The Syngenetic Workshop
When we share our writing, the workshop will inform us - more quickly than we could discover on our own - exactly what that memorable writing is. The workshops are "syngenetic" - our feedback is designed to mirror to the author what the reader hears. "Syngenetic" means "with a similar origin"; the workshop's effort is to learn the primary impulse of your writing and help it come to fruition. Positive feedback deepens everyone's understanding of your words as we hear what others find memorable -- and thus gives a valid foundation from which to make comments. Our goal is to offer two or three suggestions for your next revision, or two or three techniques to keep in mind as you continue your writing. These workshops have evolved over the last fifteen years from Peter Elbow's "teacherless class."
Bring copies of your work in progress – journal, story, poem(s), novel, play or essay. Read it aloud and take notes as the workshop quotes your own most powerful lines back to you. This not only supports your strengths, it immerses the workshop more deeply in your piece. As one person repeats an image, I hear it again, review my own reaction, and sink closer to your intent. The syngenetic (having the same origin) workshop furthers your work with feedback from the same place – as much as possible – as the primary impulse of your writing. (more)
This ten-week course through UC Berkeley Extension for beginning writers helps you assess your potential, identify your strengths, and learn valuable writing techniques. Class exercises and weekly writing assignments help you discover your talents in a variety of forms: short fictional scenes, short story, memoir, poetry, and journalistic writing. A supportive atmosphere enables you to see how others respond to your writing. On completion, you should have a clearer sense of your writing strengths and the direction to take for more advanced courses. (more)
ONE-DAY CRAZY CHILD WORKSHOP/2-BUSY-2-WRITE WORKSHOPS
These workshops will help you get started on creative writing of any sort — poems, stories, personal essays, plays, novels. We’ll establish an inviting atmosphere, one so comfortable even the shyest writers can flourish and feel proud of what they accomplish. As usual, I expect eight or ten people, much exciting writing, and fun to boot. (more)