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CHRISTIAN WRITERS GUILD

General chat, updates and discussion about being a part of the FaithWriters Platinum (500)

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whenisell
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CHRISTIAN WRITERS GUILD

Postby whenisell » Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:12 pm

Has anyone in this forum taken the Christian Writers Guild courses?
Edd McGrath

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Postby didget01 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:08 pm

Hi Edd!
Yes, I have taken CWG I found it to be extremely helpful and my mentor was excellent. I have heard much discussion about the course on this board. Some folks consider it to be way too pricey, others do not like Jerry Jenkins writing style and therefore don't feel the course has anything to offer. But as for me, the course has been around longer than any others that I have seen offered. It is taught by an extensive group of writers and editors with a vast array of experience which far exceeds anything that I have and I found it to be excellant. My one complaint (if I have any complaints) is that it covers a broad range of writing and therefore not as specialized as some courses. I know that other people have taken the course (here) but I don't think that it has been too many, just a handful.

Darlene
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If you want to build a boat, do not instruct the men to saw wood, stitch the sails, prepare the tools and organize the work, but make them long for setting sail and travel to distant lands.
— Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

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Rebecca Livermore
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Postby Rebecca Livermore » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:08 pm

Darlene,

Thanks for your input on this. I agree that it is somewhat pricey, but considering that it is a two-year course, it's really not too bad.

I also noticed that the first level covers several things, including things I may not be at all interested in such as screenwriting. The second level is at least broken into either fiction or nonfiction, so that may help.

Have you taken the second level yet?

Do you have any say in who your mentor is? I'm sure they can't give you whoever you want, but it would be nice if you could list your top three (or five) choices. The person I would really like is probably not chosen a lot, but she would be perfect for me. It would be really nice if I could let them know she was the one I'm interested in.

Another question -- how much feedback do you get from your mentor? Do you find it helpful? I learn pretty well on my own from books, so don't really want to pay that kind of money if the main thing I'm getting are the lessons. What I really need is a mentor!

It might be quite some time before I can take the course because my husband doesn't want me to make payments, so I'd have to come up with all the money at once. (We have a history of problems with debt and we are still trying to dig out of that hole. Because of that, we've made a commitment to no new debt, which the payment option basically is.)

I look forward to hearing more from you on this. Thanks for chiming in.

Blessings,
Rebecca

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Postby MozMiss » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:09 pm

I started the CWG course as well. I really enjoyed doing it, although my mentor didn't seem quite so organized. I had a bit of trouble getting some of my assignments through to him. Could have had something to do with the fact that we were in Africa at the time and on a pretty bad dial-up system. Anyway, I got about half way through when life interferred. I moved and had to home school my three kids. Somehow that eclipsed most of everything else I was doing at the time. Since then I have read through the course - particularly the part about writing fiction but have not done all the assignments. I think I agree with the two comments - it is definately pricey and it does cover a wide range of styles. Having said that, if you have the 'stick-to-it-iveness" to complete the course, I think you will have benefited greatly.
Donna Haug
Peterborough, Ontario - CANADA

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Rebecca Livermore
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Postby Rebecca Livermore » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:15 pm

Donna,

Did you pay for the course up front, or were you making payments on it? If making payments, were you able to quit making them when you stopped doing the course, or were you stuck paying the full amount?

I hate the thought of having to pay a bill for the next two years if I find it isn't working for me. Although, since my husband really doesn't want me to make payments anyway, it is unlikely to happen, but it would be nice to know.

Rebecca

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Postby didget01 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:32 pm

Rebecca,
You don't get to pick your mentor but as I said earlier they are very knowledgable seasoned writers and editors. Mine was great. I felt that there was something helpful in each section even when it wasn't exactly my passion. I was surprised at how well I did on certain sections which I believe was the goal in adding the different sections. I know that Rita Garcia (sometimes frequents the boards) has gone on to do the next level (Fiction writing). I paid by automatic withdraw from my checking and didn't find it to be especially burdensome but I also had decided that it was time for me to get serious about my writing and this was one of the methods that I used to do that. So it was a prayed over decision not a whim. God put several things together in my life to move my writing forward a notch so I have no regrets on CWG but feel it was something worthwhile and helpful.

Darlene
Darlene Hight

If you want to build a boat, do not instruct the men to saw wood, stitch the sails, prepare the tools and organize the work, but make them long for setting sail and travel to distant lands.
— Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

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Postby didget01 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:33 pm

PS. I have taken other courses by less skilled instructors and they were pretty worthless.

Darlene
Darlene Hight

If you want to build a boat, do not instruct the men to saw wood, stitch the sails, prepare the tools and organize the work, but make them long for setting sail and travel to distant lands.
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Rebecca Livermore
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Postby Rebecca Livermore » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:54 pm

Darlene,

Thanks for the additional input.

Approximately how much time does each lesson require? I know we are all different in terms of how quickly we work, but a general idea of the time commitment would help me know whether or not the time is right for me to do this.

It does sound like you made the decision prayerfully, which is exactly what I'm trying to do. I know that if I rush into it and the timing isn't right, it will be a disaster, and an expensive one at that!

In terms of mentors, it makes sense to me to pray that God matches me up with the right one and then trust that whoever is assigned to me is the right one!

I appreciate the time you are taking to respond. Your input is very helpful!

Blessings,
Rebecca

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Postby didget01 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:59 pm

Is it okay to say I don't remember? :oops:

Darlene
Darlene Hight

If you want to build a boat, do not instruct the men to saw wood, stitch the sails, prepare the tools and organize the work, but make them long for setting sail and travel to distant lands.
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Rebecca Livermore
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Postby Rebecca Livermore » Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:37 pm

didget01 wrote:Is it okay to say I don't remember? :oops:

Darlene


LOL. Yes, of course! That would indicate to me that it must not have been too bad!

Rebecca

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Postby whenisell » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:35 am

They offered me the option of skipping a lot of the first course, and then taking the "Journeyman" course. I am a little concerned about the time commitment because I have a pretty full life, but I think I may start at the beginning of the first course. I have been working with an editor and I realize that I am deficient in some basic grammar and punctuation matters.

I read Jenkin's book on writing and was impressed by the professional way he approached his career. I am late in life to worry about a career but I want to be a good steward of the life the Lord has opened to me, so I think that includes becoming a better writer.

Thank all of you for your generous response to my query.
Edd McGrath

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Rebecca Livermore
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Postby Rebecca Livermore » Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:37 am

whenisell wrote:They offered me the option of skipping a lot of the first course, and then taking the "Journeyman" course. I am a little concerned about the time commitment because I have a pretty full life, but I think I may start at the beginning of the first course. I have been working with an editor and I realize that I am deficient in some basic grammar and punctuation matters.

I read Jenkin's book on writing and was impressed by the professional way he approached his career. I am late in life to worry about a career but I want to be a good steward of the life the Lord has opened to me, so I think that includes becoming a better writer.

Thank all of you for your generous response to my query.


Edd, how did you get the option to skip part of the first course? I'm "beyond" a lot of the things in the first course, but some of it would be helpful. It would be great if I could skip part of it.

Thanks in advance for your input,

Rebecca

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BirdieCourtright
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Postby BirdieCourtright » Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:43 am

I am currently taking the course and just now entering the second year. I have to say that it has stretched me, but I made the commitment and I plan to finish and then take the Journeyman's course.

One problem I have had is that the assignments are due every two weeks, and sometimes that has been difficult. If you were taking a college course, you would get a break between semseters at least. There is no break, so you do have to keep rolling. However, my mentor has been very amicable when I have gotten off track.

There are some parts that I just hated--but I that's just me. I want to write what I like to write, and not have to write things that don't interest me. But I can say that I have become more disciplined and have a far better understanding of what I'm doing. Having a mentor has been helpful, but honestly I have learned as much from some of the other writers here. That too, could be because I don't email my mentor with every question, so I think how much the mentor gives to you is largely tied to the relationship you develop with them as you go through the course.

It is pricey, but I made choices when I started a year ago about where my financial commitment would come from (I pay monthly) and that too has helped me remember to stay on track and complete the commitment that I made to myself when I started. So my advice would be not to undertake the course on a whim, because if you do--you'll probably quit. You should be willing to make it a priority, just as if you were taking a college course. You do agree to pay the full amount of the course, whether or not you complete it.

The conference I hear, is top notch and the exposure is a great opportunity but it is way too expensive for me to even consider at this stage.

As far as writing opportunities, there are more freelance opportunites posted here than on the CWG website, and the CWG forums are not nearly as interactive, supportive or enlightening as the forums here. However, having to complete the assignments even on things I hated, has helped me recognize what I like to write and what I write best. When started, I just 'wanted to write' and now I know there are things I don't want to write.

The most valuable part of the course for me has been the emphasis on marketing, and my mentor has been very good at suggesting markets when he really likes something.

Overall, it's been worth the money to me. I feel like I've come a long way in the past year in understanding the business of writing.

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Postby Amytang » Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:53 pm

I am taking the CWG course now Apprentice level and I love it!
It sheds alot of insight into craft and style.


Blessings,

Amy Edwards
Jesus is coming ! Are you going?

My blog
http://www.shoutlife.com/amygirl

JennieAtkins
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Christian Writers Guild

Postby JennieAtkins » Wed Dec 05, 2007 4:26 pm

I read through the post put in about a year ago regarding the Christian Writers Guild. I was wondering if anyone has taken it since or had any additional input.

I was considering taking a writing course and thought that sounded very thorough in its approach. I was just wondering if it was really worth the two year committment? Can the assignments be completed ahead of schedule?

If anyone has any further input, I'd appreciate it. :D

Jennie

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