An online writing workshop is a type of seminar where a group of writers work together virtually in order to improve their writing skills and offer each other feedback. This may all take place over email or forum discussions, and is an easy way for writers from all over the world to come together and communicate with each other. An online writing workshop often requires a small fee from its participants, but many people find this fee to be worth it.
Traditionally, writing workshops would take place in one location. All of the writers attending the workshop would gather in the location, for as little as a few hours or as much as a few days or weeks. Though many people found these workshops to be beneficial to their writing, it was often difficult to leave work or families for that length of time. An online writing workshop is completed on one's own time, for the most part, and is a much more convenient way to attend a workshop without interrupting one's work or family schedule.
In an online writing workshop, each participant will generally be required to submit at least one piece of writing for consideration by the group. The other participants in the workshop will then read the piece and offer constructive comments and feedback. In addition to these large assignments, an online writing workshop might include brief writing assignments that everyone will complete during the actual workshop. Everyone in the group may be assigned to free write on a specific topic, for example.
Usually, an online writing workshop will not last more than a few weeks. It is designed to improve one's writing skills and to work on improving a specific piece of writing; though some people may find that completing a workshop such as this helps them get a piece ready for publication, this is certainly not always the case. In fact, one should be wary of any online writing workshop that promises publication at the end of the workshop, particularly in exchange for a fee; this is, in nearly all cases, a form of a scam.
The amount of benefit that one gleans from an online writing workshop is often in direct proportion to the amount of work that one puts into it. It can be a great way to improve one's writing ability, as well as to meet people who share similar interests. Some people take more than one workshop as well, because different workshops and different instructors can certainly produce different results.