Fiction | Nonfiction | Master Class

2-Day Open-Genre Master Class: From Dreamseed to Final Draft

A condensed version of the consistently sold-out 40,000 Words in 40 Days—a six-week, strategy-based class designed for writers with extreme time constraints—this open-genre weekend intensive will guide you through everything you need to start and finish your project, and what to do with it once it’s complete. Whether you are working on a novel, memoir, short story collection, or simply need to make time to write something, this class will help you set a plan in motion create and work a fail-proof strategy to produce a solid first draft, and give you the tools you need to bring it to final form. All you need to begin is an idea.

In addition to learning a craft-focused approach to creating inimitable prose, students will learn a method for designing a living outline for their specific project, and plan an approach to complete the first draft while learning the freedom of constraints: methods of expanding their available space and time to create maximum output. Alongside this work, we will discuss methods of writing from an outline without feeling confined by it; creating image-driven plot; generation and revision; setting personal deadlines; and managing fear and creative paralysis while staying true to your voice and vision.

By the end of the weekend, writers will have the tools necessary to complete a solid outline of their project as well as the first full draft, and a bulletproof strategy for reading, revising, and editing their own work. In addition to this, students will leave with a complete list of resources for writing and workshop opportunities, a personalized reading list, greater understanding and appreciation of their individual style and voice, and deeper confidence in themselves as writers, readers, and observers.


- A set of tools for completing a solid outline of the project and the first full draft

- A bulletproof strategy for reading, revising, and editing work

- A greater understanding of craft and individual voice

- Resources and guidelines for submitting work to agents, presses, publications, and residencies

- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Upon registration for the course, students must submit a project description, as well as previously drafted pages (if any).

Mila Jaroniec

Mila Jaroniec is the author of Plastic Vodka Bottle Sleepover (Split Lip Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in Playboy, Hobart, PANK, Joyland, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Teen Vogue, among others. She earned her MFA from The New School.


“This class was one of the highlights of my year. I had been carrying around so much baggage and anxiety around [my] project to the point that it was difficult to even outline or brainstorm or write. Everything we discussed invigorated my approach and feelings towards the project. It feels much more doable, and the anxiety doesn't overwhelm and paralyze me like it used to. I feel like this project would still be in limbo if it weren’t for this class.”

former student

"As someone who’s been taking and/or teaching writing workshops for 25 years, I’ve experienced a wealth of instructors and styles, and yet, no one has come close to the level of inspiration and spirit that Mila brings to her classroom. She has that inimitable spark that is so rare and contagious. Her course materials and level of discourse challenged and supported us, pushing us to dig deeper to access the most creative parts of ourselves."

Sara Lippmann former student and author of DOLL PALACE

“To be edited by Mila Jaroniec is to have the inside of your head turned inside out to ring inside your reader’s head the same as you first heard your insights in your head—hear them again from your ringside seats to her head bringing your insights out from your head to the art in your heart in your art.”

Sam Farahmand drDOCTOR editor in chief and MFA colleague

“As an editor, Mila was able to tap into the undercurrent of my writing. She discerned the universal issues I was grasping at in my work and helped me bring them to the forefront in immediate and visceral ways, making my piece more organized and so much stronger. Her guidance helped me take my writing from ‘essay’ to ‘work of art.’”

Elle Nash author of ANIMALS EAT EACH OTHER

“Mila Jaroniec is a strong and sensitive writer who knows how to cut to the heart of any story. I’d trust her completely with my words.”

Chloe Caldwell author of I'LL NEVER TELL YOU IN PERSON

“Mila Jaroniec’s editorial direction was extraordinarily helpful to me. She shaped my writing toward a greater purpose and effect with an assured but gentle hand. I’m very grateful for her guidance and generosity toward my work.”

Jac Jemc author of THE GRIP OF IT

“PLASTIC VODKA BOTTLE SLEEPOVER is a razor-sharp meditation on loneliness in sex, under capitalism, in the face of mortality, even in the arms of those we claim to love. Not literature, philosophy, alcohol, or commodities fill the hole, and Jaroniec's triumph is that she doesn’t cop to any easy solutions. This isn’t a book for the winners of the world, but one that celebrates the Worst Of list, the losers, the ‘kindhearted satanists and drug addicts who are not sorry.’ Those who accept the world as-is with all its fucked up characters, each more gloriously doomed than the last.”

Sarah Gerard author of SUNSHINE STATE and BINARY STAR

"This is a book that wasn't just typed, but carved into a mirror with a razor blade. An adventure of errors through a maze where the walls move and the floor does too, PLASTIC VODKA BOTTLE SLEEPOVER pulses with vivid neon light; if Joan Didion and Courtney Love had to band together to save the world from itself on a Saturday night. Mila Jaroniec is part leader of a punk rock cult, part soothsayer of substance abuse, part art slick angel, all genius."

Bud Smith author of WORK

"In PLASTIC VODKA BOTTLE SLEEPOVER, Mila Jaroniec writes with a seer's wisdom and a poet's touch. Emotions are evoked in language both lovely and dangerous. I love the honesty and the beauty."

Darcey Steinke author of SISTER GOLDEN HAIR