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 opens wider. Their sense of what’s possible in their own work expands. 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 V), where students are working on novels and poetry and short-story collections.
Consistency and Community
At The Writers Studio we believe that narration is the most fundamental aspect of craft in fiction and poetry.
Our on-site 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 and poetry, 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.
Dynamic, Inspiring, invigorating, supportive. The Writers Studio seemed to me to have all the qualities one could possibly wish for in a writing school.
JAMES LASDUN, poetry and fiction professor at Princeton University, New York University, Columbia University and The New School, author of The Horned Man (W.W. Norton 2002) and Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2013).
I have been stretched, pulled and prodded and feel as though I have many more tools in my arsenal and a much broader base from which to operate. I have especially enjoyed the teacher’s succinct comments and criticism and have taken much of it to heart. I also want to complement you and the school on the selection of work for the exercises. Every one has been a gem. I find myself reading, and even watching movies with a completely different ear and eye and that is thanks to you. I am grateful. ANNIE SMITH, Online student
My visit at Writers Studio was one of the highlights of my spring. I was so impressed by the level of discussion, by how engaged the students (and teachers!) were with both my novel and with how my experience writing it might connect to their own work. Clearly, this is a unique and inestimably valuable resource for writers. I’m grateful to have spent an evening there.
ROBIN BLACK, best-selling author of Life Drawing: A Novel, and If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This
”The most personal of the programs...”
- The New York Times