I’ve long had a hankering to offer workshops for writers but never had a space to do it in. Finally, somewhat serendipitously, the perfect space appeared, and even more serendipitously, it’s on the first floor of the little building in whose second-floor studio apartment I live. In the last few months, I’ve been setting up the space and visualizing what I want to do in it.
This is what it looks like so far. Nice, huh?
Not pictured is the chair I just bought at Chicken Alley (the local thrift shop), and also the sofa bed I just ordered; it’s supposed to arrive in mid-May. It’ll go under the window where the table and two chairs are now.
My plans are still evolving, but here’s what I’m thinking so far.
Eventually I want to have two ongoing groups, meeting weekly or biweekly. One will be a critique group, for writers who are looking for feedback on their works in progress. Fiction or nonfiction. This might involve chapters of a book-length work or stand-alone stories, essays, reviews, whatever. The other group will focus on hands-on writing: freewriting during meetings and short assignments to do at home.
Five or six is the optimal size for each group, but it might take a while to get that many
guinea pigs, uh, volunteers, hence the “eventually.”
In the meantime, I’ll be offering short — one afternoon or evening — workshops on specific topics, for instance —
- MS Word for Writers (with a focus on the Track Changes feature)
- Effective letters to the editor
- Writing press releases
- Giving readings
- What writers should know about editors (and editing)
If there’s interest, I’ll offer a workshop on reviewing (of which I’ve done a lot over the decades). That will have to be two or three sessions long, to give participants the opportunity to both write a review and get feedback on it.
Any suggestions for what else I should consider? So far I’m thinking in terms both of my own strengths and of what isn’t currently being offered elsewhere on the Vineyard. I’m toying with the idea of eventually doing some hybrid workshops (incorporating both Zoom and in-person participation), and maybe even all-Zoom workshops if there’s interest, but for now this is more than enough. We’ll see how it goes.