The Cleveland Writer Academy is a place where a person can go to learn to write to publish.
Over eight years ago, I founded a Meetup Group devoted to writers who wanted to learn more about publishing. It has since grown to the largest Writer’s group in the region.
Early on I was taken aback by the lack of awareness writers had for the publisher. They were staggered when challenged with the reality of what a publisher must pony up just to produce a book. Then throttled by the amount of cash it takes to launch, stock a distributor’s shelves, and provide ongoing marketing programs.
When I ask most writers, “Would you invest $250,000.00 in your book?” Most look at me dumb founded as though I insulted them. “Of course not….” is the typical response. To which I note “Then why should a publisher?”
There you have it, the simple reason we formed an academy. To help writers learn the ‘business’ of writing. Between the publishing houses, and writers, it amazes us anything gets put into the market. There’s a generous amount of information online to guide writers. Yet, there’s a dearth of places a writer can go to actually work on the CRAFT of a well written query letter, log in, or synopsis. We intend to fix this.
Nick Ripatrzone wrote in an article entitled: Practical Art: On Teaching the Business of Creative Writing
Creative writing should be taught as an art, and as a business. A creative writing program that only includes the former can unwittingly reinforce romantic stereotypes of writing. A young student might major in creative writing. She could become a wonderful poet, and a well-read critic. But she needs to know that poetry doesn’t pay the bills. This is the inside joke of creative writing programs in America. We know creative writing doesn’t make money, and yet we continue to graduate talented writers with no business acumen. At best, it is misguided. At worst, it is fraudulent.
The Academy isn’t for every one.
We look for the same kind of folks one finds at a baseball, tennis, or even a gymnastics academy. People willing to ‘work’on their game. Eight years of running a writer group taught us many writers ‘come to writing’ later in life. Careers underway, children managing their own worlds seem to draw the typical adult toward the writing flame. They arrive with great ideas, but poor or no skills to carry their work through. If they are ill equipped to handle writing the manuscript, taking the tome into commercial channels is more daunting.
Here is where we assist writers with hands-on courses to get their piece polished; a plan devised to submit or market it, the skills to draft correspondence Publishers want to read, the resources they need to market it.
If you think about it, writing is a HUGE career field and FULL of opportunity. If you can put words together, you can make a living at some level. One of the most difficult though is as a ‘novelist’. Even writers who go through several hundred thousand dollars getting a creative writing education, never learn how to ‘sell it’.
In 2015, we will begin teaching the ‘inside baseball’ of getting your work in front of the right people who can make an investment in it. Stay tuned as we round out this part of the site with an online education portal, plus a series of ‘hands on’ courses you can take to learn the ‘business of writing’.
We recommend this book to all of our writers: