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The Unschool for Writers

A Substack newsletter — meeting writers’ needs & creating community

Alison Acheson
3 min readMay 25, 2022


photo: linkedinsalesnavigator on Unsplash

I so like this photo: the act of walking out of a place, ready to explore outside, with a hopeful, confident, and calm expression.

When I left my academic position last year, it felt a bit like that, hand on the door, and pushing out. Of course, it was all virtual — as was everything a year ago. But it felt real to walk out of an MFA program, and into the world of working and exploring writers.

I forged out and put together The Unschool for Writers, my newsletter venture in which I share decades of teaching and writing. I recently wrote about my newsletter in a piece for The Coffee Times.

The past twelve months have brought a slow and steady stream of subscribers, both free and paid. I post consistently. I work and have fun. And when subscribers write me notes about how The Unschool is working for them, I so appreciate it. I hold their words up to the bar of what I set out to do. Their words allow me to gauge how useful it is. And new directions, too.

A few words:

“DIY is filled with articles that are both helpful and thought-provoking, as are comments on them, and on submissions. The calendar idea, which I tweaked to fit my own need, is an exercise that continues to give me insights to my novel that spends too long untouched. Adding scenes, rearranging chronology, deleting scenes have breathed new life into my understanding of how to structure what I’m writing.” ~~~ A.W.

“The Unschool is a fresh water spring in the rugged landscape of the writing life. After each visit, I’m renewed, ready to keep going.” ~~~L.N.

“Via the Unschool, I get ongoing mentoring from an author whose work I truly admire, but the format allows me to set my own pace and level of connection. I can ‘jump in’ and interact, or simply read and learn on my own. I love it!” ~~~ E.B.



Alison Acheson

My latest book is a memoir, Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days With ALS. My newsletter is on Substack: THE UNSCHOOL FOR WRITERS.