Invest in Yourself: Online Learning


We writers are supposed to do crit groups, crit groups, and more crit groups…

I’m usually scheduled for something from 6:40 AM to 6:20 PM. Then it’s time to start dinner and start screaming at the kids to do their homework. I’ll be honest – I really struggle not to be jealous of my SCBWI friends getting online MFAs and going to crit groups in the evenings.

I went to an evening crit group once, and had to bring my kids. Ever have a Picture Book illustrator help you dismantle furniture because your toddler wedged your iPhone deep inside?

This is before I even touch the panic attacks when I try to drive on the highway.

TL:DR: There is a reason I use tattoo concealer for the bags under my eyes.

KLU_Sweeney Writing Coach M&S

Enter Joyce Sweeney’s asynchronous web classes.

If you’re not convinced, check out her free Plot Clock webinar.

Basically the Plot Clock is a strong beginning of your outline/checklist for your novel.

Note that it’s longer than most of her lectures (average 20-30 minutes) and isn’t as direct due to the audience participation that isn’t present in her classes.  While the tip of the iceberg of awesome, it’s a good taste of Joyce’s teaching style.

Who is Joyce Sweeney? A multi-published, award-winning contemporary YA author (who may be currently working on a supercool YA fantasy!), instructor, and consultant. She also owns a black cat named Nitro, which is all you need to know about how cool she is.

Mystery and Suspense has just started, and will run for the next ten weeks. Format is:

  • The lecture drops on Sunday;
  • You complete a brief (usually 1-2 pages but I overwrite) homework assignment and post to the forum;
  • Any questions that you have about your own writing, the industry, or WIP, you can post to the forum for Joyce to answer; *
  • Usually we make friends, get into each other’s WIPs, and become a tight community.

If your schedule is really insane, like mine can be during code release or when working with offshore colleagues who can’t grasp the concept of time zones, a lot of us Joyceketeers just sign up for all-access. For $49 a month, you can view *any* webinar or class Joyce has ever done, plus you’re enrolled in whatever class or new webinar is currently happening.

Nobody cares if it’s 3 AM and you’re in your fuzzy pink kittencorn pajamas. In fact, I’m pretty certain it buys you points with the kidlit crowd.

It’s showing up for myself, and putting the vibes out there that my writing career is worth it, and is deserving. The support, growth, and friendships I’ve made through Joyce’s class are priceless.

To note: This is not a sponsored post. I’m just a fan and so are the 60+ people Joyce has mentored into publishing (several with movie deals and NYT Bestseller rankings). Like most of her students, she’s become a good friend to me for stuff in addition to writing, and I’m profoundly grateful.

*I go by my own name on there, but the running joke is that the Ask Joyce board is usually The Kidlit Underground Show.  Join us and give me a run for my pixels!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.