What is Master Class?
Master class is usually held in music circles, and functions as a public private lesson. It’s not a group lesson–it’s a private lesson held in front of an audience. One brave student will perform something, and a teacher will give critique, sometimes demonstrating a better technique before the student returns to his or her seat, and another volunteer comes forward.
This is the only fiction writing master class I am aware of. I assumed no one would be interested because writers are known as shy, sensitive creatures, but when I proposed the idea to a group of writers they were all excited about it. So here we are.
What we will read
We will read and critique pieces of fiction in any genre of up to one thousand words in length. This can be a short story, a novel beginning, or an excerpt of some kind. We will also be happy to take a look at novel synopses, and book blurbs. Pieces will be first-come, first-serve at first, but if volume increases we may pick and choose between what pieces to critique. We will make these selections based on what will benefit the majority of people, as well as how much work the piece needs.
Choosing a piece to submit
When picking what piece to send us it should be your best work. If you already know it has flaws than we’ll only be telling you something you already know. But conversely, if you’re confident that your work is excellent then we really won’t have much to say about it besides “Excellent work, well done.” The best kind of work to submit to the master class is something you’re having trouble with, or know needs work but can’t put your finger on why.
Posting and Legalese
If selected, your work will be published on our blog, along with in-line comments from the instructor. You will retain all rights to your work, and a notice to this effect will be featured prominently. Having an excerpt posted publicly to our blog will not effect your potential to publish the piece in any way, since the entire work won’t have appeared in public. However, if you wish to withdraw your piece from our site you may do so after six months. Simply send an email asking to have it taken down. Once removed, your piece will not be reintroduced to the site. We would rather that you didn’t have it taken down, so that future audiences can benefit from past master classes, but we want to respect your wishes in this as much as possible.
Questions about the critique
If you have questions about the critique you receive we will do our best to answer them, either in public or in private. In the event of a guest instructor detailed responses may be harder to obtain, but we will do our best to facilitate them. In the event we choose not to feature your piece on our blog, we will do our best to send you a reasonably detailed email explaining why, and offering helpful comments. While we promise to be honest in our critique we also aim to encourage and help you improve, not tear your work to pieces like ravaging wolves. We encourage any commenters to do likewise, and will not tolerate hateful or hurtful comments.
Ready to Submit?
Please send your piece to email@example.com and include the words “master class” in the subject line. Make sure you attach it in .doc or .docx format. No pdf files, please, and no in-line submissions. Please also include your name, and a little bit about you and your writing goals. If you’re looking for something specific in our feedback please mention that as well. If you’re submitting an excerpt, please include a bit of context. We look forward to seeing your work, and learning and improving along with you!
About the Instructors
Katie Lynn Daniels has been writing for over ten years, and has self-published for just over two. She’s put in her requisite million words, and feels she knows enough about the craft to share her knowledge with others. She is working towards her bachelor’s in English, and loves to teach other people. She started this blog with the aim to encourage and inspire young, new, and aspiring writers and sees this master class as just one way to accomplish that.
If you are a published author with experience in fiction writing and/or teaching and would like to volunteer to do a guest critique, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to nominate someone for us to approach to do a guest critique you can send us that person’s name and contact information, as well as a little bit about why you think we should invite them. If you have any questions about Master Class, please ask, and we will add them with our answers to the FAQ section of this page.
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