Saturday, January 29, 2011

Asbjorn Writing Workshop.

Do you write, or like reading/ critiquing new writing by others?

Over the summer, I had started up a workshopping group. It was starting to gather a bit of productive steam, and then, due to scheduling issues, the ball was kinda dropped for a bit.

But now, it's back, and I would like to build it to be an even stronger resource going forward.

Interested in participating, contributing, or even just observing? Stop by our facebook group-page and send a request to join the group so you can get into our discussion-boards, where the magic happens (at least initially).

Here's the blurb that I posted on the "Welcome" thread on the group's discussion-board, when I initially set it up, back in the summer, just to give a little bit of an overview of what we're trying to do with this- 

"The idea is simple. I want to spend much of the rest of my summer lost in a couple creative-writing projects that I don't have nearly enough time for during the semester. It dawned on me that I was a bit "out of the loop" of one of the most helpful elements of my process when I WAS a more active creative writer- the workshopping group. So, here it is. At least the ground-level, to get it moving quickly. If a different sort of forum would work better down the road, we'll move there. If (ideally) local cells of this group decide to meet up to do some flesh-and-blood round-table work, that would be awesome, and hopefully all tangible meetings will report back virtually for the benefit of those who were a bit out of range to attend.

Here's a quick run-down of the process I had in mind, at least to get started. 

Within the next couple days, I plan to make up a sort of generic form for intended submission for critique by the group... sort of a standardized abstract, with questions about your goals with the piece, intended audience, etc... My hope is that a piece of writing pitched as "experimental literary fiction, intended for academic journals" would receive a far different critical conversation on this forum than one prefaced with "I want to finally try to make some cash with my pen. Aiming for Readers-Digest-accessability." Neither (or anything in between) is preferred over the other here... I'm hoping the emphasis is mostly on writing-craft, with a specific focus on helping each other to most effectively meet our own stated goals.

So, the first step to contribute a piece for critique is to complete the form, and post it to a new thread (this can be done before you even begin writing, as just the synopsis and goals for a nascent idea, or in regard to a piece that you've already written that you wish to get feedback through the process of editing of, or anything in between.) Responses from readers are welcome and encouraged to these initial forms, to help both you and your readers better clarify where we're heading. Then, just run with it. Respond to feedback, mutually brainstorm, post fragments or links to complete files. Receive feedback, respond, edit, rinse, repeat. You get the idea.

Know someone who might be interested in contributing? If you think they'd be a good fit, by all means, send an invite. The more the merrier (and more constructive.) A word of warning however (particularly if you're new to the workshop setting)... I am (at least initially) primarily gearing this group toward professionally-minded writers serious about whipping their writing into shape right up into the publication process. This isn't necessarily always an endeavor for the faint-of-heart or thin-skinned... sometimes, for many of us, the most realistically-helpful feedback is also the most brutal and candid. I can't promise, for instance, that anyone on this forum will tip-toe around your potential emotional-investedness in your work... this is all about making our works the best they can be, not stroking each others' egos. With that said, however, hopefully it goes without saying, but just in case... keep the criticisms clean, above the belt, and constructive, folks (i.e., if you're going to tear something up a bit, cite specific examples, base your argument on craft, no cheap shots or vague derogatory statements, etc.) I don't want to have to police this, but I will if it comes down to it." 

There are already a hand-full of threads up, and a few pieces posted mid-process... But this would still be a great time to get in on the ground-floor, as a few more active participants would be phenomenal.

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