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Thread: [Writers' Svcs] Randall Andrews / Writers World Boot Camp

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW TheAmir's Avatar
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    [Writers' Svcs] Randall Andrews / Writers World Boot Camp

    I'm looking around at some writing groups and writing classes/seminars online - this guy popped up. When I checked around, I couldn't find much about him, though he apparently has a writing boot camp that's affordable. However, a few people on Facebook have warned me that he's a bit of an egotist and some of his "supporters" are rabid if you dare disagree with his teaching method.

    Then again, maybe they've just had a bad experience, hence why I'm asking here - anyone have a concrete experience with this guy before I consider the class or pass on it?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmir View Post
    I'm looking around at some writing groups and writing classes/seminars online - this guy popped up. When I checked around, I couldn't find much about him, though he apparently has a writing boot camp that's affordable. However, a few people on Facebook have warned me that he's a bit of an egotist and some of his "supporters" are rabid if you dare disagree with his teaching method.

    Then again, maybe they've just had a bad experience, hence why I'm asking here - anyone have a concrete experience with this guy before I consider the class or pass on it?
    I just googled him. I know nothing but the website I found, which I assume is his - the url is basically his name.

    The thing is a hot, fucking mess. I've only perused the 'about me' page, and found endless errors in grammar. I don't know what he purports to teach, but editing is not his strongpoint.

    Christ on a cracker. This is the second sentence on the page labeled "Editing Services:"
    As an editor, I work over not only grammar, spelling, and word choice, but also with story set up and development.
    Also on that page -

    Then there is the issue of grammar and punctuation. Most writers are nowhere near versed enough to understand the difficulty of the English language. From Auxiliary verbs to proper tenses it my job to make sure the writer understand the purpose and place for them.
    Run far and fast.
    Last edited by cornflake; 06-16-2015 at 10:11 PM.

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW
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    I don't know if he's part this organization, but his name is frequently linked with it.

    http://eatsleepwrite.net/bootcamp

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW TheAmir's Avatar
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    Thanks folks - I'll chalk this one up to a big, fat PASS.

  5. #5
    Grumpy Editor TheGreySentinel's Avatar
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    As someone who knows Randall --

    His website is a mess, but he's as good as he says he is. I've known and worked with him for several years as both an editor and as a mentor. He is half owner of Ja-Col Publishing, and his sales numbers are pretty good. His net presence is just awful.

    I will not sugar coat the fact that Randall can be difficult to work with. He's not egotistical, but he's extremely strict and doesn't put up with BS. He will critique work very, very hard, but I have never seen him be outright mean to someone, and I've known him a very long time.

    Currently, I am in the writing boot camp, and it's worth every penny of it. I have learned more about writing in the camp than I did in all my years of creative writing courses in college.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As a side note, he is no longer linked in any way with Eat Sleep Write.
    Courage is a kind of salvation. - Plato

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW TheAmir's Avatar
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    Thanks, but I'm still going to pass on this. If someone can't at least get their website in order, I'm just not going to throw my money at them. And I've just heard too many differing opinions on the matter. Maybe he is as good as you say - for some people. But there have been a few others I've spoken with that are saying the opposite, so I don't think this one is for me.

    YMMV (your mileage may vary), obviously. Maybe someone on this site will decide to try that camp and have a good experience with it.
    Last edited by TheAmir; 06-19-2015 at 05:51 AM.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreySentinel View Post
    As someone who knows Randall --

    His website is a mess, but he's as good as he says he is. I've known and worked with him for several years as both an editor and as a mentor. He is half owner of Ja-Col Publishing, and his sales numbers are pretty good. His net presence is just awful.

    I will not sugar coat the fact that Randall can be difficult to work with. He's not egotistical, but he's extremely strict and doesn't put up with BS. He will critique work very, very hard, but I have never seen him be outright mean to someone, and I've known him a very long time.

    Currently, I am in the writing boot camp, and it's worth every penny of it. I have learned more about writing in the camp than I did in all my years of creative writing courses in college.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As a side note, he is no longer linked in any way with Eat Sleep Write.
    I don't know what he may be good at, but editing is not it. His site is a festival of errors in grammar, usage, and every other possible way to hurt the English language.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW TheAmir's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Cornflake on this one - after finding his website and browsing it, I winced a bit. If I'm seeing grammar errors, there is a definite problem. It's my opinion (keyword: opinion) that anyone who tries to ship themselves as a professional editor/instructor should, at the very least, have an immaculate website to draw in clients and students. Coupled with some of the other things I've heard from a few people in my little writer's network, it doesn't seem like a good deal to me. Again, maybe some people really have found his services very helpful, and far be it from me to dissuade others from trying the guy out. I only know I won't be.

    Anyway, yep. That about sums it up for me. Thanks to everyone who replied to give input.

  9. #9
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreySentinel View Post
    As someone who knows Randall --

    His website is a mess, but he's as good as he says he is.
    Is there a reason why he has such obvious, glaring errors on his website? I mean, surely he realizes this doesn't speak well for his qualifications, so why not take steps to have those removed?
    Sleeping Beauty-inspired m/m romance : Editing.

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    For years I thought I knew what I was doing when it came to writing. I was wrong. In Writers World Boot Camp, I have learned more about writing a novel the right way instead of tossing a bunch of words on the page. I've learned to cut that which slows the pace. WWBC is the greatest thing for those who want to write a book. Randall Andrews has the experience and the patience to teach us what we need to know.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW TheAmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amdobritt View Post
    For years I thought I knew what I was doing when it came to writing. I was wrong. In Writers World Boot Camp, I have learned more about writing a novel the right way instead of tossing a bunch of words on the page. I've learned to cut that which slows the pace. WWBC is the greatest thing for those who want to write a book. Randall Andrews has the experience and the patience to teach us what we need to know.

    That sounds a bit like a sales pitch.

    Last edited by TheAmir; 06-20-2015 at 07:13 PM.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Simple truth
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    Anna M DobrittTwitter: @amdobritt

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmir View Post
    That sounds a bit like a sales pitch.

    Just a bit, heh. It also needs editing.

    I don't know that there are that many people who think writing a novel involves "tossing a bunch of words on the page," but if he dissuades them of that notion, fine.

    The problem is his passing himself off as not only an editor, but as someone teaching others to edit. Based on his own writing, he can't edit.

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Writers World Boot Camp 2

    Writers World Boot Camp 2
    July 1st, 2015 - January 1st, 2016

    Hosted by Randall Andrews, the Writers World Boot Camp is a six-month course designed to polish writers of any skill level. Whether you are just beginning or have been writing for years, this boot camp will provide valuable lessons, experiences, and instruction to help you develop your book.

    By the end of Boot Camp, you will have a finished novel ready for publishing. If the novel is of high enough quality, Randall may extend the offer of a contract through JaCol Publishing at the end of the six month period. Boot camp is broken up into three sections:

    Lessons and Exercises
    Writing
    Rewrites

    During each segment, you will work with your peers in the camp to develop your ideas and stories as well as working with Randall and his staff, who will guide you as you write your novel.

    $50.00/month

    For more information, questions, or signups contactRandall Andrews at randalla3@yahoo.com

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/WWBCRecruitingOffice/
    Anna Dobritt

    Anna M DobrittTwitter: @amdobritt

  15. #15
    I grow my own catnip JulieB's Avatar
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    Web site for the publisher: http://www.jacolpublishing.com/

    From the About page:
    JaCol has additional services that may help you find us as your ideal publishing company. With competitive pricing and generous splits for authors, our position is to put you, the author in the best possible position to have your work displayed in valued bookstores.
    I wonder how much the "additional services" cost. I hope "competitive pricing" refers to the price of books.

  16. #16
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    Or maybe if it meets their standards and they want to offer a contract, they'll be kind enough to refund the cost of the boot camp.
    I still poop rainbows.

    I won't steal any of your ideas. I have enough of my own I'm not using.



  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    Or maybe if it meets their standards and they want to offer a contract, they'll be kind enough to refund the cost of the boot camp.
    Considering the standards seem to consist of willingness to write a check...

  18. #18
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    From the look of Ja-Col, you do not need to be recruited to their list.

    I'm sceptical of just about any writing "boot camp". Such a weird image is forming at just the phrase alone... "Write all the way up those steps! Write, write, write you maggots! Write until I say you can't anymore. You will be writers. You will be writers. You will buy our competitively priced publishing package. You will be independent writers. One, two, three, four--write, write, write, write....

    Exercises don't work for some people at all. I suppose one could get through drafting and rewrites in six months of solid work, maybe, but where is this all taking place, because excuse me but I've got a job, a life, etc.? I can't get to your compound in Washington state, sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaCol About Page
    JaCol has additional services that may help you find us as your ideal publishing company. With competitive pricing and generous splits for authors, our position is to put you, the author in the best possible position to have your work displayed in valued bookstores. (There is no upfront fee.) Likewise, we offer, for a fee, editing services and critiquing, as well as, cover art illustration. - See more at: http://www.jacolpublishing.com/about....n2CRLsGF.dpuf
    So no upfront fee, then. It's more behind and back.

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    From the look of Ja-Col, you do not need to be recruited to their list.

    I'm sceptical of just about any writing "boot camp". Such a weird image is forming at just the phrase alone... "Write all the way up those steps! Write, write, write you maggots! Write until I say you can't anymore. You will be writers. You will be writers. You will buy our competitively priced publishing package. You will be independent writers. One, two, three, four--write, write, write, write....

    Exercises don't work for some people at all. I suppose one could get through drafting and rewrites in six months of solid work, maybe, but where is this all taking place, because excuse me but I've got a job, a life, etc.? I can't get to your compound in Washington state, sorry.


    So no upfront fee, then. It's more behind and back.
    Takes place online. You write five days a week, about 1k a day. You can't find the time to write that much? Yet you can find time to check out websites and post replies in forums.
    Anna Dobritt

    Anna M DobrittTwitter: @amdobritt

  20. #20
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Welcome, Anna. Please consult our Newbie Guide re: our One Rule.

    As for this workshop, which of your books do you believe best reflects what you learned from it?
    ICAO
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  21. #21
    Preparing for winter VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    I wrote about 1k last night after I posted.

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW TheAmir's Avatar
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    This is some of what I was warned about by a few fellow authors - near rabid and somewhat aggressive "defense" by Mr. Andrews' "supporters" towards anyone skeptical, who disagreed with or had questions of this particular Editor/Instructor.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say it does not reflect well on this "Boot Camp". It's been my experience that when something (or someone) can stand on their own merit, it (or they) doesn't need vehement defense of any criticisms, but rather welcomes questions/skepticism of that nature. Now, I don't think Randall Andrews is here to say anything one way or another in his own defense or to clarify any misunderstandings, so I have no idea if he'd be as pushy about some of the questions brought up in this thread... but I now sort of "get" what my network of author friends were talking about, seeing some of these responses.

  23. #23
    Grumpy Editor TheGreySentinel's Avatar
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    As far as the website goes, I'll be frank and say I doubt he put any time into it. It's a complete mess. It doesn't do him justice, and I have told him that on more than one occasion. He doesn't much care about the site since his focus is on his editing and writing, though he doesn't seem to understand that people (like you all) will see the site and judge him based on that. I don't blame you for doing so; if I didn't know him as well as I do, I would be equally skeptical.

    I do promise you, despite how atrocious his website is, the man can write.

    He can be extremely pushy at times, but he hasn't hounded me about missing days writing due to sickness or life just plain happening. He's not calling anyone maggots in any manner other than teasing. And it is obviously teasing.

    As has been said, your mileage may vary with him since - admittedly - he can be difficult to work with at times. He, like most long-time instructors, has strong opinions about certain subjects, and he will not pull punches or hand hold. Most of the folks Randall's offended that I've witnessed have been because he is exceptionally blunt and straightforward.

    Since he is not here to defend himself, I can tell you he wouldn't hate you for your skepticism. He would embrace it and let you judge him on his merits through experience. Or, again, such has been my experience with him. I'm not trying to advertise the Boot Camp, but I do feel it necessary to stick up for my friend when he is being spoken ill of. Such is the nature of friendship.
    Courage is a kind of salvation. - Plato

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreySentinel View Post
    As far as the website goes, I'll be frank and say I doubt he put any time into it. It's a complete mess. It doesn't do him justice, and I have told him that on more than one occasion. He doesn't much care about the site since his focus is on his editing and writing, though he doesn't seem to understand that people (like you all) will see the site and judge him based on that. I don't blame you for doing so; if I didn't know him as well as I do, I would be equally skeptical.

    I do promise you, despite how atrocious his website is, the man can write.

    He can be extremely pushy at times, but he hasn't hounded me about missing days writing due to sickness or life just plain happening. He's not calling anyone maggots in any manner other than teasing. And it is obviously teasing.

    As has been said, your mileage may vary with him since - admittedly - he can be difficult to work with at times. He, like most long-time instructors, has strong opinions about certain subjects, and he will not pull punches or hand hold. Most of the folks Randall's offended that I've witnessed have been because he is exceptionally blunt and straightforward.

    Since he is not here to defend himself, I can tell you he wouldn't hate you for your skepticism. He would embrace it and let you judge him on his merits through experience. Or, again, such has been my experience with him. I'm not trying to advertise the Boot Camp, but I do feel it necessary to stick up for my friend when he is being spoken ill of. Such is the nature of friendship.
    Not in grammatically-correct English, he can't. Sorry, but editors don't have to spend a lot of time to make sure their writing isn't utterly riddled with basic errors. They simply don't.

    If he were just offering a 'writing' bootcamp thing, in which he'd hassle people to put words on the page, talk about structure and what have you, fine. He claims all over the place to be an editor and able to teach people grammar. That's not ok, when he clearly has no grasp on it himself.

    Everyone makes mistakes - typos, errors, glitches in the Matrix, whatever - however, that site was absolutely not written by an editor. I'm not going to comment on his ability to write; I've got no idea really. I looked at that site and the first couple pages of a book of his on Amazon, and it all needs editing of nearly all kinds, direly. No editor produces stuff like that; no editor, if he or she had, would publish it, god knows.
    Last edited by cornflake; 06-27-2015 at 08:00 AM.

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW TheAmir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
    Not in grammatically-correct English, he can't. Sorry, but editors don't have to spend a lot of time to make sure their writing isn't utterly riddled with basic errors. They simply don't.

    If he were just offering a 'writing' bootcamp thing, in which he'd hassle people to put words on the page, talk about structure and what have you, fine. He claims all over the place to be an editor and able to teach people grammar. That's not ok, when he clearly has no grasp on it himself.

    Everyone makes mistakes - typos, errors, glitches in the Matrix, whatever - however, that site was absolutely not written by an editor. I'm not going to comment on his ability to write; I've got no idea really. I looked at that site and the first couple pages of a book of his on Amazon, and it all needs editing of nearly all kinds, direly. No editor produces stuff like that; no editor, if he or she had, would publish it, god knows.
    While I definitely agree with the sentiment on the website - I too tried to find his books on Amazon just to see what the guy is capable of via editing - there are two authors by that name. The one claiming to be an editor and running a writing boot camp goes by Randall "Jay" Andrews on Amazon - probably to distinguish himself from the other author, Randall Andrews (no "Jay", obviously). Not sure which book you looked at, but just in case of confusion there about the two different authors with the same name listed on that site.

    Anyway, back on topic here - GreySentinel - if he really can write/edit - he needs to understand that people are going to IMMEDIATELY check out his website, see all those glaring issues, and go running the other way. He's losing potential customers/students because he doesn't want to take the time to edit up his website. If he IS an author/editor, I just don't understand how he can possibly NOT take the time to fix up his webpage. He's running an online class. He sells his books online. His online presence needs to be -immaculate- if he's trying to sell his services as an editor/writing instructor.

    That's not an insult to him (I don't know the man) but it is the blunt truth of it.

    I realize this isn't your fault in any way. As you've said, you tried to tell him of this problem and that's really all you can do, as his friend. It's up to him to make the changes or not. Nor were you the "supporter" who was getting pushy and aggressive. You've been polite and not at all insulting towards anyone here, so far as I can see.

    As for his personal teaching methods - I have heard he can be blunt and that approach doesn't work for everyone (which is fine, there are plenty other writing instructors out there who do a great job with a more gentle approach for those who prefer a "light touch"). Hence the "your mileage may vary". Some people are fine with that style of teaching and more power to them. I don't think that's the subject that's making some people here kind of go "eeeeh...".

    Now if some of his own author friends/former students get rude and nasty when questions are brought up, that's not good. That's not something he (Andrews) can control, of course, but it still reflects -on- him when people consider if they want to use his services. No one wants to be in a class, virtual or otherwise, with someone breathing down your neck, ready to pounce on you if you disagree with their mentor on something while singing praises for every small thing said instructor does. And that's the thing I've been hearing on "the grapevine" which gives me the most pause about trying that boot camp.

    I guess I'm rambling now. But I think it would go a long, long way for his credibility here and on other author networking sites (been checking info on a few different writer networks) if he cleaned up his website and maybe dropped a line to the more aggressive of his friends to chill out just a bit whenever someone is skeptical.
    Last edited by TheAmir; 06-27-2015 at 03:20 PM.

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