writing workshops Archive

WORKSHOP OF FIRE!!!!

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
It’s your senior year of college. What kind of writer are you? Do you start writing a story eight hours before it’s due? Do you fictionalize your latest fight with your jerk-face manager or diva housemate? Does every one of your stories read like a screenplay? Like a poem?

MFAs Do It Best: Your Graduate Degree in the Workforce

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
When I graduated with my MFA this past May, I got a decent-paying job and the hell away from academia. I’d taught for four semesters and knew I didn’t want to do it anymore. I also knew that I had to get out of New Orleans, where the job market

STEAL THIS STUFF: What Writers Can Learn from Over the Rhine

Author: | Categories: Writing 6 Comments
Okay Writers. If you’ve been tucked safely away from Great Music over the last two decades, you may be new to the “aggressively beautiful” music of Over the Rhine. Today, the husband/wife duo Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist are invading my column, not just because they’re critically acclaimed songwriters—but because,

Roundup: Writing Centers

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As we launch a new blog format for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. Our roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts

And Then We Came to the End

Author: | Categories: Writing 2 Comments
“That’s it,” my thesis advisor said. “You’re done.” I still have a month left of classes, but with my thesis velo bound and signed, it’s hard not to feel like my MFA is complete. I’ve got a bunch of new writer-friends (having come into the program with none; most

Tips and Tricks: an Interview with Tom Parker

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
For today’s post, I am interviewing my long-time writing coach and mentor Tom Parker. I first met Tom at a writer’s workshop run out of University of California, Berkeley six years ago. He was the professor, and I was an overconfident young writer who needed guidance. Since then, he

When a Workshop Goes Bad (Part 2)

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Last week, I wrote about some bad experiences that I’ve had in writer’s workshops. Some of my past workshops fell apart because of: Tit-for-tat commenting: Writers exchanging immature cheap shots with each other. Generic commenting: Lazy comments that don’t help anyone in particular. Focusing on political issues: Arguments that

When a Workshop Goes Bad (Part 1)

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 1 Comment
I have been a part of many writer’s workshops. College, post-college, online, extension school, gathering of friends. You name it. I’ve done it. For the most part, I believe workshops made my writing better. After all, there’s only so much that you can perceive regarding your own words. Unless