1. Achievements in the field they’re teaching. If you’re writing fiction, look for published novelists or short story writers with a respectable body of work. If possible, read a book or two before deciding whether you want to learn from that writer. Barbara Rogan’s publishers include Viking, Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, Morrow, and Crown, and her reviews are available here.                                                                  
  2. No inflated claims. Anyone who promises that all his students will go on to publish is either a carnival huckster or shilling for a vanity press. The purpose of the Next Level Workshop is implied in its name: it is to help writers raise their craft and their manuscripts to the next level, so that when they are ready to submit, their writing is polished and professional.                            
  3. Respect. A teacher who enters into what you are trying to do instead of trying to squash your work into ready-made categories. There are no formulas in writing, no secrets to success, no hard and fast rules you must learn or fail. Barbara’s goal is to get you closer to the book you want to write.                                                            
  4. Limited class size. How much attention your work gets is a direct function of how many students are in the class. Next Level Workshops are limited to 8 for some courses, 10 for others.                                   
  5. Money-back guarantee. Not all schools offer it, but it’s good to have the option of dropping a course if it’s not what you expected. The Next Level Workshop offers a two-week drop period.                                
  6. Track Record. Not every writer can teach. See Barbara’s Testimonials.