Find community and grow your craft in our online workshops. We host both synchronous and asynchronous courses using Zoom and Canvas, an easily accessible, private online platform. Whether you’re a new writer or a well-published pro, you’ll find motivation, structure, constructive criticism, and a dedicated cohort. Offerings are continually updated, so check back for more, or email [email protected] to be added to our workshop mailing list.
What Our Students Are Saying About Cleaver Workshops:
PLAYING TOWARDS POETIC FORM
Alex was very open and wonderful to work with. I loved his positivity and devotion to the craft of writing poetry. I learned a great deal about where to break lines, which has transformed my work.
URGENCY AND THE PERSONAL ESSAY
I loved the accessible writing exercises/tools (from the timeline exercise to the questions you can ask yourself when you get stuck working on a scene). This workshop was the perfect balance between beautiful discussion, theory, and practical writing exercises. I can’t believe how much we were able to cover in just a couple of hours! A whirlwind masterclass of the best kind.
Megan was fantastic. The examples of craft elucidated her points so clearly. I absolutely feel that this masterclass will help my work!!!
Although I was unable to attend the online workshop live, I benefitted immensely from the recorded version since all the chat comments were also made available to me. Having the course resource materials available was helpful as were suggested additional references.
The masterclass changed my perception of what matters as subject and how to ‘get there”
Megan shared incredibly tangible tools with concrete examples grounded in our own work (a smart pedagogical strategy!) and her own life/word. Megan’s experience/intelligence as a writing teacher, her compassion for what writers go through, and her vivaciousness come through so strongly. Her political engagement with the world is something I’ve admired about her writing. I’m sure it informs the comfort/inclusiveness that I felt in the masterclass.
Gave me clear exercises to identify life events that have a sense of urgency and how to place those events in a timeline which can serve as a guide to create a story around. There were many, many moments of wisdom that Megan shared as well.
Jen Mathy clarified a variety of things for me in terms of branding. She is a fabulous, very knowledgeable speaker and educator.
I published my first book over 2 months ago, and I’m learning that for the author, marketing should be considered the next phase of writing. Finding readers is essential to the life of the book, and this workshop addressed supporting a healthy relationship with self-promotion.
POINT OF VIEW AS PLAY AND PRACTICE
Sheree is an incredibly supportive and informative instructor.
BREAKING UP WITH FORM: EXPERIMENTAL ESSAYS
Introduced me to new authors and new visions for structuring my writing. Loved the readings and the way that Tricia structured the writing prompts to mimic the forms that we studied
I have already written in some of the forms but the workshop opened my eyes to all kinds of possibilities. I wrote several new pieces. Trisha was also generous with her comments on individual pieces on the Canvas platform, and gave good instructions on how to frame our own comments. A really positive experience.
It has opened my mind and heart to different forms for CNF; the gentle notes on my work from classmates was wonderful and confidence-building.
Tricia was so insightful and encouraging. I felt seen and heard throughout the course.
Tricia is a rare instructor—one that holds a class with focus and mastery of the material while setting the temp just right for her students to bring out their true hearts. She welcomes. She encourages. She probes for further examination. As a student, she endears you to want to bring your best- not just for her, but also for the community of classmates, the material, the class itself as a living thing. I will count Tricia Park as one of my great, if brief craft mentors. I found myself frequently scribbling down her insights and literary ephemera that Tricia would just seem to pop off with such ease, yet were always seeped in deep wisdom and value to the student. On the last day of class, once it was over I closed my computer walked down to the kitchen table sat down and began sobbing. This might sound dramatic but it happened, briefly and then it was gone. Wasn’t sadness or overjoy or exhaustion or an enlightened moment maybe something like all of those things put together in reality—something like I saw out of my dad that one time he finally finished Boston marathon . Looking back on the last page of my notebook, from the last prompt she gave us, at the top I wrote, and underlined—“there’s so much hope”
It was incredibly supportive and helped clarify a structural solution to a book I’ve been struggling with.
WRITING THE BODY
The class helped me write in a more confessional way, and to explore the experience and the confusion of being in my body. I now dig deeper into this embodied experience.
[The workshop] freed me up to write exploratory pieces that were outside of the style of writing I customarily do. Also, the comments I got from the teacher and from classmates on one of the pieces I submitted caused me to think a lot about being clear with myself about what the focus of a piece is and to ask myself why I’m writing it and what I’m trying to get at.
Kathryn gives excellent constructive feedback with concrete suggestions to improve and deepen my writing. Also, the students who enroll in her workshops are of a higher caliber than other online writing courses I’ve taken. Reading their writing and receiving their feedback is invaluable.
These classes with Kathryn are truly amazing—the other writers I’ve met there have been fantastic (and produced work that often goes on to be published; sometimes I’ve been able to place work afterwards, too).
Working in a small group made me experiment more and take more risks with my writing. Weekly group meetings plus the optional one-to-one Zoom meet with the instructor at the end? Excellent!
Having more historical context for poetry has given me much inspiration for creating new poems and a greater understanding when I read poetry.
Claire paid close attention to the conversation and work submitted by students and it showed in her comments and feedback throughout the class. I felt she knew what she was talking about and was keenly interested. Her feedback and suggestions to our work was encouraging, specific, and actionable.
UNSHAPING THE ESSAY
Sydney is a kind workshop leader. She’s supportive, but effective at encouraging students to take chances, fail up.
Turning an essay on its head–or side, or bottom– is an invaluable exercise. It expands the possibilities of how we can share true experiences with others by a factor of a million.
Sydney’s feedback was impressive; thoughtful and kind. I was surprised how much reading the word of others and reading feedback on their works was helpful.
I generated some of my best work ever!
As someone who primarily writes fiction, I found this class to really help me as far as opening up the possibilities of what I can write nonfiction-wise. I’m very excited about the essay drafts I came out of the class with; this class showed me that I *could* write nonfiction and that I don’t have to be limited to fiction.
Sydney is a great teacher. Always approachable and willing to answer questions. She is an amazing resource and provides great literary examples whatever point that students brought up for discussion.
“It opened a different way of looking at creating poetry.”
I felt like I did in Algebra 2 class when this light went off & I began understanding the work before me that I hadn’t quite grasped in Algebra 1. I’ve been cranking through revising stale stories since the workshop.
“Lise spoke deeply and generously from her own formation as a writer, and about the writing of her two very different books. In my journey to become a published writer of a memoir, even though my formation is as a visual artist and critic, her generosity gave me a case in point to think about. Right now, for me at least I am finding the most inspiration from the teachers of these workshops as models for professional-level work in the field.”
“Lise is sensitive and generous while giving constructive criticism. She is also adept at guiding group discussions.”
TELLING TRUE STORIES:
“Other than the topics that were all useful and valuable, Sydney included a wonderful revision exercise that I had never considered before–incorporating prose poetry into a piece. I revised my least favorite piece, and it became my favorite piece. ”
“Sydney was a very gifted teacher, capable of elevating my writing, even though I’m a beginning writer. I appreciated her sensitive, thoughtful and practical feedback and how she managed the feedback we gave each other.”
“Sydney was one of the more considerate, warm and insightful facilitators I have met. She was a sharp and welcome contrast to some of the horror stories that we sometimes hear about how such groups can be unkind and kill budding writers’ desire to “expose” their work.”
“This was a fantastic group with a great sense of community. I miss them.”
“I had never experienced the value of the writing community for feedback and encouragement. Wow, Sydney really set the tone, offering acceptance and providing lots of positive direction.”
TRANS Is Not An Abbreviation:
“Excellent. Provided much insight into how to write effectively about non-binary characters. I would recommend Foster to anyone.”
“I loved this class. Foster’s lectures were insightful and inspiring. Exposure to the writing of my classmates was wonderful and often very moving. I’ve taken a ton of writing workshops over the years and this was one of my favorites.”
“Talented, witty and kind. Foster is wonderful.”
“This workshop helped me to trust myself and take more risks in my writing. It also helped me to ask important questions about the ways in which I’ve been holding myself back.”
“I found Andrea’s creation of a ‘gentle accountability,’ as she once put it, very effective.”
“I really appreciate writing in community without the pressure of sharing or workshopping. For me, it’s most important to get my butt in the seat and keep it there, and this 90 minutes each week feels sacred and protected.”
- Full refund minus a $50 processing fee up to two weeks before the start of class.
- Or full credit (no penalty) to enroll in alternate class(es). If the alternate class is a higher price, the student must pay the balance.
- Half-refund from two weeks before the start of class until the day before class starts.
- No refunds after the day before start of class. Our teachers need to be paid.
- Limit: two partial incidents per student.
Refunds processed through PayPal.