Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013

(Business) Continuing Education in Writing

Learning to write is an ongoing process. I like to joke that being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life! (Smile!) On a serious note, however, to succeed in writing, one must be in a continual learning process. Like most other professions, writing requires continuing education.

Throughout my writing career, I’ve made it a point to pursue that continuing education in a variety of ways. You can, too. 

Here are some ways for you to obtain the continuing education that being a successful writer requires:

1) Formal education. While this means of continuing education may not be the most practical for you at the moment since it requires a large expenditure of time and money, it is certainly an available means.  After many years as a professional writer, I decided to fulfill a longstanding dream I’d had of earning my MFA in fiction-writing. So, in my sixties, I went back to school and did that just. I earned my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. I learned a great deal and had fun in the process. Plus, I fulfilled my longstanding dream. 

2) Conferences. All types of writing conferences abound in a variety of topics and price ranges. With careful research, you can find one that suits your needs, whether those needs be related to finances, time, or proximity. At the end of this post, I’ve listed resources for you to check out regarding writers’ conferences.

3) Workshops. Workshops are often given in a single day, thereby eliminating the need to pay hotel expenses. Many writers’ organizations and local colleges offer one-day writing workshops.  Some libraries do the same. So check out the events calendar for your area. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you discover.

4) Online courses.  I’m a big fan of online writing courses and have taken several of them. Many writers’ organizations offer free online courses, while others charge only a nominal fee. So be sure to check out this excellent continuing education venue.

5) Teleclasses. Teleclasses provide another great venue for continuing your writing education. These are classes conducted over the telephone via a conference call line.  Participants listen to a teaching on writing provided by an experienced author.  The teaching is usually followed by interaction among the members of the teleclass during which they can ask questions of the teacher. Teleclasses usually cost a small fee to attend.  Whether or not they are free, the student must always pay the telephone charges incurred for the time spent on the phone. In my experience, theses charges usually run from two dollars to six dollars. I did, however, once take a teleclass that cost me $90 in telephone charges since the phone number originated on the West Coast and the class lasted 90 minutes.  So keep this in mind when you are choosing a teleclass as a venue for your continuing education.

Opportunities for learning more about fiction-writing are all around you. Take advantage of them. Below you will find a few resources for you to explore.  Have fun!

Copyright 2013 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

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