RWA Nashville Retreat Notes: Pen to Paper

I also went to the session for Pen-to-Paper, Elizabeth Schechter‘s baby. It’s a 7-month program geared for unpublished writers, and before I tell you too much about it, I’ll note that they’re already full for the first year, so you’d need to get on a wait list if you wanted to participate.

I took extensive notes, in part because at some point we might want to do something similar with the SLF’s Portolan Project. We had a pilot mentorship program several years ago, which actually went quite well, and we’ve been talking about bringing it back in the next year, so that’s probably what we’d do as a starting place, but it might evolve into something similar to this, so I’m watching carefully and taking notes.

It’s a:
– 7-month program for unpublished writers to take them from first idea to first draft
– 5-member partner circles, each led by two published authors as Guides (paid)
– give and receive critiques, study romance fundamentals, learn from masters

– awareness of popular (and evolving) sub-genres

– on-demand workshops including videos, articles, books, online assignments and Q&A + writers’ tools such as checklists
– recorded discussions that answer generic questions and explore the application of key concepts
– live virtual sessions with a small group and guides, to apply learnings to the participant’s ongoing manuscript work, collaborate on writing and build a community of support for new writers

– reference materials including historical RWA Conference videos and podcasts, external videos, websites, and podcasts, craft books, and articles for deeper study

– 12 two-week units (after each 8-week session, there’s a one-week break)

– you’ll be expected to write 20 pages per unit; this will leave you very close to a full novel by the end of the program (about 500 words / day)

– guides are compensated for each session they complete ($250 / session); if they do all three, they get their next year of RWA membership for free
– participants: unpublished in novel / novella length fiction, not under contract or have an active pre-sale, prepared to meet commitments (estimated 4 hrs / week), agree to abide by RWA Code of Ethics for the duration, tuition paid in full with application

– don’t have to be a RWA member to participate (limited number of seats are reserved for non-member participants)

– RWA Member: Early Bird ($750); Regular ($900)
– Non-member: Early bird ($900); Regular ($1050)

– scholarships available


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