Dr Noah Charney, an American best-selling author and Pulitzer finalist, has been described as “Slovenia’s biggest cheerleader in foreign media.” He writes about Slovenia regularly for major publications, as the Slovenia Travel correspondent for The Guardian, for the Washington Post, National Geographic and many more venues. He’s also author of more than a dozen books, including the internationally best-selling novel, The Art Thief, and the Slovenian best-seller, Slovenology: Living and Traveling in the World’s Best Country. But he also has a sideline in helping authors, primarily Slovenes, find anglophone publishers abroad.
For many years he’s taught a short course at University of Ljubljana called Writing for Publication, in which he teaches what is rarely taught even in creative writing programs: the mechanics of how to become a paid writer. Do you need an agent? How do you pitch to a newspaper editor? How do you negotiate a publishing contract? How do you write a book proposal and find a publisher for a non-fiction book? There are numerous tricks of the trade and his past students have become published authors and regular contributors to international magazines and newspapers. For the past two years, he’s even taught a private course run by University of Ljubljana exclusively for his fellow professors, teaching them how to write in a more engaging way, to help them get prestigious ERC grants (the most advanced EU grant available for research, worth 1.5-2.5 million Euros each). He has also worked as an informal “agent,” helping dozens of Slovene writers to find literary agents or publishers abroad. He’s worked with everyone from Joze Pirjevec to Miha Mazzini, from Ales Steger to Goran Vojnovic, from Vlado Kreslin to Luka Novak to Bostjan Videmsek and many others—more than twenty, by his count.
Now, due to the pandemic, he’s offering a pair of writing workshops via Zoom. “The key is that anyone, Slovenes especially, can get published in English and even earn money writing, from wherever they are,” he said. “My past students have published books and numerous articles for major venues, all in English and all from Slovenia. There are all sorts of tricks of the trade that I wish someone had taught me, that I’m happy to pass on to students.” His course includes a 70-page document that he gives to all students, full of tips and sample book and article proposals—even sample cover letters to agents and editors, which students can adapt and use. “My goal is to make life easier for my students,” he said.
There are two workshops on offer now, but one of them you’ll need to register for quickly, by February 11 at the latest. It’s WRITING FOR PUBLICATION and will be held via Zoom this Friday, February 12 from 17:30-20:30. The other sessions are February 16 and 19, the same times. “That’s the workshop in which I teach all the logistics of how to get published,” he said. This one is run by University of Ljubljana’s Filozofska Fakulteta and you can register here.
The second will run during the same time slots on March 12, 17 and 19 and will be co-taught by Slovenia’s best-selling author abroad, Miha Mazzini. Miha and Noah will teach this second workshop on writing itself: character development, plot, pace and the mechanics of writing, touching on fiction, non-fiction and popular articles. Both workshops will be held in English, but with the option to switch to Slovene anytime.
“The best combination is to take both, as the two workshops compliment each other ideally with no overlap,” Noah said. The second workshop will likewise be via Zoom and those interested should contact Noah or Mazzini directly, via their websites or social media, if they are interested.
“I’m always happy to help anyone get published,” Noah said. “It is a great feeling, it can bring in extra money and it offers added value, because you can then promote others through your writing. It’s the ideal addition during lockdown, because you can write and get published from anywhere, anytime.