The workshops

Here’s what you’ll experience in the two-and-a-half-hour-long workshop sessions:

We begin with a centering poem. This helps us transform our mindset from quotidian concerns into a deeper, more creative state.

We’ll write together for about 30 minutes, responding to a prompt. I have many writing prompts up my sleeve, ranging from the silly to the profound. This time of writing together helps us tap into a communal creative space. Often, new and exciting material is uncovered, to be expanded upon later.

Every workshop session has a focus. It might be something like “digging deep to find that story” or “creating an irresistible intro” or “unleashing your creative language.” As the weeks go by, I’ll use examples from the writing of you and your classmates (as well as other authors) to illustrate aspects of that week’s topic.

Each week, you will have an opportunity to share your latest efforts on your work-in-progress and hear the writing of your fellow writers. We’ll offer encouragement, appreciation, and I’ll share additional suggestions, personalized resources, and answers to your questions. You are always welcome to refrain from reading if you aren’t comfortable sharing at that moment.

Writers often ask:

What should I write about? We’ll explore some simple and enjoyable (and maybe even a bit silly) techniques that can help you uncover a great story.

I finished a first draft, now what? We’ll concentrate on the craft of revision or, “how we spin straw into gold.” There are some simple techniques, but we’ll also examine more thoughtful ways of evaluating your draft. Will it be a revision or re-vision for you?

Does my story seem ordinary or boring? We’ll look at vocabulary, sentence structure, perspective, and punctuation to polish that gold you’ve already spun. Sometimes a few small changes can make a huge difference. And I promise, it won’t be ordinary or boring.

How will I know when my work is done?  Sometimes it’s hard to tell! There are some simple tests, the results of which will let you know if your piece is finished. Your workshop peers will chime in, too, with, “Stop right there! You’ve got it,” or, “How about a little bit more of this or that?”

I can’t believe I wrote this great story! How do I get others to read or hear it? When a story is finished, it’s time to celebrate and disseminate. We’ll discuss different ways of presenting your writing to the audience of your choice (podcast, anyone?).