Q & A -- Just What is a Master Writer, anyhow?

As we get closer to the opening of SiWC 2008 registration, excitement is mounting and questions and comments are coming in fast and furious. I'd like to highlight some of these questions here on the blog, to help spread the word.

Today's question covers the subject of Master Classes. At SiWC, we offer classes the day before the actual conference begins. Many folks like to sign up and kick-start their conference by taking one or two of these classes.

This year we have six classes -- three offered in the afternoon and three in the evening. One of the classes (to be led by the brilliant and charming Jack Whyte, requires interested students to compete for a spot by writing and submitting a short piece -- the specifications are on the Master Class page of the website. (You can find it here: Master Class page.) And the clever and kind super-agent Janet Reid  (of FinePrint Literary Management Agency in New York) is asking that prospective attendees to her class submit a preliminary query letter as a starting point for her Master Class on the subject of ...(wait for it) writing query letters.

But apart from these specifications, is anything special needed? Do you need to be a published author to take Master Classes? Are they closed to beginning writers entirely?

The short answer to this is no. (Technically, the answer is No, No and NO. But No is definitely shorter....)

Master Classes are generally aimed at what we loosely term 'advanced writers', so that the presenters can cut to some pretty specific chases without dilly-dallying in the beginner's details. In an advanced or Master's class, you are unlikely (for example) to be walked through the process of structuring a sentence or an explanation of the difference between an agent and an editor. While these are important elements of what we all strive to do as writers, this kind of information is covered in classes catering to folks who are a few steps earlier on the road to publication.

It's our goal at SiWC to ensure there is not only information for beginning writers, but professional development for writers who have more experience under their belts. The Master Classes are one way to do that. We offer advanced topics during the course of the actual conference as well -- you'll find at least one topic in every time slot that is generally aimed at appealing to experienced writers who are looking to sell or promote or improve their completed work in some way.

But this does not mean beginning writers are excluded from any of these workshops. If you are interested and open to giving a more advanced topic a try -- go for it.  

And don't forget! Just 62 days before our contest closes. Click here for details: SiWC Contest Page. 



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