Introducing Story Mastermind

Have you ever wanted to take a small group writing workshop intensive program in your pajama pants? Well, here’s your chance!

Those of you who know me, know I’m not the most productive person. I take my time. I don’t bite off more than I can chew. JUST KIDDING. I’m a maniac. In fact, I sell a shirt over at Good Story that says “Beast mode is the best mode,” because this happens to be my personal motto.

So, in addition to shepherding my dozens of current editorial clients (and a team of ten) through the current apocalypse, launching a digital learning resource about marketing for writers (more on that soon), and, I don’t know, actively trying not to die, I have developed a new intensive small group writing workshop program called Story Mastermind!

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Introducing Story Mastermind

What is Story Mastermind? Well, good question. It’s a small group writing workshop that you can do from home. Originally, my dream was to throw an in-person writing intensive over the course of a long weekend. This is my favorite working style for writers conferences, and so it has always been my dream to launch my own.

The climate for in-person events has recently shifted. Drastically.

I’m no longer dreaming of an in-person opportunity, at least for now.

Besides, I think we all are learning that we can be productive at home, and it’s less hassle and expense than traveling somewhere. So I thought …

Why not change with the times and offer this type of opportunity remotely?

I also decided that I could get a lot more teaching done by expanding the scope of the writing intensive. Sure, attendees benefit from one very intense weekend of programming. But what about something that’s between a conference and an MFA program?

What if I could promise some really amazing deliverables? Well, I’d need more time with the students. But not two years, like a lot of MFA programs. What about six months?

The Structure of Story Mastermind

Here is the result of my brainstorm: a six-month writing workshop intensive.

Our initial session is launching July 1st and will run through the end of the year. Another cohort will launch January 1st.

Who is this program for? Well, three types of writer, to start:

  1. Novelists working on a new draft
  2. Novelists working on a revision of a draft
  3. Picture book writers

For the novelists, I am looking for middle grade and young adult writers only. Other masterminds (adult fiction, individual genre fiction, memoir, etc.) may become available according to demand, but for now, I’m starting in my home base of children’s fiction.

For six months, we will do small group video sessions online every other week. (There will be one month of preparation before the class starts so we can all be on the same page with one another’s writing.) These sessions will be mostly workshop driven, with some lecturing from me and one other dedicated staff member. Group sizes will be small: six writers per novel cohort, and twelve writers per picture book cohort.

At the end of our time together, the three types of writer will have:

  1. Novel Mastermind students leave with a complete and fully workshopped first manuscript draft
  2. Revision Mastermind students leave with a fully polished and workshopped final manuscript draft and a submission plan
  3. Picture Book Mastermind students will leave with six fully workshopped and polished manuscripts and a submission plan

The goal of many MFA programs is to support you in creating one manuscript, which is considered your thesis. Most programs last two years and cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars—even the remote, low-residency options.

That just doesn’t fit our contemporary world, or the lifestyles of a lot of my clients. That’s why I’m so happy to start offering Story Mastermind as an alternate solution for busy modern writers who still want workshop, who still want an industry focus, and who still want to create creative output that will help them reach their goals.

Learn More and Apply

Applications for the first session of Story Mastermind are now live. They are due by April 17th. You can read over the Story Mastermind website, dive into the FAQ, learn about pricing, and access the application here.

This is the first session and it will be a learning experience for me and my team, as well as the writers who are accepted into the program. As such, the pricing is be lower than it will ever appear again. Future sessions are going to be priced more competitively, to reflect the incredible amount of work and personal attention that this program demands.

The great news is that one or two seats per cohort are reserved for a “pay what you can” scholarship–more important now than ever.

Applications are already flooding in, and we will have a very tough admissions process on our hands behind the scenes. If you’re at all interested, please check out the Story Mastermind website to learn more.

 

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