Writers camp for adults
I’ve been going to summer writing workshops since I was in high school, and they’ve been enormously helpful to me.Not only did I get to learn from some great teachers and meet esteemed writers, but it gave me the chance to work on my writing in a disciplined way and come out of a program with a finished draft of a story.From the start, I felt it should be a labor-intensive “skill acquisition” course, emphasizing the sequential acquisition of fiction techniques and providing the opportunity to practice them.The curriculum should be capacious, allowing for instruction in all styles, genres, and subgenres of fiction.Choate Rosemary Hall Writers’ Workshop I loved this program when I was in high school; it gave a very intensive writing experience and included fun summer camp activities as well.Walnut Hill Summer Writing Program This was the first writing workshop I ever went to, and it gave a wonderful experience, particularly due to the small classes and personal attention and encouragement.I tell them I don’t care what they write, only how they write it.If their first story is told in first person, I ask them to try the other two in third or second person; and, if their protagonists in that first story are people very much like themselves, to switch their characters’ gender, race, or cultural orientation.
There’s a plethora of options available for writers looking to spend their summers writing and learning from distinguished teachers.
Here was not where I wanted to bring my manuscripts. I asked myself then, as I sometimes do now: How long would Melville, Poe, Kafka, Emerson, or Dostoyevsky have survived in a soft-at-the-center course like this?
But when I was hired at UW in 1976, two years after I published my first novel, Faith and the Good Thing, I was faced, at age 28, with the task of deciding what I thought a heuristic, highly productive fiction workshop should be.
And such a class should make clear that writing well was always the same thing as thinking well.
Fortunately, when I first worked out this course — for both undergraduate and graduate students (for the latter I simply add stiffer requirements) — I had many pedagogical and professional experiences to draw on.