Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ramola D's Online Workshop

As many of you know, The Writer's Center has begun offering online workshops. This is a great format for workshoppers. Obviously, if you're not tied down to a geographical time and place, you can comfortably "attend" a workshop in the serenity of your own home. In a time when gas prices are soaring, online workshops are a great opportunity for people to leave their house, so to speak, without actually going anywhere. You just log in to the workshop and discuss your writing. Over the course of the next year, we hope to gradually add more and more workshops.

What kind of Internet workshops would you like to see at the Center? Leave a comment. Let us know!

Ramola D, pictured above, is a regular Internet instructor with us. This summer she's actually teaching two workshops. One is Writing Short Fiction, and the other is Moms Write Mothering/Dads Write Fathering. Here's an excerpt from Ramola D's essay on her parenting workshop, which begins on July 2nd. The full text of this article you can read in your forthcoming Writer's Carousel.
Ramola D:

If you are a parent who writes or wants to write, what the workshop offers is a space to begin and a focus on your child to use as subject. Essentially the workshop allows you to explore different forms of essay, with suggested topics to use as starting points.

Through each focus and week, we read examples of the specific form we are working on—from the two texts we use, Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones’ In Short: A Collection of Brief Creative Non-fiction and AWP’s Writing Creative Non-Fiction, and from blogs and magazines online. We also read some instruction and writing on writing. Focused writing assignments with guidelines each week take you through the different forms.

We also post all work and workshop comments online, through a dedicated (and password-protected) classroom space (similar to Blackboard) on Nicenet.org. Posting work and workshopping online offers the special advantage of being possible in your own time--no commuting on a specific day, no need to hire that babysitter (just stay up and write!)--to work asynchronously across a whole week rather than in real-time at a special time. Each week, we work with a Finish-by date which serves also as our class Check-in-online date.
The class format has evolved from early conceptions. Initial plans had been to run the class on-site, with young children being cared for close by, but the complexities of daycare licensing regulations decreed that we move mostly online instead. I’ve especially liked the opening and closing components, when we moms (so far no dads) meet in person with our babies/kiddies in tow, and get to know each other a little. This summer we are trying to run the class fully online, to allow for participants further afield to take the class. So, if you are a mom or dad wanting to write or return to writing, come join us this summer!

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