The Author Conservatory is an affordable three-year program that launches Christian students into sustainable writing careers.
You dream of writing, speaking, and publishing — but the way forward seems murky and uncertain. Well, we're here to provide a proven path that is both ambitious and realistic. Our mission is to train up thoughtful Christian writers who are skilled in their craft and have the business skills to put food on the table.
The Author Conservatory is perfect for:
Motivated high school students who already know that writing is their passion and want a head start on turning it into a viable career path.
College-age students looking for an alternative to the traditional college route that allows them to focus on their passion for writing, stay home, and save money.
College students or graduates who are ready to focus more seriously on honing their writing and speaking skills, while also gaining the practical business skills they need to get published and support themselves financially.
"Young-at-heart" adults who feel called to write, speak, and teach — but need training and guidance to pursue that calling faithfully and fruitfully.
The conservatory model dates back to the 16th century. Today many of the top art schools in the world are conservatories — with The Juilliard School in New York City being the most famous.
Conservatory, noun: "a school specializing in one of the fine arts."
Why a Conservatory?
"Picture spending all day every day doing only what you love, all while working closely with and learning from people who are experts in what you want to do.
That’s a conservatory: intensive artistic training in a creative environment designed to push aspiring artists to develop their skills to the highest level.
A conservatory program is a little bit different than traditional college. Rather than requiring classes in a core curriculum of all subjects, a conservatory allows students to focus exclusively on their subject.
The intensive focus allows conservatory students to develop a unique depth of understanding for their craft and receive specific training relevant to their specialty in the arts."
“A conservatory might appeal to you if you are very focused on professional skills and don’t care whether a school offers lots of extracurriculars that have nothing to do with your craft.
It really comes down to how serious you are about your craft,” said Abby Siegel, a college counselor based in New York City. “If this is something that you really want to pursue as your career then maybe a conservatory is going to be the right thing.”
"The greatest strengths of a conservatory program is the laser focus on skills — the regimented and tested tracking of young artists. Additionally, conservatories tend to offer access to professionals and professional experiences."
"One of the most comprehensive writing programs you'll find anywhere." — Steve Laube
President of The Steve Laube Agency, Enclave Publishing, and The Christian Writers Institute
What Makes Us Different?
If you secretly dream of becoming the next C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, you've come to the right place. Our focus is on helping serious Christian writers launch sustainable long-term careers/ministries that have broad cultural impact and stand the test of time. Here are three things that make us distinct:
Writing + Business
Our students are trained in writing craft and business skills — so they can write great books and make a living.
Substance Before Style
We value the fundamentals over the flashy stuff. We take the time to build a strong foundation for a fruitful writing career.
The Bible is the foundation for everything we teach. We equip students with a theology for writing & entrepreneurship.
Sara's Story: From "overwhelmed and clueless" to signing a two book deal with Baker.
Katherine's Story: From "little knowledge" of the publishing industry to 19-year-old author.
Amanda's Story: From "interview novice" to major media appearances in New York City.
Riley's Story: From self-described "know nothing" to Christian Book Award Finalist for Best New Author.
This is the mentorship you've been looking for.
Our founders, Brett Harris and Jaquelle Crowe Ferris, are bestselling and award-winning authors with a proven track record of helping young people accomplish their writing goals.
They understand the unique challenges facing young writers and have first-hand experience navigating the complex world of writing and publishing as young people.
They are committed to providing the best writing mentorship you'll find anywhere — all from a distinctly Christian worldview that won't ever compromise your convictions.
"The Author Conservatory has given me lot of direction. I feel like I finally have a map and am able to work toward my goals confidently."
Before I joined The Author Conservatory I was actively pursuing my writing dreams but I didn’t have a lot of clarity about how to do that effectively. It would be similar to taking a road trip without a GPS or map. I knew what I was shooting for but I didn’t know how to get there. During my time in this program, the instructors have given me a lot of direction. I feel like I finally have a map and am able to work toward my goals confidently.
"The Author Conservatory has been life-changing for me. The 1-on-1 instruction is phenomenal. I can reach out ANY time. That is rare in a program."
Before joining The Author Conservatory I was confused and lost. I had felt the call to be an author since I was a little girl, but now at twenty-five I felt stuck. Then I found this program and Brett asked me to consider a paradigm shift. Not to focus on publishing as fast as I could, but to focus on making a sustainable and life-long career out of it. From day one, The Author Conservatory has encouraged me to slow down and build a solid foundation. If you love writing, want to be an author full-time, feel called to write, or just want to grow, I would highly recommend this program.
"This community of writers reminds me of the Inklings in the back room of the Oxford pub, sharing their stories and sharpening each other."
I spent years poking around in non-fiction writing, blogging each month, and piecing essays together, but much of my writing was muddled, because it sprang from muddled, lazy thinking. I joined the Author Conservatory because I needed another voice in my writing life. Inside, I found the week-to-week, professional guidance I’d been looking for. After years of prodding myself along in writing, I’m now carving a path toward a dream that before, seemed a horizon away.
Our world-class team of instructors and experts includes award-winning authors, college professors, and literary agents. That means you are learning from true professionals who are publishing books, keeping their fingers on the pulse of market trends, and teaching from experience, not theory.
Brett Harris Co-Founder
Bestselling author of Do Hard Things and Start Here
Jaquelle Crowe Ferris Co-Founder
Bestselling author of This Changes Everything
Justin McGeary Research Instructor
Director of Christian Studies at John Witherspoon College
Gregg Harris Business Instructor
Bestselling author and business coach.
Steve Laube Expert in Residence
Literary agent and president of The Christian Writers Institute
Andrew Peterson Visiting Expert
Author of Adorning The Dark and The Wingfeather Saga
Get The Support You Need to Succeed
"The instructors are experts at equipping writers at every stage of their journey and go above and beyond to serve, teach, and pray for each of their students."
When I first entered the publishing world, I was clueless and overwhelmed. The task before me felt insurmountable and I had no idea how to move forward. Brett came alongside me and led me through the whole process. I received clarity, direction, and invaluable advice I still find myself looking back on. Along with helping me craft a compelling book proposal, he also taught me about marketing, platform building, how to work with a literary agent, and so much more. Not only did he tell me how to do it, he consistently encouraged me that, yes, I could do it. Brett's passion for guiding young writers is contagious, and after every interaction I found myself inspired to dig back into my work and keep going.
Sara Barratt Author of Love Riot and Stand Up (Baker Books)
"Brett saw value in the story I had to tell, and made a dream I never thought possible a reality."
The book publishing world was something I knew nothing about. It seemed like a foreign and almost impossible place to be part of. However, Brett did an amazing job stepping in and helping me better understand what it would take to be published. Being a successful author himself, and at a young age, he had many connections with publishing companies and knew what it would be like for a young author to go through the whole process. He becomes very passionate about the same cause as those he helps, which allows you both to have a much deeper connection. He isn’t just someone you work with, he will become a mentor and a friend.
Riley Banks-Snyder Author of Riley Unlikely (Zondervan)
"Brett has been incredibly patient and has an extremely high level of integrity when dealing with his students."
Before starting this publishing journey, I had little knowledge of the publishing world — and much less about what it takes to successfully market a book. Brett’s in-depth knowledge of both the publishing and promotion process made this book possible. Brett has also been incredibly patient throughout and has an extremely high level of integrity when dealing with his students. But what has helped and influenced me the most, however, is his outlook on marketing and writing for an audience. In an atmosphere that can easily become focused on numbers and profits, Brett has consistently encouraged me to focus on serving people.
Katherine Forster Author of Transformed By Truth (Crossway)
How Does This Work?
Fill Out An Application
Answer a few questions as part of our initial screening process.
Talk With Admissions
Work with our admissions team to see if the program is right for you.
Choose Your Start Date
If you are accepted, you will choose a start date that works best for you.
Apply For The Conservatory
Application takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
Do I have to join just because I filled out an application?
Absolutely not. Filling out an application is only the first step in the admissions process and there is no commitment.
If you pass the application stage, you will have the opportunity to speak with our admissions team and ask any questions. There is also no commitment for doing an interview.
If you pass the interview stage and are invited to join the program, you will be encouraged to take the time you need to consider the opportunity, pray over your decision, and get back to us. We will never rush or pressure you to make a commitment before you are ready.
Is there an age/experience limit?
Our current students range in age from 15 to 56. While there is no technical age or experience cut-off, we recommend that your young writer have at least one year of experience writing and is serious about pursuing authorship as a career.
We also have other programs, which are more suitable for beginner writers. We will be happy to discuss your specific circumstances on the phone and point you towards the best option.
How much time does it take?
We recommend 10-15 hours per week on average, which is a few hours for the lessons and the rest for implementation and writing time.
However, this is flexible depending on student commitments. It is perfectly acceptable to spend less time on certain weeks and more time on others depending on things like exams, family vacations, and other life events.
We have students who are doing this program alongside high school, college, part-time and full-time jobs, and other commitments — so it is definitely doable!
Is this a multi-year commitment?
No, you pay for The Author Conservatory on a year-by-year basis so you aren't locked into the entire program.
However, since each year builds on the previous years' skills, we recommend completing the full program to gain the maximum benefits.
Is this program accredited?
No. Our conservatory program is an alternative to college or a complement to college. Our students earn a certificate, not a degree.
What can I expect to accomplish?
Provided you give this program an honest effort, you can expect to:
Receive professional feedback to identify your "publication-worthy topics".
Fully outline and research your next two book-length projects.
Write and independently publish a short book on your chosen topic to help build credibility and grow your audience.
Receive professional feedback on your writing from published authors, literary agents, and professional editors.
Build a meaningful platform around your ideas that will impress publishers.
Create a powerful book proposal along with all the ancillary pieces you need to pitch agents and publishers.
Develop a professional research and writing process for completing new projects on deadline for a publisher.
Launch a "pop-up" business venture and earn your first dollar as an entrepreneur.
Build additional revenue streams around your writing in order to double or triple your income as an author.
Depending on where you are starting from and how long you stay in the program… that could take you to a book contract and beyond.
Apply For The Conservatory
Application takes less than 5 minutes to complete.