Interview With the Minds Behind the Sit & Write: A Writing Master Course

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

I'm excited to interview the two creators of the Sit & Write Course: Kate Brenton and Claudine Wolk. Their Sit & Write course is perfect for you if you have a book inside of you, but you don't know how or where to start. 

Kate Brenton, Ed.M., published author and inspirational teacher, will help you work through the structure and cadence of your story, refine your voice, and reach your audience. Kate has an uncanny knack of intuitively following a thread and unearthing resistance that clouds a writer’s voice. Writers will receive monthly calls (60 minutes worth) with Kate to review material, work through voice, or another writer-selected topic on the creative process.

Meanwhile, Claudine Wolk, published author and book marketing muse, will help you to identify your book’s message, audience, and hook - the building blocks to determine the viability and focus of your book idea and later marketing materials. You will receive 2 sixty-minute-one-on-one calls with Claudine to flesh out your book idea and get your questions answered on good publishing practices. Claudine will also teach on the art of pitching your book (because it is an art and practice is key!).

Wondering if it's right for you? Schedule a FREE intake call with Kate Brenton to make sure of the right fit before the class starts. 

---- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: I'm so glad to have you back again to discuss your Sit & Write course. Can you tell us a bit more about it and what people can expect by joining in? 

Sit & Write: We get writers writing. The inspiration to write needs to be met with a plan to carry it out. Many writers in Sit & Write felt heard in their intentionality and seen in their mission. This clarity allowed a very tight knit group to form, while focusing efforts on creation and completion. Sit & Write is a magical mix of inspiration and form. We create a space for accountability and commitment that allows you to show up and write, without feeling alone. 

One really helpful step is that we teach writer’s how to separate their writer’s intention from their project’s intention. From there we guide them into creating a Writer’s Agenda. Now they have a self-directed plan for creating content that they can follow. It builds confidence and determination, a beautiful thing to witness. 

WOW: I love how you lay out a logical side with the creative approach. So, you start out with a phone call to find out if this course is right for someone. Why do you take that approach? 

Sit & Write: Writing is deeply personal and if we are not a resonant fit to what your needs are it’s not going to work. Writing is fun, but it is also a lot of work. You want to do that with someone you feel really comfortable with. If we feel a resonance, then it takes the process to a whole other level. I had writers say to me, “What is it about these calls that are so inspiring?” 

I like to think it was creatives who felt safe enough to be themselves and work from there. 

Talking for a few minutes on zoom call is a really easy way for you to know if this is the space for you to commit to. We work with mission-led writers. Writers who know they are being called to write (no matter if it is fiction, memoir or a cookbook). In our intake call you get to share your mission. We get to share how Sit & Write can be a good fit and away we go. What is also really cool, is even if I told writers this wasn’t the right time—everyone came off the intake call with insight and inspiration. It’s a win-win. 

WOW: That's so amazing you do that and I'm sure it gives people a confident feeling before they begin the course, knowing it's right for them! What kind of authors (or projects) are ideal for the Sit & Write course? 

Sit & Write: Anyone who is committed to their own creative process. 

WOW: Good to know! What can students expect after finishing this course? 

Sit & Write: Many of our students don’t want the class to end, even those that have completed their work. We are creating a small membership support to keep our writers going from the process of writing their first draft, to eventually getting that book seen and sold. 

WOW: Now that's a sign of a successful course! Why is it so important to have a marketing plan in place before your book is even published (or finished, for that matter)? 

Sit & Write: The pre-publication marketing plan tasks are your very first and critical steps to get your book seen and sold. The most important reason for a marketing plan well before you publish (6 months, at least) is so that you have time to send the book to book industry, long-lead, and personal colleague reviewers. If your book is selected by an industry reviewer, for example, the exposure to the book community at large is priceless. Many reviewers including magazine and newspaper reviewers, will only review a book BEFORE it is published. As well, LISTING your book before publication with online aggregators, retailers, bookstores and libraries is critical to get exposure for your book that will reap healthy sales throughout its first year and lifetime. 

WOW: That is an absolutely excellent point! What is one piece of advice you wish authors would remember when releasing their book? 

Sit & Write: Stay focused and stick to a marketing plan. It’s not the number of book marketing tasks you do, it’s the focus of book promotion where your book’s audience will be. Make sure you have completed a healthy pre-game – those pre-publication marketing plan steps described above. Also, focus your efforts and your promotion money where YOUR book buyers are to be found. Social media is great but focus any advertising or promotion on sites and publications where there are book buyers – Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads, etc. Writers Digest, Publishers Weekly, etc. 

WOW: Great point! What are some of the outcomes you've seen take place from writers who take this course? 

Sit & Write: I’ve seen several authors take their ideas and truly run with them. For some, that means they are complete and have submitted to agents. For others, that means that very large and complicated works are over 75% written, with a finished outline, query letter, and an awareness of how to complete and market their work. It’s been tremendous to watch what clarity and support does for the creative process. 

WOW: That is an amazing outcome. I'm so excited to see that this is a round two! How was round one for the writers who took part? 

Claudine: It was truly magical to follow the writers on their journey to becoming first-time authors. It was also satisfying to see how the introduction of a few simple book marketing concepts lead to amazingly successful results. 

Kate: I loved watching writers choose what they truly wanted to write and have the confidence to stand in their own inspiration—not to lean out of themselves to write what others might want more, or what publishers may be swayed by…and their writing clarity and content soared when they made that decision. 

WOW: That is so rewarding! Why is it so important to invest in yourself as a writer? 

Claudine: Everyone knows that writing a book is not easy. Publishing and marketing a book is even more difficult than writing a book by many accounts. And yet, millions upon millions of people write, publish and market their books every year. Why do they do it if it is so difficult? They do it because their message, their story, is so important to them that they feel an irresistible urge, a calling, to get it out there. The message, the story, is part of WHO THEY ARE – their heart and soul. A writer who goes down the path of writing and publishing a book is investing in his or her self-actualization. What could be a more important investment?

WOW: Those are amazing lasting thoughts to end with! Sign up to Sit and Write Master Class before 2/4/23 and use the promo code WOW2023 for an early bird discount! Registration ends on 2/10/23. Sign up for your seat today!


Renee Roberson said...

Thanks for the interview, Nicole! This course with Claudine and Kate sounds like a helpful, personalized way for writers to find the confidence and encouragement to complete their projects. I highly believe we should invest in our writing if we want to succeed!

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