View Full Version : YA Writing Class

09-09-2007, 10:25 PM
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to this board but wanted to share my experience with Lauren Barnholdt's class. I took the month long class in July 2007 and we had eight in the class. The fee was $149.

I had a very negative experience with Ms. Barnholdt’s class. Numerous people have provided Writer Beware with letters about their experiences. The most often cited problems include minimal or vague feedback on critiques, lack of participation on the message board by the instructor, and delays or failures to return assignments.

I also came to doubt Ms. Barnholdt’s expertise and knowledge of the subject matter. She introduced the novel Uglies as paranormal (it’s sci-fi) several times and her comments on critiques showed that she was uncomfortable and unknowledgeable in areas other than chick-lit., in my opinion. The short articles posted on the message board were geared to the true beginner and the instructor was unsuccessful in stimulating or encouraging a meaningful exchange about the topics presented. Sometimes students would post questions only to be ignored. It appeared that days passed without the instructor even checking in.

We were assigned two novels for the class and the only analysis we did was to state our opinions of each book. It seemed like a missed opportunity for the whole class not to have a more meaningful analysis of what worked and what didn’t. I would never recommend a class taught by Ms. Barnholdt. I think that using the money to buy several writing books and working through those would be a better use of our hard earned dollars.

Anyone who would like more information can contact me by e-mail. There is also a long thread on Verla Kay's board where former students discuss their experiences.


Danger Jane
09-09-2007, 10:39 PM
I'm sorry she ripped you all off.


We'll teach you everything about writing. So true. This website is like the opposite of Ms Barnholdt.

09-09-2007, 11:19 PM
That sounds like my high school creative writing class.

Except the teacher really did care. She just didn't have the time or the expertise to cultivate those of us in the class who were above the "this is a protagonist and this is an antagonist and now write me something that demonstrates you know the difference" level.

Well. You're in the right place, I'll say. I've learned more here than anywhere else (except for the actual act of writing). But this place is encouragement and knowledge and craft and fun and experienced people and newbies and every point of view under the sun.


Shady Lane
09-10-2007, 07:30 AM
Welcome to AW. ;)

Chicken Warrior
09-10-2007, 08:18 AM
At least you're only 150. Some classes are more around the 1500 mark (ridiculous as it is). Hopefully you still got to meet some other writers, at least.

clara bow
09-11-2007, 07:28 AM
Well, unfortunately I'm in the same boat. Although I met some fantastic fellow writers, the class overall was a big disappointment. I can't say it was an outright scam, but it fell far short of expectations (including those based on what was promised). I don't recommend it, and as far as the instructional aspect, you can get all of that here or on Verla Kay for free.

I also am willing to share details if anyone needs them about this class. I'm just sorry to hear that over a year later, concerns are still being raised.

Alexandra Little
09-12-2007, 12:06 AM
I was going to sign up for the class, but then I went to college and became a Poor Student.

I get alot of help on this board, anyway--I'm not going to pay for a class when I can get great advice here (although, I'll have to pay for my college creative writing class, but that's another story).

09-12-2007, 05:07 AM
The only classes I took was some in high school because I have no funds to spend on the classes. I am really sorry you were ripped off too. I wish they had classes where people would volunteer their expertise so we all could learn to write better. I may be more opted to go to those classes if they were here in the city. I loved my creative writing class. In fact, I took another semester as an Independant study and ended up finishing the full week in just one or two days, spending the rest of my week on my book. It's the same one I've rewritten for a publisher which they didn't want after asking me to make changes. Total bummer if you ask me.


09-12-2007, 05:29 AM
I wish they had classes where people would volunteer their expertise so we all could learn to write better.

Well, you know, you're already there!

It's called the Absolute Write Water Cooler. I've learned more here than anywhere else. Really, it is a treasure.