My Experience with TWC’s Collectives and Workshops – An Author’s Testimonal Part 2

For the next several weeks, while our applications for our Workshops and Collectives are open, we will be featuring testimonials and stories from authors and participants who have gone through our programs over the past several years.

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the author and not The Writers’ Collective.

By Rebecca

Putting your words out there for someone else to critique can be a nerve-wracking experience. But handing over your manuscript to a team of strangers with the understanding that they’re probably going to pull it apart word by word? That can be completely terrifying.

Or it can be the absolute best experience of your life.

I began my workshop with the Writer’s Collective with a this-close-to-being-finished-manuscript. I’d spent nine months working on it. The characters were strong, the plot had a solid arc, and I was pretty happy with how it had turned out. Three weeks into my workshop, however, I was rewriting the whole thing, translating it from first person into third, the arc rearranged and the entire third and fourth chapters completely changed. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Except it wasn’t.

The participants in my workshop weren’t my friends. They weren’t afraid of hurting my feelings, or worried that telling me I needed to fix something would damage our relationship. They were there for the story, and every critique, every suggestion, every cut word or rewritten segment made my work stronger. While some changes were hard to digest, some even prompting heated discussions as they challenged my characters’ motivations and decisions, the six women who spent almost a year helping me refine, rework, and rewrite my manuscript into something I loved are now some of my favorite people in the world.

The process isn’t easy, but I am a better writer because of it. Since my workshop ended, I pitched my manuscript at the Romance Writers of America’s National conference, getting a full request from a publisher and a partial from an agent. In addition, a separate novella, which all the participants in my workshop read and critiqued as well, will be published by Samhain in January 2015.

I highly recommend the workshop experience with the Writer’s Collective. I have no doubt that without the brilliant feedback of the participants in my group, I would not be where I am today.

If you are considering joining one of our programs but aren’t sure, let these testimonials help you decide. While we cannot guarantee that you will have the same success as Rebecca did, as all stories and all authors are different, but if you put forth the effort needed in the Workshops and Collectives, your manuscript will be better for it … and maybe you’ll make some new friends along the way.

Use the links at the top of the site to get more information about both of our excellent programs.

My Experience with TWC’s Collectives and Workshops – An Author’s Testimonal Part 1

For the next several weeks, while our applications for our Workshops and Collectives are open, we will be featuring testimonials and stories from authors and participants who have gone through our programs over the past several years.

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the author and not The Writers’ Collective

By Ann

“The first time I took a book through the workshop process it was rough. I honestly didn’t think it was that bad, yet every page was covered with comments, critiques and corrections. I took a deep breath and started really listening to what the participants were telling me. I’m so glad I did.

The second book I took through a collective first, followed by a workshop. My collective participants were great at pointing out plot holes, characterization drifts, and helping me sculpt the story. By the time the workshop came around, it was in much better shape than my first book. As a result, the participants were able to focus more on other details to really make my story shine.

It was while workshopping the second book that I had an agent sign me for my first. It’s easy to credit the hard-nosed but caring criticism I received as the reason she wanted me as an author. After the second book was finished, I entered it into a contest where it placed third nationally and first in my local RWA chapter, and I received an offer from another agent to submit the entire manuscript for consideration. Again, I credit the workshop process.

I’m currently outlining my third book and have every intention of taking it through a collective, and if possible, another workshop. There is no doubt in my mind that the tough love it will receive will make it much better than I can possibly accomplish alone.”

If you are considering joining one of our programs but aren’t sure, let these testimonials help you decide. While we cannot guarantee that you will have the same success as Ann did, as all stories and all authors are different, but if you put forth the effort needed in the Workshops and Collectives, your manuscript will be better for it … and maybe you’ll make some new friends along the way.

Use the links at the top of the site to get more information about both of our excellent programs.