Monday, June 16, 2008

Workshops!

When considering the wild world of writing, we often need others too keep our stories on track.

One way to achieve this is to establish a workshop group. I’ve never been to one of those weekend/week/day/month w/e workshops, led by some know all where there are hundreds of people or hundreds of dollars (or both) involved, but that didn’t mean I had to go without receiving feedback from other writers about my work.

On several occasions a writer friend and I shared our writing with one another and finally we decided to make a larger group, an actual workshop group. At smallest our group was 2 people, at largest it was 5, but it has always been helpful. When you make your own group, it should be a small group so that everyone gets equal attention to their writing.

I find that there are three keys to creating a workshop:

1. Find people.

2. Set rules.

3. Write/submit/read/critique.

Finding people can be as simple as having friends who write or are interested in starting writing and would like the group to look at their work. If you don’t know writers you can place ads at libraries or book stores or even online.

Setting rules is pretty simple to. How much can someone submit for each meeting? How often will you meet, where and when? When do you have to submit your stuff to the group, at the meeting or before?

Lastly, you just have to do the work. You have to write stuff for workshop, or submit already written work, you have to read what others wrote, critique it on the page and then to their face when you meet.

In my current workshop we submit 10 pages or fewer one week before meeting. We try to meet around peoples schedules and we have tried several different places. We’ve met at my place and I’ve made food, we’ve met at restaurants and recently we’ve been more inclined to meet at the local bookstore’s cafĂ©.

Overall, a workshop group can be very helpful to your writing or even to your ego.

3 comments:

Andrew said...

'writer friend'
wow, I feel hurt by the lack of mention of me.

Andrew said...

Also, I have to agree. The workshop has certainly helped me keep a better schedule with my writing and its nice to share with more than just one 'writer friend' (see, I can do it too :P)

David Grund :: said...

I definitely have been writing more regularly now that we're doing workshop, so like Andrew I agree very much with this post.

Speaking of workshop, I'm trying to convince another friend to join... even if its only once or twice.