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Detroit Testimonials

"Desiree Cooper engaged in a lively and stimulating discussion of her work with the students. She is genuine and presents with honesty and empathy. The students felt truly enriched by the experience. Desiree Cooper truly is a gifted presenter who can captivate an audience with her warmth, wit, and authenticity."

“I've taken the eight-week workshop and the one-day setting seminar with TM De Vos and Kelsey Ronan. Both were excellent workshop instructors. I enjoyed the small, focused setting to hone my craft and support other writers.”

“I went into the Mixed Levels Fiction Workshop without a lot of fiction experience. Others in the workshop had more. The experience was still thoroughly positive. Our group moderator, T.M. De Vos, is an educator not only by trade but by nature. She led discussions about the writing we submitted and the outside reading she selected, blending each element of discussion into a productive whole. She had us do the bulk of analysis and guided us along the way to ensure each discussion was time well-spent.”

"I have had interest in writing a script for quite some time. And I did. But I felt I needed some kind of class to make certain I wrote a strong script. I thought I was already too advanced for Beginning Screenwriting. Man was I wrong. I am so happy I went ahead and took the beginner course with Ted Houser. A screenplay is like anything else mechanical. You can break it down piece by piece, each element must be there for it to run smoothly. After learning the engineering of a script, I found it so much easier to map out my story. I loved the class, I feel very confident I am on the right path, and I look forward to applying the lessons into my screenplay. Next, I will take Intermediate Screenwriting in October to further tighten up my story. So, if you have that inner writer in you, I'd recommend these classes so that you know without a doubt you are on the right track when you write your story. Very eye opening experience. Best of luck! I hope my testimonial helps :)"

“I really enjoyed the fiction workshop with Kelsey Ronan. The class bred great discussions and also helped me better identify my work and who I am as an artist. Thanks to the encouragement and new knowledge, I was able to walk away with the start of several stories. Fantastic experience!”

“I recently took the 8-week Intro to Memoir workshop with Kelsey Ronan. My experience was productive, instructive and wholly worthwhile. Kelsey was interested, engaged and clearly prepared for every session. She provided reading assignments, in-class writing prompts and two workshop sessions for each student, along with written critique. The critiques were insightful and thorough. I highly recommend Kelsey and encourage anyone seeking guidance and inspiration to take a class!”

“Kelsey was a wonderful facilitator and was extraordinary at giving feedback. Her positive and honest assessments were very helpful. Highly recommend!!”

"I always turn to Toni Cunningham first for feedback on narrative development and character development. She's both a strong writer and a very talented storyteller. Her editorial feedback on my work has been extremely helpful, and I would take any class or writing workshop she leads."

“Desiree Cooper's Turbo Powered Narratives was 3 hours packed with solid information, practical use examples and time to practice. Highly recommend these classes!”

"I took Allie Pleiter's workshop on time management for writers where she discussed her ‘Chunky Method’; the workshop was extremely engaging/worthwhile! I can't wait to implement this into my weekly schedule and hopefully finish some of the projects I've started!"

“Desiree Cooper's Turbo Powered Narratives was not only very informative, it was inspirational. The 3 hours flew by. It was wonderful. Thank you!”

“This past class with Kelsey was extremely valuable to me. I finally started a writing path that I had not been able to get started on my own. Kelsey was a wonderful, informative, compassionate instructor that took the stress out of writing. I am looking forward to the next round!”

“This workshop has assisted me in getting on task to finish my book project. Identifying what type of writing I am (the chunky method) is also beneficial now I must respect that and schedule my time accordingly. Allie Pleiter was friendly and a wealth of information. I will definitely participate in future classes.”

“Toni's Getting To The End workshop was great. She is very creative and made everything seem doable. She answered every question and even provided feedback. With no judgement! I showed my podcast partner my script and she was shocked that I thought of and wrote a complete five-page script in an afternoon. I was too!”

“The Turbo Powered Narratives Master Class was insightful and informative! I learned some great tips on writing. Loved Desiree Cooper’s point of view! Thanks for sharing your love of writing!”

"Ted has introduced me to a great community of writers in and around Detroit that have helped inspire and motivate me to recommit myself to my writing. I look forward to our monthly meetings and the ability to share and workshop my pages with other creatives who provide thoughtful and constructive feedback. I always come away from our meetings with a clearer vision of where I want my screenplay to go and a stronger drive to sit down and actually make it happen."

“Excellent content in Desiree Cooper’s Turbo Powered Narratives seminar. Loved this group!”

“I was touched by Desiree’s point of view and appreciate her ability to share how we find our own! Thanks for the inspiration!!”

"Regardless of where you are in your writing, having Desiree’s guidance will move you forward. She’s the rare working writer who is also an excellent teacher. Look at her background and you’ll see a woman with a skill set that is hard to match."

"As a storyteller and writer, Toni Cunningham is gifted at developing deep, poignant characters with multiple layers, flaws, and strengths. Characters whose motives drive interesting and thought-provoking plot lines. Her stories consistently go beyond just entertaining to express a statement of values in what has become her own unique narrative voice. Toni is my go-to for writing advice and feedback. She poses insightful questions, and provides careful, intentional, actionable feedback. My writing is better because of her!"

"I can always depend on Desiree to be insightful, interactive, engaging and profound. She skillfully deploys her fiction and essays to help audiences navigate gender, race and class. Whether in a room of four or four hundred, she creates a sense of intimacy and honesty that makes the hardest conversations possible."

"Ted Houser has built a community of screenwriters in Detroit who build each other up and help each other out. Not only does he know about film and how to teach the nuances of screenwriting and filmmaking, he also pushes those he teaches to build up their presentation skills and ability to speak eloquently about their stories. Having been in an ongoing workshop with Ted for over a year, I have benefited from his experience greatly." 

“With a decade of film and television experience, Toni Cunningham was awarded a 2018 Kresge Artist Fellowship for her original and thought-provoking stories, as well as her fresh ideas on screenwriting and deep understanding of the nuances of writing short films. Toni is a dedicated teacher who has spent years providing writers from Detroit to Los Angeles with feedback and encouragement. Toni's creativity, experience, and passionate commitment to nurturing Detroit's screenwriting community offers workshop participants the opportunity to build both their confidence and their ability to craft characters, plots, and stories.”

"From the specific, encouraging feedback from instructors and students, to the wealth of literary info and writers' resources provided before/during/after class, to the valuable networking opportunities with a diverse group of courageous classmates, I have returned to my writing with renewed energy and -- BONUS! -- the local literary world has opened up to me through these workshops."

"Wonderful opportunity to be part of a literary community and a great workshop. I will be back again!"

"Desiree Cooper addresses important issues without being didactic or predictable, and she was an absolute pleasure to meet."

"I'm in a monthly writer's group that Ted has been running for the past two years, he's done a great job creating a consistent and reliable space to workshop scripts. He gives really thoughtful advice on our work without being overbearing. He was also really supportive once I wanted to shoot a script I had been working on in the group and helped get it on it's feet. I would definitely recommend his group to anyone!”

"Toni's close attention to detail, driving curiosity, and strong sense of story has made her an ideal critique partner for years now. She's been able to zero in to the very gut of any essay I turn over to her and make insightful observations that always push me towards a better draft. I find myself seeking her writing advice again and again, and consider myself so privileged to be able to learn from her."

"I took a Fiction Writing Class and couldn't be more impressed. The instruction and materials were great. Additionally, it got me out of my shell and pushed me to start writing. Can't thank WWD and the group of writers that took the class with me enough."

"I’m still using what I learned from Desiree! And, her fun, passionate, kind spirit has been my companion on my darkest writing days. Equally, I’m inspired by how hard she works at her own writing. Desiree knows what she wants, makes it happen and models the same for all of us in her life. She’s a generous colleague. You’ll enjoy your time with her. I know I did."

"Desiree Cooper has a whole lot to say. I got to scratch her surface during a writing workshop she gave last year. It included several talks about writing, gender, and race, delivered in the context of her own gorgeous written work. She is witty, engaging, and utterly comfortable at the podium. She looks her audience right in the eye, delivers the goods with directness. She is collaborating with her audience as she talks to them. You want to know her, or maybe just ask her a question so she’ll keep talking, because she is so darn interesting and lively and utterly approachable."

“The quality of the workshop, the suggested reads, the mix and number of participants were all perfect. The discussions taught me so much. I missed it as soon as it ended and I cannot recommend the workshops highly enough.

"I took my first writing workshop and I loved it. The teacher was professional, helpful and engaging. The content was relevant. I will definitely attend more in the future."

"I was somewhat 'stuck' in my writing journey and the publishing workshop definitely helped me to refocus, re-energize, and get moving again! Fantastic workshop."