It’s easier than you might think to build a career for yourself as a writer. Essays are more relevant than ever, and many online publications are hungry for new content and fresh voices. Writers who build platforms for themselves on social media and the internet can catch the eyes of agents and editors. In this workshop, we will focus on finding your individual voice, crafting effective pitches, and being brave on the page. Michele’s students have been published by numerous publications, including TheAtlantic.com and Refinery29.
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them,” Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Big Magic, her excellent book on creativity. This class will help you uncover those strange jewels.
This course is best-suited for writers with some workshop and publishing experience, to serve as the next step on your journey toward a career as a writer. Students should expect to workshop at least twice and will meet once with the instructor to discuss individual goals.
This class will meet live weekly over our text-only chat platform. There will not be any live video or audio component to class.
- Intensive peer and instructor feedback on two workshop submissions
- One individual conference with the instructor to discuss your writing style, goals, and areas for improvement
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
- Access to short exercises designed to help you think freely and break through creative blocks
- Strategies for building a platform online to help you get published and promote your work
- More confidence as a writer, on and off the page!
Every week, students will be asked to give feedback on their peers' workshop submissions. Students are also given optional reading and writing exercises. Weekly deadlines will be enforced for workshop critiques.
Week 1: Welcome and introductions
Week 2: The Art of the Pitch; Workshop #1
Week 3: Finding the Best Places to Write for; Workshop #2
Week 4: Staying Organized as a Freelancer; Workshop #3
Week 5: Generating Personal Essays; Workshop #4
Week 6: Best Practices for Working with Editors; Workshop #5
Week 7: Social Media for Writers; Workshop #6
Week 8: Staying Inspired; Workshop #7
Michele Filgate’s work has appeared in Longreads; The Washington Post; the Los Angeles Times; The Boston Globe; The Paris Review Daily;Tin House; Gulf Coast; O, The Oprah Magazine; BuzzFeed; Refinery29; and many other publications. She’s a contributing editor at Literary Hub and the editor of What My Mother And I Don’t Talk About, a critically acclaimed anthology published by Simon & Schuster. Michele curates and hosts the Red Ink series at Books are Magic in Brooklyn.
"Michele is a fantastic mentor who shows patience, humility, and generosity to her students. She’s an enthusiastic champion for all of those ‘am I really a writer?’ writers out there. You’ll leave her class with confidence in your ability and gain many opportunities to get to those necessary next steps in your writing life."
"Michele is uniquely talented at guiding writers of all levels and stages of the game into expanding the way they look at their work and develop it towards a goal. She has a brilliant knack for identifying what’s working — and what’s not — within a piece, and guiding students to shape an arc, a character, and a story. I would take a class with her again in a heartbeat."
"Michele gives such precise and inspired notes on work you’ll think she slipped into your head. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of writers (you’ll likely end up with a delicious stack on your nightstand to keep the well full). She’s gracious, kind, funny, and genuinely cares about her students. I was hesitant to spend the money for her class but it was worth every penny."
"Over years of knowing Michele and reading her work, I’ve watched her guide countless other voices into the public sphere with professionalism and care. Her enthusiasm for new writing and publishing is rare and inspiring."
"Michele is the kind of woman you meet and think, ‘Wow. She really loves what she does.’ Her passion for writing and teaching writing pervades all aspects of her class. She enthusiastically challenges her students to stop censoring themselves and to explore their writing on a deeper level–the kind of challenging personal writing that means the most in the grand scheme of life. All of us in class were able to share a piece of our individual experiences through writing that we had never shared before."
"Michele is the calm soothing voice you want next to you as you burrow into your writing. There is a sensitivity and attentiveness in her critiques- two important qualities that ultimately lead you to finding your way out of the labyrinthine writing process."
"Michele is all the things you'd want in a teacher: incredibly knowledgeable, well-connected to the writing and publishing world, kind, encouraging, direct, and honest. Within the short time of this course, Michele taught me to write a pitch, directed me to a publication that might be interested in the pitch, taught me how to navigate the freelance marketplace, and helped me hone my first-ever essay into something publishable (and now published). No matter where you are in your writing life, her course will help you immensely. Michele willingly shares all of what she knows about the business of being a writer, providing very clear suggestions of how to build, or improve, your writing career. Working with Michele has helped me grow as a writer and also as a professional in the world of publishing. I'd take a class with her again in an instant."
"Anyone who has read Michele’s work has a sense of who she is as a teacher: generous, precise, and fully present. I left class with a plethora of encouraging comments from her, as well detailed edits and resources, to keep me motivated when writing gets hard. I could always tell, from her all-caps email when I published a piece she helped me revise, to her detailed comments on brief writing exercises, that she was rooting for me. In my case, the course paid for itself within the 8-week period in the form of accepted pieces, and I know that I’ll owe future pieces in large part to Michele’s advice."