Poetry and screen writing classes.
For the record, I have no money for the class. I will take it if I can afford it (and I'm extra active when it comes to a class, because I want to get my money's worth out of it).
lots of great ideas in here. i've only taken the SGJ class here, but i took several at the Cult, Clevenger, Monica Drake, Max Barry and Jack Ketchum. the SGJ class was amazing. watching him tear apart my stories live on video? brutal, but so cool.
i think these shorter, cheaper classes are a great idea. obviously bigger names are always cool, but they are much harder to get.
i'd love to study with Baer, but that's not happening. probably similar voices, maybe Donald Ray Pollock, but i know he's not big on technology, you could probably get Kealan Patrick Burke. i doubt Daniel Woodrell, but maybe Paul Tremblay, Craig Davidson, authors that aren't SO big that they'd say no. and definitely more gutsy women authors. Roxane Gay is amazing, but so is Lindsay Hunter, Amelia Gray, Holly Goddard Jones.
seems we get a lot of genre leaning authors in here, but i THINK people want to learn about literary fiction as well. maybe i'm wrong.
@Richard - I had Paul in the horror class. Aside from being a great author, he's an absolutely lovely guy.
yeah, paul is great, i know him a little bit, very generous. he's going to blurb my next book, Disintegration. i loved his collection, In The Mean Time, if you haven't picked it up, do so.
Yes to literary fiction authors Richard. Although I am getting good literary stuff from Jon's class. Right now all I want to think about Is metaphore.
I agree, for me I'm more interested in studying literary fiction right now, so I'm keeping an eye out. I think a lot of the classes look set up to work well with both genre and literary though too.
I'd never take a genre class because I don't write genre fiction, but I probably wouldn't take a "how to write literary fiction" class, either. I want ones that focus on content.
Also, I second Howie's sentiment, but goddamnit, a class with Howie and voodoo_em would be the best.
"How to write literary fiction" probably wouldn't make sense as a class unless it, like you said, had a more narrow focus on certain content. Though I'm not absolutely certain what you mean by 'focus on content,' I think I get what you mean.
I guess I mean content like topics, since it's not like there's really a "let's talk about this plot" type class. So, like the erotica one, or Lidia's sex and death, the kick-ass women one. I appreciate the core-building and intro classes, but it's cool to be offered classes where you can concentrate on learning how to write what you want to write, not how or what genre.
Oh, I hope I have the cash for that. I want to take a class with Lidia.
You just need a literary writer teaching, like Ann Patchett or someone, then it's literary. Genre writers kind of make it a genre class since that is what they do. Can learn from all though. Jon G class I consider literary. I would consider a class by Richard literary, too.
I second the vote for Poetry and Screenwriting!
(thanks, Cove, you're the best!)
Poetry and screenwriting. Noted.
A couple of people have mentioned more literary writers. I know there's been suggestions, but you know what? Hit me. Name names. Tell me who we should go after. Don't hold back.
I second Craig Davidson. I love that man's writing.
I know there's been suggestions, but you know what? Hit me. Name names. Tell me who we should go after. Don't hold back.
I know there's been suggestions, but you know what? Hit me. Name names. Tell me who we should go after. Don't hold back.
Douglas Coupland. Denis Johnson. Sherman Alexie.
I also would be interested in a 1 essay, 1 week course. I know that Clevenger has an essay that is brilliant that I'd love to see get more attention that he could do. But it would work like this: 1 essay, 1 example, 1 assignment. Then a week of discussion in the forum (including interaction with the instructor), submission of assignment for peer review, and then a conference call or something from the instructor.
I would pay $25-50 for this and feel great about it.
(edit: I just realized I posted this as my first response to this thread... I'm a little forgetful.)
Names (including the ones already suggested):
Mary Roach, Neal Stephenson, Max Barry, Christopher Moore, Neil Gaiman, Ed Brubaker (noir comics), Tim O'Brien, Donald Ray Pollock, Robert Crais, Tom Waits, David Wong, Terry Pratchet.
I'll add to a literary writer "if-only" wishlist:
Stewart O'Nan, Kevin Canty, Sam Lipsyte, Mat Johnson, Matt Bell, Rob Roberge, Jim Shepherd if stars aligned, definitely second (third?) Craig Davidson.
quick question - I am signed up for the Erotica class - Between the Sheets With Averil Dean starting today - I am just wondering if sometime today notes/etc will be posted and will I be getting an email update etc? I know it's last minute asking this question, but I'm going to be snowed in with this Nor'easter so I figured I'd do a lot of writing (unless the power goes out.)
Also I missed Jack Ketchum's class twice - pout - I know he probably won't teach again until next year, but more horror writers, also if we could reach out to Lucky McKee who co-wrote The Woman and I'm Not Sam with Ketchum since McKee does both screenwriting and novels, it might be a good class of cross overs - how to convert a novel to screenplay or how to write both together type of class. Many writers do both novels (novellas) that can be turned into screenplays and they also write screenplays so a way to mix the two would be AWESOME!!!
David Wong would be the shit.
I've taught a few online workshops that were really cheap and I was always pretty disappointed by the students' lack of participation as far as discussion and peer review. I always figured it was because the students didn't have much to lose considering they didn't pay much. It's interesting to find out that the same thing happens with online workshops that are at a higher cost (although I'm assuming it occurs less frequently).
Can we get Bradley as an instructor here?
For me the issue is often time (I don't know if I have the free time to take the class till I'm in it) so I'd love to see the occasional one set up for first two weeks you do X, third and forth weeks you do Y, and so on. I'm sure there are a ton of reasons that isn't popular/pragmatic, but it would help me.
I'd enjoy just a class on tools. Who uses Open Office VS. MS Office, or whatever. How do they do there back ups, tech stuff and subscriptions in general. Although that might be handled better as a column talking to a few different authors, not sure.
Maybe a class on how to judge the quality of feedback you are getting? Show us a good review and bad review of the work kind of thing?
@courtney, I'll take a pitch for a class from anyone who has a good one. Not to say it'll get past the pitch stage, but I'm always open.
@Dwayne, I'm not sure the tech stuff would make a good class. I am hoping to bring on the editor of a lit mag to do something on the submission process, and rate stories on whether they'd be accepted or declined, which hopefully gets back into the feedback portion of it.
IDEA: My background is in PR and marketing (reporter for 4 years, communications director in government for 4 years, past 2 years running a publishing imprint where I promote books and authors), and I'm thinking of doing a class on social media and marketing. There's plenty for authors to know there--what's effective, what's not, what you should hire for, what you can do yourself, how to build a platform. I think there's a good two week class there.
Would anyone be interested in something like that?
Thanks, Courtney. I'm definitely up for it.
Is anyone interested in taking a class on writing bizarro fiction? Or maybe humor writing?
I'm mostly interested in how to improve the craft. A lot of great names have been mentioned. I know it is hard to keep the classes cheap and get well-loved authors for low prices. What about getting more editors from fiction houses rather than the authors? Wonder of they would be interested?
Thinking about this more, I keep finding myself returning to the idea of 'graduating' from the classes so that it is a better thing to put on your resume/about me/etc. section to promote yourself. If I could put "Graduate from Craig Clevenger's 200 Proof Writing at Lit Reactor" and had some type of certificate to back it up, I would feel like I got even more from the class.
This would mean that all those people who dropped out would not have the certificate. And that might help keep people in the class. It also rewards the people who really do work hard in the classes. It would also have the added benefit of having putting out more shout outs to Lit Reactor in the biographies of more writers.
This might mean that some instructors would have to grade assignments, but it could mostly be done based on the student completing the homework and participating in the critiquing of the assignments.
I'm not sure a certificate is the kind of thing that's going to get people to finish a class. If they're not dedicated to it, they're not dedicated. It's not like the certificate would have any kind of weight.
But I don't know where my college diploma is. I couldn't even make at guess. Probably in the trash, or else I never picked it up and it's sitting in a drawer, so I'm not a good judge of this kind of thing.
Anyone interested in a certificate?
The physical diploma isn't what I'm really after, but a pass/fail kind of thing. So that I can be a 'graduate of Craig Clevenger's 200 Proof class' in my bio. That sort of thing. And I really do think it would make the drop-outs try harder to participate. Nobody wants a failing grade.
I get what Howie's getting at. It looks a bit fancier on your CV, LinkedIn profile, whatever than "did course at LitReactor". I just checked my freelancer.com account, and right now I have it listed under certifications like this:
Completed Grammar and Usage Course
Online course taught at litreactor.com by Taylor Houston
Completed Dialogue Course
Online course taught at litreactor.com by Suzy Vitello
Completed Fantasy and Sci-Fi Course
Online course taught at lireactor.com by Kat Howard
Completed Horror Course
Online course taught at litreactor.com by Sarah Langan, Paul Tremblay, F.Brett Cox, and John Langan
I know you guys are probably hesitant to put up lectures after the class has already been held, but I would pay good money for the lectures, and I would probably still do another class if it came up. I'm saying this having missed Averil's erotica class recently.
You could also say "has studied under..."
Would a "writing for video games" sort of class make any sense? I don't know what the interest would be like at all for that.
@Rob- A social media class would be awesome. Personally, I could use something like that.
I love Brianhowie's idea, and also the way MissJess described it. We dont' need a real diploma. Maybe we can just put that on our bio anyway if we finish a class.
Nik, thanks! It would cover social media, as well as websites, writing a bio, reaching out to press--all the marketing stuff that it would be helpful to know, that a publisher--especially a small one--might not do for you. Take control of your own destiny, kind of thing.
Covewriter, you're more than welcome to put on a bio or resume that you finished a class. I'm not sure we need to put anything into place to do that.
The social media + class sounds awesome, I could definitely use some instruction in that arena.
I'd also love an intro to poetry type of class.
Wow my first class ended today and I'm kind of sad. There was a lot of value: reading assignments, comments from others on your stories, etc. But the best thing from a class by far is interaction with the instructor. That is the basic thing. He gave me better advice than anyone. In these classes, the more teacher/student interaction you can negotiate the better. That is the main value and what we pay for. If you can promote a high level of instructor involvemnt, it will help. Jon was fabulous! Also I still think it would be good if people coudl post more storeis. I posted two during my class. That was fine. We had 17 people in and no way the instructor coudl do much more than one or two per person. But peopel want feedback on stories. Maybe smaller classes -- which would mean higher fees or the instructor doing a clas for less money. I know higher fees isn't a good thing. Peopel won't go for that. I'm just saying if you can work out more story posting and high teacher involvement for low fees, you would be like, a miracle worker. But you can do it. I know you can. ;)
So, just to give everyone an update:
Last night I had a long talk with Dennis and Kirk, and we took some of the ideas you've thrown out here, and we're exploring them, or thinking about them, or some we just can't do, but still! I can't talk about what we've got in store, but there should be some cool stuff to announce soon.
Thanks for the suggestions and the comments, everyone. And please, keep 'em coming.
Keep us posted!
Late to this discussion, but just wanted to weigh in. Took Kats Sci-fi class, and was honestly a bit disappointed in the level of engagement from the teachers side. Nothing outright bad, but just a bit on autopilot. I found her feedback to be short and at times a bit uninterested. The intensive course could have been... more intense.
As to classmates, I had basically the same experience as @mess_less and @la_emme_nikita, some mindblowingly helpful and invested people (the two aforementioned classmates included) but also a very varying level of talent.
If I had a gripe, it would be the copy/paste of a well-worn novel under construction. There was certainly a lot of that going on. 5000 words is a lot, if you need to read through at least five of them, and give each read your full attention.
For an online class to work best, you need lots, and lots, and lots of engagement.
Thanks for taking an interest in this Rob. The more value we can get from classes the better. I said earlier that being on litreactor sort of negates the value of other class members giving feedback, because we have that on litreactor already. it's a nice perk but it's not that much of a perk for me cause I have the guys here already. need teacher involve. Agree with others.
Just posted three new classes: http://litreactor.com/classes/upcoming
Check 'em out!
Hopefully will be posting new classes for Lidia Yuknavitch and Suzy Vitello soon (within the next week).
And if you were thinking about signing up for Christa Faust's class, check it out. There's still room, and it's kicking off tomorrow. Awesome class, awesome instructor.
I'd take Faust's class in a second if I had the dough. She's great.
I'll be taking the 'sell yourself class'. I'm a dummy when it comes to that stuff.
Howie-- in there now. The first assigment has already blown my mind. She seems pretty cool.
@Renee if you wake up with a splitting headache in the morning just remember not to scratch the back of your head. It will mess up the nueral transmitter and disturb my feed and I will be mighty pissed.
This would probably be a question for Kirk, but could something be done to make it easier to reach ongoing classes? It's weird to click from the homepage to classes to my classes to the name of the class. I tried bookmarking it, but I can't remember to use my bookmarks for the life of me.
Courtney, I'll talk to Kirk but I can also access classes under "my dashboard," which might be a click or two less. Want to give that a shot?