FAQ: Online feedback courses

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Q: Does this course offer private feedback from the tutor?
A: This online feedback course is designed to help you receive as much feedback as possible, just as you would in an in-person class, when asked to read an excerpt for comments from peers and the tutor.

The course involves both peer and tutor feedback, all on our classroom website. The website is accessible to class members only. There, submissions and tutor and peer feedback are visible to all participants. By considering tutor comments across a range of submissions, you’ll learn faster what to pay attention to in order to sharpen your drafts. As well, receiving a range of comments, from both the tutor and fellow writers, can give you greater insight into how readers are connecting with your work and how it could be strengthened.

Q: Do I have to write peer feedback?
A: Writing peer feedback is optional but highly encouraged. Giving feedback is an excellent way to improve your skills. By thinking about what works and what needs improvement in other works-in-progress, you will gain greater insight into your own writing. In this way, our class also functions like a writers’ group, enabling you to engage with your peers and develop your skills together.

Q: How much feedback do I have to write?
A: You’ll be assigned to give feedback to three of your peers for each submission, on average. You’ll have 12 days to read their work and provide feedback of two to three paragraphs for each.

Q: What level of computer skills do I need for this course?
You’ll need basic confidence using computer software. If you can log in and navigate a website like Facebook and know how to copy and paste text, you should be able to use our online classroom.

Q: How much time should I expect to spend in this course?
A: Submitting your written drafts is a quick and simple process that you’ll do once a month. After the submission due date, you’ll have 12 days to complete peer feedback. On average, you may spend one to two hours on feedback each month, and another one to two hours reading the feedback you receive and discussing with your peers. How much time you spend writing and revising your drafts between submission due dates is up to you.

Q: If I workshop a draft in this course, am I able to submit it to publishers journals, or magazines for possible publication?
A: Yes! One of the realities of being an engaged writer is sending work out to peers for feedback, and reworking your writing through multiple drafts. We hope you’ll go on to have the writing you’ve workshopped in our online courses published – and we’d love to hear about it when you do! In fact, a novella that was workshopped in our first online short story course in 2016 went on to be an award finalist and is now published by Spineless Wonders.

Q: Who can enrol?
A: Anyone, anywhere who is writing in English. Please note, submission deadlines are based on the time zone for Sydney NSW (either AEST or AEDT, depending on the time of year).

Q: What website does this course use?
A: Our online courses take place on Wet Ink, a website designed specifically for writers. Wet Ink allows you to post your writing, give and receive feedback, and discuss with your classmates, all on elegant and simple webpages.

Q: Should I be concerned about plagiarism?
A: Plagiarism is actually rare in the industry, and we’ve never had a complaint about it related to any of our classes. In fact, workshopping a draft in an online class is a good way to protect your ideas: it means you’ve got a whole group of people, including the tutor, who witnessed you post that work first.

Q: I’m enrolled in an online course. How do I find the website?
A: Log in at wet.ink/writingnsw

Q: After I enrol, when can I access the course?
A: Our courses are tutor-led and take place on a set schedule. For our instructional courses, you’ll receive an invitation to join the course on the start date.
For our online feedback courses, you’ll receive an invitation to join the course approximately two weeks prior to the first submission due date.

Q: What happens at the end of the course?
A: At the end of the course, you will receive a PDF package that includes all your writing and feedback.

Q: Is it possible to form an online writers’ group with fellow writers after the course ends?
A: Absolutely, several of our courses have led to informal online writers’ groups that generally involve peers exchanging drafts for feedback on a schedule that suits them. Writing NSW is also planning to provide more formal online writing group options in the near future.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: Please choose your course carefully. Your enrolment is non-refundable. If you should wish to withdraw from a course, you must inform the Writing NSW at least 14 days in advance of course commencement to receive a full credit. Withdrawals up to seven days prior to course commencement will be eligible for a 50% credit. Withdrawals in the week prior to the course are ineligible for credit.

If you’re not sure if our online courses are right for you, please email our online program officer to discuss your concerns via our online contact form >

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