see what our students say about us
"I would wholeheartedly recommend this course - either the in person workshop or the online. I've put off taking these for years because there was always something more important...which, in my mind, already prevented me from justifying the time and expense. Putting aside that thought and actually doing something which I love to do, something which will help me achieve what I actually enjoy doing has been the best gift I could give myself. I don't even think of it as a gift anymore - this is just what I need."
I'd say that the best part about the workshops is a) quality of the teachers (ability to explain, give examples, motivate), b) way of teaching - clear explanation, assignments discussed in a (diverse) group of people that all have the same objective - improve their skills, learn from each other and from constructive feedback of teachers, c) the quality of the exercises, and last but not least, it's interesting to meet all these "different" people that have at least one thing in common.
"I have been writing since I was seven years old. In a very real way it is my oldest companion, yet though I have tried at different periods of my life, I’ve never managed to give it a steady and credible role in my daily life and for the last decade or more I simply did not write. The workshops have changed all that. I am writing all the time now, and am more and more at ease in feeding my daily experience through the internal wordmill and into my notebook for later."
"The International Writers Collective is more than just a workshop. It's a community. A group of people of all ages, from all over the world, with different backgrounds and various professional occupations who have one thing in common: we want to write. The course teaches us the craft of writing, techniques that objectively help us improve our writing."
"I thought the assignments were very well chosen, as they were so fun and interesting I didn't get a chance to doubt my ideas too much. For me it was very useful to have a couple of elements of craft to use as scaffolding for creative ideas. I liked experimenting with different narrators, and differentiating between tone and mood was quite illuminating, it suddenly made sense how some writers are so compelling."
"The workshops really encouraged me to write – something I’ve been talking about for years but never had the time or confidence to pursue. I’ve absolutely loved it and plan to continue with it, I really think if I am going to make a go of writing these workshops will be what helps me to do that."
"If you like reading you should absolutely take a workshop. They are insightful into the craft of writing and hugely stimulating. It changed my life in so many good ways..."
“Being part of a community of writers has enriched my life beyond the actual workshops—I've made some great friends.”
"I found the quality of the instruction excellent, inspiring, and generally what I needed to get myself writing again. The other participants were also quite good, and I really enjoyed reading and critiquing the pieces each week."
As a repeat student I just LOVE this course. The variety of material to study, the exercises to try and the feedback given by both students and teacher alike has been invaluable in giving me a much broader toolset for my writing and the confidence to try new techniques and angles. I've recommended the course to many friends and those who've taken it up have been similarly impressed.
"I would (and I have already) recommended the workshop to anyone interested in writing, may it be someone too shy to have even dared to try or someone who's already quite far into writing a longer piece. The teaching has always been very satisfactory. I like the fact that the groups are always small, and everybody, both students and teachers, takes the class and the work in it very seriously, while doing it out of sheer pleasure. This gives a very solid ground to the classes, where people go quite far and deep into their own writing and into sharing critiques and...Read more
"I loved having the weekly chats to discuss each exercise. Even though we couldn't meet in person, I felt that the class was very engaged. As in previous classes, I learned many new skills. And I really feel like with the International Writers' Collective, there is a sense of community, and being part of a writing community that is supportive and constructive really helps one develop as a writer."
"It makes you write and keeps you writing and editing and writing and improving. The feedback is very helpful clear and worthwhile. I would recommend the course to any blocked writers."
"I would say that if you aspire to be a writer, and an MFA is both financially and time-wise not for you, this is a gentler, but still well-targeted program. You will surround yourself with keen writers, willing to help you get to where to aspire."
"Besides the constant push to write, what I find most useful about the workshop is writing very different assignments week by week, because it allows you to pick up on your writing strengths and style, really notice where you struggle and receive unbiased opinions/criticism."
"I had a great time. It was a wonderful experience, something that I always wanted to do but never found “time” (= balls haha) to do. I personally liked the exercises very much, the fact that they give you tools and techniques to find your own way and they were very diverse, covering different genres, etc. Because even if you need to “follow” a certain subject or style, the exercises are flexible enough to let you express your own ideas. I thought it was a great way to “find your own voice”, your writing style. It also made me more aware of writing...Read more
"First of all it helped me pick up a pen! And secondly, it provides a huge learning potential to be critiqued by others. There are always blind spots/ ego when you are reviewing your own writing. And also, the structured way of critiquing really helps you to look at someone's texts beyond nice or not nice, or, this is my taste, and this isn't. It can make you a better reader and writer."
"Very positive experience, it was great to get me started again, learn more about the techniques/theories behind it, and to surprise myself (and be surprised by others) by the wonderful stories that we produced each week. Real treat!"
"It was a great start to serious writing for me. I learnt a lot about tone, mood and narrators and discovered new writers en poems. The deadline of delivering a piece once a week is a great one. Getting feedback on your piece and reading it together with the group was a great way of critiquing."
"Interaction between fellow writers was a huge support. Teacher was supportive and promoted the right atmosphere. I learnt that writing is “only” 10% inspiration; the rest can be learnt!"
OUR LATEST BLOG POSTS
read tips on process & technique
In April 2019, Kristen Roupenian gave a special master class for our Amsterdam students (photos here). Kristen is the author of the world's first viral short story "Cat Person", which, with close to 5 million views, is...
Award-winning novelist, poet, memoirist and PEN International president, Jennifer Clement gave a special master class for our students in January 2019 (photos here). We spoke about craft in her latest novel Gun Love...
- January 07,2019 / Student profile / 2 Comments
At 13, Jessica Pena created a box full of writings for her future self at 30. She’s currently 29 and looking forward to opening that box in half a year. Jessica has been a regular member of our online community pretty...
- December 13,2018 / Publishing / 18 Comments
If you are interested in fame and fortune, here are seven international writing contests that you'll definitely want to keep on your radar. All the writing contests on our list are open to all nationalities and take...
- October 01,2018 / Publishing / 0 Comments
Submitting for themed journal issues can spark creativity & increase your chances of publication success. None of these journals charge submissions fees, so if the theme appeals or you have a poem or a story that...
- September 05,2018 / Publishing / 0 Comments
This month we're focusing on magazines dedicated to the weird and wonderful world of speculative fiction, i.e. fantasy, science fiction, and more broadly any work that features imaginative, unreal elements. And because...
- August 15,2018 / Writing tips / 0 Comments
As writers, we live for those moments when our connection to our imagination is strong and the words pour out like we're divinely inspired. We look back at what we've written and think, "Wow! Where did that come from?!"...
- July 24,2018 / Publishing / 1 Comments
It can be intimidating sending out your writing for the first time (or even the 10th time), so this month we decided to focus on literary journals and online magazines that are extra friendly to new and unpublished...
- July 12,2018 / Writing tips / 0 Comments
It's happened to all of us. You're trying to write an emotionally engaging scene and your dialogue comes out sounding like it's spoken by robots or by actors in a bad soap opera. Here are our top tips on how to write...
- May 10,2018 / Publishing / 0 Comments
Wondering where to submit your poetry, flash fiction and short stories? We have searched the globe to find you great places to send your work. This month we pulled together an international lineup of literary magazines...
- April 14,2018 / Writing tips / 1 Comments
Want to become a better writer? Start journaling! Journaling will make your writing richer and help you avoid writer's block. We have five great tips to get you started - on everything from what to capture to apps that...
- February 20,2018 / Publishing / 0 Comments
It's maddening: you spend ages revising your story until its perfect (or until you can't stand it anymore, whichever comes first), then you finally submit it and have to wait another couple of lifetimes to hear if...
Our mission is to provide people with the skills, inspiration and community they need to be great writers. Write well and joyfully—that’s the goal.
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Our Core workshops meet once a week for 8 weeks, usually from 18:30 - 20:30.
We use the payment processor Mollie for direct bank payments and cards. It is possible to pay in instalments - contact us for details.
We think so, based on our own experience and that of our students. And science backs us up: exercising your imagination, connecting with like-minded people, and learning new things are all activities that have been shown to improve well-being.