Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce October 5, 2011 - 3:23am

So I decided to jump straight into it with this site, and I've signed up for the 'Zen Mind Beginners' Fiction Workshop' starting next week.

Has anyone done classes with the Cult before? I'm curious!

 

Jess

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 5, 2011 - 10:09am

i did one with clevenger in february/march that rocked my world. i have never taken one with mark, but he's someone i would say definitely knows his shit, and he is hands down one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

.'s picture
. October 5, 2011 - 11:18am

I signed up for Mark's class too and I'm super excited to start. I'm surprised the class isn't almost full already.

vickiejane's picture
vickiejane from Birmingham, Alabama is reading The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson October 5, 2011 - 11:34am

I signed up for this class, too.  I always intended to do one of The Cult classes but never got around to it. I'm so ready for this class. It's been a few years since I've done any fiction writing and I miss it. I'm fired up!  

Mark's picture
Admin
Mark from Lexington, Kentucky is reading The Chronology of Water October 5, 2011 - 11:42am

Glad to see the inquiry and the passion.  This class has all the makings of a great time, in addition to being an experience that will stay with you.

.'s picture
. October 5, 2011 - 11:51am

@Mark, your from Lexington?! Awesome. Louisville kid right here. When are you going to do an in-person workshop so I can go to it. (All the Portland workshops are a little far away.)

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 5, 2011 - 12:04pm

hey, if you're gonna be in portland, i'll make up a workshop. hahah. no, really all the ones out here worth going to are fire hazards of overcrowding.

Mark's picture
Admin
Mark from Lexington, Kentucky is reading The Chronology of Water October 5, 2011 - 12:05pm

@Mark, your from Lexington?! Awesome. Louisville kid right here. When are you going to do an in-person workshop so I can go to it. (All the Portland workshops are a little far away.)

I guess that'll happen when there's a big enough concentration of us here in the Bluegrass.

At present, LitReactor doesn't have a strong enough following that's specifcally concentrated here.  A live, in-person workshop--most likely, an annual summit event with multiple workshops--that could be on the horizon for us.  But our best bet city at the moment is Los Angeles. 

Many people who already frequent the site happen to live there.  And the stats we gather on such things would probably be the surest guide to a good turnout.

Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Soul Consortium by Simon West-Bulford October 5, 2011 - 1:24pm

Just thought I'd chime in since I have taken a class with Mark -it was a different class but same instructor and a lot of my peers in that class came over from Zen Mind and stated how the results were just as exciting. The one I took with Mark is probably the best writing class I've ever taken. It's hard to say that because I took 2 other great intensives that changed my life just before it, but I  can definitely say with certainty that you're indeed in good hands with Mark.

You'll see your writing differently, and more effectively. That's a fact. But don't cheat yourselves -that's the best advice I can give for any intensive -the intensives are real classes meaning you have to do work to get results. Don't expect a magic wand -expect hard work, but also expect a lot of fun while receiving the tools and guidance to do that work. You're going to have a good time. A productive one, too. 

Americantypo's picture
Americantypo from Philadelphia is reading The Bone Clocks October 5, 2011 - 3:52pm

To tag Nathan's comment- the class is pretty intense, and after all is said and done you only get what you put into it. I went in swinging and decided to write all new material, so I wrote a new story each week. None of them have been published, BUT I did notice a improvement and have since then managed to sell a story. Plus it got me used to an output that I wasn't used to prior to the intensive. Worth the money if you're serious about getting better at writing. But be warned- you have to do the work. It's not a class that's going to magically make you better. If you focus and take it seriously, you'll get results. But if you come in and wait for Mark to twirl his magic wand and make a writer out of you... sorry dude, but it doesn't work that way.

After the dust settles you'll have some new work to tinker with and have made a few friends along the way.

-Bill

.'s picture
. October 5, 2011 - 6:00pm

I wonder when Craig Clevenger is going to do a class. I'll definitely join that one too.

Mark's picture
Admin
Mark from Lexington, Kentucky is reading The Chronology of Water October 5, 2011 - 6:29pm

Thanks, guys.  What you've said is right on, of course.  Personal effort and attentiveness matter quite as much as anything the instructor brings to the table.  Any great class is a great collaboration.  Also, I believe there's a multiplier effect or a synergy involved, where the individual participant can get out of a class quite a bit more than s/he puts in, because the cumulative energy of shared perspectives is powerful and it pays back... but that's an outcome of multiple people going into the game with a positive and contributing mindset.

Re: Craig Clevenger teaching--

We'll have him on deck for at least one class this Fall--probably starting in mid November.  You could profitably treat Zen Mind as your 101 course and then Craig's as your 102.  I know his teaching material inside-out and we complement each other.  A number of people have studied with me just before or just after a class with Craig, and I think it's worked out quite well for most of them in either order.  There are no contradictions between his teaching material and mine; it's just a matter of angle and emphasis.  

.'s picture
. October 6, 2011 - 5:37pm

Now that I think about it, will Craig's class cost as much as the 'Zen Mind Beginners' class? I just hope it isn't in the $400 price range. 

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 6, 2011 - 6:24pm

I'll just chime in on Mark's classes.  I've taken Zen Mind and Art of the Short Story.  Both were fantastic, and my writing increased dramatically.  I've had two stories published that I originally wrote in his classes.  But, as Bill said, you've got to put in.  Write hard and read even harder.  Give feedback and participate in the discussions.  Mark creates some really great writing assignments that really allow you not to inprove your writing, but to inprove your own perception of writing, and how you and your writing fit together. 

I really wanted to take Erin's class, because I have a stalled novel that I still love, but a protagonist I modelled too much after a real person I'm not fond of.  Sadly, my washer/dryer died on me, so my money's got to go toward the woes of home-ownership.  Hopefully the class will be offered again in the future, when I've got money to spare.

Mark's picture
Admin
Mark from Lexington, Kentucky is reading The Chronology of Water October 10, 2011 - 9:55pm

@jacks_username:  Craig will likely be delivering his most recent cult class adaptation: 200 Proof Storytelling.  That one is built on a four-week model, like Zen Mind, so we can hopefully keep it within a comparable price model.  I'll have the nitty-gritty worked out soon.

@Beckanator:  Thanks for the positive endorsement and the progress report.  Congrats on placing those stories.  And yes, we'll plan for future class installments with Erin. 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts October 10, 2011 - 10:26pm

I've been super jealous whenever I hear about the classes given at The Cult, Clevenger, Max Barry, Jack Ketchum, oh my lord. All of these classes look awesome here so far and I like the variety of focuses. I will hock all of my guitars to participate in some of these.

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce October 11, 2011 - 2:46am

Thanks for the feedback everyone, very much appreciated. I'm very grateful for the reminder of putting in hard work. It's reinforced that this class is something I joined with specific goals in mind, and that I paid for! I'll set aside distinct nights after work where I can focus on class.

Class started today (Australian time), so time for me to get cracking...

.'s picture
. October 11, 2011 - 2:51am

Oh Jess your lucky I'm a night owl so your not the only student in there prowling the discussions this late.

Mess_Jess's picture
Mess_Jess from Sydney, Australia, living in Toronto, Canada is reading Perfect by Rachael Joyce October 11, 2011 - 4:04am

@jacks - I think you've got two of us Austalians in there to keep you company at odd hours ;)