A successful workshop proposal is both concise and comprehensive. A standard proposal will have several key elements. These include the workshop title, summary, syllabus and objectives, as well as your relevant biography information. The first key to having your proposal accepted is to follow all required guidelines. The second key is to present a unique and clearly defined workshop.
Obtain the official submission guidelines from the institution or program to which you want to submit a workshop proposal. If you are not familiar with the program, take the necessary time to research its website, including other workshops being offered, credentials of its current instructors and its mission statement. Make certain before submitting your proposal that you and your course would be a good match for the program.
Create a workshop title that is both eye-catching and specific. You want potential students to know from your title what your course is about. If it is not eye-catching, potential students might bypass it for a workshop that sounds more interesting.
Prepare a workshop summary. Clearly explain the topic of your workshop and its relevance to the program and students in a short paragraph. In proposals, brevity is important, as reviewers do not have time to read pages and pages of explanation about why your workshop would be great. At the same time, your summary is your introduction to both you and your workshop. Make each sentence count by focusing on the primary objective of the course.
Create a course syllabus. If your workshop is only one day, prepare an hour-by-hour syllabus. If your workshop will take place over several weeks, outline the objective you'll meet each week and the assignments you'll give.
List the specific course objectives, the skills the students will have learned by the end of the course. Again, objectives should be specific. Using a short story workshop as an example, a good course objective would be that by the end of the course, students will know how to create complex characters with clear motivations, goals and personality traits. Merely stating that students will be able to write better short stories is too vague.
Create or update your resume or curriculum vitae. The CV you submit with your proposal should highlight the experience and skills you have that specifically relate to the course you want to teach and the program where you want to teach. Check the program's submission guidelines once more to be certain you meet all their requirements for instructors.
Compile all of these elements into one document. The title and workshop summary should come first, followed by the syllabus, course objectives and your bio. Attach your CV to your proposal. Be certain that all your contact information is on both the proposal and your CV.
Submit your proposal by email or the postal service, depending on the submission guidelines. Submitting the proposal by the wrong method might result in it not being considered.
Erika Sanders has been writing since 1997. She teaches writing at the Washington State Reformatory and edits the monthly newsletter for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a national nonprofit organization. She received her Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the Solstice Program at Pine Manor College in Boston.