The Introduction to The Writers Studio Method/Hudson Valley Workshop, the first of our two levels, is designed for writers at all levels of experience who are new to The Writers Studio Method. Students both beginning and experienced learn a unique way to “read as a writer” by breaking down excerpts from published stories, poems, or essays into their particular craft elements and then writing exercises based on those techniques. Three elements of craft — first- and third-person narrators, tone, and mood — are the building blocks of The Writers Studio Method (and of all published work.) Understanding how to wield these elements of craft effectively is crucial to all writers’ creative development. Perhaps the most important goal of the workshop is to help writers consciously craft a narrative voice rather than use their default voices—the one in our head, when we think, or jot notes in a journal. We show students how to turn autobiographical fragments into publishable work by using different narrative personas and other elements of craft to tell their story in fiction and poetry.
Our exercises are designed to stimulate students’ imaginations while also teaching a lot of nuts-and-bolts narrative strategies. Our assignments focus on both fiction and poetry and use published examples of both genres as models.
Each week over the course of an eight-week workshop we assign a brief reading combined with an exercise. Together the teacher and the class identify the technique that makes the each writing sample effective. (We look under the hood to see how the engine runs.) The following week students bring their written exercises to class, where they are read aloud. Classmates offer feedback, and then the teacher, who has been trained for five years in The Writers Studio method, gives the final supportive critique. One of the eight weeks is spent revising and deepening exercises written during the term.
Students who want to keep going take the Workshop three to four times before moving on to the Intermediate Workshop. Students may go from a taking a Hudson Valley Workshop to a Writers Studio Online Level I or II workshop.
For more information, please contact Therese Eiben: 917-733-7770 or [email protected]