Workshop Method

Designed by Robert Wolf, the writing workshop is geared for people of all ages, and while the practiced writer will find it useful, the workshop was designed with the amateur in mind. The workshop can accommodate up to twenty participants, and experience in numerous communities has shown that fifteen to twenty writers can generate enough stories in three days to form a small book.

Each workshop begins with the group reading aloud several published stories and discussing what made them effective. Afterwards everyone tells a story about his life or community. Participants are urged to ask questions about each story to help the writer know what needs fleshing out. When everyone’s story is discussed, writing begins.

To preserve each person’s voice, participants are asked to write their stories as closely as possible to the way they told them, and not to worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar. The important thing is to write the first draft as quickly as possible. Syntax and spelling are dealt with later.

When first drafts are completed, each story is read aloud. Everyone says what they would like to know more about, including things the writer may have told but omitted from the writing. The process presupposes that we share an intuitive wisdom about storytelling.

People within the group find themselves bonding, and people who thought they could not write find themselves writing with facility.