Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “Generative” Workshop?
What is a “Manuscript” Workshop?
A Manuscript workshop is a workshop primarily focused on reading and critiquing student manuscripts. You will have access to your classmate’s manuscripts before attending the workshop so that you may read and write comments ahead of time. During the conference, class time will be primarily devoted to discussing these manuscripts so that you will leave with a better understanding of what is working in your manuscript and what needs improvement. In addition, faculty will use these manuscripts as a basis for in-class discussion on craft. Manuscript workshops are generally limited to 12 people. You should expect to read and critique 11 other manuscripts in addition to your own. The length of manuscript submitted is specific to each workshop and can be seen listed under the workshop description.
What is Boot Camp?
Boot Camp is designed for the writer who has a full book-length manuscript (novel, memoir or short story collection). You will have access to your classmate’s manuscripts approximately two months before attending the workshop so that you may read and write comments ahead of time. During the conference, class time will be primarily devoted to discussing these manuscripts so that you will leave with a better understanding of what is working in your manuscript and what needs improvement. You will also have a one-on-one meeting with your faculty member. Classes are limited to 5 participants. You should expect to read and critique 4 other manuscripts in addition to your own.
What is DRAFT?
Writing By Writers DRAFT is an intensive program for 15 writers who are committed to completing a novel, memoir, short story, or essay collection over the course of two years. The heart and soul of Writing By Writers DRAFT are four in-person retreats where writers will workshop their draft-in-progress, as well as attend craft talks, panels and readings. Over the two year program, we will focus consecutively on the three stages of writing -- inspiration, execution and revision. Our final retreat will be a pre-publication bootcamp, with agents and editors in house, where your faculty and fellow writers will read your entire draft. At each retreat, five writers will work closely with one faculty member, rotating each retreat so that by the end of a year and a half, all writers will have studied with Sam Dunn, Pam Houston and Josh Mohr. For the final retreat, writers will select who they would like to work with a second time. Before each retreat, writers will submit their cumulative pages to their faculty and four peers to be critiqued at the in-person workshop (up to 75 pages first retreat, 150 pages second retreat, 225 pages third retreat, 300 pages fourth retreat). Whether starting a first draft, or working through a new revision, this program is appropriate for writers who want a rigorous and supportive community throughout their process.
When can I expect to hear if I was accepted (rejected)?
Since we offer admission on a rolling basis, we do our best to read applications weekly. Depending on your timing, you could hear as quickly as the same day you apply, or it could take up to two weeks. If you have not heard from us in a month please email us at email@example.com. Chances are you have not received our reply due to junk mail filters. The only exception is our DRAFT program. Acceptance for DRAFT will be announced February 1st.
I didn’t receive an email confirmation when I submitted my application to Submittable. What should I do?
Send us an email at and we’ll figure it out!
When is the application deadline for the workshops?
WxW accepts people on a rolling basis. Workshops are assigned on a first-come, first served basis so in order to be guaranteed your first choice workshop, you should apply as early as possible. As workshops fill up, “wait list only” will be noted in the drop-down class selection on the on-line application.
How early do workshops fill?
It is common for our workshops to fill at least 3 months before the date of the workshop. In some cases, workshops fill before the fellowship submission deadline. If you have applied for a fellowship and your first choice workshop is already full, we do our best to put you in your second choice workshop, but all that we guarantee is a workshop in your genre.
What are my chances of getting in off the wait list for my first choice workshop?
Often we are able to place the first or second person on the waiting list into their first choice workshop. You are welcome to email us at to find out how long the wait list is for a specific workshop and we will give you our best guestimate.
Will I know which faculty member/workshop I get into before I pay my deposit?
Yes. Your acceptance email will tell you in which workshop we are holding a spot for you. You will then have two weeks to pay your deposit to hold your spot. After the two-week deadline, we will do our best to honor your first or second choice workshop.
How do I submit my manuscript?
Writing By Writers uses Submittable for both applying to a workshop and for gathering student manuscripts for critique in workshop.
Is the manuscript I apply with the same one I will use in workshop?
For Manuscript Boot Camp you must submit the first chapter of the book you plan to workshop. For all other workshops, you are welcome to apply with a different manuscript than you plan to submit for workshop.
My application submission is more/less than 10 pages and/or several short pieces. Is that ok?
Yes! Our goal is to get a feel for your level of writing so that you are placed in the corresponding workshop. It is fine if it is not exactly 10 pages and/or several short pieces.
How are fellowship winners selected?
Fellowships are selected solely on the quality of the submission. All submissions are read carefully and the finalists are passed to our fellowship selection committee made up of WxW Board Members. Each committee member reads each finalist and ranks them according to their taste. The finalists with the highest ranking receive fellowships.
When will I hear if I won a fellowship?
The date for notification of fellowship winners is in the email you received when you submitted your application.
Which workshops do you offer fellowships for?
Fellowships are available for Tomales Bay and Mont Blanc. We do not offer fellowships to Manuscript Boot Camp or DRAFT. We do offer a short short writing contest for tuition to the Boulder Generative Workshop.
I want to fund a fellowship. Is it tax deductible?
YES! WxW is a 501c3 non profit organization. Your fellowship is 100% tax deductible.
When is the Boulder Short Short Contest?
December or January! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the announcement.
What happens if I register for the Boulder Workshop to guarantee myself a spot and then win the short short contest?
We will reimburse you your tuition! Please note that contest winners must still pay their room and board ($300).
If I apply for a fellowship, but do not win will you reimburse me my $25 application fee?
We will only reimburse your application fee if you are not accepted to the workshop. If you are accepted (but don’t win a fellowship) we will not reimburse the application fee. The application fee covers our administrative time to read the submissions.
When is my manuscript due for workshop?
Manuscripts for Tomales Bay and Mont Blanc are generally due 3 to 4 weeks before the start of the workshop. You will receive an email with instructions how to upload your manuscript to Submittable and the exact deadline. Book-length manuscripts for the Fall Session of Boot Camp are due September 15 and Spring Session manuscripts are due February 1, which is approximately two months ahead of time.
How do I review my classmate’s manuscripts before workshop?
Student manuscripts will be placed in a free Dropbox folder that is only accessible by the 5 to 12 students in your specific manuscript workshop. You will receive an email from WxW with a link to the appropriate Dropbox folder for your class.
Do you have a Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram account?
I’m a vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/lactose intolerant can you accommodate my dietary needs?
Yes! Just make sure you tell us on your application.