Stuff We Love: LitReactor
What is LitReactor?
LitReactor is an online community for readers and writers. It was born out of Chuck Palahniuk’s official website, huckalahniuk.net, which grew to host interviews by other authors, a writing workshop, and online writing classes. It was growing so fast, the decision was made to spin some of those elements off into their own entity, independent of Palahniuk (though indebted to his influence).
LitReactor offers a lot of great things, but essentially, if you want to be a better writer, find something new to read, or connect with literary-minded individuals, this is where to do it.
How does the online classroom environment help writers meet their goals?
The classes are highly collaborative. It’s not a couple of written lectures and then you’re left to your own devices. Our teachers answer questions and critique work. There are phone conferences and video chats. We’re introducing new formats, and covering different disciplines and genres.
The online environment is flexible, too. If you have to work during the day and you can’t check in until later in the day, or even the middle of the night, the lectures and assignments are there.
The most important thing, though, is that you’re not just interacting with your instructor—you’re working with your classmates. They’re critiquing your work, taking part in discussions, and encouraging you to push yourself.
What can writers expect to get out of the classes you offer?
Our goal is to provide writers with an a la carte approach to a writing education. Going to an MFA program is out of reach for a lot of people—they’re expensive, they’re a huge time commitment, they’re far away. We wanted to do something a little more democratic. If you want to work with a particular author, or focus on a particular discipline, you can do it here. If you want to take one class or all of them, you can do it.
Ultimately, we want writers to leave these classes with confidence, with polished work, and with better tools and resources.
Who teaches the classes?
Our teachers are established authors and industry professionals—from writers like David Corbett, Jack Ketchum, Craig Clevenger, Lidia Yuknavitch and Christa Faust, to agents and publishers. You can see the full run of courses that we’ve offered at this link. We’ve had some really fantastic people teach for us, and we’ve got some exciting people lined up.
Do you offer any other resources for writers?
We have an online workshop, where in order to post your work, you have to review the work of other people. You earn points based on how helpful your critiques are, and when you earn enough points you can post your own piece. This is to encourage people to engage, rather than post their stuff and move along.
We also host essays and columns on craft and the publishing industry. There’s also a discussion board, which has a life of its own. We have a very close-knit community, and they host flash fiction challengesdevelop projects together.
How can writers sign up for classes?
We put out new classes through the website, as well as our social media accounts and our newsletter. If people are looking for a particular class, or want to learn more, they can visit the site, or just e-mail us, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We try to take requests into account—we’ve gotten a lot of requests for classes covering erotica and non-fiction, and we’re working on developing them.
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