These New York-based writing classes, offered in 6-and-10-week workshops, are available in New York and online. They offer everything from general to genre fiction, business writing, scriptwriting, memoir, poetry, humor writing and even seminars on marketing and blogging. They’ve branched out into related classes such as documentary film writing, business writing for job seekers, and offer customized workshops and even writing for teens. Gotham hires professional authors/teachers to instruct students and while course fees may seem spendy, the old adage of getting what you pay for applies. Ten-week classes run in the $400 range (with discounts for returning students), but instruction is university-calibre. Students generally begin with level 1 classes and work their way up to level 2 (prospective writers may call and petition to skip level 1), and from there may progress to a masters-level course.
Besides the specific gain in skills learned and professional-grade critiques from an experienced instructor, Gotham classes offer a few fringe benefits – not least of which is a side lesson in making writing a real priority. Nothing upgrades a hobby to a serious pursuit like handing over a few hundred dollars. It also does wonders for setting boundaries in a writer’s life; making the most of an expensive workshop can mean recruiting help with the chores and errands that usually take precedence over one’s writing endeavors. (And, hopefully, putting writing ahead of dirty dishes will extend beyond the 6 or 10 weeks the class runs.) Among the best of the perks, students can network with other writers of their skill level and create a critique group to help them with future writing projects.
Even though it’s nearly 7 years old now, Beth Bakkum (of “The Writer”) has an article with a week-by-week account of a Gotham class which offers a description of how a class runs (my recent experience was pretty similar). Gotham also offers a look at a sample class for anyone curious about the structure/layout.