Online | Open-Genre | Seminar

4-Week Online Seminar: Cure Writer's Block & Reach Your Full Potential

"Take this class! Even if you end up half as productive as Michael, you’re sure to accomplish twice as much as you did before." - Heather Scott Partington, National Book Critics Circle Emerging Critics Fellow

The deadline looms and yet you still can’t seem to get started. The pressures of life and work aren’t going to magically make room for the hours you need to get writing done. It’s up to you to manage and micromanage yourself to complete and conquer that dreaded to-do list. This class is designed for writers looking to identify and dismantle the hurdles that keep you from reaching your full potential. 

Be it understanding the myth of writer’s block or coming to grips with modern distractions like social media, this class will focus on creating strategies and routines to maintain focus not only on the current task and the next deadline, but rather your entire workload: creating your own constraints, counter constraints, red herrings, micro-deadlines, social-media rewards, career prioritization (short term goals/long term goals), motivating yourself through rejection, and more. Students will leave the class with the skills necessary to conquer rather than cower in the face of an overload of work.

This class will meet over our video chat platform. You will need to use Google Chrome to join your class meetings.


- A better understanding of the myth of writer's block and how to keep it from dragging you down

- Techniques for maintaining focus and achieving a flow state

- Career prioritization, for both short- and long-term goals

- The ability to better self-motivate

- Access to nurturing a community of writers and readers

- Practical advice about taking the next step as a professional writer

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


Week 0: Introductions

Week 1: I Like the Idea of Doing Things Rather Than Doing Things: Addressing writer's block

Week 2: Distraction Can Be Your Friend: Creating useful rituals

Week 3: Play Your Best Hand: Thinking about success & failure

Week 4: You Are Not Alone: Looking for outside inspiration

Michael Seidlinger

Michael J Seidlinger is an Asian American author of a number of novels including My Pet Serial Killer, The Fun We’ve Had, and The Strangest. He serves as director of publicity at Dzanc Books, social media editor at Electric Literature, and publisher in chief of Civil Coping Mechanisms, an indie press specializing in innovative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee. You can find him online at, on Facebook, and on Twitter (@mjseidlinger).


“Michael J. Seidlinger is one of the busiest guys in the book business; if anyone can help you hack your productivity, it’s him. He’s a tireless advocate for authors and an enthusiastic editor. Michael has given me the space to explore my own ideas while encouraging my growth as a critic. Take this class! Even if you end up half as productive as Michael, you’re sure to accomplish twice as much as you did before.”

Heather Scott Partington NBCC Emerging Critics Fellow

"Seidlinger is an author/editor who knows writing inside and out. I've read all of his work, read the books he's edited, and had him as an editor for a while. He knows what he's doing, and he brings an invigorating energy to all of it."

Gabino Iglesias author of ZERO SAINTS

"Michael J. Seidlinger has edited my work on scales ranging from book reviews to a short story collection. Working with him has enabled me to think in new ways about my own productivity, organizational methods, and daily routines–all of which has made me a better writer."

Profile Photo Tobias Carroll author of TRANSITORY

“Michael Seidlinger is a wiz of lit world who does it all: publishes great books at Civil Coping Mechanisms, edits great work at Electric Literature, and of course writes great books. You can learn a lot from his hustle.”

Profile Photo Lincoln Michel author of UPRIGHT BEASTS and editor-in-chief of Electric Literature

"Working with Michael J. Seidlinger continues to be one of my favorite experiences with an editor and publisher. From the beginning, he made it clear through his actions—in his desire to know and understand not just the words on the page, but about where I was coming from and what I wanted to achieve—that he cared about my voice and how to help me get heard as clearly as possible. Michael has approached me and my work without in any way trying to impose his ego (which unfortunately so many editors and publishers do). In the end, his subtle nudging, his checking in, his dialogue with me, and his seemingly simple edit suggestions all came together in helping me write my best work to date. Michael is an editor and a publisher that I hope to work with again and again for a long time."

Chiwan Choi author of THE YELLOW HOUSE

“Seidlinger is charting new narrative territory, and we should follow him wherever he goes.”

Laura van den Berg author of FIND ME

“Step back Camus, your anti-hero has been fragmented and dispersed via the free-fall of social media. Michael J. Seidlinger’s re-visioning enters the anthropocene without apology or oxygen masks, and asks us to take the trip toward self discovery as if the self was moving particles. A kick-ass ride. A beautiful dismemberment.”

Lidia Yuknavitch author of THE SMALL BACKS OF CHILDREN

“Seidlinger continues his quest to become a literary chameleon, diving into new genres and remixing them into something wholly his own. His is a kingdom without borders.”

Joshua Mohr author of SIRENS

“The best poets are writing poetry no matter what they are writing, creating entirely new and weird spaces. There is no doubt Seidlinger has made one of the weirdest spaces we will ever inhabit. In THE FUN WE'VE HAD, every visible thing is a love of disturbing tremors, keeping ahead of our ever-curious eyes, hoping to savor every line. What a magnificent book.”

CAConrad author of THE BOOK OF FRANK

“Michael Seidlinger is a homegrown Calvino, a humanist, and wise and darkly whimsical. His invisible cities are the spires of the sea where we all sail our coffins in search of our stories.”

Steve Erickson author of ZEROVILLE