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Small Group—Big Progress 
Empowering Your Writing with Peer Feedback and Weekly Accountability in a Friendly Group Setting
January 22, February 12,  & April 8, 2024

8 to 10 p.m. Eastern (5 to 7 p.m. Pacific)

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With travel, work, family and friends, where, oh where, will your writing fit into it all?

Oh, yeah. That.

Winter is the ideal time to build momentum on all the writing progress you’ve made over the past few months, start a book or screenplay from the very beginning, or bring a project to completion.

But it won’t happen unless you make the time and follow through.

And that’s where our Small Group-Big Progress Program comes in.

We’ll meet  twelve times  other the next three months—once a month  with the  mentor of Small Group—Big Progress AND every week with  your new small group.

Embark on a Transformative Writing Journey with Small Group-Big Progress

Immerse yourself in a unique 12-week writing workshop where the mantra is "Small Group, Big Progress." This workshop is designed to empower your writing journey through the power of peer feedback and weekly accountability. Whether you're crafting a novel, penning a screenplay, or weaving short stories, this workshop is the perfect catalyst for your creative aspirations.

What We Offer:

Expert Mentorship: Guided by a seasoned writing mentor and professional, gain invaluable insights and guidance to refine your craft. Our mentor will lead three comprehensive sessions, offering a roadmap to navigate the complexities of writing and storytelling.

Focused Small Groups: Dive into the essence of small group dynamics, where  you will be teamed with four other writers.  These weekly small group meetings are the heart of our workshop, providing a supportive and collaborative environment to share, critique, and enhance each other's work.

Constructive Peer Feedback: Harness the power of collective wisdom. Get honest, constructive feedback from fellow writers who understand your journey. This ongoing exchange of ideas and critiques is vital in honing your skills and elevating your writing.

Accountability and Growth: We believe in the power of commitment and consistency. Our structured approach ensures that you stay on track with your writing goals, fostering discipline and progress through weekly check-ins and goal setting.

Thriving Writing Community: Join a vibrant community of writers from various backgrounds and experiences. Share your journey, connect with peers, and build lasting relationships that extend beyond the workshop.

Your Takeaway:

By the end of these 12 weeks, not only will you have made significant strides in your writing project, but you'll also have developed a deeper understanding of the craft, formed valuable connections, and gained a toolkit of skills for lifelong writing.

Enroll in Small Group-Big Progress today and turn your writing aspirations into achievements. Let's make monumental strides in your writing journey, one small group at a time.

Image by Hannah Busing

Here’s how the program will unfold.

David Kirkpatrick,  former President of Paramount Pictures and former production chief of Walt Disney Studios will facilitate the 12-week program. He will meet with the participants three times during the Small Group—Big Progress program.

During those three sessions on Monday, January 22, February 12, and April 8, he will walk you through the benefits and protocols of small groups.

January 22: Join mentor David Kirkpatrick as he starts the workshop with strategies for setting up and adhering to a writing plan. Explore various methods like word count goals and reward systems, including the simple yet effective technique of placing a sticker on the calendar for each day you write. Following the "Sorting Hat" process (read more about this below), you'll be grouped with four other participants and spend a half hour with your new small group.  During this initial gathering, you'll exchange contact details and decide on a meeting time and day for your first group session. David will conclude by offering expert advice on achieving a state of flow in your writing routine. He will provide practical suggestions for maintaining a balanced lifestyle, introducing the concept of a 'Satellite of Flow.' This approach involves incorporating a variety of activities, specifically those that bring you joy, into your daily life. Emphasizing the importance of mental well-being for your art, David will guide you on how to integrate these practices effectively.

February 12: In this crucial second session, check in with mentor David Kirkpatrick to see how you're progressing. He'll offer ways to measure your progress and maintain momentum, even when challenges arise. Selected participants will get a chance to read from their current projects and share their challenges and achievements, reminding everyone that while writing is often a solitary process, you're not alone when you have a community of like-minded writers. Additionally, David will share wisdom from literary giants, providing insights into how they crafted their masterworks, from Charles Dickens to Maya Angelou.


April 8: As our workshop concludes, your mentor David Kirkpatrick will  focus on a pivotal question for writers: 'What next?' Tailored for those nearing the completion of their screenplay or novel, this session delves into navigating the literary and entertainment industries. Learn how to effectively connect with agents and managers in both fields, regardless of your location. The session will cover the essentials of making your work appealing, mastering the art of pitching, and networking effectively in a digital world. Gain an understanding of what agents and managers seek in new works, whether it’s a screenplay or a novel, preparing you for a successful transition from project completion to market entry.

Image by Alexis Brown

We’re going to hold you—and each other—accountable.

The small group phenomenon has power and impact. This is a safe place for you. It’s all about accountability, community, and healthy process. You’ll meet every week for twelve weeks along with the three live  mentorship sessions with David  Kirkpatrick. Your group will decide on the time and day-of-the-week.


This is what some of our past participants had to say about their small group experience:

"There is so much wisdom at Story Summit, but I found it came gushing to me in torrents during the small group meetings. I was so grateful to have such talented and experienced writers in my group. They helped me to spot my weaknesses, gave me feedback on my writing, and allowed me to meet my goals more quickly. They were inspirational, shared their experiences on the creative challenges of writing a novel, and even on the practical challenges that come with a book, such as working with publishers, editors, and marketing. When the sessions ended,  we could continue to count on one another. So grateful to my small group."

— Nikhil Hutheesing, journalist, 17-year veteran of Forbes

"Writing is a lonely endeavor. Being able to share this extremely personal art form, while in the act of creating, is a blessing. While all of us are at different stages of our projects, I have had the wonderful experience of finishing my book and moving into the publishing process while meeting with my extraordinary group members. I cannot recommend small groups enough. It serves as a light in the solitary week of writing for you to look forward to."

— Jocelyn Jones, acting coach, author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Artist

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. © Warner Bros.

Finding Your Perfect Match with "The Sorting Hat"

Step 1: Getting to Know You

Upon registration, we'll ask you to complete a brief questionnaire (click to preview). This is where you'll share the details of the writing project you plan to bring to your small group. Whether it's a screenplay, novel, non-fiction piece, or even a Christmas movie (a unique genre in its own right), we want to know!

Step 2: Tailored Group Formation

Once we receive your responses, our program director, Rodrigo Lumbi and David Kirkpatrick, will employ "The Sorting Hat" approach to carefully assemble your small group. We consider factors like your project type, time zone preferences, and ideal meeting times to ensure you're matched with the most compatible group of writers.

Step 3: Scheduling Your Sessions

Groups are encouraged to meet weekly for 11 weeks. The exact day and time of these meetings will be decided collectively within the group, not by the facilitator. Note: One group member will need a Zoom account subscription to host these virtual sessions.

Flexibility and Confidentiality


Reassignment Option: If you find that your initial group isn't the right fit, we're flexible. Let us know, and we'll reassign you to a more suitable group.


Virtuous Circle Pledge: A few weeks into your meetings, we'll introduce the Virtuous Circle Pledge (click to preview). Signing this pledge signifies your commitment to maintaining the confidentiality of your group's discussions.

Proven Success

Our matching process has a history of creating lasting connections. In fact, our very first group from 2021 ( they call themselves "the Unos") are still actively meeting, two years beyond the program's conclusion. That's the power of the right match!

Learn and be guided by the best

Your lead Small Group—Big Progress facilitator is Story Summit Founder David Kirkpatrick. Over his storied career as president of Paramount Pictures and production chief of Walt Disney Studios, David has been no stranger to schedules and deadlines. There was a time at Disney when he managed a new movie into theatres every nine days.

During his studio days, David guided thousands of writers, all of whom had to keep to a plan and a delivery date—otherwise there would have been nothing to shoot when cameras rolled.


When you’re working with David as a facilitator, you will be the beneficiary of a wide range of sage advice encased in some funny and harrowing stories.

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Academy Award winners Sally Field and Kevin Klein confer with David Kirkpatrick on dialogue changes on the set of Paramount's comedy Soapdish.

"David shows us how storytelling is at the very root of what makes us uniquely human. The importance of instilling meaning in tomorrow’s stories is at the heart of David’s mission. He inspires us all.

—Frank Moss, Director, MIT Media Lab

What people are saying about previous workshops

"I love having a supportive group of people who understand and relate to the creative writing process and life. I feel like a working writer now." —Mary

"In my many years as a writer, this is the first time I've been part of a 'writing community," and I absolutely love it. Never want to be without a writing community ever again!" —Jennifer

"The connection with a small group was groundbreaking for me. But I REALLY loved the opportunity to bask in David Kirkpatrick's amazing story energy—someone who (like my grandson) holds Walt Disney as his spiritual mentor!" —Maryn


January 22, February 12 & April 8, 2024

8 to 10 p.m. Eastern (5 to 7 p.m. Pacific)

Registration fee: $149 for 6 hours of instruction and 12 small group sessions

Please note: Our classes are designed specifically for live participation, so your attendance is important. If you need to miss a class for any reason, you’ll receive a passcode-protected link per request to watch the recordings after the course is over.

This workshop is not a mentor-led but student led. This is a great way to have a first experience with small group and is $851 less expensive than the mentor-led small groups which is a different program.

Frequently Asked Questions



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