the publishing industry. They also have a ‘classes’ section, where authors offer short-term workshops. For example, if you happen to be in Manhattan, Laura Lipton is offering a class on the writing of chick-lit:
Join a small group of fellow writers in your pursuit of a polished complete first draft under the guidance of a published novelist. In this rigorous 8 week workshop, you will read and comment on the writing of your fellow students and also get your own work critiqued. In so doing, you’ll learn the fine points of craft, when to use an outline, when to leave well enough alone, and how to turn your pages into a best-seller. Be prepared to live the life of a working novelist — reading selections and turning out 5-10 pages of your book each week — and then have the opportunity to speak with an agent or editor about how to sell your novel.
The tuition for this course is about $500. Now, this kind of workshop — in person, with a small group of very dedicated participants — is worth a great deal, especially if the teacher is good and knows how to mediate class discussions. I don’t know anything about Lauren Lipton, but for the moment I’ll assume she’s got a knack for teaching this stuff and knows her way around a seminar room.
So my question: do you think you’d do this, if you were in Manhattan and had the free time? Does this look like value for money?
Lipton also teaches a class in how to get an agent. In addition, there are many, many more courses offered, among them: technical skills (how to use InDesign), speech writing, how to break into magazine publishing as a freelancer, copyediting and writing humor. Most meet once a week for eight weeks, but there are some one and two day workshops. Some of them are on-line classes, quite a few are in Manhattan, with a couple scattered over the country (copyediting in Chicago, for example)..
What appeals to you, anything?
PS: do not forget to throw your name into the Friday-post hat. I’ll draw a name this evening
EDITED to add: I’m not planning to offer any on-line workshops or seminars. Somebody pointed out that this post might read that way, but I’m not. Really.