Friday, September 11, 2009

The Workshop

Every Thursday from 5:30PM until around 7PM members meet to discuss their writing with other members in a workshop format. The value of a workshop is most entirely based on what people put into it. If everyone supplies work and thoughtful feedback, then the workshop succeeds. If nobody shows new work, or people don't read what other members are writing, then the workshop becomes less successful.

RIOT Ink aims to make the workshop experience as efficient as it can be:

Writers who have a new piece, which can be a first, second, or final draft--or just an idea that needs some brainstorming--submit their work to because (dot) words (at) gmail (dot) com BY 6PM ON SUNDAY. Anything submitted by 6PM on Sunday will be posted on the website for feedback and distributed for discussion during the week's meeting. Anything submitted after 6PM on Sunday will be distributed for the following week's meeting. If nobody submits anything by the deadline, then everyone at the meeting will read selected passages from Twilight.

During the course of the week leading up to the meeting, members should read whatever has been posted on this website. Please WRITE your feedback out and BRING it to the meeting. While we are going to talk about the pieces, it really really helps the writer to have hard copies of what people think. If you cannot attend a meeting, then write your feedback as comments on the blog or email them to the group email and I will make sure they reach the writer. And when you write feedback, don't hold back. If something has problems, say so. However, you must give constructive criticism. Sharing work is hard and requires trust on both sides. Identifying problems isn't enough, also identify possible solutions. Don't say that something doesn't work for you. Say why it doesn't, then tell us what changes could be made to make it work. Remember members of RIOT Ink are commenting on your work, not on you. Use their criticism to become a better writer.

Since it is possible to feel artistically dry and uninspired, I will provide at the end of every meeting a prompt for people to write on if they choose. Given the range of genres that people write in, including poetry, fiction, and screenwriting, I will either have three different prompts or something that I think fits all three. The prompts are a tool to help get the ball rolling with writing.

On meeting day, the workshop will follow this format:

1. Introduction to the day, news and updates
-Things like money matters, reading times, litzine submission/publishing info, etc.

2. I will hand out a couple pieces from published writers for the group to look at and talk about
-This is important so we can see how more seasoned writers work with words, how they execute concepts into a concrete piece

-Also, if anyone wants to provide an excerpt of fiction or a script or poem for this part, just email it to the group email.

3. We begin talking about the writing submitted for the week.
-I will distribute the piece to everyone so they have it in front of them.

-Everyone but the writer will talk about the piece, thoughts, concerns, problems, compliments, etc.
-Then the writer will talk about the piece.
-Finally members will hand the writer their written feedback.

4. Hand out prompts / close the meeting

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