The “what-are-you-doing-for-college?” question comes my way a lot, and I have trouble packaging an answer. I’ve sort of wandered the web since I graduated, taking free classes like English Comp and Public Speaking and Theology. I worked with Jonathan Rogers over at The Habit for a few weeks, whipping my writing into something more earthy and real. I’ve read shelves of books that have taken me around the world and back again.
But the easiest and best way to answer the education question is to tell people about The Young Writer’s Workshop, where I’ve sat under good, wise mentors since 2017 and now work alongside them (learning as much as ever).
Since high school, I’ve dreamt of finding a place where I could get sharp, professional eyes on my non-fiction pieces, in particular. I’ve been looking for a corner where other writers gather, where stories are shared and refined, like Tolkien and Jack and Warnie Lewis in the back room of the Oxford pub.
The Young Writers Workshop is a place of stories, yes, but they’re mostly fiction. What about writing that gathers up true, hard facts and tries weaving them into the truer, better Story? Since high school, I’ve wondered: is there a place where non-fiction storytellers could grow?
There is, it’s called the Author Conservatory, and it’s founded by the same wonderful souls behind the YWW. It opened its (virtual) doors last Wednesday.
So I moved my desk around, found a new jar for pens, cleaned out old papers and essays from all the drawers, and made room for new ones. After years of poking around and prodding myself along in writing, I’m ready for the Conservatory, which has a two-folded meaning:
A school specializing in one of the fine arts, and a greenhouse for growing plants.[i]
So it’ll be a place of pruning as well and watering, weeding as well as flourishing, and I’m a sprout of a writer who needs a place like it to grow.
[i] “Conservatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conservatory. Accessed Sep. 1, 2021