DARLINGS! It’s Friday here at Women and Words-land and I thought I’d have an awesome fellow author and colleague on board to tell you a bit about a most amazing and super-cool program that the Golden Crown Literary Society is offering.
Before we get into this, I’ll say that we got a tip from over the transom from a WaW reader to get a blog along these lines posted and all I could think was D’OH! ::facepalm::
OF COURSE we should talk about the WRITING ACADEMY offered through the Golden Crown Literary Society, and OF COURSE we should have the always effervescent Beth Burnett to tell us about it, since she is deeply involved with it and is also the GCLS director of membership.
So THANK YOU, WaW tipster! Not sure you wanted to be named, but you know who you are. 😀
And now, I’m turning this here blog over to Beth. Thanks for joining us today, Beth, and telling us about this awesome.
The GCLS Writing Academy
I was so excited when the powers that be over at Women and Words asked me to write a blog about the Golden Crown Literary Society Writing Academy. I’m such a fan of this amazing program. It’s kind of like the most intense boot camp you’ve ever attended…Only in this program, you don’t end up face down in the bushes crying, swearing, and throwing up. In fact, I’ve been petitioning the board to change our tagline to “GCLS Writing Academy: Lots of Writing. No Burpees.”
Seriously, this ten-month program covers everything a writer needs to know about character development, plot and subplot, dialogue, point of view, research, tension and pacing, and setting. We go one step further by teaching our students about query letters, how to write a synopsis, and the different ways to shop for a publisher. In fact, most of the students from our first year are now published authors, and they all extol the benefits of this program. This year’s students are in mentoring now, nearing the finish line, and looking to graduate at the annual conference, slated for Alexandria, VA (think Washington, DC) in July.
We have some amazing professors who not only give classes that will hone your writing to a point so fine it would protect you in Game of Thrones, but who also give thoughtful, constructive feedback on your writing as it pertains to each assignment.
We have weekly Saturday morning classes, some of which are filled by awesome guest speakers. Last year, among others, Lee Lynch and Ann McMan took us on an entertaining romp through the art of the short story, Karin Kallmaker turned her considerable talents on teaching the importance of research, and Isabella taught us everything we need to know about finding a publisher.
Students come into the program in various stages of development. Most have the bulk of their first novel written. Some have already written and published a novel and want to make their next one a rock star. All come with a willingness to work, learn, engage, and write. The program is intense. Beyond the weekly classes, we have homework assignments and peer grading. And students are expected to apply what they’ve learned to their current work in progress. The program isn’t easy, but it is worth it. We give you lessons and assignments and lots of work, yes. But we also give you support and guidance and the tools to do your job.
And you have the fun of muscling, er – working through the program with a group of your peers. A shared group and a Facebook discussion page and monthly phone call check-ins allow students to share joys and triumphs and struggles in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
At the end of the class sessions, we turn the students over to our mentors who kindly, but firmly give feedback on the first fifty pages of the completed, or mostly completed manuscript.
The Writing Academy chooses only the best and brightest professors and mentors to make sure our students get top-tier instruction. Last year, we were saddened at the loss of one of our beloved professors, Sandra Moran, who was a staunch supporter of the Academy; she was also a supporter of aspiring authors in many ways. Beyond the memory of her laughter, her intelligence, her warmth, and her incredible writing, Sandra left a tangible legacy to the Writing Academy in the form of a scholarship fund that will cover full tuition for one student each year. This year, we are in the process of choosing that applicant. Sandra was a true gem among women and she wanted to make sure that a lesbian writer who had the talent, but not necessarily the means, could have access to this incredible program. What a gift.
Though the Sandra Moran Scholarship is closed to applications for this year, we will be accepting new applications next year. In the meantime, the Writing Academy still has spots to fill and we will be accepting applications through the first of August, 2016. Click HERE for more information. You won’t come out of the program with sculpted abs and bulging biceps, but you will come out with the best writing of your life. And I promise, no burpees.
Again, the links:
I am a huge supporter of this program, friends, and actually worked on some of the early incarnations of it, before it launched. I’m honored that I was tapped to lend a hand, and I am so excited to see how it’s blossomed. So if you’re an aspiring/perspiring writer, get in on this if you can. You’ll meet some wonderful people, develop skills, and tap into a fabulous network.
Thanks, Beth, for stopping by and thanks again to the merry tipster.
Happy Friday, everybody!