For the next two weeks, I’ll be wearing two hats. One, of course, is Publisher/CEO of WMG Publishing, of which you’re probably familiar (hence these blogs). The second hat is a professor with Western Colorado University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing (GPCW). I’m on the faculty there in the Publishing concentration, alongside Director Kevin J. Anderson (yes, the same New York Times bestselling author we all know and love).
Pre-pandemic, I would have spent these two weeks in the beautiful mountains of Gunnison, Colorado. But like many things these days, we had to move the annual summer residency for our students online.
That was easier for the GPCW than for some of the other Western departments. Ours is already an online program most of the year. Switching from an in-person residency to a virtual residency took some reinvention, for sure, but the bones of it were all there.
We were lucky in that way.
Moving to online teaching is a transition being made right now in all levels of education, from schools and universities to summer camps to professional courses. Some of it was done quickly by necessity this spring, but as the pandemic continues, more creativity and adjustments are needed.
Fortunately (and I say fortunately because I’m an optimistic realist), I’ve had experience with these transitions at all levels: with my own daughter’s online schooling and summer camps, with the university work I just mentioned, and also with the professional courses we offer through WMG.
WMG has been offering online lectures and workshops for years. In fact, we have almost 150 options right now on Teachable and we add more all the time. (Click here to see them all.)
And in recent years, we started adding an online component (in the form of a Study Along option) to our in-person workshops.
But the pandemic still disrupted our plans for the in-person workshops. For the smaller Craft Workshops, we’ve postponed the in-person option but we’ll carry on with an online option for those workshops scheduled through early 2021.
But our two big annual in-person workshops don’t lend themselves to a virtual format. So, we’ve decided to postpone each of those for a year. We had already postponed the Business Master Class to the fall of 2021. And now, we’ve also postponed the Anthology Workshop from late winter 2021 to the same time frame in 2022.
To learn more about all of our (normally) in-person workshops, click here.
Given the lasting power of the pandemic, we just can’t risk bringing folks together until the tide turns in the future. We don’t know when that is, of course, so more adjustments might be necessary.
But there’s no shortage of learning available for everyone. We just need to seek it out, be creative, and find all of the amazing options that are either now being offered or were already right there in plain site (play on words intended).
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.