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Thread: Writer's Digest University / Writer's Online Workshops

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Laurie's Avatar
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    Writer's Digest University / Writer's Online Workshops

    Are the courses taught at Writers Online Workshops presented by Writers Digest legitimate classes that are worth the money?



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  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/

    You'd be paying for the privilege of "personal feedback" from the instructor(s), so make sure you like their work.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Laurie's Avatar
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    Good point. Thanks.



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  4. #4
    ~writes for Him~ Robin Bayne's Avatar
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    The Writer's Digest novel writing workshop I took (about 10 years ago) was worth it--but it was all done by snail mail back then.

  5. #5
    I *am* Catwoman...and Gini Koch WPR Dominatrix JeanneTGC's Avatar
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    I took their "How to Publish Your Completed Novel" course a year or so ago. The how to write a query letter and short synopsis part, as well as the general education for how publishing and agents and editors work, was very much worth the price. Was not as thrilled by the feedback on my actual novel from the author who was teaching the course -- her whole experience was with thrillers and the book that I was taking through that course was epic fantasy. To say that she had no grasp of what either the words epic or fantasy meant is an understatement. However, the "selling" portion was great and the teacher was certainly dedicated, albeit unable to understand why I could not take an epic fantasy and "speed up the storyline to start and end over a weekend or three days".

    I also found it very easy to do online, and met a couple of friends through class. We still encourage each other through the "fun" process of submissions and rejections (not to mention finishing and editing and re-editing), so that was worth it, too.

    For sure they use published authors, all of whom are successful, so you would learn from those who have gone before. I was happy with the investment of money and time, and would do it again if I felt interested in one of their sessions.

    The side benefit of taking this course was to see firsthand how many people are, frankly, delusional about their books being ready. It was a great ego booster, and it also gave me great empathy for all agents, editors and publishers out there, because I saw over a few weeks what it is they really see on a daily basis. And it ain't pretty.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW lostwanderer5's Avatar
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    Writers Digest Online Workshop

    Does anyone have experience of attending any of the Writers Digest online workshops?

    I am considering signing up for one, but wondered if people found them useful, or any other information you might have.
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  7. #7
    Conqueror Worm HisBoyElroy's Avatar
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    I took one and found it almost useless. Too much depends on the other students and the motivation of the teacher. In my case, the other students were too dissimilar (abilities, genres, etc) to help each other much and mostly there was no interaction at all. The teacher would write a single 2-sentence or so critique of a 5000 word submission with a small smattering of line edits. Questions were answered tersely, a word or two. I felt like it was a waste of money.

  8. #8
    The cake is a lie. But still cake. shaldna's Avatar
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    i've tried several of these online workshops - not just WD ones - and I agree with the other poster who said that it depends alot on who is delivering the course. I've found several 'workshops' to be no more than a couple of excersises and alot of reading.
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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW lostwanderer5's Avatar
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    Thanks HisBoy & shaldna.

    The tutor I was looking at is Gloria Kempton. I have got her WD book, but wonder what the class would be like.

    I am not really bothered about student interaction part, but I would want a good tutor if I did something like it.
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  10. #10
    Mad Thread Killa Haupe's Avatar
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    Bumping this up, because I'm considering the course on writing a first draft in 12 weeks. If anyone has taken the course, or specifically worked with M@rk Sp3ncer, I'd appreciate a comment here or via personal message.

    Thank you!
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  11. #11
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister Medievalist's Avatar
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    You know that's a chunk of change, $500.00. You could take a workshop in person for that -- or even less, from an author whose work you know. You could go to a con, for many genres, and take several such workshops--and get a critique.

    And frankly, I'm deeply suspicious about any class that uses the phrase "fictional novel."

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  12. #12
    Mad Thread Killa Haupe's Avatar
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    Medievalist, I should definitely re-research the local university's offerings. Thank you for the reminder. Cons won't work for what I require, and there aren't any in my neck of the woods anyway. LOL about "fictional novel." Good eyes. I'll rep you his faculty page, though. His credentials look legitimate to me, and he does have three books on Amazon that have been positively reviewed, so that much seems OK.

    I wonder if someone else wrote the course intro page...?

    Anyway, thanks for the input!
    ~ Tartitude ~ Twitter ~ Writer Unboxed ~ FB

    "When writing a novel, that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day." ~Neil Gaiman

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  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aj Johnson's Avatar
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    Cool Copywriting and Writer's Digest University

    So lately I've been dreading my current job and want a way out but while taking a step in the right direction. My dream (like many others here) is to make a decent living writing. Especially creative writing such as novels, short stories etc. But sometimes a writer must find something else to make a living off of while still sharpening and honing their skill.

    I've done some digging into Copywriting and found that it may be something I could get into. I've also been receiving emails lately about it and how to get your foot in the door. Writer's Digest sends me great emails with articles and such and just the other day I received one that was offering a 4 week course in copywriting where they will walk you through the techniques, give you feed back on your writing, and help you get your foot in the door with a portfolio. Only thing is, the course cost 200 bucks. While if it is indeed a great step in the right direction I'd love to throw 200 bucks at them and say "here. Make me what I need to be to succeed." I'm just skeptical with anything I see on the internet.

    I my question is, has anyone ever taken a course from "Writer's Digest University" ? and come out happy and satisfied with their money spent? Will they give me the extra boost and confidence I need to succeed in this new career path?

    Any other suggestions are also welcome. Thanks in advance for the help.
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  14. #14
    The Paulest of all Coscas paulcosca's Avatar
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    Personally, I have not done any of the Writer's Digest courses. I certainly get emails about them, but I've never had any inclination to do it.

    I guess you just have to take a hard look at what you will be getting for what you will be paying. If you pay your 200 bucks, you may very well get a solid idea about what it takes to be a copywriter. But is that course going to get you a job? Without any other experience, I don't think that just having that course on your resume is what's going to get you the job you want. Maybe I'm wrong, but I would take a hard look around to see what your 200 bucks might buy you elsewhere.

    You might also search right around your area to see if there are any places that might be willing to throw you some basic work experience. You might be working for free at first, but I feel like spending your time getting experience in the field might be more helpful. But those are just my two pennies.
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  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Aj Johnson's Avatar
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    Your two pennies well received. Thanks for the input. I decided not to take the course just yet (it started a few days ago) and decided to look around and see if its really worth it or not.
    Check out my blog I recently started.
    http://aj-johnson216.blogspot.com/

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  16. #16
    living in the past ishtar'sgate's Avatar
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    WD's Agent One-On-One Boot Camp

    I just received an email message advertising this online course. Have any of you taken it and if so was it helpful? How?

    THANKS. I SEE THIS HAS BEEN ASKED AND ANSWERED ONCE BEFORE.
    Last edited by ishtar'sgate; 08-15-2013 at 01:43 AM. Reason: already answered

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