When: Saturdays, 4:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Where: Neeti Bagh (near Green Park metro)
How long: 10 weekends, 13 July-21 September, no class on 24 August
How many: 12-15 participants
How much: Rs. 12,000 per participant (but I’m open to fee reduction on a case-by-case basis. Talk to me if you can’t afford this)
Prerequisites: Basic fluency in English
Age: 15 and over
This creative writing workshop is about you and your writing goals. There is no set genre. There is no set theme. There is no set destination. There is simply you, what you want to do, and where you want to go with your words.
Each week, we will do some open-ended writing and some structured writing exercises, read to one another, and review manuscripts. You will always be encouraged to do the day’s exercise, but you will also always be free to write on a different theme. You will always be invited to share, but you will never be forced.
Whether you are looking to improve your craft, reconnect with an old hobby, find inspiration, receive feedback from a community of writers, prepare for publication, get into a writing discipline, or simply to have a place to pause amidst the noise of your week, my goal is to create a safe and fun space for you to write, share, and grow.
To register, please contact me here or via email with a few lines about why this workshop would be a good fit for you.
Once I confirm your seat, you will be asked to pay the workshop fee in advance to hold your seat— the fee is nonrefundable because I will then turn away others who wanted the seat, so please be sure to confirm before you make a payment.
There is no official cut-off date for registration, but the workshop tends to fill up fast, so the sooner you email me, the better your chances of getting in.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am not really a writer. Can I still join?
A writer is someone who writes. Write with us. Voila: You are a writer.
What if I write in a language other than English?
Once a writing exercise has been handed out, you are free to write in your language of comfort. However, although I do read Hindi and Spanish, English is my main medium of instruction (only because it is the language I am currently most comfortable writing and teaching in), so you may receive less helpful feedback on work in another language. For manuscript review, the group will decide whether we feel able to work with a manuscript in a particular language.
Will my writing be critiqued?
Yes, but only when you choose. We never critique responses to in-class writing exercises because that writing is too raw. Once you have had a chance to revise and type up your manuscript, you may choose to submit it for review by the group. The typical process for this is: the author hands out copies of the manuscript to everyone in the room the previous week, group members read and make notes over the week, and we spend the last 1 - 1 1/2 hours of workshop offering feedback on 2 manuscripts per week. I will also give you a letter of feedback on manuscripts you submit, and you are welcome to set up a private conference with me if you want to discuss issues in your writing that you are unable to do in a group setting.
What if I choose not to submit work for critique?
That’s fine. You will still grow as a writer through the exercises we do together and through reading your work out loud. When someone hears your story and tells you theirs in response, you will know what helped them connect. When your words make someone laugh or cry, you will know what works. Similarly, as you begin to identify what you love, connect with, or don’t understand about your peers’ work, that knowledge will begin to inform your own writing. Learning doesn’t have to happen through targeted critique, although that is often helpful as you grow.
Why do you want me to commit for 10 weeks?
Becoming a better writer is a process that takes time, commitment, and discipline; past experiences seem to suggest that ten weeks is a good length of time for writers to be able to see real gains in the quality and ease of their writing. Also, sharing early writing involves risks, and it takes time to build a safe and supportive community in which you can take those risks. You will find yourself able to write more openly as the weeks go by, and our 10 week commitment to our craft and to one another will become part of your growth as a writer.
Will you teach craft?
Yes, but perhaps not in the traditional sense of the word “teach.” I work hard to limit the amount of time I spend lecturing in front of a whiteboard, and I do not believe in Powerpoint. However, throughout the process fo writing new material and as we review manuscripts, I will point out and explain craft elements of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. We will also periodically read together for craft or discuss a craft essay I post to our workshop group. You are also always welcome to ask craft-specific questions, and I will do my best to answer them in the same session, or to find you an answer by the next one.
I have been writing for many years. Do you also teach an advanced class?
This workshop is intended to cut across experience and skill levels because I have found that everyone learns more rapidly in a mixed group. Several participants return for a second or third round of workshop, and the exercises are designed to be useful wherever you are in your writing journey (I do every exercise and continue to generate much of my own writing there, and previous workshops have included everyone from high school students to published writers in the same group). Similarly, regardless of your skill level, the process of manuscript critique will help you hone your ability to look critically at your writing. And of course, I will be around to address concerns that you feel have not been addressed by the group.
Can you help me get published?
I can help you become a better writer and editor of your work, which is, of course, a big part of getting published. I am also happy to point you to publishing opportunities that I know of, or to connect you with people I know. I do not, however, have contacts with literary agencies or within the publishing industry.
Is there anything else I should know?
I have a dog and a cat, both of whom are very affectionate and fond of sitting in on my writing workshop (the dog in particular will throw herself against the door for three straight hours if I try locking her out!). They are nice to people, distract only occasionally, and generally function as comic relief. However, in case you are allergic to one or the other, or if this is otherwise a deal-breaker for you, then this isn’t the workshop for you. I apologise, but it’s their home too, and I simply cannot justify locking them out of it week after week!
But really, I am not a writer...
I don’t believe you. Come join us. You’ll be surprised.