Variety and Depth
At The Writers Studio we ask our students to try a wide array of narrative voices and styles.
Paradoxically, it is through this immersion in the craft of published works of fiction and poetry that students develop their own unique voice and style. This is a method already very familiar to students of music and the visual arts, who have always learned by studying the work of masters. For writing students, this approach is usually a revelation.
As students practice using a mix of approaches drawn from the work of accomplished authors, many exciting things happen. Their understanding of narration deepens. Their imagination expands. Their sense of what’s possible in their own work broadens. Before long, they find that their writing is more emotionally rich and their available material far more extensive than they ever imagined. This working method continues to be invaluable even in the Master Class (Level 5), where students are working on novels, poetry, and short-story collections.
Consistency and Community
Our in-person workshops are held in informal classroom settings that tend to develop into communities, with classmates who tend to become friends.
Students have many opportunities throughout the term to share their work, and they get regular feedback from their classmates and the teacher. We choose our teachers carefully and train them thoroughly, so that students who move up through the levels will find an unusual degree of consistency and continuity. The teachers create exercises appropriate to each level, while also offering gentle, constructive, and concise criticism, and guiding students to do the same for each other.
At The Writers Studio we believe that narration is the most fundamental aspect of craft in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, but the classes also explore all the others, including mood, tone, dialogue, and poetic techniques. When students have success, we encourage them to expand their short exercises into publishable works.