“I don’t keep the deadlines that I set for myself as a writer.”
Sound familiar? What about these:
- “I’m good at deadlines... when they’re externally imposed.”
- “I’ve considered hiring someone to nag me or joining a class, just so I have an external deadline.”
- “I've been sitting on a half-finished novel for... I was going to say years, but it's really been decades.”
Stop stalling and start writing with the Inside Track: accountability groups led by published authors.
Writing alone saps your motivation, makes you lose any sense of progress in your work, and makes you worry so much about not writing that you sometimes forget to write at all. While there’s no way around the loneliness of writing, we’ve found that a group of fellow travelers can ease the burden.
That’s why Literistic is proud to offer the Inside Track, an accountability group for writers who want to stop missing deadlines and start writing. The Inside Track consists of four parts: a bi-monthly group seminar, a monthly one-on-one meeting with a mentor, a weekly writing check-in, and peer support.
Here's what people have been saying about it: “I’m really appreciating having people to be accountable to. I’ve gotten more done in the past two weeks than I had in the six months previously.” “I appreciate being encouraged to put my own writing first.” “I already feel like I've gotten a lot out of this program because it has made me feel like there's hope for keeping my project alive, and I've gotten some concrete ideas for how to proceed. Thanks!”
Who is the inside track for?
It’s for writers with a book-length project to finish, who want a supportive environment, free from judgment and full of colleagues who want to help. If you’re the kind of writer who has a hard time staying focused and meeting your writing goals—because of a busy job, a demanding home life, or simply because you don’t have a lot of other writers in your life—the Inside Track is for you.
Who is the inside track not for?
If you’d like an editing service, a workshop, or a class with homework and directed readings, the Inside Track is not the best fit for you. If you often find yourself asking questions at readings that aren’t really questions, but are instead long pointless anecdotes, you might want to sit this one out. Also, if you’re a single human brain floating in a jar, who believes in the myth of the Lone Genius Writer and who thinks that self-imposed exile from other writers and all influence is the only way you will ever write anything good, then the friendly, supportive environment of the Inside Track might not be very valuable to you.
What is the Inside Track and how does it work?
The Inside Track consists of four parts:
- The Seminar. Twice per month, we’ll get together for a 1.5-hour video seminar. These guided discussions will focus on the struggles of building a regular, productive writing process. We’ll talk about what worked and what didn’t work over the course of the last month. We’ll discuss approaches to staying motivated and support each other on the long hard crawl toward becoming a better writer. We’ll also set deadlines and make commitments to meet them.
- Office Hours With A Professional. We encourage writers to meet with their mentor once a month to discuss a particular challenge they’ve run into that month. Our mentors bring to the table a wealth of knowledge on writing, teaching and publishing their work. They’re there to help you along the way.
- Weekly Check-in. You’ll have an opportunity each week to note down whether you met your goals, what worked for you, and what got in your way. These check-ins will be compiled into an end-of-month progress summary, so you can get a clear snapshot of the ups and downs of your writing practice.
- Peer Support. You’ll gain access to a private discussion forum for Inside Track members only, where you can share updates with writers in your cohort, check in on each other's progress, and participate in discussion threads on topics in writing and motivation.
You’ll also get access to a number of Literistic resources during the program, including:
- The Literistic Community Group: You’ll gain access to an invite-only Facebook group where the larger Literistic community swaps notes on writing and submitting, discusses the publishing industry, and celebrates publishing credits.
- Complimentary Annual Literistic Longlist Subscription: You’ll also receive a free annual subscription to the Literistic Longlist, a hyper-curated list of literary deadlines delivered every month and loved by writers everywhere.
How much does it cost?
The Literistic Inside Track costs $540 for three months. A minimum three-month commitment is required for all participants to ensure continuity, and a full refund is offered during the first month. We’ll hold your payment while we review your application, and only process it once you’ve been formally accepted to the program.
When does it start?
The next program start date is January 15, 2019. We accept new cohorts to the Inside Track every third month.
We want everyone within each group to be a good fit for each other, so we ask that you fill out an application before we can guarantee you placement in the program. Check back here; applications open at the beginning of January. We’ll be reading applications and sending out acceptances until the program start date.
Who are the mentors?
Eliza Robertson's debut short story collection, Wallflowers (Bloomsbury USA, 2014), was shortlisted for the East Anglia Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Short Story Prize, and selected as a New York Times editor's choice. Her critically acclaimed first novel, Demi-Gods, was published by Penguin Canada and Bloomsbury U.K. in 2017 and was a Globe & Mail and National Post book of the year. She studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of East Anglia, where she received the Man Booker Scholarship and Curtis Brown Prize. In 2013, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Journey Prize and CBC Short Story Prize. Most recently she won the 2017 Elizabeth Jolley Prize. Originally from Vancouver Island, Eliza lives in Montreal.
Specialties: Literary fiction, short fiction, novel-length fiction
Rachel Heng's debut novel, Suicide Club (Henry Holt, 2018) will be translated in ten languages worldwide and has been featured as a most anticipated summer read by ELLE, Gizmodo, Bitch Media, The Rumpus, Bustle, NYLON and The Irish Times. Rachel wrote Suicide Club while holding down a full-time job in finance, waking up at 6am to write 500 words each day before going to work. Her short fiction has received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and Prairie Schooner's Jane Geske Award, and has been published in Glimmer Train, Tin House, The Offing and elsewhere. Rachel is currently a James A. Michener Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin, pursuing her MFA in fiction and screenwriting.
Specialties: Speculative fiction, novel-length fiction, short fiction, screenwriting
Richard Godwin is an English journalist and author, based between Bristol, London and Los Angeles. His writing appears regularly in the Guardian, the Times and Men's Health (plus Elle, Vogue, Fantastic Man, and more), and he is well known as a columnist for the London Evening Standard. His reporting covers a wide range of subjects — from U.S. politics to Russian literature, psychedelic drugs to classic cocktails, modern masculinity to digital culture — but is always animated by wit, compassion and a thirst for ideas. In 2015, he published The Spirits (Square Peg), a history of cocktails (with recipes too); it has been widely praised as a classic of the genre.
Specialties: Literary nonfiction, memoir
Frequently Asked Questions
Which mentor will I be placed with?
We’ll read your application and place you with a mentor that best suits your writing project. That said, we encourage you to take a look at our mentors’ specialties, biographies and websites. If you have a strong preference, let us know in your application and we’ll do our best to honour it, depending on enrolment capacity.
Does it matter what genre I write?
The Inside Track caters to writers with book-length projects in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. We also welcome writers for the screen or stage. But if you’re a journalist, this might not be the best fit for you.
Will we be editing work? Can my mentor edit my work?
While we encourage participants to make connections with each other, exchange work and provide each other with feedback, this is not an editing service. If a participant wants the mentor to read a small amount of material and provide feedback, that’s okay so long as the total time to read and discuss the material does not exceed half an hour. This is at the discretion of the mentor.