Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why Go PRO?

By Philip Memmer, who, when he's not directing, can be found here.

Since we started DWC PRO two years ago, a number of people have asked “What exactly is a certificate program?”

It’s not a bad question. All of us are well-acquainted with the idea of applying to a college degree program, and we are also familiar with the idea of simply taking a class at a community venue. But DWC PRO is somewhere between the two. It is a two-year time commitment, with a number of requirements (some quite strenuous)… so it is clearly similar in ways to a graduate writing program. On the other hand, PRO does not grant a degree, nor does it provide any kind of accreditation that can be used professionally… in that way, it is similar to a community workshop.

In our view, what DWC PRO provides is a way to take your literary training seriously, without completely rearranging your life. The cost is reasonable, the workshop hours are manageable even with a full-time job, and you don’t have to pack up and move; that’s the easy part. The hard part, of course, is the work itself: you will take 11 classes and 6 tutorials over the course of two years. You will work with six or more different authors, all of whom will make demands of you and your writing. And you will be expected to become part of a community of writers with goals similar to your own.

None of that hard work will earn you a degree. If your end goal is to someday teach at a University, or to earn a Masters degree, then DWC PRO is not for you. But if you are simply interested in learning more about the craft of writing, looking for a way to challenge both yourself and your work, and for a push to complete your first book manuscript, then the PRO program could be exactly what you need.

Stay tuned this week for more on DWC PRO, from our own PRO students.

Philip Memmer is the author of three books of poems: Lucifer: A Hagiography (Lost Horse Press, 2009), which was awarded the 2008 Idaho Prize for Poetry; Sweetheart, Baby, Darling (Word Press, 2004), and Threat of Pleasure (Word Press, 2008). His poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry, Mid-American Review and Poetry Northwest, and in several anthologies. He is director of the Arts Branch of the YMCA, and founder of the DWC.

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