Feedback Needed: A 'School for Writers'...?


I wanted to get your feedback on something that I have been working on for some time.

For 17 years, I was a teacher of English Literature, and, during that time, I also developed considerable experience in running classes administratively, including putting together yearly curricula, schemes of work, marketing campaigns and prospectuses and so on. For several years, I was the Head Teacher (Principal) of the school and so got to know how all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff worked.

My main passion, though, was always literature — understanding it, exploring it, and teaching others about it. So for the last few years I have, as you probably know, developed Clarendon House Publications in order to further my passions and encourage writers all over the world to develop their talents and readerships. Ideally, I thought, these two strands — passion for literature and an understanding of education — could come together in a kind of ‘school for writers’: I could evolve a curriculum of courses, probably modular in nature, which people could purchase and study in sequence, resulting in a profound understanding of storytelling on the one hand, and a workable knowledge of publishing and marketing on the other. The product would be a ‘fully fledged writer’ — someone who could craft successful stories and get them to readers, working towards commercial viability and a firm career in the field.

The Clarendon House Master Author Programme, which you may have seen hinted at over the last couple of years here and there, is the beginnings of that. The broad idea of it is a sequence of topics, available through online modules or as a complete course, which interested writers could download as a whole or individually. I’ve sketched some of these out here (hopefully the titles are more or less self explanatory):


The Clarendon House Master Programme


Modules, including:


Section 1: Foresight


Your Goals

Your Vision

The Four Basic Genres

Your Writing Genres

Examples

Organising Your Writing Life

The Obstacles to Writing

Writing Prompts

Coaching as needed

Section 2: Formation


The Seven Character Archetypes

Your Characters

Examples/recommended reading

Building Your Protagonist

Character Arcs

Coaching as needed


Section 3: Familiarity


Your Plot

The Four Plot Vacuums

Examples/recommended reading

Constructing Your Plot

Sub-plots

Coaching as needed


Section 4: Foregoing


Emotional Commitment

Examples/recommended reading

Magnifying the Power of Your Story

Points of Commitment

Coaching as needed

Section 5: Furnishing

Rebuilding Your Story

Drafting and Redrafting

Writer Exhaustion

Examples/recommended reading

Coaching as needed


Section 6: Fine tuning


Structure

Sentence level Writing

Style

Voice

Examples/recommended reading

Coaching as needed


Section 7: Fulfilment


Editing

Proofreading

Formatting

Publishing

Marketing

The Journey On


In addition to these modules (and many more, not listed), there would be other facets available, including a Master Programme Facebook Group, and other built-in benefits for those who purchased the entire programme, including:

100,000 words of editing

100,000 words of proofreading

How Stories Really Work pdf

Any other ebook from CHP in pdf form

Plus there could be additional resources, such as free pdfs of selected anthologies. The programme would also result in a certification, AND in two or three guaranteed book contracts (based on the level at which a student had reached through studies) — in other words, once a student had acquired sufficient knowledge and skills to publish a viable book, such publication would be part of the programme, with all editing, proofreading, formatting and so on included as part of the overall cost.

My initial questions are:

Is any of the above of any interest to anyone?

If so, which bits are of particular interest? And which bits aren’t?

This would be a full, rich and transformative programme. It would not be ‘cheap’ — prices would be commensurate with online study in virtual colleges and so forth. Individual modules would be framed as affordable, but to do the course as a whole would require serious financial commitment.

Hence my further questions would be:

What would you be willing to pay for individual modules as sketched above?

And, given that the entire programme would probably take two years or more of part-time study to complete, what would you be willing to pay to enrol in the whole thing?

Your answers to the above questions will help me to finalise the format and nature of the programme — or indeed, whether the programme ever gets released. If there is no demand for such a thing, there would be no point in me putting in further work on it. I think there’s a place in the writing world for a programme like this, but what I think and what the ‘marketplace’ thinks might be two very different things…

Please let me know your thoughts. You can drop me a line here anytime:

grant@clarendonhousebooks.com

I appreciate any feedback you can give.

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