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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Relative newbie question-what is bootcamp?

   
Author Topic: Relative newbie question-what is bootcamp?
Hildy9595
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I was just wondering what the Literary Bootcamp was that I see on this forum?
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Rahl22
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Week-long seminar held by OSC with, perhaps, 12 people. All about writing. I'm told it's very intense, and I know it's very costly.
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PaganQuaker
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Hi,

I went to Literary Boot Camp in 2001. I seem to remember that registration was about $700 or so (I don't know if this has changed over time), and there were modest room and board expenses. Inclusion is by "audition" -- you submit a writing sample, and only a specific number of people get in. I think there might have been 20 in our year, although that might be misremembering.

Literary Boot Camp was exhausting and a major writerly kick in the butt. It was by far the single most helpful writing-related experience I've ever had. Other participants seem by and large (this is my sense) to feel that it was very worthwhile.

Luc


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Hildy9595
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Thanks, folks. Wow, it sounds great. Are they annual? I'd definitely be interested in trying out. I read OSC's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy and found it chock-full of excellent advice. It'd be an honor to work with the man directly.

[This message has been edited by Hildy9595 (edited September 24, 2002).]


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Rahl22
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It's highly, from what I hear, structured around the book Characters and Viewpoints written by the man himself. I think that you're even required to have read it once before showing up. I'd suggest picking up that book and seeing if it's something that you think you could benefit from. If it is, you should really think about going. If it is near the beginning or end of summer, I am going to try to attend. But I have a 10 week research appointment during the summer that will eat away the middle.

Oh well!

[edit: didn't know UBB code didn't support underlines; italics will have to do.]

[This message has been edited by Rahl22 (edited September 24, 2002).]


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PaganQuaker
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Hi,

So far it's been in July, 2001 and 2002. I don't recall whether or not _Character and Viewpoint_ was required reading, but I know a lot of us had read it before considering coming. It did draw a lot on what OSC says in the two books; however, the central activities of the Boot Camp were
1) Writing a complete short story in a couple of days, and
2) Doing wise reader-type responses. The responses to others' writing, the practice in reviewing that writing, and OSC's input during the discussions brought up some subtle and very useful points.

These were not standard critique sessions in the manner I've seen done before; they were really responses along the lines of "I enjoyed this about the story, but my attention started to lag when I got to this point" along with (sometimes) some brainstormed suggestions.

Info on the past two years' Boot Camps has been posted on the hatrack.com home page 2-3 months (?) before the event each year.

The first was in Greensboro, NC; the second was in Utah.

Luc


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FlyingCow
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Just a couple of things. Yes, we were required to read Character and Viewpoint before bootcamp (though it's not like we were quizzed on it or anything). It did give a really good foundation for what went on at the workshop, though, as OSC built on top of that framework and we started to view our stories with reference to some points made in the book.

And Luc was correct in that there were 20 people in 2001, though I believe OSC said that he would limit that number in subsequent years (so my guess is that 2002 was a smaller group). While it worked well with 20, there was quite a bit of work and time involved for that large of a group(since we each had to both write a story and read/critique 19 others in the span of three days).

I don't know if OSC has made any comment as to whether it will be an annual event, nor would I expect him to any time soon. It's a large time and energy commitment for him, and my guess is that he would rather skip a year (or more) than place himself under undue stress (or place himself under increased pressure to finish a novel or meet a deadline).

It was a great experience, though, and I would hope bootcamp continues as an annual event so that more people can benefit from it.


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