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Writers' Workshop courses & editors

(11 Posts)
Chuckading Tue 25-Apr-17 09:48:41

Has anyone completed any of the Writers' Workshop courses? Are they any good? I'm considering the children's writing courses.
Also, has anyone used their editing service and is it worth the expense?
Thank you.

wordassociationfootball Wed 26-Apr-17 11:37:43

I've heard excellent things about the courses. I attended the Festival of Writing in 2015 and was really impressed. Their course tutors Debbie Alper and Emma Darwin are terrific and have great blogs, and v satisfied customers. I've no doubt their children's tutors would be great. I'd trust them.

AristotlesTrousers Wed 26-Apr-17 20:05:19

I sent off for a manuscript report with Writers' Workshop a couple of years ago and was very happy with it (it was on an early draft, so came with lots of suggestions for improvement, but it was all spot-on). If you go down the editorial report line, I think you can even request a particular editor (provided they're available, and obviously that they cover the genre).

I've also heard good things about the self-editing course that Emma Darwin and Debi Alper run, although I've never done it myself. I don't know specifically about the children's courses, but would expect they're highly regarded too.

Chuckading Wed 26-Apr-17 21:15:51

Lovely thank you for the feedback.

Chavelita Thu 27-Apr-17 17:58:46

ED's writing blog is I think brilliantly good, so I can only imagine the courses are equally hands-on and thoughtful.

Kai1977 Fri 28-Apr-17 10:10:29

I'm doing the Self Editing course at the moment (currently working on a second draft of my first novel). I love it and am really sad to see it finish but we're all planning to continue to working together as a writing group. I thought I knew a fair amount about writing but this course taught me how wrong I was!

I also love Emma Darwin's blog, there are references to a lot of her blog posts on the course itself but you'll get a lot more new info that you wouldn't get from the blog's alone.

Chavelita Fri 28-Apr-17 10:42:47

Could you say a bit more, Kai, about what you feel you got from the actual course as distinct from ED's excellent blog, or, say, her book on writing historical fiction? It sounds great.

Kai1977 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:31:28

Sure, as I said, there's a lot more detail than the blog posts alone cover - e.g. each tutorial begins with lots of background info, some from Emma's blog, some written for the course specifically and some from other stuff on the internet/further reading books. Then you have the course tutor (Debi Alper) and she's excellent. Depending on the exercise for the week, you will get a line by line, or even word by word, critical analysis of your work.

There's also an emphasis on critiquing each other's work within the group and I think I've learnt as much from that as I have the course content. I have to admit, I partly did it in the hope of getting an online writing group (I've not been able to find a good one myself) and I've been lucky in this respect as everyone's very focused and supportive.

You are taught how to edit, exactly what it says on the tin! And all the exercises relate to the novel you're working on, so if you're struggling say, with how much emphasis to give a particular character, or want to know if your plot and structure are working, you'll get lots of advice on these specific to your own book. Before the course, I found myself going onto forums or going on blogs and asking questions about specific issues and people can give advice, but if they don't know your book, the advice can only go so far.

There are other courses out there of course and if you've done more formal education in creative writing (degrees etc) it wouldn't be worth considering but I thought this one was great value for money personally.

Kai1977 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:33:59

Oops and spotted some typos in my original post (I type in a hurry, that's not the way my actual book now looks)!

Chavelita Fri 28-Apr-17 11:59:45

Thanks, Kai. The fact that the exercises relate to your WIP is particularly good to know...

Chuckading Sat 29-Apr-17 08:44:07

Thank you all for the feedback, it sounds like they're definitely worth considering.

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