I met Seth when he taught a writing class at Stanford. I’d taken many writing classes there trying to figure out what I wanted to write and how to go about it. The problem with classes is that they end after a couple of months and leave you hanging. I was impressed with Seth’s approach to the writing process and his ability as a teacher. After the class ended, I joined his private coaching program.

It’s only because of Seth that I’m still working on my dream to complete a novel. I would’ve given up if I didn’t have him by my side encouraging, supporting and challenging me. As part of the coaching process, Seth has his clients complete a weekly writing log. Doing this has transformed my writing by making me accountable and more deeply connected to my work.

I highly recommend Write with Seth. Writing is lonely and can be overwhelming. It really helps to have a coach by your side.

Djuna

I’ve wanted to write since I was a teenager. I was in love with reading and had so many story ideas that I wanted to bring to life for others. But as an adult I was never able to find the time, and whenever I started it just got too daunting. I tried short stories but they just weren’t any good. I read all the craft books by Stephen King, Ann Lamott, Margaret Atwood, and they’re great, but weren’t enough to get me where I wanted to go.

Then I found Seth. We started working on the craft level, writing great sentences and paragraphs, studying other works for clues, then doing several short exercises to drive the lessons home. On my own pieces, Seth provided encouragement and compassionately constructive criticism, while helping me see what the next steps could be if I was stuck. I also joined Seth’s writing workshops which sharpened my editorial eye and provided crucial encouragement and feedback when submitting my own pieces.

But the really important thing here is the process. Building a process that can support your creativity while life swirls around you. After all, we aren’t the first writers who’ve struggled with the myriad roadblocks to great writing, but it’s also true that many of us can’t possibly work into the early hours, or wake up before dawn to write 2000 words before work. Having a coach who has been there, who can bring in wisdom from experience and education, who can work with you to create a personalized process that fits in your life – that’s the real gold. It may seem pricey but it’s far, far cheaper than an MFA or any other program, and you get far more personalized support, too.

Brett

The first thing that comes to mind is the passion my fellow workshoppers have for writing. Not only do they have passion for the craft, but they have a passion for genres I’ve either not been exposed to or aren’t interested in. Why is that useful? Because their passion is infectious. I’ve never been a mystery/suspense fan, but in reading some of the authors in our workshop, I’ve come to appreciate it just through seeing how their interest in it has flavored their plotlines, characters and settings. There’s something very valuable in reading and writing outside your comfort zone. In other words: just because I want to write science fiction doesn’t mean that’s all I should read and/or write. If anything, the opposite is probably more useful, and I wouldn’t have ever come to this realization had I not been in a workshop with such a variety of different talents.

Second, it’s filled with people that really bring their A game. Nothing makes me work harder for the workshop (and Ground) than knowing that I’m submitting along with some real contenders. Is it a competition? Maybe in some ways, but it never feels that way. Our fellow workshoppers (and myself, obviously) are all really working towards a singular goal: to improve. Sure, there are times with the critiques sting, but it’s never felt condescending or out of malice–the advice has always been directed at elevating our craft. Many times I’ve been miffed over some issues people had about various aspects of a piece I’ve submitted, only later to realize that their honesty was not only on the mark, but really helped me identify potential pitfalls in future submissions.

And lastly, I hope this doesn’t sound too narcissistic, but I’ve spent my life always feeling like an outsider. Like someone who doesn’t really have his own “people”. Workshop has changed this for me. It’s like suddenly I’ve been dropped into a community of people that speak my language.

Andrew H.

I’ve previously taken pricy college writing classes that often have a student write a single piece per semester—and that’s it. Seth’s writing assignments offer me an ongoing opportunity to write, improve from feedback and craft lessons, and then write more. Over the course of two years working with Seth workshops, I was able to complete a 90,000-word novel and publish two short stories. I’m at a place as a fiction writer that I never thought I’d be—and wouldn’t have gotten here without him.

Jenn Fickley-Baker

After taking one of Seth’s classes in mystery writing and participating in one of his workshops. I was pretty sure that I could write a mystery novel, so I forged ahead. But after completing a draft, I had no idea how to go back and revise it into something I could share with the world. That’s when I turned to Write with Seth for coaching.

That novel quickly found its way into the trash, but as I worked with Seth, I started to develop the core skills I needed. I learned the importance of grounding my characters and letting them write the story. I learned how to let my imagination take over to create stories I never knew I had in me. And I learned how to commit to writing consistently four to five days a week.

As a coach Seth does more than just edit my pieces, he points out where I need to work on a particular skill and introduces new concepts as needed. Most importantly, he encourages me to focus on the positives, helping me build confidence in my writing, take pride in my progress, and work on, rather than dwell on, my weaknesses.

As for concrete results – in the past year, working with Seth, I have published two short stories, have a 5000-word personal essay almost ready to submit and am working slowly and thoughtfully on another mystery novel. I call that success!

Julie P.

I found Seth’s Workshop after being referred by several friends, all his former Stanford and Harvard students. As a recent retiree, interested in reinventing myself as a writer, I had to get over the fear of actually sitting down to write, knowing it would be read by other writers and my coach, Seth.

The workshop changed my whole approach to writing. My fears were unfounded, the support and encouragement I got from Seth and my fellow workshop writers were just what I needed to start my transformation into a true writer.

Stories abound of how hard it is to get your butt in a chair and start writing. Knowing my new friends were waiting was the gun-to-the-head I needed to crank out the pages. Never easy, but it worked like a charm with Seth and his workshop.

Seth, through his contacts with fellow published authors and fellow graduates of the Iowa Workshop, has his finger on the pulse of every literary movement out there. In the writing game, contacts are the stuff of life.

I’m writing this specifically to recommend Seth’s workshop. His hands-on criticisms are targeted at making you the best writer you can be.

His personal guidance is invaluable.

Remember, tomorrow never comes. Sign on NOW, it just might change your life.

Bennett Gates