Workshop Details

Objectives

  • Develop text  — a specific section of a project or a piece in its entirety
  • Explore the process of automatic writing in a group setting
  • Explore various writing methods and techniques to help produce raw text
  • Practice and learn self-critique and positive criticism of others’ work
  • Assist those who want to write, but are not working a specific text decide on/create an individual project.

Methods

  • We will engage in a range of writing exercises both in and outside of the workshop for participants to experience a variety of ways to work.
  • Participants will read their work aloud in class.
  • Participants will read each other’s work aloud in class.
  • Participants will have take-home assignments of each others’ work to read and critique.
  • Participants and workshops leaders will contribute to a resource blog for all writers.

B-Real Talk 

In our ideal workshop setting, we would like to cover:

  • The psychology behind the state of the arts in the U.S. today.
  • The all or nothing/starving artist bullshit talk. (Not to be confused with excellence or mediocrity.)
  • Why none of the three choices of: Eating Ketchup Soup OR being a Star/Bestseller OR getting a Secure Job/Career are viable options for real people interested and involved in arts and/or activism in this early part of the 21st Century.
  • How the concept of “innate talent” feeds into arts elitism and is used as a tool to pit artists against each other and keep us from uniting as a creative force for change.
  • How social control and political oppression (all the “isms”) maintain a lack of options for all people — and how to redress this in our daily lives and reflect it in our writing.
  • Envisioning a new economy based on creative work and social exchange. How to reduce reliance on the glut of useless goods/products and shifting our focus to a service- and creative-based infrastructure.

Writing Techniques

  • Automatic Writing
  • Vomit on the page (and clean it up later)
  • Riff & Record
  • Oral storytelling
  • Interviewing techniques
  • And many more!

Expectations

  • All participants will respect confidentiality of material produced/shared in the workshop.
  • Participants will produce raw material that at the very least will equal an estimated ten typed pages of Times New Roman 12pt. text. (This estimate is based on a 4-week workshop, meeting two times per week or an eight week workshop meeting once per week.)
  • If participants come to the workshop with raw material, they will further develop it and produce additional drafts/rewrites.
  • All will share verbally and in writing constructive criticism for themselves and others workshop participants.

Purpose & Goals (a.k.a. Learning Outcomes)

  • Critical thinking about social control and injustice including, but not limited to, sexism and gender violence and racial oppression, and how that directly impact the arts, writers and writing.
  • Participants will take away a toolkit for producing raw material as well as developing/editing/polishing material.
  • Learn constructive criticism for yourself and others. But mostly yourself!
  • Participants will be able to locate specific resources related to their own specific needs

~ ~ ~

More deets! 

The B-Real Gerlz will tailor a workshop for specific timeframes and participant needs.

  • One-day intensive
  • Two-day weekend workshop
  • Weekday evening workshop(s) conducted over various time periods
  • Workshops spread over the course of month, several months, or a full academic semester.

This workshop is for those writers or aspiring writers particularly interested in the personal essay, oral storytelling, memoir, and solo performance. This workshop is most appropriate for beginning and intermediate writers. (Advanced writers are also welcome.)

 

Texts

No books are required, but we will reference, for example, the following publications:

Working, by Studs Terkel

Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg

Creating Your Own Monologue, by Glenn Alterman

The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & the Future, by Arlene Goldbard

The Invention of the White Race, by Theodore W. Allen

I Stand Here Ironing, by Tillie Olsen

On Writing Well, by William Zinsser

Desiring Change,” Barnard Center for Research on Women and Queers for Economic Justice

Werking Gerl blog

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