What others say:
I was very pleased with the professionalism of the teacher. She clearly is very experienced and knows a lot about writing. She could always give insightful information or name relevant examples of books and writers when a question came up during class. Online classes can sometimes be awkward, for instance, if the teacher poses a question in general and everybody is too polite or shy to answer; somehow, that never happens in these classes.
I do like the format of the IWC classes in general. Once again, I was pleased with the example texts and the exercises. This was my first Level 2 and I felt significantly challenged, the high expectations and the level of other participants kept me on my toes, I loved it!
The assignments were just hard enough for me to get them done without being too discouraged. This was stimulating! The readings suggested and the authors were surprising sometimes and even a little dark at other times, but I appreciated how it forced me to get out of the ordinary. If it wasn't for this course, I most probably would have not discovered or read these on my own. I really enjoyed learning about writing, having the weekly challenging assignments, reading and critiquing. Of course, the critiquing part was the trickiest. I also loved meeting the group and simply getting reconnected to English as a spoken language. Simply hearing everyone talk in English was a treat. This course is very well structure, focused, enjoyable and humane.
Level II is aimed at encouraging students to think about building on previously written material. The course was cleverly devised with this in mind. It catered not only for the students who were already writing larger pieces but also for students yet to make that step. As the latter, I found being in a class with others who were already fully engaged with their own writing was very inspiring. For the first part of the course we were provided with prompts while the last two classes were about writing forward from previous exercises. The sample pieces were entire short stories which we would discuss during class focusing on certain elements of craft such as dialogue and story structure amongst others. I always learnt so much during these discussions, deconstructing successful pieces of writing in order to understand why they work so well.
I really enjoyed all of the information, exercises, specific examples, direction. It was incredibly useful and encouraging--for the first time, I'm not so daunted by structure and feel like I have real tools to continue my draft. I also really enjoyed the breakout sessions, if only to shake up the class and offer up some variety and the opportunity to interact more with the participants.
The material covered in this course was easy to grasp but challenging to write, the [exercises] were very well alternated and kept me on my toes. The atmosphere in the class I was in, was great. I felt comfortable and we talked a lot about the exercises during the class, what we found difficult or what we wanted to try and focus on.
This course was much more practical than another course I did on novel writing (not at IWC). This course really managed to break some big things down and give some very specific and practical guidelines.
I love how it caters for any level of writing and is a non judgemental, inspirational space.
IWC has a great formula for learning: you make it safe, enjoyable, instructive and very satisfying. I would not have believed that I could express myself in this way so well before taking your courses. The experience will help me in my personal development and my professional work. Poetry is fascinating to me since it allows one to write about things which are below the surface or around the corner. Things which are that way for everyone. Sometimes, a poem resonates with our own collective unconscious and can express the range of human emotions, desires, ills and frustrations far more compactly that other art, or written, forms.
The class was a lot of fun, and helped me find motivation to write again. I have so many ideas and so much inspiration now to take back into my own writing! I have also for the first time really started thinking about different elements of craft and how and when to use them and to what effect, instead of "just" sitting down and write whatever is coming out.
I loved the variety of texts covered, looking at them in-depth and learning about the different writing techniques. I loved the way we immediately put these techniques/tools into action for our week's writing exercise, also learning to appreciate them while writing critiques for our classmates. It was also great to get specific feedback from the teacher as well as classmates, helping to understand more what works (and doesn't) in my own writing.
I find it a very valuable use of time, and I feel proud of what I've achieved in these courses so for me it's money well spent and memories/experiences I will cherish for a long time. The quality of the materials and structure of the course within IWC is always high, in my opinion. So far I've only had [two] instructors, both were absolutely wonderful but also different teaching styles, which is great for the learning experience. I've had experienced a writing course outside of IWC before, in a workshop format. I must IWC is far more organized and thoughtful in choice of materials, objectives, delivery and higher standards of assessment compared to other courses I've taken in the last 3 years. I liked that there are certificates, that there are requirements to achieve, that there is consultation with the instructors before you go to next level. It assures me of the quality the IWC also expects from the students.