A while back, I mentioned this great new program that DZANC Books is running, the DZANC Creative Writing Sessions (DCWS). I have since tried it out, and I simply can’t say enough good things about it.
The DCWS “allows writers to work one-on-one with published authors and editors to shape their short story/novel/poem/etc.” For less than the price of new sneakers you can receive a thoughtful, intelligent, in-depth critique of your work. And you choose the author you want to work with from a large list. The fees for the program are low because the authors have donated their time; all the money goes toward another program DZANC runs to bring writing programs to schools, grades 4-12. Thus in one fell swoop you get personal attention for your writing at bargain-basement prices and contribute to an important cause.
I signed up for 2 hours, chose the poet I wanted to work with by researching the authors online, and sent 5 poems. If you participate, be aware it can take a little while — you won’t receive a critique the very next day. The authors have donated their time, life is busy. However, the level of critique I received was stellar. How deeply this poet engaged with my work was really gratifying. And the benefit of having this established poet, who doesn’t know me or my poems, and hence approaches my work completely blind, without any preconceptions or received knowledge, is invaluable. I’m thrilled with the feedback I received.
I’m working toward a full-length collection (wheee!), and do my writing in near-isolation; I don’t belong to a writer’s group or a critiquing circle. And my funds are very limited. (As a friend said just this morning in an email,”Anything that you spend $$ on, I think is worth listening to!”) DCWS is a wonderful tool for someone like me. And I loved it. I hope it does well for them, because as soon as my budget allows I intend to sign up for more!