Whether you’re writing fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry, workshopping your writing with a group is invaluable. But if you’ve ever attended writing workshops, you may have noticed how often they go awry. Sometimes writers feel like they need to defend their work; sometimes writers want to tell the group again what they’ve already told them in their writing. Although workshops are social and fun, the focus must remain on the writing.
Workshops need a strong leader who can set the right supportive tone, establish rules, and make sure every participant gets their chance to share. The leader keeps the session from going off the rails.
Everyone should have fun and get good feedback on their writing. And good feedback is a delicate balance between encouragement and criticism. Again, the leader is responsible for maintaining this balance.
Having been an adjunct English Professor for seven years, and having been a voracious reader for even longer, I am particularly good at recommending authors who’ve written pieces pertinent to writers’ subjects. I can also introduce workshop participants to writings that illustrate the finer points of technique. I have many favorite authors, and a whole list of favorite books and stories and essays that I’m happy to share in workshops.
If you have a group that would like to workshop their writings together, or if you want to join a group I put together, please contact me. I offer all kinds of workshops and can tailor them to your needs. All involve sharing writings with the entire group. Workshops last two hours.
Sample workshops include
- Overcoming writer’s block: prompts and fast-writes
- Mini writing lessons
- Inspiration from great writers
- Make them laugh and make them cry
- Personal Essay (aka memoir)
- Satire – writing that bites
- Braided essays
- Submitting your work
- And more . . .
Writings can be shared in advance or during the workshop. I provide more detailed feedback on writings shared in advance.