Student Testimonials

Art of The Short Story was the most intense learning experience of my writing life thus far, and definitely the most challenging. I’ve taken 3 classes with The Cult, and Art of The Short Story was the first time that I was able to go somewhere Greater than where I had envisioned myself going as a writer by the end of the class. I feel that I’ve advanced not only as a writer, but in my understanding of the craft. I’m much more confident now when approaching a story, and while I’m the one who puts in the work, I credit Mark and Art of The Short Story for the writer that I am today. The class promotes the notion of finishing with at least 2 “ready for publication” stories, and already I’ve heard back that one of my stories from the class will be published this summer. Not only that, but you’ll craft more than 2 stories during the stretch of the class –I wrote 5 altogether and feel that my other four have an equal chance of finding a home. I couldn’t be happier with the results of this class.

–Nathan Pettigrew, Boston, Massachusetts

I took part in the first one [Zen Mind Beginning Fiction Course] and was very happy. The knowledge that Mark imparts is second to none, and he will exceed any expectations you might have.

There is nowhere else in the world where someone with his level of experience will give you one on one feedback for this kind of money.

If you are a person that thinks that you might be a good writer, but are unsure of how to get a story started or finished this is the workshop for you. If you are already an accomplished writer, it is also a great way to refresh some fundamentals and maybe pick up something new.

-Jason C., Conyers, Georgia

The Zen Mind Beginning Fiction Course unblocked my mind and opened my eyes.

Jami Kali, Wilkes-Barre, PA

I’ve been writing for several years, but this past fall I took a Zen Mind Beginners course (despite the fact that I wouldn’t have considered myself a “beginner” writer).  I cannot really explain what the lecture, assignments and participation did for me as a writer, but I pumped out some of my best ever work while taking that course, and I’m still writing strong.  I’ve also met some wonderful new writer friends who still keep me motived, even now that the course is long over.

Rebecca, Kamloops, B.C.

I cannot begin to explain how much enjoyment I drew from the two workshops I was in (Zen Mind and 200 Proof). It surprised me how much interaction there was, how much feedback I received, and the overall positive, friendly and non-competitive environment they provided. It was a pleasure to exchange tips, feedback, to see how everyone responded to a prompt and learn from that. I definitely have noticed an improvement in my writing, and new awareness of elements that make it work or not. It was money well spent, time well spent. The workshops were intensive, yes, but that’s what I expected. Right now I am almost certain that one of the stories I wrote for the Zen Workshop (“Exorcism”) will get published in Fiction International (I am making some revisions). I am also in the process of finding other journals, but I’m sure more publications will result from what I produced during the two workshops.

Liana V., McAllen, TX

Mark Vanderpool, Freelance Writer and Editor 
Lexington, Kentucky, USA 40509

23 thoughts on “Student Testimonials

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