Emphasis is on the excitement and stimulation needed to write and exercises are created with this purpose in mind.
For each of the first six to eight weeks, a short reading is assigned and the teacher analyzes the technique that makes the work effective. An exercise based on the reading is then posted on the bulletin board. Students submit these exercises on a weekly schedule. Each student has the opportunity to respond to every other student’s work, and on a given day of the week, the teacher responds to all the written exercises. In this way, the student learns not only from his or her own work, but also from the work of everyone in the class.
Exercises and critiques from students and the teacher are all posted in the online classroom. There is an optional live chat one hour per week, which serves as a forum for students and the teacher to discuss the assigned reading and the exercises that resulted from it. The chat allows students to get to know each other and helps build a sense of community in the class. A transcript of the chat is posted to the classroom for students who were unable to participate in the chat.
Like other Writers Studio workshops, the Online Workshop meets for 10 weeks. Students complete two 10-week terms of an Online Level I class before advancing to Online Level II. Our Online Level I class utilizes the Writers Studio method, which since 1987 has been helping writers reach their potential. As with every other class in the school, the teacher has completed a three-year training program and is uniquely qualified to give the support and literary instruction Level I students need to move forward in their writing careers. While Level I teachers may be fiction writers or poets, all have experience writing and teaching both genres. Techniques relevant to both fiction and poetry are taught in Level I, and students may expect to be assigned exercises stemming from works of fiction as well as poems.
Since 2001, the Online Workshops have enabled students from as far away as Scotland, Singapore, Alaska, and New Jersey to benefit from The Writers Studio’s nurturing environment and well-structured program. Some local writers prefer the Online Classes because their schedules prevent them from attending evening classes, or they feel less vulnerable turning in work online. Students who find The Writers Studio method works for them take Level I twice before moving on to Level II.