The Writers Studio Amsterdam Workshop is designed for students at all levels who are new to the Writers Studio method. This level is open to both the beginner and experienced writer eager to learn the elements of craft. Techniques studied are first person persona, third person persona, tone and mood. An important goal of the workshop is to help writers understand the difference between a narrator and his or her own self. Students are encouraged to turn autobiographical fragments into publishable work by using different personas to tell their story in fiction and poetry.
Through exercises, students experiment with narrative and poetic techniques. There is also an emphasis on the excitement and stimulation needed to write and exercises are created with this purpose in mind. Techniques relevant to both fiction and poetry are taught, and students may expect to be assigned exercises based on works of fiction and poetry.
Each week students are assigned a brief reading and the teacher explains the technique that makes the piece effective. An exercise is assigned to use that technique, and the following week students bring in their work where it is read aloud in class. The teacher allows the class to respond to the piece, and then he or she delivers a combination of critique and support. The teacher gives the final critique. Two of the ten weeks are spent revising and deepening exercises written during the term.
In Writers Studio workshops, students are required to remain silent during the comments in order to better absorb what is being said, and to eliminate the need to defend the work. Their silence enables them to better hear what is being offered, and minimizes the natural defenses against critique. The workshops are designed to help the student learn from his or her own work, as well as from the work of others. Students are encouraged to recognize effective writing in other people’s work so that they can read their own work critically and improve their technique when working on their own. As the student’s understanding of technique deepens so does the emotional power of the writing.
Students who find The Writers Studio method is right for them take the Workshop three to four times before moving on to the Intermediate Workshop. Students may go from a taking an Amsterdam Workshop into a Writers Studio Online Level I or II workshop. Online Level II is usually taken after a student has completed two Amsterdam Workshops.
The Writers Studio Amsterdam classes meet once a week for 10 weeks at Boekhandel van Rossum, Beethovenstraat 30-32, 1077 JH Amsterdam. For more information, please call +31 (0)6-26 26 14 14 or email
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