Founded and directed by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Philip Schultz, The Writers Studio welcomes beginning and experienced fiction writers and poets to ongoing writing workshops designed to help them discover and nurture their own voices. Hailed by The New York Times as “the most personal of the programs,” The Writers Studio is founded on the belief that when the desire to write is strong enough, anyone can learn the craft necessary for full creative expression.
Emphasis is on the excitement and stimulation needed to write and exercises are created with this purpose in mind. Each week for the first six to eight weeks, 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 and 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. During the last two weeks of the class, students take one of their writing exercises and begin turning it into a story or poem. Revisions are brought in for comment and criticism; at the end of the 10-week class, students are on their way to a finished story or poem.
In Writers Studio Workshops, students are not permitted to respond to the comments and criticism of their 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. As the student’s understanding of technique deepens so does the emotional power of the writing.
While Level I teachers may be fiction writers or poets, all have experience writing and teaching both genres. Techniques relevant to both fiction and poetry are taught in Level I, and students are assigned exercises stemming from works of fiction as well as poems. Students who find The Writers Studio method is right for them take Level I twice before moving on to Level II.
Class meets at The Old American Can Factory, 232 Third Street, Brooklyn NY 11215 in the Ugly Duckling Presse space.