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Chapter ONE. Writers' Workshop Overview

Chapter ONE. Writers' Workshop Overview

The writers' workshop begins when ten or so people decide to read, review, and critique each other's work under the guidance of a moderator. The workshop is a formal gathering, perhaps over a series of sessions, that lasts at least as long as it takes to go through everyone's work—and the group can stay together continuing to review later drafts and new work, much like a sewing circle or poker game. The longer the group stays together the better—up to a point where you need to bring in new people.

The seed for the writers' workshop as we now know it was planted at the end of the nineteenth century at the University of Iowa. The result was the Iowa Writers' Workshop, which is one of the best known and most prestigious of the creative writing programs in the United States.[3] The writers' workshop has been in use by the writing community ever since, and it is among the most effective ways for novice and intermediate writers to get good fast and to learn the critical skills to continue to improve.


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