My upcoming 8-week Writers Studio Tucson Workshop for writers of poetry, fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction is being held remotely via video chat due to the coronavirus pandemic. Class starts Saturday, April 25 and is held weekly from 10:00 am through 12:30 pm Arizona Time (currently PDT.) I had the opportunity to try out this remote video chat format using Google Meet for the last class of my winter Tucson Workshop, and I think it worked pretty well. Video chat cannot quite replace the experience of being in an in-person class, but it did allow us to retain our camaraderie and share our usual encouraging and helpful critiques. Registration for my Saturday Workshop is open online or by phone, and you can find more information on my Workshops page.
I’m also really happy to announce that this summer I’m bringing back my popular online “Crafting Fantastic and Imaginative Worlds” workshop for poets and writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror! This 6-week long workshop uses The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing, but with exercises drawn from excellent examples of classic and contemporary speculative fiction and poetry. Class starts Saturday, July 11 and I will host an optional weekly hour-long text chat at 10:00 am EDT/7:00 am PDT.
There are many other classes being offered this spring and summer from Writers Studio instructors in New York, Hudson Valley, San Francisco, and Tucson. All the in-person classes are now being held remotely, and there are also many online classes available. The full list is available on the Writers Studio website.
So, what’s the difference between remote and online classes?
- In remote classes, video chats using Google Meet replace in-person attendance, but retain the live critiques you provide your peers each week after we read their writing out loud.
- In online classes, you upload weekly written critiques for your peers to a dedicated online classroom, and the instructor hosts an optional weekly hour-long text chat for further discussion about exercises and narrative techniques.
The Writers Studio offers classes that take two approaches to your development as a writer. In the first approach, you take a sequence of workshops that teach The Writers Studio method. Students in Tucson, for example, take two introductory Workshops, two Intermediate Workshops, and two Advanced Workshops before graduating into the Master Workshop where they work on their own long-term writing projects. This is similar to the Level 1 through 4 progression in New York. The Advanced and Master Workshop students also take a separate Craft Class that focuses on close readings for narrative techniques of collections of poetry and short stories, novels, and memoirs. Everyone, regardless of writing experience or publishing history, starts out in the beginning workshop. What you’re learning is The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing, which may be different from what you have experienced in other workshops, college, graduate school, etc.
The second approach is to focus on specific genres and writing topics. My “Crafting Fantastic and Imaginative Worlds” workshop focuses on science fiction, fantasy, and horror. There are other classes about writing poetry, writing memoirs, writing short (less than 500 words) prose, writing about everyday life, and writing in seclusion (as so many of us are now secluded during this pandemic.) These classes are usually offered to writers at any level, and they may also count as introductory workshops so that you can jump into the leveled workshops at any time.
When there are openings, new instructors are selected from promising students who have mastered The Writers Studio method, provide consistently excellent critiques to their peers, and have begun to see their own writing published. After I completed undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing and English at the University of Arizona, I spent two years leveling up my writing in beginning, intermediate, and advanced workshops and craft classes at The Writers Studio before I joined the Tucson Master Workshop. I’ve been in Master Workshop ever since. In April 2019, I started teaching, which is also a great way to level up your own writing.
I’ve had a wonderful experience at The Writers Studio and I’m so happy to be able to share with new students the same instruction and helpful and encouraging feedback I received along the way. In this difficult time, I’m refocusing on my writing and teaching others. I hope you are able to find a workshop that fits your own aspirations!