I’ve taken the Indianola Review Workshop twice and both times it was a valuable experience as well as fun. If you have a short story that is done or close to done that you’d value feedback on, this could be the workshop for you.
Although the workshop format may vary as the method is refined, what happened in the first two workshops is probably a good indicator of what will happen in the next. Each participant uploaded a story to Submittable and we used that as the platform to read and peer review each others’ work. During the second iteration of the workshop, we moved from discussing the stories on the Submittable platform to discussing them in a private Facebook group. This worked much better, as the discussions were easier to follow. The workshop was lengthened to four weeks, the first two for reading and the next two to tackle the individual stories. As in an in person workshop, the Facebook comments usually generated discussion between the participants and eventually a response from the writer. Comments from a few of the staff readers and editors of the Indianola Review were also included.
In the FAQ section of the workshop announcement page, the question is posed about possibility of publication. One of my rewritten stories was published online and another participant’s story was picked for print publication. Another member of our class has since become an Assistant Editor, and numerous stories and participants have gone on to be published elsewhere.
How do I know that last? The Facebook group is ongoing and people do post some of their successes and endeavors. If nothing else, the workshop is a gate to new friendships with writers and potential critique partners. (I have been a critique partner of Joseph Walters, although I met him in another workshop. I also met Jan Elman Stout in a third online class.)
Overall I found this one of the less frustrating platforms and workshops I’ve taken.The behind the scene look at Submittable was helpful. It was a joy to get to read the work of people I otherwise would not have encountered and a humbling experience to see how accomplished many of the participants were. I would recommend the workshop and consider the price very fair for the feedback received.
Although the time and date for the next workshop has not yet been announced, it is worth looking out for this class. In the meantime, read Indianola Review online and think about submitting your work!