Thursday, October 12, 2006

Writing Workshop

Maybe this has been brought up before or it exists somewhere in the unknown-to-me, but would anyone be interested in starting up a sort of writing workshop? I'm not quite sure right now what the format will be but I'm always looking for ways to get some good critiques of my writing. Most of the people who read my blog regularly obviously enjoy the current style and format and so I can't get a lot of feedback from them, but I'd like to keep improving as much as I can.

For anyone who's a journalist, published writer, etc. (ie. in the field) and interested we could have little articles about how to get yourself out there more, methods to take you outside your norm and play with writing more, how to approach a short post, how to approach a long post, researching your topics, and any other tips you may have every so often as well.

This could take the form of a monthly blogging event, be hosted on a separate website so that we can leave comments off the original blog, or be part of a section of foodblogscool.


This Post was written by Vanessa from Tongue & Cheek


Owen said...

Vanessa, this is a great idea.

BUT - it can also be very very tough. Lots of people who say they want critiques, to learn, etc. turn out to really want to be told that they brilliant. It can get nasty. Just a warning.

For people who come with the right attitude - that they have everything to learn - it is wonderful.

I'd be happy to take part - as long as time permits - which isn't much.

There is surprisingly little good writing and editing advice on the web - and even surprisingly little in print apart from the classics.

IMHO there are two pieces of advice that are universal - and that everyone who writes and edits needs to relearn every year or two.

1) read strunk and white - absorb it - even if you don't agree take a zen attitude and eventually you will learn that the book is always right - always - OK almost always.
2) if you can cut a word out you should.

Anyway, I vote yes....

nika said...

I belong to an amazing writer community called where a very mature (as in kinks worked out) system of writing and review has been implemented.

Here is a blurb on the site:

"The Virtual Studio is a submission destination and collaboration tool for filmmakers-a community where artists can submit and workshop original work. It's also the best e-resource for information about the Coppola family and American Zoetrope. If you are having problems navigating the site, please refer to the information listed to the right or drop us a note through the Comments page.


In March of 1998 Francis Coppola launched a website where writers could submit their short stories to his magazine, Zoetrope: All-Story. A community of writers quickly formed around the website. It became so popular so quickly that a few months later he launched sites for novellas and screenplays.

The Virtual Studio, which launched in June 2000, brings together the original sites as departments, plus includes new departments for other creative endeavors. Members can workshop a wide-range of film arts, including music, graphics, design, and film & video, as well as access some of the best e-collaboration tools. This site is the culmination of years of work by the Virtual Studio staff—and of course Francis Coppola who hatched the original idea, oversaw every stage of development, and funds the whole caboodle.


By submitting work to the Virtual Studio, you are participating in a thriving workshop environment designed to help refine your craft. You'll receive invaluable feedback, collaborate and network with other artists, and market your services to potential buyers. All submissions will be made available to American Zoetrope and other member production companies, contingent only on your participation in the workshop. The cost is free and the benefits unlimited. "

I have not visited in a while and my experience has been with the creative writing of short stories and flash fiction.. not food writing.

It would be great to find something similar focused on food writing and photography.

FJK said...

I'd consider participating -- a safe place to critique and be critiqued and informational articles sound appealing.

Should submissions for critique be anon.? Guidelines for criticism are impt, too. I think the writing program at Univ of No. Carolina had some workable ones posted.

Rachael said...

I think that sounds like a swell idea!

My suggestion though, would be to limit how many people can take part...I just have visions of the typical roundups for events and imagine this sort of thing could become a full time job...

Vanessa said...

i'm getting some support here but i'm just not sure how much yet to really determine how to set this up. thank you so much for all the suggestions and thoughts on how to make it successful, i understand that with things like this we want to keep the snarkiness to a minimum and really provide some solid help.

i will look around a bit more for models i can use and post back with some guildelines/format for some feedback. if anyone is interested in being a "host" with me, i'd love to hear from you. i'm thinking that it will have to be a fairly moderated board/site/event that i'll need all the help i can get.

Julie said...

I think this is a good idea, and something I'd like to participate in. I would like to help you Vanessa, but with the little time I have, I fear I might not be able to do too too much. But email anytime, even just to bounce around ideas.

Liz said...

I'd like to participate- I'm trying to get into publishing and would love to get some honest feedback on my writing style/blog/etc.

I would love to help, but since I feel I'm in need of help myself I might not be much... help to you. If that makes any sense at all.