Welcome to our Writers’ Workshop page. Here you’ll find some of the resources needed to wade deep into the wondrous waters of our class. We’ll read some works of established writers, we’ll write some of our own writings, we’ll talk about some writings, then re-write some writings. It’s a WORKshop, after all, and one that works with writing. If this language is a bit too obtuse, and you find more familiarity with verbs, then we can verb-a-tize it and say we’ll “workshop it”.
Wherever we end up, it’s an apt course title because there will be work, and it will be centered on writing. And whatever you write will, indeed, require work, but we will ALL be working right beside you.
Mostly, however, I am hopeful that our experience will be enjoyable and enriching and one of growth for us all. I am excited to share this brief experience with you & watch you flourish as emerging writers.
Just click on the links below to find helpful resources.
NOTE: Daily assignments & updates will be served up using our Google Classroom Stream page, so you’ll probably begin there and sometimes end up back here.
- Love Letter to My Students
- Writers Workshop Intro Letter
- Syllabus – Writers Workshop
- Mercy Core Values
- Who Have You Been
- Excel Grade Tracker (Be in control of your own destiny & know where you stand!)
- We’ll Start Each Day With ADD-A-LINE STORIES
- Can You Haiku?
- How ’bout Tweet-Ku? Can U? (Try this sweet tweet template)
- 30 Circles Creativity Exercise
- DEEP DIVE – IDEO (YouTube)
- 55 FICTION (World’s Shortest Stories)
- WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD – INTRO & EXCERPTS
- WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD – Creative Locks & Keys
- WHACK – Brainstorm Story Starters
- How to Be a Writer
- This Simple Word Test Reveals How Creative You Are – Article & Link to Test (CNN)
LETS START WITH FEEDBACK:
Even though a children’s story is a bit of a quirky animal, we’ll use it to launch our first real round of deep sharing & feedback. So, for this first round, we’ll keep it relatively simple by watching the “Brief” & “Master Chef” videos & we’ll use this formula for feedback:
- I LIKE… (Provide something SPECIFIC you like about the writer’s piece)
- I WISH… (Provide something SPECIFIC you wish the writer would have done differently)
- I WONDER…(Provide something SPECIFIC you wonder about the piece)
We’ll see if we can pull this off digitally, or if we need to resort to good ol’ fashioned paper & pen feedback.
AND…. as we get more sophisticated, I’d like you to read these articles on good feedback in a Writers’ Workshop setting. Feel free to get started whenever it works for you, but please find time before our NEXT round of sharing.
(NOTE: The last link provides context for the SFWC link handout, so you can just peruse it for enriching nuggets if you find it helpful.)
- Feedback – Art School Confidential (YouTube 1 min)
- Feedback – A Brief But Spectacular Take (PBS 4 mins)
- Too Many Chefs? (MasterChef Feedback)
- Cheers 4 Peers: Breaking Boards or Breaking New Ground
- How to Be a Good Writing Workshop Participant
- HANDOUT: Critique Groups: Creating a Writing Family to Take Your Work to New Heights (Vicki Hudson)
- On Giving Feedback (Burlington Writers Workshop)
- Feedback on the Page: How to Give Feedback in a Writing Group (SFWC 2012)
NOTE: Our feedback/critique approach should not be one of “What’s wrong with this piece?” but rather “What can I contribute to help make this piece better?” A good strategy would be to begin with the structure of the piece, how it’s put together, what follows what & in what form, rather than beginning with “This didn’t work for me….”
SOME GENERAL WRITING EXERCISES & RESOURCES:
- Weekly Widgets
- Show Don’t Tell
- BACK TO BASICS (Sentence Structure & MORE!!)
- Complexity of Language
- Imagery Exercise- Abstract Concrete
- Writing Exercise – Setting- Details and Feel
- Writing Exercise – Setting – Farm-Metz example
- Story Starter Helpers-FICTION
- Story Starter -Writers Block Helper
- Character Profile Worksheet
- Great First-Last Lines FICTION
- 55 Fiction-Metz Sample
- “My Name” (Mango Street Model – Esperanza)
AREAS OF EXPLORATION & RESOURCES FOR OUR COURSE
- Children’s Story
- Writing a Letter or Greeting Card
- Fiction (Short Story)
AND SOME GENERALLY HELPFUL ARTICLES/RESOURCES (I HOPE):
- Hemingway’s Advice for Writers
- Some Dos & Don’ts From Famous Writers
- Take Risks & Tell The Truth: How To Write a Great Short Story (Donal Ryan- The Guardian)