Deep Training and Experience
All of our teachers have deep training and experience with The Writers Studio methods. They have all been students in the school, having progressed to the highest workshop level, and many continue to study in Philip Schultz’s master class. They have been invited to teach because of certain qualities we see in them: sensitivity to others, strong communications skills, unflappability, discretion, a sense of humor.
In addition to training all our teachers, we supervise them as they learn how to run a classroom — both on site and online — that is relaxed but also efficient and technique-oriented, in a setting that makes all students feel welcome and safe. Our teachers meet several times a year to share their experiences and figure out ways we can serve our students even better. While we encourage our teachers to bring their own personalities to the classroom, teachers also compare notes to be sure the quality of our teaching is consistent from class to class and from level to level.
Generous, Constructive, and Encouraging
Because our teachers believe so strongly in The Writers Studio and know its methods so well, they have a good inner gauge for how much to expect of students. The workshops are all rigorous, but teachers are also aware that students have busy lives, and they understand that the demands of family and career can interfere with completing weekly assignments. Critiques are given verbally in the on-site classes and in writing in the online classes, but in either setting, our teachers are always generous, constructive and encouraging.
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Thank you again for being my first writing teacher. You’re the perfect combination of helpful and kind, pointing out room for improvement, but not in a way that would have a would-be writer running for the hills with their tail between their legs. I really appreciated the way you did things and I just wanted to say thank you again. Your encouragement led me to Level II where I’ll probably need to have a thicker skin in regard to critiques, but your kind feedback in Level I has given me enough of a base to benefit from them. JULIE HAWKINS PEREYRA, Online Level II Workshop Student
You show up for twenty weeks in a row, giving your best 100% at all times. I marveled at that energy. I had taken a few writing classes/workshops before. They were helpful at the beginning, just for the experience of being compelled to write and then having others read what I’d written. But then I realized that with one or two brief exceptions nobody was actually teaching anything, and the critiques were not helpful. I decided to try WS after reading Jennifer Egan’s comments about her experience there, especially about connecting with the underlying emotion of a story. Your critiques regarding the creation of a narrative persona who is connected to but not engulfed by the situation and its emotions were so eye-opening. Also, I’d felt for a while that my “voice” was kind of snarky and sarcastic, and you called me on that–going for the easy laughs–a couple of times this term, which was a wonderful reality check for me. Working close to models was also extremely helpful. Then watching other students’ writing come to life as we worked our way through the term confirmed the value of this approach. (And the knowledge that there are developmental stages we will go through was so helpful–like you teachers have a path and know how to follow it.) MB, Online Level I Student
”The most personal of the programs...”
- The New York Times