Heidi W. DurrowHeidi W. Durrow

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I'm Teaching a Week-long Writing Workshop


I'm excited to announce that I'll teach a week-long writing workshop Writing the Debut Novel: Developing Your Craft & Your Career in January 2016 at Djerassi, an idyllic writer's retreat where I was in residence for 4 weeks in 2005 and 2013. The workshop is geared to debut novelists and is well-suited for those writing about difference, race, and social justice. The workshop will include workshop manuscript critiques, time for new writing as well as workshop writing prompts, a private consultation of 50 pages of your manuscript, and talks on actionable steps you can take to start your career as a published writer. Includes up to 50 pages manuscript consultation in private 1/2 hour session with me. Full novel review available for an additional fee. Applicants accepted pending review of writing samples.  Space is limited.  I hope you'll apply and make the promise you've made to yourself come true: finish that novel you've always wanted to write! Learn more here.



"At age 29 I quit my job and set out to write the Great American Novel by age 30. After 6 years of feeling stuck, I realized I was only playing at writing a book while I waited for my muse to come and for someone to discover my talent. I had to treat my ambition to become a published novelist the same way that I had planned out my professional career. That’s when I started to see results the non-MFA way. I learned to grow my craft and my career and ended up with a New York Times best-selling novel that continues to grow a wide readership now internationally. This workshop is tailored for the person who has always wanted to write for a living, but doesn’t have an idea about how to start. I'm looking forward to sharing my process and helping other writers who are looking for a way to take tangible steps toward achieving their dreams."--Heidi


Heidi Durrow Djerassi


"Heidi herself was warm, generous, and gently constructive & gave attention to practical matters, e.g. how to give a great reading. She set a wonderful tone for workshop and critique to be directed at expanding work in progress, rather than attacking it." Jenn R., workshop participant

"Heidi's candor was refreshing. She really emphasized how relentless debut authors need to be BEFORE being published and after publication. She shared some critical strategies and some of her mistakes so that we can avoid making them. I also liked her authenticity. She was not afraid to get emotional. She does not present a façade, she is refreshingly real and approachable. One story she told us about one of her young readers perfectly illustrated the power of being an author and it had nothing to do with fame, money or ego. The story she shared left me determined to create art with my novel. I never had that goal before the workshop because I did not consider myself an artist. Finally, I think Heidi is brilliant. She has keen insights and is a writer’s writer. She set a constructive tone for the workshop by emphasizing that we look for the energy in each other’s work and suggest ways to build on that. That was such a great approach and we all benefitted. I felt like I could share freely because I was in a safe place."  Robin Farmer, workshop participant

"Heidi provided extremely constructive, detailed manuscript critiques; extremely useful and practical information re the nuts and bolts of selling and promoting your work – and the practice doing readings was so helpful. Heidi is an engaging, energetic and masterful guide through the intricacies and necessary action steps to successfully complete, publish and promote your novel.

"The positive energy, support and enthusiasm from Heidi and the workshop attendees that renewed my spirit and revved me up with the energy and tools I need to complete my novel and get it out into the world." — Ginger McKnight-Chavers, workshop participant

"I loved the intimacy of the group—it was very supportive and generative. And I loved Heidi’s teaching/coaching style. She is a natural teacher and encourager. I enjoyed the pacing and the mix of sessions and events planned. I learned so much, and received so much encouragement from, the workshops, the one-on-one, the discussions and talks that Heidi gave on the other parts of the writerly life. I appreciate Heidi’s style and her genuineness. And I surely appreciated her generosity of spirit and heart." Michele Beller, workshop participant

"I was so impressed with Heidi’s organization and preparedness for the workshop. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a few workshops and time to write, but she provided so much more than that with super informative sessions on marketing, networking and getting published. I am always so focused on writing that I hadn’t even thought about all of the nuts and bolts that go along with creating art. She also managed to curate a group of writers who seemed to mesh perfectly together, as well as create a workshopping environment that managed to be both nurturing and constructive. I didn’t feel like my fellow workshoppers (or Heidi) were holding back, but at the same time I never felt attacked or defeated. Quite the opposite."  Jessica Haas, workshop participant

"It was, quite simply, a stupendous experience. Heidi packed so much into a few days: giving us advice; providing the opportunity to have our work read by others as well as by herself; and even “forcing” us to read our own work, out loud and in public. Her selection of other writers was spot-on, and she quickly created a safe space for us to bond and support each other. I don’t think anyone expected we’d become life-long friends, our own clan, within a few short days."  Romalyn Tilghman, workshop participant



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