Online education is rapidly expanding, especially in workshop form. Every year millions of people join classes—both in and out of school/college programs—in order to learn a new skill. Online classes are particularly convenient since they can be attended from any location that has internet access and students are generally given a lot of leniency in regards to when they do their work provided that certain deadlines are met. Furthermore, online classes can break down distance barriers and make it possible for people to attend classes with others from different cities or even countries. On the other hand, some people prefer to engage in offline classes with others who are local to a specific area. Whether online or offline, some of the most popular kinds of classes are those dedicated to creative writing.
There are various ways to access writing classes. The most prestigious are those that take place in accredited colleges. However, any courses offered by universities generally cost in excess of $1,000…something that few people can afford. Contrarily, Massive Online Open Courses (“MOOCs”) are usually free of charge but can include hundreds, or even thousands, of students. Obviously with such large classes professors are unable to offer individualized feedback which can hinder how much a student actually learns. Then there are writer workshops, classes that are held by organizations that are dedicated to helping people improve their writing skills. Such writing workshops can be extremely beneficial to those who attend them although they usually cost a few hundred dollars to join.
Regardless of the kind of system one uses to attain better writing skills, a constant source of complaint is the lack of communication and interaction between writers once their writing class ends. While there are several online forums that cater to the discussion of writing, few have a grounded center or a way to include members of a specific class or group. The new virtual platform/website “WetInk” offers a solution by providing virtual locations for workshop groups (both online and offline) and forums centered on creative writing.
WetInk is a startup company that enables users to conduct class online, track and manage classes with ease, effortlessly monitor class schedules and deadlines, and receive weekly email summaries of the activities occurring in your classes. WetInk works equally well with in-person workshops by giving your in-person class a place to stay connected beyond the physical classroom. Since its launch in July 2014, WetInk creator, programmer Ayush Gupta, has been working to raise awareness about the unique features that this website offers.
For starters, each group partaking in WetInk gets its own private area where students can submit assignments, submissions, and critiques. WetInk also offers unique features that enrich conversations about writing. One such feature is the ability to highlight specific portions of a text in order to discuss that sole segment. Furthermore, WetInk includes a class calendar and upcoming deadline reminders for students. All user content is completely private and visible only to the specific user. Moreover, only people with a private invitation link can sign up, all content posted to the community is private, and each group gets its own private area. Additionally, all one’s data can be exported at any time.
WetInk is an excellent platform for people who are interested in conducting their own writing workshops. Instructors will have a repository of everything written including comments and interactions pertaining to their student’s writing. Assignments and submissions are centrally managed. Instructors are able to build a searchable repository of content from past classes, automate scheduling of assignments, and automatically remind students of their deadlines. What’s more, WetInk is a place where all students –both past and present—can stay connected around writing. People can share their work, issue writing challenges, play writing games, and have discussions. Using this platform, instructors do not have to leave past students behind; instead they can watch their community grow and keep aspiring writers engaged by offering them a place to stay connected. This is what differentiates the WetInk offerings from other platforms.
That said, WetInk is not a competitor to other writing workshops. In fact, WetInk does not offer writing classes itself and was created with the intention to serve other pre-existing writing workshops. Lissa Kiernan, the Founder and Director of “The Rooster Moans Poetry Cooperative” based in Brooklyn, New York, has been pleased with her experiences using WetInk as a means of conducting her poetry workshops. “It was only natural to seek out a way to stay connected 24-7,” she declared in a glowing review. “WetInk has afforded us that opportunity. Their state-of-the-art workshop platform makes workflow and administration a breeze. It’s a win-win for any writing community.”
Even if you do not offer classes, WetInk provides private communities which foster deep connections around creative writing. Here are some specific example uses of communities:
• If you are a group of writers you can get a private community at WetInk to stay connected with each other around writing.
• If you are an author and are looking for a way to connect with your readers using meaningful ways around writing, you can use a community at WetInk to nurture those deep relationships with your readers. WetInk is a great fit for nurturing a loyal readership in a participative way. It naturally lends itself to fan fiction, writing challenges based on characters, discussions, leader board and more!
The online platforms that WetInk offers are cutting edge and fully comprehensive which will make them extremely beneficial to writing workshops that are willing to join up and give the system a try. Additionally, for those who will be at the April 2015 AWP Conference in Minneapolis, WetInk has reserved a booth there and is eager to meet potential business partners and clients.
To find out more about WetInk visit the official website: