Is the Gauntlet right for me?

Yes. Well, maybe. Do you like to write? Are you looking to write more? Do you like to read? Do you want to read more? Do you like working with other people to remove barriers to your writing? Would you love to take a workshop but can’t take off two weeks from work?

If you answered yes to some of those, then The Gauntlet is right for you.

Where did the idea come from?

We discovered was there needed to be more to help build a habit of reading and writing that was sustainable for working writers throughout the entire year: there needed to be communication and community. 

Why do you ask for a short bio of my career?

We like to organize The Gauntlet to maximize diversity of writing experience and background, a well-rounded and productive year together starts there.

Why do you ask for a book that helped shape me as a writer?

The books read throughout the year will be comprised of the books selected by the The Gauntlet participants. So, you’ll have a chance to share with everyone else a book you loved and found valuable to your writing.

Why does it cost $1000?

We wanted to keep the cost down while being able to slowly grow what Workhorse has to offer writers. Here’s a breakdown of what we use the money on:

  • Books:  approximately $250 dollars
  • Light Morning Snack for in-person Gauntlet: $50
  • Scholarship Fund: $100 (We are committed to finding writers who might be restricted from access to workshops because of financial circumstances).
  • Advertising for Gauntlet: $100
  • Bills and Pay (for various accounts to maintain Workhorse and pay employees): $500

What do we do for four hours on a Saturday?

 A typical session looks like, goal setting and discussion of progress, an activity surrounding an element of craft, a conversation about the books, and a collaborative activity with a partner, a generative prompt. We also talk and work and generate ideas for the month of writing ahead. Occasionally, poets from the community stop in to talk to us about their work. 

Why 100 poems? Why 12 stories or novel?

High expectations are the foundation for success. If you don’t risk failure, success won’t taste as sweet.

A challenge coin? Featured on the website?

Carry it in your wallet, wear it as a necklace, display it on your shelf. In the same way that people are celebrated for publishing, we want to celebrate people who are actively writing and reading.

Do I have to host or lead a session?

Absolutely not, The Gauntlet is fully designed and functional. It is just an option, a way of providing those of us who are educators or workshop leaders already to contribute in another way to the workshop. When hosting, you are inviting this process into your home. Again, this is not a requirement, but an option, just another way to build community.

How does this compare to other workshops or mentorships? 

There are two answers to that question. First the financial one:

  • Tin House Writer’s Workshop: 1 week – $40 application fee + $1,795
  • Vermont Studio Center Residency: 4 weeks – $25 application fee + $3,950
  • Breadloaf: 10 days – $15 application fee + $3,170
  • Frost Place Conference on Poetry: 6 days – $25 application fee + $1,550
  • The New School Summer Writers Colony: 3 week – $4,340 (not including housing)
  • Carnegie Center Author Academy: 9 months – $5,500

Now the more important one:

The Gauntlet is a generative and collaborative workshop. We focus on helping the writer explore and take risks. While there are some traditional workshop opportunities throughout the 12 months, that is not the focus.

Is there a scholarship? 

Oh yes. In honor of Katerina Stoykova, we offer one poet and one fiction writer a spot in The Gauntlet. The scholarship goes to a writer who would have otherwise been excluded for financial reasons. It’s in the spirit of Katerina’s supportive and giving nature.

What if I’m nervous? 

Don’t be. We like writing, that’s all.