Tuesday, June 14, 2011

MWA-University coming to a town near you!!

When I first heard about MWA-University, I thought wow, that is cool.  But I bet it's expensive.  And I bet you have to fly somewhere, get a hotel room...  But wait...  that is not true?  It's affordable...  and all over the country...  Yep, according to Jess Lourey, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America.  Read on:

You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a writing class: "Write Your Novel in 30 Days!"  "Go from Poor to Published in Seven Steps!" "Sell your Manuscript!" Some of these classes are great, many are not. When I was placed on the Education Committee of the national board of the Mystery Writers of America, our goal was to formulate an all-day creative writing seminar that was consistently excellent. The project was guided by the vision of MWA EVP Larry Light and Edgar-nominated author Reed Farrell Coleman. The guidelines were simple:
  • The classes must focus solely on the craft of writing
  • The classes should take the student from the initial stages (I've got a great idea for a novel!) to the end, and beyond (what does a writer's life look like?)
  • The classes will be built around industry-relevant instruction, not peer critique
  • The instructors must know how to teach as well as how to write
  • The cost must be accessible to all
And so, MWA-University was born. As a committee, we brainstormed what areas to cover, how to get the best teachers, and in which parts of the country to pilot MWA-U. The final product is a one-day seminar consisting of six classes, taught by six different specialists in each area. The classes are:
  • After the idea
  • Dramatic structure and plot
  • Setting and description
  • Character
  • Editing
  • The writing life
Our pilot took place in Bethesda, MD, last October and was a smashing success. Over 100 students registered, and they all left with the buzz of excitement that accompanies an artist with a good idea and the skills to make it happen. Our next session will take place this coming Friday at the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books (http://www.sewibookfest.com/). Basically, we go where we're needed, at the request of MWA chapter presidents.

So, how much would you pay for six hours of college-level writing instruction taught by tenured professors, Emmy-winning newscasters, and national book reviewers, every one of 'em also a published author? Fifty dollars sound good? Thought so. Hope to see you at one of the seminars: http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=MWA-University.

Thanks to Jess for the write up!  Now people, go and learn.  Write awesome books!!  Then send them to me.  :)


Alan Orloff said...

I attended that pilot program in DC, and it was absolutely fabulous. If you're a writer and have the opportunity to attend one of these, DO IT! It will be the best investment of time and money you could make.

Tina said...

$50!! Holy smackers. That's worth a trip to St. Louis or New Orleans. Need to look into it more. Thanks for the info.

Jess Lourey said...

Terri, where will you find the time to read all those fabulous books that are going to be produced as a result of these fabulous seminars? :p

Shannon said...

I think I'm fixing to embark on my own personal mystery writers in-depth course. Nothing like an editor with award-winning books under her belt to learn a writer in the fine art.

Terri Bischoff said...

Alan - thanks for adding your endorsement. It's a great program MWA put together.

Tina - thanks for reading. If you do go, you'll have to report back. :)

Jessie - LOL... I might just have to beg for an assistant.

and Shannon :) you are awesome. It's a joy to work with you.

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