So you want to “write more” in the new year. But now that the new year is nearly upon us, you’re starting to spiral into a writerly panic. How will you find the time to write? What are you going to write about? How do you take that beautiful, gleaming vision of a novel that’s in your head and cram it onto the page? If you’re looking for a little more structure and guidance in your writing life, but you don’t have the time or the funds for an MFA, you might want to try joining a writer’s workshop from the comfort of your own bed. Here are a few online writing workshops to help you write more and write better in the new year.
Writing, after all, is a craft. It takes practice. It take re-writes, and long sessions of staring at your blinking cursor, and many, many hours alone at your computer and/or vintage typewriter. Having a group or a class that pushes you to meet deadlines is invaluable. And there are a lot of different workshop options out there. So whether you’re a beginner looking to try out the basics, or a seasoned writer in the market for a new writing community, these are the workshops and classes to check out in 2018:
The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown offers over 100 online writing workshops through 24PearlStreet. Classes cover everything from basic fiction to chapbooks to Valentine’s Day poems, with an emphasis on building supportive workshop communities. You’ll be able to comment directly on your classmates’ work and discuss assignments with them, all through 24PearlStreet’s virtual classroom.
Writer’s Digest University
Yes, Writer’s Digest has their own online university, complete with workshops, boot camps, and manuscript critiquing services. Their workshops range from the general (such as “Creative Writing 101”) to the incredibly specific (like “Freelancing for Stay at Home Moms and Dads” or “Analyzing the Work of Genre Master Stephen King”). They even offer workshops tailored to MFA applications or self-publishing, for writers of every experience level.
Gotham Writers Workshop
You don’t have to be a city slicker to enroll in Gotham Writers Workshop. They do offer in person workshops, intensives, and free events in NYC, but they also have an impressible catalog of online courses. These classes cover fiction, nonfiction, script writing, comedy, songwriting, video game writing, and everything in between. There’s also a huge Gotham Writers community online, where you can connect with other writers and stay updated on submission opportunities.
Scribophile is a little different than these other workshops: it’s a free online community of writers, where you can post your own work for critique. You can also give feedback to your fellow writers and read through a large collection of online resources to hone your craft. There’s a Premium subscription level as well, which gives you a higher degree of control over who gets to read your writing. If you want to dip your toes in the creative writing workshop pool, this is a great way to get started.
If you’re looking for a small online workshop experience, without an instructor or a formal classroom setting, you might want to try Inked Voices. Once you sign up and create a profile, you can search through Inked Voices’ network of writing groups until you find one that fits your own preferred genre or style. Then simply introduce yourself, and start exchanging feedback and writerly support with your new virtual writing pals.
Now Novel will walk you through the process of writing a novel, step by step. Joining is free, and you’ll have access to blueprints for keeping track of plot and characters, writing workshop groups for exchanging feedback, a Writing Blog chock full of advice, and the option of entering into a mentorship program with an experienced writing coach. If you’re struggling with what to write about, Now Novel will even help you out with ideas prompts to get the ball rolling.