Can you believe it’s been 13 years!
When StoryStudio opened its doors in 2003 Facebook was still a year away from being something the college kids talked about, and Yahoo was the search engine of choice. We found our early students from flyers in bookstores and personal ads in The Reader.
A lot has changed.
What hasn’t changed is our love for writing and writers and how proud we are of all of our StoryStudio students and instructors.
To celebrate our 13th year, we’ve decided to try and conquer time.
At the beginning of this year I wrote some posts about time and its elusive nature. In my own writing life, I tried to corral time by logging every minute of my workday, by carving out slots on my calendar, by crying and pleading with Gods to send me more of it.
Nothing worked. If I couldn’t carve out bits of time in a normal week, then I would have to commit to focused bursts of intensive work. I threw up my hands, got in the car and spent two days in Michigan with only myself and my laptop. It was February with lots of snow on the ground and a gray sky, which made it easy to stay inside. I wrote. With no distractions, no commitments. It was glorious.
Then a lightbulb went off. If these 48 hours of focus worked for me, how could we bring this experience to the writers at StoryStudio?
Once we started talking about this among staff and faculty, the opportunities were exciting and never-ending.
We wanted to hear what students had to say so we ran a survey this spring in which more than 60 percent of you told us that coming to class each week was a challenge for your crazy schedules. Almost 80% of respondents expressed interest in taking shorter, more condensed courses.
So this fall we are refreshing existing courses and launching some new programs designed to answer the Challenge of Time.
A New Way To Learn and Write
Beginning this fall, StoryStudio will offer 8-week courses for newer and intermediate writers, as well as those returning to the fold. These will change each term so students who have taken one of our foundational creative writing classes will want to come back to continue their learning in one of these classes focused on a particular genre or style or craft.
For those of you who have been StoryStudio regulars, or those of you who have been toiling away with your stories and books, you’ll now have the opportunity to put life aside for one of our new Weekend Intensives. These will come in all shapes and sizes, and will appeal to writers just starting out and especially those who are deep in a project and want to make some significant headway.
–This October we’ll bring back the StoryStudio In-Town Retreat–perfect for writers at any stage. This is a weekend to write, workshop, learn, and socialize. Not surprisingly, the theme will be, Finding Time, both in our lives and in our stories.
–Rebecca Makkai will be here in December to lead a special weekend program on Publishing Your Novel. This will be NaNoWrimo month so we’ll have lots of programming to help you get to 50K.
–December is a time for celebration, reflection, and some quiet writing time before the holidays take over.
Advanced and Monthly Programs
Our “In A Year” programs have grown strong over the past four years. Bookwriters will have two Novel in a Year cohorts to apply for and Memoirists will have one cohort. We’ve even introduced a new grant for novelists writing for change through our Stories Matter Foundation and the Dana Wood Chaney Writers Fund.
Plus, Advanced Fiction and Advanced Memoir workshops will continue to meet monthly.
This means the StoryStudio staff will have more time to plan more free events, write-ins, book salons, author panels (join us on August 11) and more.
You Only Have Time at Two In the Morning?
No worries. We’ll still be offering our instructor-led and self-paced online courses. And for you folks who have to write at work, our catalogue of business writing classes is growing.
We’re so grateful to have each of you be a part of the StoryStudio family. Here’s to us all finding the time we need to create the stories we want to tell.
See you at the studio,