Why I Started the Manuscript Workshop To Help Writers Finish Longer Projects
Recently in our Tuesday Night Workshop, a few of us commented again on how much better our work is and how much we accomplish when we write together. As Michael Lynch put it, writing together in person—not online—is “…like crack, it’s what keeps me coming back.” Writers begin and continue to work on longer projects—short stories, memoirs, collections of essays, plays, screenplays, novels—during the weekly meetings.
I began and wrote a substantial portion of my first novel in a similar group. Then, when I was nearly done with the first draft, I needed a different kind of guidance to finish it. But, I still wanted the support and camaraderie of an in-person, group setting.
There are workshops where only the instructor reads your manuscript. I find it more valuable to also hear from a small group of good readers because this mimics an actual audience more effectively. The beauty of receiving feedback from a group comes from their differing perspectives and collective knowledge.
This is why I started The Manuscript Workshop—I saw a gap in what’s available to writers developing longer projects. From January to July of this year, a group of us met two to three times a month to address specific challenges each writer faced, keep each other on schedule with deadlines, and respond to each other’s work.
As each writer received feedback live, they benefited from seeing and hearing the emotions behind the comments. Knowing that each week a small group of like-minded writers would be looking forward to reading more of their work and to hearing how they were doing, was motivating. I also met with each writer individually to answer questions unique to their projects. To our delight, everyone made impressive progress, and most will be returning to finish up this fall.
Okay, guilty as charged—as you can tell, this is a plug for The Manuscript Workshop. It’s a customized workshop in that I plan around where you are in your project. I’ve just posted the schedule for the fall but space is limited so if you would like to finish your fiction, creative non fiction (memoir), stage or screen project read more at The Manuscript Workshop and if you have questions, Email Rachel@phillywriters.com.
Whether you’re just starting a project or you already have a draft, as long as you’re a strong, committed writer, the Manuscript Workshop is an inspiring way to complete your project.
We hope to see you there!