Lots of new writers start out by attending a Writers’ Workshop. I gave workshops for about 30 years, and I always enjoyed them and learnt as much from my students as they learned from me. Their enthusiasm sparked mine; their ideas gave birth to new ones for me; and many of them went on to become published writers and lifelong friends.
To get the most out of your workshop, and really feel you’ve had your money’s worth, here are a few tips:
Have something short prepared before you arrive. You can read it, as others will, as you are introduced to the group. Practise reading it aloud before you arrive.
Once students start talking, try to say something in the first 5 minutes. If you keep putting off contributing, you may never say anything.
If invited to read your work aloud, bite the bullet and go for it.
Don’t get too friendly with your neighbor too soon – it may distract you from the workshop content.
If you don’t understand something, ask the tutor to clarify it.
Collect all the handouts you are given – take a folder ready for them.
Join in the exercises, even if they’re not ideal for you.
Stay focused, and be the one to thank the tutor for the session.
Arrange a treat for yourself that evening. If it went well, you’ll feel on a high.
Before you attend, make sure you’ve got the following, and have them packed ready to take the day before: Pens and a notebook; any work you want to take with you; directions for getting there; a small bottle of water; a banana or lunch you’ll enjoy (if no refreshments are provided); your personal cards for networking; reading glasses and tissues. Make sure you’re dressed warmly enough.
Check out what the tutor has published before you choose whose workshop to attend. Have a lovely time!
My latest novel, “Searching for Sarah” and several more of my 14 published books, are available direct from me at discount prices, including “The Pomegranate Pendant” (now a film titled “The Golden Pomegranate”). You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I am always happy to hear your comments and to help you with any writing problems.