You’ve got a most or all of your manuscript’s first draft completed or you’re working on revising a full draft but you’re stuck. Or you need new perspective, encouragement, feedback, and new skill building to go the distance and finally finish. Most of all, you need planned time and accountability to do your work. If you’re a writer with substantial writing already done on your book, you’re a great candidate for our ONLINE Master Class: Independent Study week.
Before the week begins, you’ll correspond with Mary to discuss your project and determine the best plan for your IS week, based on the goals you have and the support you need most. Each day you’ll have the option of attending a morning craft workshop with topics like Three Structure Arcs, Working with the False Belief to Drive Character Growth, and External and Internal Conflict Pathways. Each afternoon you’ll meet with Mary for a private coaching session to get feedback on daily goals and what you’ve accomplished so far. In the Independent Study Master Class you also get her feedback on up to 8000 words of your manuscript-in-progress, either before the retreat week, in sections during, or after we end. Each evening, you’ll also check in with Mary via email to report progress, plan the next day’s writing, and get feedback on your questions.
You also have the option of sitting in on any of the regular workshop activities—if you need a creativity boost or a chance to learn and practice new skills—or the evening freewriting, image board, or sharing for feedback.
Alumnae are often amazed at how much writing they can get done, how much support they receive, and how many leaps they take into stronger craft skills and better understanding of their book project.
Note: like all Master Classes, the IS week assumes a certain amount of writing experience and skill in the genre of your book. You must have a substantial amount already written to qualify. It’s not for those just starting out. If you’re just beginning, or have less than 30,000 words written, please opt for the regular workshop week where you can get more ongoing guidance from Mary.
Meet and greet gatherings take place prior to the workshop where students will get to know their fellow classmates and instructor. Once enrolled, students will receive detailed instructions on how to access the workshop through Zoom. Technical support will be available 72 hours before the start of the workshop.
All sessions will be recorded and available to stream 30 days after the end of the workshop.
If you are in need of a detailed Zoom Instruction Guide, please contact our Registrar. [email protected]
"Mary gave me what I needed--encouragement, honesty, accountability, and clear direction--to move through major revisions. She pinpointed what worked and (gently) shared what didn't. Her explicit assignments helped me build structure and address my writing weaknesses. I viewed our work together as my 1:1 MFA."
—Kathleen West, author of Are We There Yet? and Minor Dramas and Other Catastropes
"Mary’s edit of Turn Here Sweet Corn taught me how to make the written word vulnerable and life changing on the page. She showed me how to create containers of emotions and to structure a story line that pulls the reader in. She has acuity for what to keep, to cut, or to shape, and how. Mary is a gem of a teacher, editor, and human being. I would not have published an award-winning book without her."
—Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn, Minnesota Book Award winner