Many of my students have MFAs. I've even had people take this class who were college English professors with Ph.D.s in literature. The information you get from this course is information you won't find anywhere else, not even in an MFA program.
While I encourage experienced writers to take this class, the information is designed to be step by step and easy to understand. If you do the weekly assignments and watch the videos, you shouldn't have any problem keeping up with the more advanced students, especially if you take the Pre-Class first. You can learn more about the Pre-Class by clicking here.
Absolutely! In fact, sometimes I wish I had called this class, "The Much Cheaper and Better Alternative to Hiring a Developmental Editor." But somehow, that just doesn't roll off the tongue!
A developmental editor will help fix your book. Instead, I like to teach you memoir-writing concepts that will work for any book. You'll understand the moving parts of a memoir and how to bend them to your will. This class will also cost you thousands of dollars less than a developmental editor.
If you're just starting out, you won't finish your book in the eight-week class time period. However, I do have a small group coaching program that is an option after this class. We meet twice a month in groups of four people and you get half an hour of feedback from me on your book alone. (The class lasts two hours and you can turn in up to 10 pages of writing for each meeting.) The cost for this group coaching is $150 per month. You can start or stop at any time. You only have to commit to a month at a time.
However, this group coaching is only available to people who have taken Outline Your Memoir. You have to understand the basic concepts of memoir writing before enrolling in the group coaching class.
Even if you have a good portion of your book written, you'll probably still find that your manuscript still needs a lot of work when it comes to structure. Also, if you are moving faster than the other students, I have optional assignments to ensure that everyone is moving at their own pace, no matter where they are in the book-writing process.
At the bare minimum, you should have a completed working outline of your book. This outline will be divided into chapters and will include a description of each scene that goes in your book. You should also have at least one chapter written and several scenes. Some people will get more done, especially if they have been working on their memoirs for some time.
There is so much interest in this class that it always sells out extremely quickly. The last time it sold out in one minute. I establish a signup date and time to give everyone the same chance of getting in. I also find that people who are willing to set their alarms to sign up are the people who are most dedicated to getting their memoirs written. I get the best students this way.
I get people asking me to coach them privately all the time. The last person begged and pleaded and told me she would even name her new granddaughter after me if I accepted. (I think she was joking about that last part.)
I no longer do one-on-one coaching because I feel that this class plus the add-on class (more about that in a sec) actually offer a lot more value. After this class, you have the option to purchase small group coaching where you submit pages from your book and get half an hour of one-on-one time with me every other week, with three other people in a two-hour class. The cost is $150 per month. But I require that people take the eight-week class first because the group coaching is very advanced.
This is why I don't do one-on-one coaching anymore. People learn so much more in these small group settings. They get the same feedback yet they also get to hear the feedback I give to others struggling with the same memoir-writing concepts. It can often be easier to see a concept applied to another person's pages because you aren't emotionally attached to someone else's work.
I'd have to charge hundreds of dollars an hour to make one-on-one coaching worth my while, which I would feel guilty making anyone pay. I always try and keep my prices very reasonable, even though many people write to me to tell me that I should actually charge much more. My conscience just won't let me. Sigh. What's a girl to do?