Monday, May 19, 2008

At-Home and Online Writing Workshops Taught By Me

"Sharon's workshop was a mind-expanding, block-busting experience. I walked out of the class with great new material, a wealth of fresh ideas, and renewed creative confidence."

-- Janice Erlbaum, author of the acclaimed memoirs Girlbomb and Have You Found Her? (both from Villard)

"Sharon's workshops at The Poetry Project have always been big hits with the diverse range of students taking them -- the expansive humor, energy and meta-charged language found in her own work translate into a great working and learning environment for writers looking to come into themselves or finish a specific work or both."

-- Anselm Berrigan, author of Zero Star Hotel (Edge Books) as well as many other poetry collections, and former director of the Poetry Poetry at St. Mark's Church

I'm about to start up my fabulous at-home writing workshop again, and this time I'll also offer it online. I'm a published author of seven rockin' books — four poetry collections and two short fiction collections — essays and reviews, recipient of a Fulbright and two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships in poetry, as well as residencies at MacDowell, Hawthornden Castle (Scotland) and Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain). Through the nomination of my MFA teacher, Allen Ginsberg, I was awarded a MacArthur Scholarship, given through Brooklyn College from a gift of John Ashbery. I've taught both live and online fiction and poetry workshops for thirteen years at the New School, and can pretty much guarantee that you will generate amazing stuff via assignments, model texts and discussions — stuff you never thought you had in you. This workshop will be especially good for you if you think you have so-called "writer's block" (a non-existent condition, in my view). If you're interested and want more information, please feel free to email me at shardav @ (remember to delete those spaces when you put it in the address field) and I promise to get back to you with great alacrity!

For those interested in the at-home workshop, you must be recommended by someone I know.

How the workshops will run: eight weeks for both the at-home and online, with an option to extend it to ten if things are going well. For both at-home and online, our first "session" will be devoted to figuring out the best project for you to work on, and a strategy for generating ideas toward that end. If you're already working on something but are stuck, we will brainstorm how to get you unstuck. If you don't have a project but just want to simply write, that's absolutely fine; we'll discuss what you're interested in, and how to generate and see your ideas to fruition. For each subsequent session, you'll have an assignment to work on, either connected with the project or free-floating. The subsequent sessions will be devoted to fleshing out the project. If you get new ideas for new pieces along the way, great. We can make detours to pursue new ideas, or discover if these things will feed the project. Everything serves to further. Toward the end of the run we'll begin to think about where to send the work, if that's what you'd like to do. If you don't want to send it anywhere — perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with writing for your own pleasure.

For the online workshop, you'll send me one piece per week that I'll make comments on, and we'll go back and forth in discussions until the following week, when you'll either resubmit that piece or send a new one. As with the at-home workshop, I'll suggest ancillary readings/model texts and give you weekly assignments. And toward the end of the run we'll have the same discussion about where to place the work, if that's what you want to do.

The price for the at-home workshop is $500; the online is $600.