Amsterdam Workshop

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About the Amsterdam Workshop

The Writers Studio Amsterdam Workshop, the first of our three levels, is designed for students at all levels who are new to the Writers Studio method. This Workshop is open to both beginning and experienced writers eager to learn the elements of craft, including first- and third-person narrators, tone and mood. An important goal of the workshop is to help writers understand that a narrative voice is born out of conscious creation and not merely the voice we use when speaking or keeping a journal. We encourage students to turn autobiographical fragments into publishable work by using different narrative personas to tell their story in fiction and poetry.

Through exercises, students experiment with narrative and poetic techniques. 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 we assign a brief reading combined with an exercise, and the teacher explains the technique that makes the piece effective. The following week students bring their written exercise to class, where it is read aloud. Classmates offer feedback, and then the teacher, who has been trained for three years in The Writers Studio method, gives the final supportive critique. Three of the ten weeks are spent revising and deepening exercises written during the term.

In all on-site Writers Studio Workshops, we ask students to remain silent when their classmates and the teacher offer feedback. Though this may seem harsh at first, the policy is enormously helpful, as it lets students take in the information calmly and without the reflexive tendency to grow defensive. The workshops are designed to help students learn from their 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.

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 (after completing two Amsterdam Workshops, students can move on to an Online Level II workshop).

The Writers Studio Amsterdam classes meet once a week for 10 weeks at Boekhandel van Rossum, Beethovenstraat 32, 1077 JH Amsterdam. For more information, please call +31 (0)6-26 26 14 14 or email [email protected].

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Often our most powerful ideas for stories or poems are the ones we’re living through right now, subjects that can be turned into ideas that live right under our noses. PHILIP SCHULTZ, 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Winner, Writers Studio Founder and Director