We support, encourage, and inspire writers of all genres. We’ve helped many writers establish or reestablish a productive and creative mindset, fill their pages, and learn their craft through our creative writing workshops and private coaching. We don't believe in the tough-love approach. We believe in empowering writers to explore their craft.
We only pick leaders who lead our writing workshops with love. We hire exceptional group leaders who are adept at engaging small groups of writers. We screen them for their expertise, their diplomacy, and their belief in positive reinforcement. We believe writers need a safe space to grow.
Our creative writing workshops are never about lectures with hundreds of people. Instead, our workshops are small and geared toward individual attention. We also offer one-on-one coaching for writers working on a first draft or editing for writers with a completed manuscript.
Nicole understands that working with writers doesn't just involve talking about their project. She has the rare and brilliant skill of sensing what is really at the root of slowing a writer down and is more than willing to get into the messy and seemingly "unrelated" discussions that surround every writer's process. Working with her for these past three months has enabled me to minimize the confusion and frustration that always arises in the writing process and get back to making progress on my book faster. Instead of spending days of energy in emotional defeat, I spend an hour on the phone with Nicole and find my way back to the work at hand before evening time. She is a miracle worker, and her diagnostic skills are up there with rocket scientists. I'm not exaggerating. She's brilliant. Few people in the world have as much passion and grace when it comes to teaching the craft of writing. She also has an awe-inspiring ability to work with a widely diverse range of writers and personalities. Working with Nicole was the best investment in myself and my writing aspirations I could make.Jess H.
"I had taken every writing class I could find both online and in-person for over three years, yet I was still floundering around with an unwritten novel in my head. Frustrated and skeptical, I went to yet another class and met Nicole Criona - and everything changed. First Draft Incubator was different. And her one-one-one personal attention was just what I needed. With her kindness and gentle encouragement, before I knew it I had an outline. She was so generous with her ideas and so sure of my ability and our way forward that I believed her. And it worked. Three months later, I had sixty written pages with a clear idea of where I was going. Every week, she helped me hurdle stumbling blocks and climb out of writing bogs that threatened to stop me in my tracks. Now, here I am, sixteen months later with a finished first draft. It is the single biggest personal accomplishment of my life and she is the reason I got here. The joy is real! I cannot thank her enough. Nicole, you were the flashlight in my darkest forest. We did it!!"Carrie T. - Fledgling Author, soon to be hopefully be published.
It is always a pleasure to gather in this intimate setting with a few writers who want to read literature, together. In this sacred space, we go further and higher when we read out-loud and talk about what makes a particular piece so moving. Then, we can all come alive with inspiration!F.M., Los Angeles
Sharing a new testimonial from a First Draft Incubator workshop attendee:
I came to this course with 20-odd pages of tired material, a clichéd main character, and no idea how to map out my novel. Despite having two decades of experience as a magazine features writer, I was stumped on how to organize and sustain compelling long form fiction. Less than six weeks later, I have a complete outline and a solid second take on several important scenes.D.M.
If you’re serious about finishing your first draft, sign up for this class. Nicole will be a generous advocate for your work. She'll honor your personal creative process and she will ask you all the hard questions at just the right time.
It was a great experience and one that needed. I haven’t picked up a “pen” in a creative writing journey in many months. The 15 days motivated me to write and I’m glad to report that it’s only wet my appetite. I fell in love with the creative process again. Nicole, you’re awesome. I liked all of the prompts and the feedback from Nicole and others in this challenge. Also, getting to read others writing touched me too. So much talent out there. Thank you, thank you.Jacqueline K.
Nicole, I want to thank you for your thought provoking and active participation as the facilitator of this incredible 15-Day experience! I began this workshop with lots of apprehension which was similar to how I tackled my writing, unfortunately. But, with your energy and tenacious daily prompts and up-to-the minute feedback, I was able to defeat the writers block that I often found myself in! I’ve been writing everyday since your workshop and I’m happy to say that I have actually completed two articles that I am preparing to submit for publication! I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, professionalism, and mindful energy that you brought to this 15-Day challenge! I’m actually considering doing it a second time!Deb G.