What can I expect from The Workshop Series?
Each of the eleven teaching sessions has been custom built by Beth to deeply explore the given topics. Short excerpts from more than 125 different memoirs will be shared over the course of the series. New definitions and perspectives on the risks, tools, pleasures, and possibilities of memoir and other truth-based literature will be shared. Exercises will be suggested. Sometimes Beth will use short excerpts from her own work to demonstrate a process or a technique (or a failure).
The sessions will be presented live via Zoom. An artful PDF featuring original photographs and illustrations will carry the concepts forward. Beth will present for approximately 55 minutes, leaving time for questions from participants during the last 20 minutes of the presentation.
Is there a limited number of participants for the Workshop Series?
We limit each to 35 so that people can ask questions and be engaged with Beth and each other at the end. We are going to hold the series again next year, and while there is a logic to the sequencing of each, they are independent. You don’t need to have experienced one, in other words, to get everything out of the others.
Will The Workshop Series presentations be recorded and made available following the live Zoom sessions?
The presentations will be recorded. Participants will have access to those recordings for 14 days following the live session so that they may revisit key concepts and undertake the suggested exercises on their own time.
Those who are unable to join a session due to a scheduling conflict can purchase the session and listen to the recording during that 14-day period.
The Workshop Series sessions have been created for the sole use of those who have purchased each offering, and are not to be distributed to or shared with others.
What happens if my class is cancelled or rescheduled?
If your workshop doesn’t reach minimum enrollment or we have a scheduling conflict, we may reschedule or cancel up to the day class is set to begin. If we reschedule or cancel, we will give students the opportunity for a full refund, or we can help you transfer to a new class. If a class is rescheduled, you are welcome to remain enrolled if the new dates work for you.
Is The Workshop Series redundant with Beth’s books Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, Tell the Truth. Make It Matter., or Strike the Empty?
Beth is building these presentations from scratch—developing original definitions, drawing from both classic and brand-new memoirs to illustrate her points, and building all new question cascades and writing exercises. There may be occasional overlap—we just do need George Hodgman to talk about home, for example, just as we need Paul Lisicky to illustrate some aspects of time management, and Richard Ford is always helpful when we think about character development. But by and large these presentations are not redundant with her earlier work, or teaching.
How do I sign up for the workshop series?
You can find all of our workshops listed in the “Our Workshops” page. Once on that page, click on the workshops that interest you to read a full description and to check the date on which the selected session will be held. You can add your selections to the cart. Sessions are purchased individually. You can sign up for as many or as few as you would like. Sign-ups are accepted up to 48 hours ahead of each session. Participants will each receive a Zoom link and password ahead of each session.
What can I expect from the Group Critiques?
Each of the four manuscript critique sessions will offer eight writers in-depth critiques in a group Zoom setting. The participants’ 2,500-word manuscripts will be submitted to Beth two weeks in advance of each session. Beth will provide an editorial letter to each writer, and manuscripts will also be shared among participants for group review.
These 4.5-hour Zoom sessions will take place on given Saturdays, with a two-hour lunch break between the morning and afternoon sessions. The first half hour of each session will feature Beth’s overarching comments on themes, patterns, and concerns of interest to all participants.
These workshops will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. However, if you are part of a writing group and would like to reserve an entire class for a specific group of people, we are happy to accommodate that.
Our maximum is eight people. Our minimum is six people.
Beth’s comments on participant pages will be emailed to each participant at the close of each session.
How do I sign up for the Group Critiques?
You can select Group Critique sessions in the “Our Workshops” page. Each session is separately sold at $260/each.
How much time do I have to register?
If you are registering for one of The Workshop Series classes, registration will close forty-eight hours in advance of the class.
If you are registering for a Group Critique, you will have to register three weeks in advance and have your manuscript ready to be emailed to Beth two weeks in advance of the critique session.
What will I receive once I have registered for my classes?
You will receive an acknowledgment of payment as soon as you register. Forty-eight hours ahead of the class beginning, you’ll receive a Zoom invitation, with a Zoom link and a password.
Do I have to “qualify” to join The Workshop Series or participate in a Group Critique session?
No. The only qualification is your interest in memoir, literature, and conversations about life.
Is this series focused entirely on truth-related literature?
Yes. Beth is drawing all of her examples and insights from micro-essays, essays, memoirs, and prose poetry. However, there are many concepts here—writing about house, writing about place, writing characters—that have crossover appeal for those thinking about writing other forms.