How much time will I need to devote to my class?

It’s funny, when people ask this question, it’s invariably followed with:

“I know it varies person to person, but…”

As if there’s an answer beyond that.

And really, truly, there isn’t. Because everyone writes and reads at a slightly different pace. Everyone absorbs information at their own rate. And everyone has varying amounts of time to devote to class, which probably changes a bit week to week.

Plus, the time requirements are different for 10-week classes like Fiction I or Screenwriting I than they are for a 6-week class like Creative Writing 101. In-person varies from online. And in the 10-week camp, Level I vs. Level II makes a difference, too.

But, we hate giving non-answers to questions, so I always tell folks what they’re going to have to accomplish in a week, and let them figure it out from there.

So let’s do that.

In-person, NY classes:

Here’s what’ll be on your weekly plate:

  • Three hours in class
  • Short homework assignment (chiefly in ‘101’ and Level I classes)
  • Reading/critiquing the work of 3-4 of your classmates (10-week classes only; more pages in Level II than Level I)
  • Your own writing

Online classes:

There’s no real-time meeting of the online classes, but this is what’s on the agenda:

  • Reading several screens’ worth of written lecture
  • Being part of an unfolding discussion on the Blackboard regarding that lecture topic
  • Short homework assignment (optional in Level II)
  • Reading/critiquing the work of 3-4 of your classmates (10-week classes only; more pages in Level II than Level I)
  • Your own writing

From the looks of it, the online classes require less of your time. Maybe. But maybe not. Depending on how you learn, you might read the lectures more than once. And writing up cogent feedback on your fellow students’ work takes time that giving feedback off-the-cuff in class doesn’t’. Does that all equal the same three hours that you’d spend if you were in class in NYC? I bet you know the answer…it…wait for it…varies person to person.

If I had to put numbers down on paper, I’d say (roughly, sorta, kinda, don’t quote me):

  • live ‘101’ classes – three hours in the room and another hour-or-so outside of class
  • live 10-week classes – three hours in the room and maybe another two-to-three outside of class (depending on where you are with your personal writing)
  • online ‘101’ classes – an hour or two total
  • online 10-week classes – three-to-five hours a week (again, depending on your own writing)

What happens if you can’t give the class that much time every week? That happens. We know our students are busy people and there are going to be weeks when class can’t be a priority. We just hope you’ll give it your all for the weeks you’re with us so you have the best experience you can possibly have. And if you want to talk through your options to find the best format or best time to take class, give a holler.

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