It’s often been said that “the pen is mightier than the sword.” But in the business world today common expressions have become emojis, words and phrases have their own abbreviations, and texting and informal emails dominate day-to-day communications. It can feel like good, old-fashioned writing has been forgotten and people no longer appreciate how powerful the written word can be. Gotham Writers is here to change that.
Gotham Writers has been around since 1993 and has a rich history of life before and after the internet. The company used to teach only in New York City, but now has the capacity of reaching a global audience. It has seen the ups and downs of the multitude of technological advancements, but their core mission remains the same—helping people write their stories and communicate in an effective, efficient way. RewardExpert spoke with Dean of Students at Gotham, Dana Miller, about how Gotham helps 8,000 unique writers each year sharpen the writing tools in their toolboxes.
If you live in or around New York City, you’ve probably seen those yellow boxes with ‘Gotham Writers Workshop’ written on them where people can take pamphlets and see when various writing classes are offered—both in New York and online. Miller said Gotham first started teaching online classes back in 1997. She said the internet really helped in creating global classrooms.
“It’s really changed our business, but I think still to this day, distance learning is one of the ways in which the internet and the web can be successful for people—it’s such a wonderful way to be able to engage with others on a global level.”
Taking online classes is also helpful for a busy professional who is always on the go. The beauty of Gotham is that you don’t have to be at your computer at any particular time. Miller stated, “You’re not watching or listening to a real time presentation which allows people from all over the world to engage in the same class without a time difference being an issue.”
Miller believes that being a better writer makes you a more communicative person. While Gotham is well known for its creative writing classes, it also offers business writing. “I think communicating well in the workplace is an important part of just being a good employee, and I think that what we teach is how to write like a human being in the workplace.”
HR professionals can save time and money when hiring a person who knows how to communicate in a way that is warm and friendly, as well as professional in tone. “We help teach people to be more of themselves in business communication,” explained Miller. “We’re hoping to create writers who are ready to engage and who write like the person he or she wants to be to get people to continue to want to work with them.”
Some of the most popular classes Gotham offers are Creative Writing 101, Fiction 1, Memoir 1 and Screenwriting 1. There are no requirements to participate, just a love to learn and a desire to improve your writing. Miller said Gotham encourages a positive environment for constructive criticism and helpful feedback. “We’re very much a positive first kind of place to write. Even though we encourage balanced positive feedback, we lead with the positive.”
What Makes Gotham Stand Out
Gotham has been around for decades, and Miller credits this to its teachers. “We have a great team of people, and we’re committed to being a well-lit community for creative people who want to write their stories—and their stories are everywhere.”
The classes are small in size and are limited to 14 onsite in New York and either 14 or 16 online depending upon the level. According to Miller, it’s about building an understanding of the craft and learning how to use that craft to the best degree for your work. “You go in each week and you’re talking about an aspect of the writing class—and you leave with either a new tool for your toolbox or a sharpened tool for your toolbox.”
For more information on how to get started on your path to communicating smarter and better through writing, visit writingclasses.com.