This level is for students who have completed two terms of Level I and are eager to learn the elements of craft. Writers new to The Writers Studio may enter the school at Level II if they have publications, an MFA or have taken two post-graduate writing courses. A short reading is assigned each week and the teacher identifies the techniques used to make the work engaging and effective. Analyzing the technical aspects of the work leads to the assignment of an exercise. Techniques studied include first person persona, third person persona, tone and mood. Through exercises, students experiment with narrative and poetic techniques. Some of the ten weeks are spent revising and deepening exercises from earlier in the term.
The students’ work is read out loud in class each week, and others comment on it. The teacher, who has been trained in The Writers Studio method, gives the final critique. While Level II 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 II, and students may expect to be assigned exercises stemming from works of fiction as well as poems.
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. 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. Another important goal of this level 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.
Class meets in Greenwich Village at The Village Community School, 272 West 10th Street. Bring a photo id to sign in at the front desk.