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Is private mentoring better than group work?

by Jacqueline
(Seattle)

Hi. I'm trying to decide between a workshop that has ten writers and private mentoring. Both would cost the same, but the group would run a few weeks longer. Is one likely to help me improve my writing more than the other?


ANSWER:

Hi Jacqueline. I've always been a big fan of private mentoring, as the new writer benefits from having a knowledgeable, successful writer focus exclusively on his or her work. I'm still a fan of this method of learning.

However, the right group situation can have an even greater impact on your work for two reasons:


  • You will benefit from seeing what the instructor notes in the work of other group members

  • If others in the group comment on your work, you will have the benefit of several different opinions. The opinions don't need to come from a professional writer to have value. Learning what the "average reader" picks up on or fails to notice in your work can be valuable, as well.