It's a 2 year program-with a 10-day residency in January, and another in July.
So you go to the school for 10 days twice a year for 2 years and go to lectures and seminars given by active, published authors. You also have your writing workshopped while there (I'll talk about that more in a minute.)
You are matched up with a faculty member advisor for that semester. After the residency you are expected to send in a packet of work once a month (the number of new pages and revised pages is pre-determined with your advisor). This is the best part, to me. In many writing classes, you are given assignments. Here you get to work on your own chosen writing. And, you're encouraged to explore different styles and genres in a safe environment with an advisor who won't hesitate to tell you something stinks (in the nicest possible way).
Back to the workshop. About 2 months prior to the residency you send 20 pages of your work to the school. They group the students in heterogenous groups-newbies and graduating students and everything in between, as well as picture books and middle grade and young adult pieces. The school binds the pages together and sends them to each student a few weeks before the residency. Each student reads and critiques the works in their binder (there are about 12 people in each group, plus 2 faculty members-you only have to read the pages from your group). Then at the residency your work is the focus of a one-hour workshop, with feedback from the other 11 students + the faculty in your group. Sounds awesome, right?
So that's where I'm at right now. I've received and begun to read my workshop binder, making notes on each page. I'm feeling a little nervous at this point about everyone else reading my story. I mean, I love my book, but I don't know if anyone else will! And the other work in the binder is soooooo good!
I'm really excited to get started with this, because I know I have so much to learn. Hopefully my honest insights on other people's work will be helpful too.
I leave mid-day on July 7th. I CAN'T WAIT!!!