TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories February 1, 2014 - 12:06am

Jon G's intro to fiction class.  I did not make lasting relationships, but that was not my goal, or maybe I am just covering up for general character defects and basically being a bastard.
Anyway, I just wanted to learn something about fiction, and I did.  I learned a lot. He gave a lot of feedback to people's work, and it was all very constructive.  And I cannot speak for all classes, but I was exposed to some really interesting stuff that the other people wrote too. Actually the stuff people wrote for class was pretty different than a lot of the stuff on the workshop. I wonder if the smaller group and knowing exactly who is going to read it made it a 'safer' place as it were.  I know the thing I put on the workshop is dumb and light and I risked zilch by people liking it or not, but what I put up in the class was more 'serious.' Or something like that.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig February 9, 2014 - 4:21pm

I took two classes with Lidia Yuknavitch and I have since met her and we stay in touch. She's amazing. Now, the real reason I popped in-- 

WHO is taking that sold out class?! Do you understand how much it is going to change your writing/your self?!! Let's talk about it. Loved that class. 

J.Lenni.Dorner's picture
J.Lenni.Dorner from Eastern Pennsylvania, USA is reading The War of the Flowers, Word Magic for Writers, etc February 11, 2014 - 12:57pm

Anyone interested in a certificate?

 

As I'm sitting here doing my income taxes right now, and it is asking if I was Enrolled in a Certificate or Credential Program -- yes, I very much wish I had a certificate for the two classes I paid for this year.

 

Really it only helps if Lit Reactor falls into this though:

If your school participates in the student aid program run by the Department of Education, then your school counts as an 'eligible' school.

Studying at an eligible school means you're able to qualify for all the great deductions and credits available for students.

Nearly all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) post secondary institutions are considered eligible schools.

 

Also, it would be nice if, at the end of the course, students were asked to anonymously evaluate the course and teacher. Simple questions- What did you hope to gain by taking this course? Did you meet that goal, and what evidence supports your answer?

This way you know how the classes are really doing. Obviously an intelligent writer is going to refrain from openly saying something negative about an instructor who is, for example, an agent. Saying a great deal of praise might be mistaken for "sucking up,"  so that also has to be avoided. If it is anonymous, there's a better chance of real answers, and that makes for the best improvements (according to the research I'm aware of, at least). 

Matt A.'s picture
Matt A. February 12, 2014 - 9:17am

Speaking of evaluations...I seem to remember being sent an electronic evaluation form from the first few classes I took here, about a year ago, but with the more recent classes I have not seen anything like that.

One class in particular I thought was in need of some constructive feedback. Can LR get back to that practice?

Angel Colón's picture
Angel Colón from The Bronx now living in New Jersey is reading A Big Ol' Pile of Books February 14, 2014 - 11:01am

Renee, I'm assuming you're talking about Clevenger's class?

A day and change in and I'm already looking at my dialogue in a completely new and mind-melting way.

Way too hyped for the next four weeks of material.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories February 14, 2014 - 5:43pm

Renee---So I don't really have much interest in writing memoir---how does her class carry over for non memoir writing?

Gio Clairval's picture
Gio Clairval from Europe is reading Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch February 18, 2014 - 10:35am

I am surely off thread, but, after my first experience, I've come to the conclusion that I would benefit more from a "specialized" class, as opposed to a generic "short story" or "storytelling" course. I've noticed one of those "focus" seminars coming up.

But I have a question. 

Is there some kind of discount for a returning customer?

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this February 18, 2014 - 10:43am

Gio--on most classes we have a discount built in for the site's premium members. A returning-student discount is something I'm open to thinking about, but we don't have a specific plan in place for it. 

And, I forgot to address this concern earlier, but yes: I'm hoping to get surveys out after classes again, for evaluations, but anyone who wants to give feedback or talk class stuff is always welcome to PM me on the site, or e-mail me at rob@litreactor.com. 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts February 18, 2014 - 3:16pm

A returning student discount would be awesome. I've taken a bunch and usually come back when I find myself in heaps of money.

Might even take this Swiercsynki course this week. Anyone else here signed up yet?

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this February 18, 2014 - 3:20pm

Noted. The LitReactor crew is going to Seattle for AWP next week. I think we're going to carve out a little time to talk about stuff like this. I'll add it to the agenda. 

And... there's a couple of people signed up for Duane's class! Though there are still seats available. You should totally do it. Not biased. Not biased at all (kidding yes I am).

SRead's picture
SRead from Colorado is reading Stories February 18, 2014 - 3:45pm

Hi Rob--

Loving the classes. Thanks! 

I thought I'd throw out a request for a short, focused synopsis class. I'm afraid I don't know of any teachers to suggest, but I have heard rumors that there are some who have survived the process.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this February 18, 2014 - 8:09pm

I tried to get a synopsis class on the docket and it didn't pan out. I'll try again!

SRead's picture
SRead from Colorado is reading Stories February 18, 2014 - 9:14pm

Much appreciated!

klahol's picture
klahol from Stockholm, Sweden is reading Black Moon February 21, 2014 - 11:48pm

Wrong forum for it, but any new contests planned? Been kind of quiet since Teleport Us. Oh, and you owe me a t-shirt. :-)

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this February 25, 2014 - 11:14am

The writing challenges are hard. I think we learned on the first two that, while they are a ton of fun, they take so much time and energy to manage. And sometimes we struggle just to stay above water on a lot of what goes on here. 

Not to say we're opposed to them. I'll be out at AWP this weekend with the siterunners and I'm sure this is one of the things we'll discuss. 

Sorry about the shirt though. Can you PM me details? Mailing address, link where it was awarded? I'll get it straightened out. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 25, 2014 - 11:25am

Could there be something between the full on writing challenges and just the same old same old work shop or story of the month (which seems to be gone)? A theme section 'this quarter gather here in this separate sub section if you want to work on 2nd person' or 'top rated story gets an LBL by someone most of us would respect'.  Not saying that has to be that, just something to change it up a bit.

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce February 26, 2014 - 8:57am

Cat Rambo runs classes of her own. She's someone I respect and admire as a writer - and she seems like a nice person as well. Could be cool if she was doing classes via LR. I like the format set up here for classes.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this February 26, 2014 - 9:06am

Dwayne--good suggestions. More stuff to talk about this weekend. 

Jess--I'll investigate!

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated February 26, 2014 - 10:56pm

Or maybe permanent sub sections depending on what you are worried about/working on?

djtrotter's picture
djtrotter from Wyoming via NC is reading The Girl On The Train March 11, 2014 - 7:24pm

I've been waiting for a non-fiction/memoir or creative non-fiction class. It seemed that the last memoir class was sold out practically before it was announced. Any chance more in that venue might come available? Just the fact that it was sold out that quickly seems to indicate that more of those kinds of classes are warranted.

I've taken some memoir classes, but would love an in depth course from a dynamic, seasoned professional like those on this site!

Thanks!

 

Deb

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this March 12, 2014 - 6:54am

Deb--we had a personal essay class with Chloe Caldwell that did very well (you can see it here) and we're planning to bring it back, probably at the beginning of the summer. 

I'm open to more in the non-fiction realm. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig March 15, 2014 - 7:28pm

Shit, I never checked back in on this...


Renee---So I don't really have much interest in writing memoir---how does her class carry over for non memoir writing?

I don't write memoir either. She doesn't even require what you turn in to be non-fiction (except maybe one assignment?). The focus is more about using the body to communicate difficult things, i.e. sex and death and the emotions surrounding those things. I've used those lessons in every thing I have written since and it's heavily influenced the spec fiction novel I'm revising ATM. I'll PM you in case you don't check back in (like I didn't).

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons March 24, 2014 - 7:15pm

It know Seductive Beginnings is sold out, but if anyone drops or openings come available, I'm prepared financially to be in.  

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons March 25, 2014 - 6:34pm

Who of you are taking Craig's class on May? It's a lot of money but I'm considering it. 

Angel Colón's picture
Angel Colón from The Bronx now living in New Jersey is reading A Big Ol' Pile of Books March 26, 2014 - 5:18am

@Covewriter I just finished Craig's class.

If you've got the funds, TAKE IT.

Completely changed how I looked at my writing during the first draft and future revisions. Also; a story I wrote during the second week is already being published (waiting to whore it out in that thread soon).

The only criticism I had was the lack of engagement with some of the class members, but those I did engage with were awesome and Craig's lectures were outstanding.

I'd also recommend checking out his books (if you can find them, they're both out of print).

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 26, 2014 - 7:20am

I think that is the issue with all classes, online and in person.  It sucks when everyone is not engaged, but I have yet to find a class that gets more than 50% really taking advantage of all the learning opportunities. Which always seems weird to me because classes are not cheap and, since we're out of compulsory education, they are voluntary.  Is it writer's block?  Day to day life gets in the way?  

Angel Colón's picture
Angel Colón from The Bronx now living in New Jersey is reading A Big Ol' Pile of Books March 26, 2014 - 8:08am

It's probably the day to day. Crap happens. At the same time, for the price, I tend to go out of my way to make the time whenever I can.

djtrotter's picture
djtrotter from Wyoming via NC is reading The Girl On The Train April 4, 2014 - 8:17am

Rob,

Thanks so much for the heads up on on Chloe Caldwell's personal essay class. I see that it's being offered in May. The examples of success stories from class participants is impressive.

I'm saving up the funds. Hopefully, it won't sell out before I can sign up.

 

 

KellyWoestman's picture
KellyWoestman from Carthage, Missouri is reading Isaac's Storm May 4, 2014 - 11:22am

I took a workshop from Holiday Reinhorn last summer at the Iowa Writing Festival and she made me aware of LitReactor. I am doing lots of exploring and I signed up for Rhonda's "Intro to YA Fiction." I quickly found myself a fish out of water. I read the title thinking it would be an intro yet the active people in the class seemed to already not only have the idea and plot for their YA novel but some had it mostly or all written and wanted pieces reviewed. When the instructor told me my idea didn't fit YA, I pretty much faded out feeling like there was no way I could keep up since everyone else was so far ahead of me. And I rarely don't follow through - especially when I have paid good money to participate.

I am a college history professor who has been teaching online courses since they became available over 20 years ago and understand the ins and outs of online classes. I certainly do NOT recommend grading assignments - there are plenty of other places to get that. In contrast, I enjoy the positive writing environments I found in Iowa and attending in-person workshops at Lighthouse in Denver and the Loft in Minneapolis (I love to travel to bigger cities than the small town I live in) as well as online classes from Lighthouse and Gotham Writers Center.

I think instructors providing gentle nudges, including "jump in any time" (that depends on the design of the course content, however) is the best way but if people pay and then don't participate, it's up to them.

On the other sites the labeling seems to be a bit clearer - but maybe something like "Writing your Young Adult Novel" that comes after an actual intro class that introduces you to the genre and divides up the writing exercises into discreet and manageable parts for a newbie? Just a thought. It may just be that I didn't read the description closely enough.

I have just signed up for the Personal Essay course that starts in a few weeks. I like the community here and the interaction provided in between classes. Thanks for asking for more input.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch August 27, 2014 - 10:42am

I can't believe I didn't notice Chuck's workshop until it was filled out (I suspect that happened in like 30 seconds!!). Does anyone know if he'll do it again, ever, and if, when? ish?

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this August 27, 2014 - 11:19am

Liana--it's going to depend on Chuck's schedule, but we'd love to have him back. This is the second time he's teaching for us--the first time he was a guest instructor, now he's doing his own solo class--so we hope this is the start of a beautiful relationship. 

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch August 27, 2014 - 8:36pm

Oh, that would be great! I nearly fainted when I saw. Oh well. I'll get back in here more regularly, maybe I won't be out of the loop as I've been. Thanks for clarifying...

Motor-Psycho's picture
Motor-Psycho from Montreal is reading Everything By Willeford September 17, 2014 - 11:55am

Im a lazy writer and would greatly benefit from a structured class on writing one's novel - from synopsis to beat sheet, outline and first draft.

 

if I had someone other than myself to answer to I imagine I could get some words down.

 

 

BeeGee's picture
BeeGee from Missouri is reading My e-book on Smashwords, The Gabriel Memos. September 17, 2014 - 1:05pm

I looked through the class catalog for a feature article writing class today. I didn't find one. I'd like to do freelance writing. I mostly write non-fiction books. I've never taken a journalism class.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this September 17, 2014 - 1:35pm

Motor--I've got some stuff coming up that might fit that bill, so keep your eyes peeled. But I'll keep it in mind. 

BeeGee--we haven't had a ton of success with journalism classes, but I'm always open to it. We ran a class with Alan Black, if that's the kind of thing you're looking for... 

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 29, 2014 - 4:41pm

Skimming through the class catalog, I didn't see any classes devoted to specific "age" categories. I'd love to see a grouping of classes that reviews techniques tailored to the different readerships ... middle grade, young adult, adult, and definitely New Adult as this category doesn't often get enough respect these days (I know there is one up in the catalog already, but it seems to review only the romance genre, and NA has been branching out lately).

I would be really interested in seeing how experienced authors tailor their writing styles to these specific genres, and what techniques they found successful with each particular readership. I in particular would sign up for a middle grade lecture ASAP, but I can't speak for others on here.

Sorry if this idea has been mentioned before. It may not even be a good one, or plausible in any way ... but I thought I'd toss it in the hat regardless.

Hetch Litman's picture
Hetch Litman from Ojai, Ca. is reading Wise Blood by Flannery OConnor October 18, 2014 - 9:27am

I'm sure that this topic has been brought up  before and I apologize if I missed excatly where, but I was wondering if the powers that be have given any thought to selling the actual class sans teacher?  What I am trying to say is why not also sell the class itself, as in the actual lectures and assignments, to those who were locked out of the class? Or maybe even just the oppurtunity to peruse that "classroom"

I, and many others, would obviously love to read the lectures and see the assignments that Chuck, Craig, or <insert teacher here> gave and to see their notes. Furthermore being able to view the participants homework would be great as well. So, maybe, sell the class for  whatever you guys think is fair, just without the teacher.

 

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things October 18, 2014 - 10:51am

I'm going to let one of the higher-ups answer this more definitively, but my guess is that they will say that we can't sell class material after the fact because of intellectual property issues.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things October 18, 2014 - 10:56am

Anna,

We actually have had several classes dedicated toward youth-oriented audiences. Not sure if any are enrolling now, but keep your eyes open, and you'll likely see them come around again.

Young Adult

New Adult

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 18, 2014 - 7:42pm

@Nathan - Why couldn't the teachers be cut in on whatever is made on the reselling?

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things October 18, 2014 - 9:05pm

They could, but that's a whole thing in itself that's pretty close to us becoming a publishing house. That's an entire side business, not a simple operational variable. There are lots of cool ideas out there for LitReactor to publish things. It's always possible that maybe someday we'll be inspired to pull together some resources to publish something, but right now, we have a lot of other projects cooking that are within our immediate capabilities, savvy?

Again, I'm not speaking on behalf of the uppers here; they can pop in whenever and contradict me. But based on responses to other publishing ideas that I've run past them, I'm guessing the answer will be a coy, "that sounds awesome, maybe some day," before they fade away into scattering petals that are carried off by a ghostly wind.

If nothing else, let's wait and see what happens when I get the new Featured Workshop story system rolled out, shall we? But I will send the class notes thing up the chain, on the chance that I am completely wrong about it.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this October 19, 2014 - 6:43am

Anna--Sorry I didn't respond to your message sooner. Slipped by me. Nathan pointed out the YA and NA classes, and I'm talking to someone about doing a MG class. Those genres are definitely on my radar. 

Hetch--We're having conversations about running classes without the instructors. The question is coming up with a model that works. Some students might not want their stories shared like that, so it would be a matter of going back and getting approvals on that. Then there's pricing and payment stuff to sort out. It's something we're thinking about, we just don't have a good answer yet. 

One of the other thing I'm considering is publishing a collection of essays--the best written lectures from our instructors, collected together like an anthology. Tin House did something similar and we've got a ton of material. Again, have to figure out payments for people, and whether we do it ourselves, or through a small publisher...

Wheels are turning. Hopefully we'll have more soon. 

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods October 19, 2014 - 3:51pm

Rob and Nathan - thanks for responding! Will be interested to see if the MG class works out.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! October 20, 2014 - 1:13am

Rob, the anthology of essays is definitely something I would buy.

The class without the teacher idea feels a little redundant to me. I pay all that money for classes (and yeah it is a lot of money for me, I'm working class poor) because an author I respect is actually going to be reading something I wrote and giving me feedback on it. And then I have the opportunity to hit them back with any questions. It's a great feeling. And you can't replicate that with a one sided lesson.

Likewise, no. I don't want old classrooms opened up to tourists. That just doesn't sit well with me.

But the book, yeah totally. I could see that doing really well.

Anyway, just my opinion :)

Two quick questions: when Chuck comes back to do another scavenger hunt would it be possible to state if the lessons are new ones (as he suggested they'd be) or the ones from his previous class. Because, obviously, this is a key factor in my signing up again.

And: any news of a return of SGJ teaching a class

Thanks :)

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this October 20, 2014 - 6:29am

Em--Thanks for weighing in. I suspect a lot of people wouldn't want their old work opened up like that, either. 

When Chuck comes back, I can point that out in the sales material. But I'm wondering if maybe we should not let people who got into the first round sign up a second time. 

Not to be a jerk, but he's in such high demand, and there were a couple of repeats between the class he co-taught with Suzy and his solo class. If the same handful of people sign up for each one, that's fewer people who get the chance to work with him at all. 

Just spitballing. Feel free to call me a jerk. Kinda curious to know what people think. 

As for SGJ, I check in every now and again and he's usually busy. But he's never off the radar. 

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading All the books by Tana French! October 20, 2014 - 8:33am

Ah no I don't think you're a jerk. I totally get it. Although it'd be a lie if I said I wouldn't be gutted to miss out on new lectures and material. But like I said, I understand, so its cool with me :)

I expect SGJ is always busy but I thought I'd ask anyway :)

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated October 20, 2014 - 2:41pm

I kind of feel that no, they shouldn't be let in, because with the first one at least I heard about it when it was full up. The 2nd one the timing just wasn't great and I don't want to take his class distracted.  Just my thoughts, not claiming it is 100% logical.  Maybe the old stuff could be put out as the lectures with an FAQ of the most commonly asked questions?  Not trying to force the idea or anything, just curious.

This is a writing site.  That means people are going to write a lot here.  So I'm wondering, to a certain extent isn't publishing, at least in a limited sense, a natural outgrowth of that much writing?

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies October 22, 2014 - 8:47pm

lots of great ideas in here.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch October 26, 2014 - 12:44pm

I was just wondering, if CP is in such high demand (how could he not be?), could we build a waiting list? Just a thought.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this October 26, 2014 - 1:00pm

Liana--we don't know when he's going to be back, or what the subject matter is going to be. Could be a week. Could be six months. So it would be a lot of extra work for something I can't even peg a date and time to. 

As I've done in the past--a limited number of seats will get released to the LitReactor faithful first, before it goes wide. Whether that's an announcement in the forums, or through the newsletter, or some devious scheme that I think up between now and then. 

But the amount of people who are going to sign up for a waiting list--it would be too much, and it would kind of negate even having one.