The Philadelphia Writers Workshop Experience in the Writers’ Own Words:
A Bottle of Wine Wasn’t Nearly Enough…
The night before the review of my first chapter in the Tuesday Night workshop, I was dry-mouthed and nauseated, so nervous and scared that a half-bottle of wine barely fazed me. Actually, it was ¾ of a bottle. Oh, alright, dammit. I drank the whole thing.
Because I know how terrifying it is to reveal yourself through your writing. And how profoundly depressing it is NOT to! To keep that dream and all those stories and locked up inside is like a slow death. But the idea of opening that tender part of yourself to public scrutiny? It’s like laying your newborn in the woods and walking away, as unseen creatures scurry in the leaves and howls echo among the shadows. But fear not!
Rachel and the Philadelphia Writers Workshop create a nurturing space for writers to inhabit and find release from the critics, internal and external, so that they can bask in the creative flow. A welcoming, supportive atmosphere has drawn so many wonderful writers, published and brand new, to her workshops. It really is a Renaissance of Writing in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia School!
The Philadelphia Writers Workshop has been instrumental in encouraging and assisting me in completing my first novel. I have grown tremendously as a writer over three years, without withering criticism or competitive posturing. A focus on what YOU do well always comes first, building on strengths until the writer feels ready to begin to really hone the craft in the Manuscript Workshop, with insightful critiques and always tremendous discussion of techniques, roadblocks, discoveries and concerns.
I couldn’t more highly recommend the Philadelphia Writers Workshop for new and not-so-new writers. It is a place to both find your voice and hone your skills.
— Michael Lynch
From No Writing to Published Author…
When I first came to the Philadelphia Writers’ Workshop, I hadn’t written anything in years. Writing had always been important to me, but I was on the mend from a bad period in my life spanning several years, and my stories had gotten pushed to the side. I wanted to rekindle the spark. Rachel Kobin became my biggest cheerleader over the next few months, encouraging me to find my voice again, to play with words and characters again. A few months into my first year in the workshop, I found a character I fell in love with, and over the next months I gradually developed a world around this character, a supporting cast, and themes. Before I knew it I had a book. After that book had been edited and workshopped—including some spot-on feedback from Rachel’s private editing—I sent it to different agents. While that book was being queried, I started work on another cast of characters. I used the workshop’s no-judgment freewrites to explore different sides of my characters, and I used the manuscript critiques to hone in on specific areas via targeted feedback from the great group of writers in each session of the workshop. As I worked on two books, Rachel continued to be there for me. Her support and feedback and enthusiasm had gotten me on board, and now they kept me afloat.
I’ve been coming to the Philadelphia Writers’ Workshop for about three years now. This year, I finished my third book, and I signed with an agent. My book is currently on submission with editors. You’d better believe Rachel Kobin and the Philadelphia Writers’ Workshop will be in the acknowledgments page.
— Eric Bell
Writing and Laughter…
Such an amazing class and Rachel is so encouraging and supportive. This class is fun and is a nice combination of writing and laughter. It’s also a wonderful way to get three hours of writing done every week. Some of my best writing pieces come from prompts offered in the Tuesday Night Writer’s class!
— Heather Rudalavage
A Balance Between Informal and Structured…
I’ve been attending workshop with Rachel on and off since the ripe old age of eighteen, and very little else has been able to match its therapeutic, reflective, and deeply inspiring effects. The workshop strikes a nice balance between informal/relaxed and structured/regulated, and everyone — truly, everyone — present is kind, supportive, helpful, and remarkably talented. I will continue attending PWW for as long as I’m capable, because at this point going without it is a heartbreaking thought!
— Heather Muessle
Relieve Writer’s Block…
I absolutely love these workshops, which is why I keep coming back for more. I was in Tuesday Night Writers then I quickly moved to the Manuscript Workshop. It really helped me to relieve my writer’s block as well as begin to form my style. I am a playwright – which is different then most of the participants but everyone welcomed me with open arms.
Rachel is always there to help when you need it. As a teacher, she allows you to write at your pace. She never belittles anyone’s writing, but will give excellent constructive ideas to improve your manuscript.
I guess everyone can tell how much I like this workshop based on my review… I hope to see you there!
— Morgan Doman
Learn From One Another…
The Philadelphia Writers Workshop has been an amazing experience for me. Because of this workshop, I’ve finally completed my manuscript! Besides learning a lot about myself as a writer, the group offers positive advice and shared writing exercises that have strengthened my abilities and my resolve. Being among peers who give you encouragement and working in a group environment where you really learn from one another, has been an amazing and motivational journey. If you need an extra push to polish your writing skills or finish that writing project, Philadelphia Writers Workshop is the place to do it!
— Gretchen Fee Jackson