FAQ: Online feedback courses

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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: 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: By enrolling in this online feedback course, you are committing to giving and receiving feedback from peers and the tutor. 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. There are comprehensive feedback guidelines in the course, and you can also read this article about the benefits of giving and receiving feedback here.

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 10 days to read their work and provide feedback of two to three paragraphs for each.

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 10 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. Please note the amount of time spent on this course will vary from person to person. How much time you spend writing and revising your drafts between submission due dates is up to you.

Q: Will writing prompts be provided? 
No. This is a feedback-based program. While you are welcome to generate new material for submission during this time, no prompts or themes will be provided.

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!

Q: Who can enrol?
A: Our Online Feedback courses are not suitable for aspiring or beginning writers. We recommend that you have completed at least one creative writing course before enrolling in Online Feedback. You will need to be writing in English, with a basic proficiency using technology and online platforms. Please note, the minimum age for enrolment in Writing NSW courses is 16, unless otherwise specified. Writers aged 16 or 17 wishing to enrol in courses other than those specifically designed for young people must make a request to Writing NSW at least two weeks prior to the course start date. Enrolment will be at the discretion of Writing NSW and cannot be guaranteed.

Please note, submission deadlines for online courses are based on the time zone for Sydney NSW (either AEST or AEDT, depending on the time of year).

Q: Does this course accept unlimited enrolments, or is there a maximum?
A: As this is an interactive course, there are limited places. Book early to avoid missing out.

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: What are the community guidelines for participants?
A: Writing NSW is committed to fostering an inclusive and safe environment across its courses and other programs for writers. As a participant, you are expected to contribute to this by respecting the diverse backgrounds and experiences of other members of our community, (including race, gender, class, sexuality, faith, ability, etc.). When sharing work or making comments in forums, you should be careful to avoid anything that might have a harmful impact on your fellow participants. Writing NSW reserves the right to remove any submissions or comments that do not adhere to these guidelines. You can contact us if you are concerned about any situation that may have arisen.

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: Can I use my smartphone or tablet for this course? 
A: Technically yes, but for the best experience we recommend you complete the course on a laptop or desktop computer.

Q: After I enrol, when can I access the course?
A: Our courses are tutor-led and take place on a set schedule. You’ll receive an invitation to join the ‘Wet Ink’ platform a week before the course starts, however you won’t be able to access the course content until the first day of the course.

Q: What happens at the end of the course?
A: At the end of the course, you will receive a ‘Class completed’ email. This email will have a link that you can use to download an archive of your work. Find out more about what will be included in the archive, and how you can access it after the course, here.

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 also hosts online and in-person writing groups that our members are welcome to join.

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 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.

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