If you’re a writer and you attended college, you probably also took some sort of creative writing workshops. Creative writing workshops are great for writers of all capabilities–beginner to professional. Not only do you learn about writing in these workshops, but you also get to have your stories read and critiqued by other people.
Now there are many naysayers who think that creative writing workshops are a waste of time. They say this because the people critiquing your work are usually just students or people who know as much about writing as you do. Many people don’t see the value you get from these workshops.
What it all boils down to is this–you need to do what works for you. And if you’ve never attended a creative writing workshop, you definitely should give it a try. Some people find it’s a great boost to their creative self-esteem to have their work read and praised. It’s also good to have the critique section because it helps you make your stories better and it prepares you for the often challenging world of publishing (if you choose to go that route).
There are lots of different types of workshops for everyone from beginner to advanced that range in subject from beginner poetry to creating deep characters to how to write short stories to mixed fiction and poetry. They even offer workshops for kids.
Here are some places where you can find creative writing workshops:
- Local colleges and universities–Check with your local institution and you’re likely to find at least one creative writing class going on. This is an easy introduction to having your work critiqued regularly. It helps writers step outside the privacy of their writing spaces and allows them to start showing their work to others.
- Continuing Education Classes–Almost every city has continuing education classes for adults who are no longer in school, but still want to learn something. These places usually have creative writing on the menu.
- Local writing schools–Some bigger cities have writing “schools,” which usually offer a combination of readings by authors and creative writing workshops. Do a Web search for writing schools in your area.
- Online–Now you can even attend creative writing workshops on the Internet. There are writing schools such as Gotham Writers’ Workshops, Web sites such as Writers.com and even magazines such as Writer’s Digest, who now offer online creative writing workshops.Online learning isn’t for everyone. This type of learning requires you to be focused and dedicated. But if you’re a self-starter who works well independently, can hit deadlines and doesn’t mind a lot of reading, you will most likely be successful in online courses.These courses are set up with forums where you post your weekly assignments and can ask questions of your professor and talk with other students.Here’s the basics of online writing education–Your instructor posts a syllabus with each assignment on the message board or through e-mail, then each student independently completes the work. Each week the work is turned in and usually students are assigned to read each others’ work. Then there’s usually an hour each week where the whole class is online at the same time and you get to have a live conversation with your instructor and classmates.
These are just some of the many creative writing workshops available to you.
If you ever want to get something published, you need to get over the fear of showing your work to people, and creative writing workshops are one of the easiest, least judgemental, ways to do it.