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Thread: Lawson Writer's Academy (Margie Lawson)

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Delvianna01's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Clemson, South Carolina

    Lawson Writer's Academy (Margie Lawson)

    I'm not quite sure if I'm in the correct place about writing classes since I cant seem to find a section for this topic so I thought I might write here. If I'm in the wrong section feel free to move my post.

    A few months back I had inquired about writing classes and wanted some opinions on where people have gone and what they would recommend. So I was lead to and I have to say I have had the worst experience with them.

    I first signed up in Feb for a March class and when March rolled around and I logged in, my class now said "April". I sent an e-mail because I was confused and was told the teacher needed to post pone the class due to the fact that they had plans that overlapped. An e-mail was sent out that I never received explaining the issue. I was then e-mailed by the instructor apologizing that they had miss spelled my email address and told me the situation and that everyone in class was on board for April. I then said that wasn't a problem.

    Now its April. After receiving no further emails I log in today to see when the April class was going to start. To my astonishment yet again the class has changed to May. I was given NO e-mail for whatever explanation this now was and frankly I really don't care this time. I have already sent in a request for a refund because it is highly unlikely I will ever be able to attend a class since they keep changing the months and not even notifying me.

    I only payed for a class from this site because a few had given good reviews and recommended it and I was told it was an upstanding site. But this... this goes beyond ridiculous. I wanted to take a writing course 2 months ago... If you can actually get into her class... Good luck... I however will never go back to that site.
    Amalera - 16,000/80,000

  2. #2
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    Probably a better place for this would be the Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check forum. I'm not a Moderator in this room, but I'll see if I can get someone to move this thread over there.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Delvianna01's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Clemson, South Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy C View Post
    Probably a better place for this would be the Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check forum. I'm not a Moderator in this room, but I'll see if I can get someone to move this thread over there.
    Thank you much!
    Amalera - 16,000/80,000

  4. #4
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    On the Server
    Moving this to Bewares; hang on to your hats.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Casa Chaos
    If you can, it might be to your benefit to sample Ms. Lawson's offerings at a conference before you commit. I've "hostessed" her characterization workshop at ACFW (September this year, Dallas) and she usually offers it. I was merely there to introduce the speaker and make sure the seminar's participants got all the hand-outs, etc. She is very professional and I believe keeps very, very busy on these teaching things. It wasn't to my taste personally--there was too much that was Łber-basic about designing your characters--but then, I was there to serve and not by choice.

  6. #6
    Research Addict Tuuli's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    If youíre looking to take Tiffanyís courses through LWA, beware. You wonít get what you paid for. Not even close.

    I was in her Triple Threat course. Things started off great. The lectures were great. The feedback on the assignments was great. And then things fizzled. Lectures took forever to go up. We were fed ton of promises that never happened, like ďIím in the forum today, giving feedback on your assignments,Ē but Tiffany never showed up. The course was canceled in the end due to illness, but we were promised two more lectures. We only received one. Some of us got feedback on three out of seven assignments submitted. Some only received feedback to one.

    Some of us felt bad for Tiffany because of the illness, so we registered for her Method to Madness course. Like TT, it started off great, but it didnít take long before a familiar pattern emerged. Only this time, when the lectures did show up, the quality of material rapid declined. The ideas behind them were great, but they ended up being vague and lacked an explanation as to how to use the concept in our writing. All we learned was how to be actors. Tiffany doesnít write the lectures before the courses start. She wings them just before she plans to post them. Then she gets distracted with guest posts and other things, and the course becomes a low priority.

    With Method to Madness, Tiffany gave us feedback on the first few assignments, but then she stopped. The empty promises, though, didnít stop. Like before, she kept telling us she was in the forum that day, and everyone would be getting feedback. It never happened. Instead, the lies started mounting. She claimed there were technical issues, which is why she couldnít post anything. Funny, the rest of us could. Someone suggested she email us the lectures. The suggestion magically disappeared. The only thing she was good at was posting excuses, but I noticed they were pretty much cut and pasted from one course to the other. All she did was change the excuse. Illness. Technical issues. Migraines. Went to a movie. Seeing a show with friends. Went for a run and realized had to rewrite lecture.

    In the end, we received all the lectures, but the quality was crappy to say the least. They were hastily written, vague, didnít show how the concept applied to writing (it focused on acting), and lacked examples, and the promised feedback never happened. At one point she congratulated someone for still submitting the assignments. She made the rest of us sound lazy because we had stopped doing them. We werenít lazy. We just didnít see the point in doing them when she wasnít giving us feedback. It would have been one thing if she hadnít promised feedback, but thatís not the case. She kept promising something she had no intention of delivering.

    I know a few people in her 77 Secrets to Writing YA. Itís already the middle of the month and they have received only one secret: teens are emotional. Thatís hardly a secret and the lecture was lame. Her feedback has been unhelpful. At least she was giving editorial comments in her previous courses (when she could be bothered to give feedback). Now sheís giving vague comments, none of which is worth the price of the course.

    Tiffany is making a lot of money off these courses, but itís obvious she cares nothing for the students. Sheís only interested in screwing everyone around. And from what Iíve heard from other writers, sheís acquired a bad reputation for that.

    If youíre considering any of her courses, save yourself the money and grief and go somewhere else. You can get the same information from many other resources. Several of us have written to Margie to complain. We were ignored. Since Tiffany is Margieís daughter, there is nothing we can do. Itís obvious where her loyalties lie.

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin blackpaws's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    I know this is any old post, but I can tell you that it is still relevant now in Feb 2016.

    This TT class taught by Tifanny Lawson is still poor. I posted my stuff for critique 2 weeks ago, and despite the promises to the forum that she will do it, she is no where to be found. She also is claiming to have flu.

    Someone in the class has requested a refund too because the course is so bad.

    You'd think they would have learned to replace her by now...what, is she Margie's daughter (cronyism!)

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Pacific NW US
    I just wanted to comment on this. I've taken several classes at Lawson Writer's Academy. Each one is different, as each teacher is different. Margie does try to ensure that the classes are quality...but as was pointed out, maybe she has a blind spot towards her daughter. Or maybe it was her daughter's illness and her attempts to fight through it that Margie was swayed by? As a mother, I can understand the emotions involved. I haven't taken any of Tiffany's courses, so can't say anything other than that I heard similar mixed reviews. When she is well, her material is amazing. When she's sick, it is not good.

    But Tiffany is not the only teacher. Sometimes Margie teaches (although this month she has guest teachers teaching her classes -- at least the lectures will be all Margie's originals, I'd assume). Classes range from basic to advanced as they do try to have a range to suit each writer. I've been in classes with NYT bestselling authors as fellow students, and I see that a couple are teaching classes as well.

    One thing I will say -- I would be very very surprised if the original poster did NOT receive a refund. Because that part is handled by Margie...and Margie genuinely cares about the students in these classes. She can be hard to reach, but she has links on the site for her assistant and her web person. My experience has always been that THEY get back to students right away.

    It would be a shame for people to miss these amazing classes because of bad experiences people have had with one teacher.

    I've always had great one-on-one contact with the teachers. I've heard from some that teaching at LWA is overwhelming because of the volume of interaction and the generally high level of quality in the students.

    Just my two cents...which should be a bit more than that, because I've happily paid more than that for the classes and gained a thousand times more knowledge. (I should point out that I have a Bachelors in Creative Writing. I've learned more from Margie than I did in college. I have another friend who was thinking about getting her masters, but she decided to just take LWA classes...because they were more focused.)

    Last point: check out how many of Margie's students have hit the NYT bestseller list or won major awards. There's a reason Margie is so hard to get ahold of. I think she's teaching in France this month...Australia last month...


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