WordCraft LA Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp

Following the success of our Writers’ Resolution Boot Camp last year, we’re now offering an expanded 13-week program with separate tracks for fiction and memoir writers. From generating ideas to building an author platform, we’ll help you make significant progress on a writing project and start the year off right! For only $90, you will receive inspiration and motivation in the form of weekly e-mails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. Contact us today to get started!

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Friday
Dec132013

What You Get for Your $31

  • Your first completed resolution for 2014
  • Inspiration and motivation 
  • Guidance through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission 
  • Daily quotes from your favorite writers
  • Tips and commentary on craft from WordCraft’s four experienced consultants, among whom you will find:
    • two PhDs in English
    • an Oxford-educated tutor
    • a lecturer in the English department at UCLA
    • a former editor to Hunter S. Thompson
    • a writing instructor at Caltech
    • a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow
    • years of editing experience at literary journals, publishers, and universities
  • Daily writing prompts designed to work for fiction or nonfiction
  • Links to other resources on the web related to each day’s topic
  • 15% off one of our consulting services (editing, critique, coaching, submission consultation) at the end of the month
  • A discussion forum where you can interact with the WordCraft crew and other boot campers, asking questions and exchanging ideas
  • A kick in the butt every morning
  • The tools to keep writing all year
     
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Click through below to see a complete schedule for January.

Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp Schedule

Monday
Dec092013

Writers' Boot Camp: Here's the Drill

Join us in January for our first month-long Writers’ Resolution Virtual Boot Camp. For only $31—one dollar a day—we will take you through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission. Subscribers will receive daily emails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. We'll be there in your inbox every day to keep your writing on track. Start 2014 with us and discover the tools to keep writing all year.

*Subject to change, substitution, and “what were we thinking?”

Enter your subscription email


Click through below for a PDF version of the schedule.

Writers' Resolution Virtual Boot Camp

Monday
Dec022013

Announcing Our First Writers’ Resolution Virtual Boot Camp!


J
oin us in January for our first month-long Writers’ Resolution Virtual Boot Camp


For only $31—one dollar a day—we will take you through each stage of the writing process, from generating ideas to revision and submission. Subscribers will receive daily emails with craft tips, writing prompts, excerpts from classic and contemporary writers, and links to other resources. We'll be there in your inbox every day to keep your writing on track.

The price of admission also gets you 15% off one of our consulting services (editing, critique, coaching, submission consultation) at the end of the month. 

Our WordCraft consultants represent decades of teaching, writing, and editing experience. You'll find two PhDs in English, an Oxford-educated tutor, a lecturer in the English department at UCLA, a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, a former editor to Hunter S. Thompson, and multi-genre book and journal editors. We bring a wide variety of perspectives, academic training, and knowledge to the table, and we have a lot to say about words that work.

Start 2014 with us and discover the tools to keep writing all year. 
 

Enter your subscription email

Monday
Feb182013

What People Think Tutors Do vs. What Tutors Really Do

Have you seen the Internet meme “What People Think I Do/What I Really Do”? The meme looks something like this: 



If I were to put together one of these for writing tutors, I would have plenty of preconceived notions to draw on: that a writing tutor’s job is to write students’ papers for them or tell them what to write, for example, or that only students who are really struggling with the fundamentals of academic writing can or should use writing tutors. (I’m amusing myself by thinking about what the photo of the tutor writing his students’ papers might look like.) 

In fact, a writing tutor can help not only struggling students, but stronger students who want additional support as they move from one skill level to the next, or from high school to college, or college to graduate school.

A writing tutor can work with students who need help with self-discipline and organization, or with students who have a specific high-stakes project to complete and want to produce their best work. Most crucially, a writing tutor can be a sounding board, someone who is not a parent or a teacher, who knows how good writing works and how important it is for students to develop confidence in their own individual voices as writers. 

So what can a writing tutor do for you?

Let’s say you are a high school senior working on college applications. You’ve written a good draft of your personal statement, and you think you’ve responded well to the Common Application prompt (“Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you”). You’ve written convincingly about your volunteer work for the short answer question. And then you look at the supplemental essay questions for individual colleges and universities and spot this option: “So where is Waldo, anyway?” Or this one: “Celebrate your nerdy side.”

A writing tutor can certainly work with you on the more straightforward essay requirements for college applications; she can also help you figure out what you have to say in response to some of the more out-there supplements. She can encourage you to speculate on Waldo’s whereabouts or to let your genuine freak flag fly, and she can help you to edit the finished product so that an admissions committee will have a real sense of who you are and what unique qualities you would bring to the class of 2018. What else can writing tutors do?

  • Writing tutors can help to demystify complex essay questions; they can make it easier to understand what a teacher or professor is really asking for when her comments on your paper say, “Unclear argument” or “Needs more analysis.” 
  • Writing tutors can work with students to practice the writing skills they will need to do well on Advanced Placement or SAT tests. 
  • Writing tutors can help students put their best selves forward in personal statements for applications, whether those applications are for college, for internships, for graduate school, or for jobs. 
  • Writing tutors can strengthen the day-to-day writing skills that we all need in order to communicate: revising drafts effectively, or helping to find the best and most precise word to express your meaning and then showing you how to find that best word every time you write, with or without her help.

A writing tutor should be someone who supports you one-on-one and helps you to develop into the best writer you can be—someone whose goal is to make herself obsolete.


Posted by Megan Stephan

Friday
Feb082013

What You Should Expect from a Writing Coach


Image via Academic Coach Taylor

Coaching has become one of the most popular services offered by WordCraft consultants since we launched last July. Yet we’re frequently asked what a writing coach actually does. This post will cover a few things you can expect from a WordCraft coach—or that you should expect from any writing coach.

The coach will set up a schedule that works for you. 
 

Some writers pursue their craft full-time, so a weekly meeting can be most productive for them. Other writers are balancing the demands of work and family and their desire to write. These writers may want a biweekly or even a monthly meeting to stay in touch with their craft but also have time for other obligations. Coaches will also take financial considerations into account when deciding how often the meetings will occur. Because our clients are located in different regions across the country, most of our coaching sessions take place over the phone. Each session lasts for an hour. We will determine a regular time that works for you. Some clients prefer evenings or weekends; a few of our clients use their lunch hour. Most of our consultants are available during mornings and afternoons as well.

The coach will help you set goals to stay on track.
 

Our clients pursue a number of different genres — fiction, nonfiction, business writing, screenplays, and more — so each type of project produces its own set of tasks. Whichever genre you are pursuing, we will help you determine your objective and set reasonable, measured targets. We suggest activities that bring you closer to completing tasks that move you toward your goals. Calendars will be consulted.

The coach will make your phone session as productive as possible.
 

Most of our hour-long meetings include discussion of craft readings, brief writing exercises, review of work that has been written since the last session, and goal setting. Each meeting will be customized based on the goals that you have set. For example, a client who wanted to publish an essay may have a session that looks like this:

12:00–12:10 — Discuss two essays read before meeting as publication models
12:10–12:30 — Discuss draft of essay that client submitted before meeting
12:30–12:40 — Plan revision strategies to complete before next meeting
12:40­–12:50 — Complete exercise in real time that strengthens a skill 
12:50–12:55 — Set tasks and goals to be completed for next meeting

Working with the coach, the client will determine the activities for each session based on the progress made or desired.

The coach will adjust your training regimen depending on the next opponent, like Burgess Meredith does for Rocky.

Our coaches have worked with all levels of writers — from elementary school students to published authors — so we have reasonable expectations for each client, but we also know how to push you toward your objective in a way that feels challenging yet achievable. For some bouts, your regular writing schedule will be perfectly fine; for others, you’ll need to train a bit more rigorously. We’ll help you figure out when to up your game.

If you’d like more information, contact us at wordcraft@wordcraftla.com and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. Also, through February 12, we are offering 15% off all author services, including coaching.


Posted by Chris Daley