Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wannabe (Better) Writers: Personal Memoir Writing Teleconference Training Course


Karen Mains tested this teleconference training last year and found it such a joyful enterprise and so profitable for the six writers (with various publishing experiences), who met via phone for one hour twice a month, that she is offering it as a major outreach for eight months, from Feb. 14 through Oct. 28, with a break in August.

You must register and set up your payment schedule by January 15, since you need to e-mail some work to Karen by the first teleconference call February 14, 2010.

We are told by distance-learning advisors that no one is doing this kind of long-term mentoring—but this eight-month learning curve is deliberately schemed to be long enough to give adult learners time to integrate what they are learning into their writing attempts. (We have also been told that the fee schedule is so low that we are “practically giving away” this coaching!—but we want to make it possible for all in this economically difficult time.) We have room for 12 participants.

Karen has written some 24 books (several of which were best-sellers), has a background in radio and television broadcasting, has been part of publishing teams, has taken journalism assignments around the world, is a national-prize-winning author, and is now exploring the science of Internet publishing.

The course's curriculum is below.

Writing Personal Memoirs: A Curriculum for Wannabe (Better) Writers

The telementoring cycle begins February 14, 2010 and continues through October 28, with a break over August.

Writers will meet via teleconference calls on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m., Central Standard Time. The conference phone number will be given to those who register.

A limited number of registrants will be allowed to join this cycle of writer mentoring.

Pre-teleconference work:
1. Registrants must submit a personal writing history, name and contact information by e-mail for all the group to peruse. Please paginate.
2. Registrants must submit a short personal essay on “What Is the Scary Thing Under My Bed?” One or two pages in length is fine.
3. Registrants must begin thinking about two articles in the personal memoir form that they will want to craft to the submission level and report to Karen via e-mail the chosen topics.

During these eight months, Karen will walk Wannabe (Better) Writers through the
principles of writing personal memoirs—this is a form that Karen’s writing has taken in many of her articles, blogs, e-newsletters, and in some of her 24 published books.

The GOAL of This Telementoring Process

…is to provide you with a safe place to become introduced to the concept of writing from your own life and to demystify some of the mythology that surrounds being a writer. Karen will not promise to get you published, but she (and your group) will walk you through the process that will make your work the best that it can be. The advantage of working with a professional, published, best-selling and award-winning author simply means that Karen knows and understands what keeps Wannabe Writers from expressing what it is in their hearts they want to write.

Karen will provide:

1. A teleconference session twice a month, one hour each, for eight months.
2. Feedback on all submitted articles.
3. Teaching on personal memoir writing.
4. An introduction to the basics of the craft of writing.
5. An introduction to the basics of the trade of writing.
6. An introduction to writer’s conferences.
7. A query letter, writer’s resume and book proposal.
8. A manuscript-editing service (for an extra fee; this is optional).
9. Lots of encouragement!

First Conference Call: Getting Acquainted: Writing Histories
Philip Lopate’s The Art of the Personal Essay

Second Conference Call: Getting Words on Paper: Writing the Natural Way

Third Conference Call: Writer’s Tools: Start With the Local Library

Fourth Conference Call: Periodicals for Writers and Writers’ Conferences

Fifth Conference Call: The Lead Paragraph

Sixth Conference Call: Writer’s Block (The Writer’s Ego: Part One)

Seventh Conference Call: The Interview Process: Interviewing and Being Interviewed

Eighth Conference Call: Writer’s Manuscript-Review Group

Ninth Conference Call: Internet Writing: E-newsletters, Blogging, Etc.

Tenth Conference Call: Editors and Contracts and Income Reporting

Eleventh Conference Call: Submission Process: Where and How and Manuscript Format

Twelfth Conference Call: Query Letters, Writer’s Resume, Book Proposals

Thirteenth Conference Call: Marketing Yourself and Your Stuff

Fourteenth Conference Call: Inspiration and the Writer’s Life

Fifteenth Conference Call: The Writer’s Ego: Part 2

Sixteenth Conference Call: Comments and Observations

Seventeenth Conference Call: Wrapping It All Up


The fee is $40 a month ($20 for each conference call, including manuscript evaluation) or $320 for the 8 months (16 sessions) of coaching.

You can pay $40 at the beginning of each month or you can pay $320 in one lump sum. Checks can be made out to Karen Mains and mailed to Box 30, Wheaton, IL 60187.

Editorial services (optional) are additional but reasonable.

They are as follows:
For one short article under 5 pages, $20.
For a piece 10-12 pages long, $40.
Longer works will be negotiated with the in-house editor.

Karen Mains

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