Year-Long Writing Projects: FAQ

2024 Year-Long Writing Project FAQs


Is there payment assistance or a scholarship available?

The Loft is pleased to be able to offer two different payment plans for all writing projects, as well as one Access Fund seat for this upcoming cohort. You may also pay in full at the time of registration.

What are my payment options?

Full access to the year-long Children’s Literature Writing Project, or Memoir Writing Project is:

  • $7,500 for regular price paid in full at registration
  • $7,440 for Loft friends, paid in full at registration
  • $7,600 on payment plan for regular price ($3,750 at registration, $320.83 per month for twelve months)
  • $7,540 for Loft friends ($3,750 at registration, $315.83 per month for twelve months)
  • $1,875 on Sezzle (followed by 3 payments of $1,875 over six weeks)

The first payment option is to pay in full on the registration date. Amount due is $7,500 (regular price) / $7,440  (friends).

The first payment plan option​ is available when you purchase your place in the program online at; select the Sezzle payment method and your payment will be divided into 4 interest free payments over 6 weeks. 25% is due at the time of payment, followed by 3 more payments of approximately 25% of the balance due each time until it is paid off.

  • What is Sezzle?​ Sezzle is a third party payment processing platform that securely processes and manages payments, interest free, over a period of 6 weeks.

The second payment plan​ is a year long, monthly option; $3750 is due at the time of registration, which includes a nonrefundable $500 deposit. 12 monthly payments of $320.83 will be made June 2024-April 2025 via a credit card number given to the Loft at the time of registration. A fee of $50 will be assessed for each occurrence of a return of payment for insufficient funds.

Credit card must have an expiration date beyond April, 2025. If the student is a Loft friend at the qualifying level (either a monthly sustaining friend at least $5 per month or a one time donor of $60 or above) they will receive a $5 discount on their monthly payments (for a total of $315.83 per month). The total cost of this payment plan is $7,600 for regular price and $7540 for Loft friends. 

You must call the education office at 612-379-8999 for the payment plan, or come by the office at Open Book during business hours, as this plant cannot be arranged on the website. 

Finally, we are able to offer 1 Access Funds seat​ in each cohort. If tuition is a barrier for you and you identify as someone from a marginalized background, we encourage you to apply. An application is required; for details and instructions on how to apply, please see the writing project Access Funds page at

What about refunds? ​

There is a nonrefundable​ $500 deposit required at the time of registration.

Either $7500 (total payment) or $3750 (payment plan) is due in full at the time of registration; or 25% if you sign up with the Sezzle payment plan.

If you decide not to participate once registered, you may notify the education department by calling 612-379-8999 no later than 5 p.m. May 28, 2024 to receive a full refund minus the $500 deposit (resulting in a refund of $7000 for those who paid in full, or $3250 for those who opted for the payment plan).

If you choose not to participate and notify the education department of your intention to drop after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28 - June 18 (before the second class takes place), you will receive a 50% refund: $3,750 total refunded for those who paid in full. For those who chose a 12-month payment plan, all automatic payments of $320.83 per month (totalling $3850) are canceled while the initial $3750 payment is kept by the Loft. 

All registration dates/times, refund dates/deadlines, and meeting times for any writing project/apprenticeship are scheduled to take place in the U.S. Central time zone.

Conditions for a 100 percent refund |In the rare event that, after the required introductory one-on-one meeting between the student and teaching artist (which takes place before the first class meeting), one or both parties feel that the program or student/teaching mentor relationship is not a good fit, the student may notify the Loft’s Education Department of their decision to withdraw and receive a 100 percent refund. This is the only opportunity for any student to receive a 100 percent refund.To withdraw and claim a refund, students must notify the Education Department (612-379-8999) after the one-on-one meeting with their teaching artist and before the start of the first class meeting.

Refund Disclaimers

  • There are no refunds once the second class meeting has started. No exceptions.There is no prorated tuition for anyone not wishing or unable to attend any events related to their writing project, including planned events or unplanned special opportunities, the final reading, all 4 one-on-one sessions, or for missed class sessions.
  • There are no refunds in the event of a substituted visiting guest. If an unforeseen circumstance precludes the scheduled participation of a visiting author or industry professional, the Loft reserves the right to substitute another writing professional in their place.
  • There are no refunds or prorated tuition for students who are unable to attend a class session, visiting author event, final reading, or scheduled one-on-one meeting for any reason, including illness, vacation plans, life events, etc. There are no refunds for students who are not able to complete the program for any reason, including illness, vacation plans, life events, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to participate as fully as possible in all aspects of the program, obtain missed class content from the instructor, and reschedule any missed one-on-one sessions with respect for their instructor’s schedule.
  • There are no refunds, transfers, or credits for any shifts in programming resulting from the Loft’s response to COVID-19 or any other unforeseen circumstances. Programming decisions are made for the health and safety of Loft students, teaching artists, staff, and community members. We strongly believe in the quality of the programming offered regardless of format. Please see our website for the Loft’s COVID policy.

How much time do I need to have spent writing already? ​​

We recommend our year-long writing project for writers who are motivated to hone their craft. Ideally, candidates have spent time already creating short stories or creative nonfiction pieces, given writing a novel, poetry collection, or memoir serious consideration and/or effort, and spent years of their life reading. There are exceptions for writers who have not honed their craft who would still be a good fit for this endeavor. If you have questions about your ability, please contact the Loft for advice.

How much commitment is required?​

By far the most important quality of the prospective student is this: How hard are you willing to work? You truly get out of this program what you put into it. If the answer to this question is: As hard as I have to in order to finish a collection of poetry, a novel, or a memoir in the next year, then you’re probably a good candidate.

How do I know if my writing is "good enough" for a Year-Long Writing Project?

As in any writing workshop environment, there will be students with different levels of experience. One of the gifts of the workshop environment is that there is room for everyone. Having this range of experience means students will get to learn and grow with one another, and for that reason we reject the idea of one being “good enough” for this project. Everyone will be learning, and everyone will be growing in their skills and experience. Everyone will be treated with the same respect and given the same attention.


What should a student in a Year-Long Writing Project cohort expect?

Everyone in this program will be balancing many aspects of life, and the prospect of enrolling in such a time-consuming program can naturally seem daunting. It is not possible to say how much time will be required of each student. However, a rough estimate of workload has been included below.

Writing:​In order to complete work, students should be willing to commit to writing many pages—roughly 300 pages for a novel, 250 pages for a memoir, and 48–75 pages for a poetry collection. This means students should expect to write about 10 to 15 pages of their novel or memoir per week, resulting in a first draft after 30 weeks, that can be revised and edited over the last 20 weeks of the year. Poetry collections average about one to three poems or pages per week. You will revise your work again and again, growing as a writer in the process​.

Reading: ​​You will be reading about four novels or memoirs, or five collections of poetry over the course of the program. On top of the novels/memoirs/poetry collections, you will also be reading each other’s work.​ On average, expect to to read between two and five hours per week over the course of a Year-Long Writing Project.​ ​


What if I’ve already written a poetry collection, novel or memoir, and would like to have it workshopped? Will this class still work for me?​ ​

Ye​s. Though not necessary, having part or all of a collection, novel, or memoir completed at the time the program commences is fine. There will be plenty of opportunity to learn from your classmates, visiting writers and publishing professionals, and your teaching artist.


I write genre fiction, is the Novel Writing Project or Fiction Writing Project still a good fit for me?​

Yes. Though most of our reading will focus on literary fiction, we’ll discuss other genres as well.


This sounds like a major commitment. Will the Loft or the teaching artist ensure publication of my poetry collection, novel, or memoir at the end of it?​

I​t is an enormous commitment, and it shouldn’t be entered lightly. But there’s no such thing as a guarantee in this business, and so of course neither the Loft nor the teaching artist will ensure publication. We will, however, commit to arming you with the knowledge of how to navigate the publishing world once your project is complete. We will also commit to a dogged curriculum in the craft of writing. If you commit in turn, when you are finished with this program, you will be world’s wiser in the art and craft of writing and ready to take your poetry collection, novel, or memoir to market.


The Loft is offering only online Year-Long Writing Projects this year. Is this different than offerings in the past?

Our Year Long writing projects are only offered online. This is due to demand and convenience for students.

You should sign up for only one version of the genre you’d like to pursue. The online programs  offer the same content and teaching mentor as previous years. The online program will meet live each week in a Zoom classroom, which is of course available to and suited to those living inside and outside of the Twin Cities metro area. For the online program, no in-person meetings will be required to take place. High speed internet access is required and an up to date computer with camera and microphone he Loft is not able to provide internet or computer technology to students, nor are we able to provide technology assistance.


What is the time zone in which any live, online class content takes place?

All meeting times for any writing project/apprenticeship are scheduled to take place in US Central time zone.

Is it possible the COVID19 pandemic could affect programming?

Yes, it’s certainly possible. Please keep this in mind as you decide whether you’d like to participate in any writing project programming for 2024, as we are unable to offer refunds or credits if forced to move Loft programming online for the safety of students, teaching artists, staff, and community members. Please see The Loft's COVID policy for programming here. For this reason, high speed internet access, as well as a laptop or computer, are advised for anyone signing up for the in-person program, should the need arise to transition quickly to an online format. If there are questions or concerns about this, please connect with the Loft’s education manager Marianne Manzler at [email protected].


Who’s teaching these programs, and what credentials do they have?

Peter Geye​ (​Novel Writing Project) is a dedicated teacher and writer. He has an MFA from the University of New Orleans and a PhD from Western Michigan University, where he taught creative writing and was editor of Third Coast. He’s a regular book reviewer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle. He has published five novels, most recently a book entitled ​The Ski Jumpers (University of Minnesota Press, 2022).

Carolyn Holbrook (Memoir/CNF Project) is a writer, educator, and an advocate for the healing power of the arts. Her memoir, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (Minn 2020), won the 2021 Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. She is founder and director of the Twin Cities-based conversation series, More Than a Single Story, and is co-editor with David Mura of the anthology, We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World published by University of MN Press with More Than a Single Story (Minn2021). She is also co-author with Arleta Little of Dr. Josie Johnson’s memoir, Hope In the Struggle (Minn 2019). She is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships. She won the Minnesota Book Awards Kay Sexton Award in 2010 and was a 50 over 50 honoree in 2016. She teaches at the Loft Literary Center and other community venues, and at Hamline University, where she won the exemplary teacher award in 2014. She is the mother of 5, grandmother of 8 and great grandmother of 2.

신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin is a Korean-born creative nonfiction writer, freelance arts journalist, fiction writer, poet, editor, and children’s book author. She is the author of Unbearable Splendor, a book of essays and poems which won the Minnesota Book Award in 2017. She is the editor/co-editor of three anthologies of essays including What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories on Food and Family (2021); A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota (2016); and Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption (2006 and second edition 2021). She is the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Wet Hex which is a 2022 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, and is also the author of two illustrated books for childrenmost recently the co-authored Where We Come From, which is a 2022 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.

She has been awarded fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the MacDowell Foundation, as well as an Asian American Literary Award. She has been teaching creative writing in the community and in MFA programs for two decades. Forthcoming books include a picture book about legendary Detroit civil rights activists James Boggs and Grace Lee Boggs, and other projects. With poet Su Hwang she is the co-founder of Poetry Asylum; she is currently a teaching artist with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, the University of Minnesota, and Metro State University. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.

Heid E. Erdrich has authored several poetry collections, including Little Big Bully, a National Poetry Series winner. Erdrich edited New Poets of Native Nations anthology from Graywolf Press and has received many honors, including the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress and a National Artists Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She regularly serves as a visiting writer and most recently taught a term at Dartmouth College as a scholar of Native American Literature. Heid is Ojibwe, enrolled at Turtle Mountain. 

A firm believer in service to the literary community, Heid regularly serves as a visiting writer and panelist for awards and grants. She is the 2023 chairperson of the National Book Awards Poetry Panel. Heid reviews books and provides blurbs and encourages such service to those she mentors. 

Heid has a particular interest in the intersection of poetry, performance, and visual art. Her poems have been commissioned for the National Gallery of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art and elsewhere. She has collaborated on poem films, with choreographers and on public art projects.  Since 2005, Heid has curated dozens of art exhibits focused on Native American artists. She currently serves as the 2020-2024 guest curator for the Mead Art Museum of Amherst College. In 2023 her exhibition Boundless- a project combining texts and images from Amherst College’s collections of Native art and literature - opened at the Mead Museum. A second iteration of Boundless is on view at the Mead until July 2024.

Lisa Bullard (Children’s Literature) is the author of more than 100 books for children, including picture books, nonfiction titles, and the middle grade mystery Turn Left at the Cow. Her books have won several honors, including a Children’s Choice Award, two Teacher’s Choice Awards, a listing on the Science Books & Films’ Best Books list, a Booklist “Top 10 Financial Series for Youth,” a National Parenting Publications Children's Resources Silver Award, and a Storytelling World Awards Honor Title. Lisa is also the author of Get Started in Writing for Children, a how-to guide for adult writers. Lisa has been teaching at the Loft for over 20 years; her classes draw on her experiences as a writer and on the many years she spent working in the publishing industry.

Alison McGhee (Fiction) is the critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author of many books for all ages, from novels for adults, young adults, and children, to picture books and graphic-ish novels, as well as poems, essays, and micro-memoirs. She is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Geisel Medal, the Christopher Award, four Minnesota Book Awards, and McKnight Foundation and Minnesota State Arts Board grants. She was a finalist for the German National Book Award, and her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Teaching is a vocation second only to writing for her, and she founded Metropolitan State University's creative writing program, where she taught for many years. She has also taught in various MFA programs, including those at Hamline and Vermont College of Fine Arts, and been a guest artist at Carleton College, Macalester University, and the University of Minnesota. She is also the creator and host of the podcast Words by Winter: Conversations, reflections, and poems about the passages of life. You can find her at