Upcoming classes: Career Skills
SUNDAY, APRIL 15 | Words don’t live only on the page. Writers frequently read their work at festivals, book signings, and literary reading series. Much like the craft of writing, there is an art to reading your work out loud to an audience. Selecting the right piece to read is only half the battle. Knowing how to read in a way that engages your listeners (who are also potential readers) is the other part.
In this five-hour intensive workshop, writers will learn how to read their work to an audience for maximum impact. Students will learn how to: select what to read, modulate and project their voice, pace their reading, and practice and prepare ahead of time.→ READ MORE
TUESDAYS, APRIL 17 —MAY 1 | No matter how compelling the characters, dialogue, or action, great scenes need a sense of place that all too often gets short shrift. And when your subject is a place itself, the task is only more demanding. It’s easy to fall back on list-making when writing about place, and that’s a tool that can be used to great effect, but there are so many more approaches to be explored. We’ll dive into some great writing about place, and will look at specific techniques great writers use to capture the world around them, focusing on writing about the real world, but looking at fiction as well.→ READ MORE
WEDNESDAYS, APRIL 18 & 25 | For a freelance journalist, essayist, or nonfiction writer, a good pitch letter can not only generate work but open doors, build new relationships, or even kickstart a career. But crafting the best pitch, targeting it to the right publication, and getting it in front of the right person isn’t always simple.
In this class, you’ll gain new insights into what editors are looking for and why—as well as all the reasons they don’t want to assign you that story—and learn new ways to make your pitch letters as compelling as possible.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, APRIL 22 | Breaking into the world of freelance writing can seem mysterious and downright impossible at the outset. How will you make enough money? If you currently have a job, how do you transition into full-time freelancing? When can you take the plunge? Where will you find clients? How will you successfully pitch to publications, especially if you don’t have a portfolio?
It took me several years of pitfalls, wrong turns, financial struggling, over-caffeinated meltdowns, and learning on the job to successfully make it as a freelance writer. In this one-day bootcamp, I will teach you the fundamentals of how to successfully begin freelancing for a variety of publications including magazines, newspapers, websites, and other forms of paid writing and editing work.→ READ MORE
SUNDAYS, MAY 6 —JUNE 10 | Writers, 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 focus on submitting a maximum of two short stories, articles, essays, and/or creative nonfiction pieces to 15 markets in just five weeks (poets should be prepared to submit a group of three to five poems.) In a safe, supportive community, you’ll begin by learning proper submission etiquette and protocol, avoiding pitfalls that mark you as an amateur.
- 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
- Select and use a professional submission tracker
This workshop is designed for committed writers who have one or two finished, polished pieces (three to five pieces for poets) of 5,000 words or less that are ready to send out for publication.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, MAY 6 | Come meet a group of Grotto authors and learn about the publishing business at this informal panel. We’ll discuss everything from finding an agent, to what it’s like to work with an editor, to what happens once a book is released into the world — and how you can boost your book’s commercial and critical success.
We’ll address the various modes of publishing available to modern writers and debate the pros and cons of major New York publishers versus independent presses and self-publishing.
There will be plenty of time for questions. A mixer will immediately follow the session, with light refreshments.→ READ MORE
ALTERNATE WEDNESDAYS, MAY 9 — JUNE 6 | Are you feeling stuck or unmotivated to finish your novel, memoir or short story collection? Are you a procrastinator? Are you easily distracted? Do you find yourself checking email and Facebook when you should be writing? You’re not alone!
Using lessons from Charles Duhigg’s New York Times bestseller, The Power of Habit, I will help you design a writing life that works for you and give you the tools to stick with it. You will set goals, create a plan for achieving those goals, and then get to work.→ READ MORE
SATURDAY, MAY 19 | Come to the Grotto for an exhilarating day of learning a variety of skills to bolster your writer’s toolkit! We will feature six of our instructors, each teaching a 50-minute class focusing on a specific tool that you can use immediately. You’ll experience six rapid-fire sessions taught in a round-robin style, with a delicious catered lunch at midday. At the end of the day, we’ll celebrate with wine and refreshments, and our signature Three-Minute Reading – an optional (but encouraged!) open-mike event to highlight some of the fabulous writing generated throughout the day. Join us for a fun, dynamic journey through the Grotto’s classrooms!→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, MAY 20 | Save thousands of dollars hiring professional editors by learning to edit your own work! As a freelance book editor of 15 years, I see the same mistakes over and over in the manuscripts I edit. From exercises to improve your story arc, character development, dialogue, and description, to tips for copyediting your completed manuscript, I’ll teach you how to turn your good manuscript into a great manuscript in this one-day intensive workshop. Bring a sample of your work (10 pages) and lunch. I’ll provide tea and snacks.
Meghan Ward is a writer, professional book editor and the founder of Writerland.com, a blog about writing, editing, publishing, and social media.→ READ MORE
SUNDAY, JUNE 10 | Master Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and SnapChat all in one day. In this one-day intensive workshop, you will learn how to A) Create a social media strategy that works for you and B) Master the five most popular social media networks of 2018. Tea and snacks provided. Bring your own lunch.
Meghan Ward is the founder of Writerland.com, a blog about writing, publishing, and social media, and the author of SheWrites.com’s “Networking for Introverts,” a column about social media. Her memoir, Runway, chronicles the six years she spent working as a high fashion model in Europe and Japan.→ READ MORE