I posted a positive comment about the online Gotham Writer's Workshop, and we received a number of comments in disagreement. Both about the online and classroom experiences. It's making me rethink things.
I do know that the UCLA Extension Program, either in person or online, has an excellent reputation, and I'd encourage students interested in online classes to check them out.
In any case, I'd appreciate any additional comments about Gotham, UCLA, or other online workshops. Thanks.
I recently took a 6-wk Character Dynamics workshop through Writer's Online Workshops (part of Writer's Digest) and found it good and bad. The good part was that it pushed me to produce share-able work on a weekly basis and the assignments built on each other really nicely. I came away with a good grasp of building a character. The pre-written "lectures" and supplements were helpful. The bad part is that the teacher seemed preoccupied (two week's worth of assignments were returned with comments that basically said, "good work!" grrrr.) and the peer review (8 other students) was pretty sporatic & only occasionally helpful. I am glad I took it as it was pretty cheap and helped me at my level, but I don't think I'll take another one there. I'll probably try UCLA next.
I’ve taken a couple workshops at UCLA Extension (in person, not online) and am not that enthusiastic. Of course it all depends on the teacher, and there appear to be a lot (so there are sure to be some good ones), but the teachers I’ve had were, I thought, under-qualified and pedantic.
Hi, I hope you get to take a look at a facet of creative writing that people often classify as text and art. But, I go both ways, so to speak, in that sometimes I lean more toward art and other times I lean more toward writing. I hope you get to take a look.
Also, nice to have Weblogs like yours that examine facets of writing as writing can be and is fun!
Not sure if poets are looking for good continuing education classes, but I took a few at The New School before applying to MFA programs and I had a positive experience. Two classes in particular - one with Kathleen Ossip and one with Martine Bellen, were great. I generated a lot of new material in Ms. Ossip's class and felt that her feedback was strong and encouraging. Ms. Bellen is an amazing editor and always seemed to know exactly what the poem needed, and where/how you could improve your line breaks. I believe the courses are offered both in credit and non-credit form, and if you register as a non-credit continuing ed student, they're about $275-540 per class, depending on how many sessions the class meets. I highly recommend it.
I've taken regular classes with Gotham and the New School. Unfortunately, These "adult ed" style classes are all contingent upon getting a good teacher. I had EXCELLENT teachers for fiction classes at Gotham, downright made me want to be a writer! At gotham, your chances are slim to get a BAD teacher. BUT if you don't like your teacher, I have heard of students dropping after the 1st class. You get a voucher for another class minus the $25 fee. One of my same excellent teachers teaches online classes and i've met some of his students that say he was terrific. (oh! and your MFA book makes me want to go to grad school, so THANKS!)
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