The Ninja Writers Academy

We learn better when we learn together.

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Introducing the Ninja Writers Academy

You’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time. You dream about it. You have stories bubbling up and big plans. But you never seem to finish anything. Or if you do, things just don’t come together the way you want them to.

What’s keeping your writing career from taking shape the way you want it to?

What Does it Mean to Have the Support You Need?

Oh, it means so much. It means everything.

The Ninja Writers Academy is a year-long program that’s designed to give you what you need to meet your writing goals for the next twelve months. When you join you get access to:

  • Four seasons of small-group workshops. Each season is eight-weeks long. Our seasons for 2020 are: January/February, April/May, July/August, and October/November. Each workshop has a limit of eight writers and one mentor. Each writer is guaranteed the opportunity to read from their work and receive feedback from the other writers and mentor at least every other week. There are also drop-in sessions available. ($1200 value)
  • A full year of the Ninja Writers Club. This is our membership community. The club offers weekly live chats that will give you access to me and sometimes other guests to answer your questions about fiction writing, blogging, and the business of writing. You’ll also have access to every course I’ve created, including A Novel Idea (my year-long course in how to write a novel), which we work through as a group January through June during a write-a-long when I write a novel with you right along with you. And any digital product that I create while you’re a member. ($300 value)
  • Quarterly one-on-one calls with me. During the off months, when we’re not workshopping (in March, June, September, and December), you’ll have the opportunity to set up a one-on-one zoom call with me. The first call, in March, will be longer and more intense. You’ll have the chance to fill out an editorial planning worksheet and return it to me ahead of time and we’ll make a plan for you for the rest of the year during our call. ($500 value)
  • Access to a private Slack group. Your membership will give you access to a Ninja Writers Academy Slack group designated to keep you in touch with other academy students, Ninja Writers mentors, and your workshop groups.

When you join the Ninja Writers Academy, you get lots of access to me. Including those one-on-one calls, the opportunity to sign up for a workshop with me, and all of the live co-working calls I host in the Ninja Writers Club (plus everything else the Club has to offer, including a six-month group write-a-long that runs from January through June where we all work on writing our novels together.)

You also have other mentors to help you. Including:

Adrienne Grimes, who is a lover of art, pop culture, and books. Her artistic and literary favorites are Georgia O'Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Susan Sontag, and J.K. Rowling. She lives in Portland, OR, where she is a graduate student, edits for a school run annual magazine, and interns with an art gallery.

Zach J. Payne, who is a poet, novelist, essayist, and thespian. He developed his love of writing early on, roleplaying Harry Potter in online forums and writing terrible poetry. His contemporary YA novel Somehow You're Sitting Here was chosen for the Nevada SCBWI 2015-16 mentor program, where he worked with author Heather Petty. He is a former query intern for Pam Andersen at D4EO Literary Agency. A SoCal native, he currently lives in Warren, PA.

Rachel Thompson, who is the author of the award-winning, best-selling Broken Places and Broken Pieces. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Feminine Collective, Indie Reader Medium, OnMogul, Transformation Is Real, Blue Ink Review, and Book Machine.

Shannon Ashley, who is a top earner on Medium.com with prior experience in social media marketing. She spent over 5 years ghostwriting blogs for a variety of businesses, franchises, and speakers. Shannon now lives in Tennessee with her 5-year-old daughter and an over-the-top love for all things pink or peachy.

Want to Join the Academy?

The Nitty Gritty: The Academy is hosted here on Teachable.

Live workshops will take place via Zoom.

When you join, you’re committing to a year. Because of the nature of the program--the intensity and smallness of the groups--we have to limit the number of enrollments to 100. As a result, making that commitment is essential.

My hope is that you’ll find value in it and you’ll want to stay with the Academy next year and the year after--as you build your career.

Here’s our schedule so far:

(All times are listed in PACIFIC STANDARD TIME. Don’t forget get to adjust for your time zone.)

Monday: 5 p.m. Book Marketing with Rachel.

Tuesday: 11 a.m. Kidlit with Shaunta. 11 a.m. Blogging with Shannon. 5 p.m. General Fiction with Shaunta.

Wednesday: 5 p.m. Sci-fi/Fantasy with Shaunta.

Thursday: 11 a.m. Blogging with Shaunta. 5 p.m. Blogging with Shannon.

Friday: 10 a.m. Creative Non-Fiction with Rachel.

Saturday: 10 a.m. General Fiction with Adrienne.



Your Instructor


Shaunta Grimes
Shaunta Grimes

Hi! I’m Shaunta Grimes.

My novels have been published by Penguin and MacMillan. I’m one of Medium’s top-earning writers. And I created Ninja Writers, one of the most amazing writing communities on the Internet.

I believe that a good story, well told, can change the world. And I am passionate about helping you become the kind of writer you want to be.


Frequently Asked Questions


Do I have to join the Ninja Writers Club first?
Actually, you’ll get a year of the Ninja Writers Club as a bonus when you join the Academy. So that will save you $25 a month (or $250 a year, if you pay annually for the club.)
What if I’ve already paid for an annual membership in the Ninja Writers Club?
The Ninja Writers Club is offered as a bonus to the Academy, so we can’t deduct the full cost of your annual membership. What we can do is off you an hour one-on-one coaching call with Shaunta to make up your bonus. If you’ve paid for an annual Ninja Writers Club members, email Adrienne at [email protected] after you’ve joined the Academy for 2020 to set that up.
What if I’m a brand new writer?
The Ninja Writers Academy is designed with beginning writers in mind. You’ll start where you are and (this is the cool part) get better. My goal is to help you finish writing your first book. Because once you’ve done that, you’ll have something to work with. The Academy is here to help you build a writing career, no matter where you’re starting from.
What if I’m mostly a non-fiction writer?
The Academy has workshops that are designed specifically for bloggers, to help you start to make some money writing on Medium. We also have creative nonfiction workshops for those who are writing a memoir.
What if I can’t make it to a workshop?
Actually showing up to the live classes is pretty important. You should do your best to be at as many as you can. But life happens! Your workshops will be recorded and the video replays shared in your workshop’s Slack channel.
I already have a ton of Ninja Writers stuff. Do I really need this?
Well. That depends. Are you where you want to be in your writing career? Are you seeing regular, steady growth? Could you use a coach or mentor who is excited to help you get to the next level? How about a group of writers who know your work and are behind you as you work toward finishing it? If any of that sounds like something that you’d benefit from, then yes. You need this.
What if I don’t have a current work-in-progress?
One of the great things about workshops is that knowing that people are counting on you to show up with fresh work helps motivate you to keep working. A year is a great timeline. You could start with just an idea in January and end 2020 with a finished manuscript. How cool would that be?
Should I spend money if I’m not making money as a writer yet?
This question comes up so often. Here’s how I see it: it makes sense to spend money on the effort to learn. Many, many people do what I did and go deep in debt for accredited university programs. Ninja Writers Academy gives you access to powerful tools to help you learn to be the kind of writer you want to be, without breaking the bank.
How long will it take me to write a book?
I think just about anyone can write a novel or a memoir in a year. But there’s more to it than that. Writing books takes a long time. I had to write four of them before I wrote one that was publishable. I needed four learning books. I’m definitely not promising that I can make your first book a bestseller. Or even sellable at all. I couldn’t even do that for my own first book. What I can do is help you get the most out of your learning. I can give you the tools that will help you actually write those first novels. Having access to something like Ninja Writers Academy would have helped me so much. In fact, everything I create is designed for an ideal student who is basically me when I was just starting out.
Can I really make money writing on Medium?
Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: I think that anyone who signs up for the Ninja Writers Academy and takes advantage of the resources in the Ninja Writers Club, plus the one-on-one calls, the Zoom chats I host every month, and really puts some effort into it, could easily pay for their Academy 2020 tuition by writing on Medium this year. I can’t guarantee it, of course. But I think if you put in the work, it’s more than possible. It’s probable.

Get started now!