Next Workshop: July 27, 2011

Our next writers’ workshop will be held on the evening of Wednesday, July 27, 2011.  Please login to your ColumbusCoop.org account for time and place information.  (Don’t have one?  Register here, it’s free)

We’ll post an optional writers’ prompt shortly.

Writers of all types and genres are encouraged to attend our writers’ workshops, regardless of skill or experience level.

For more information on writers’ workshops, check out this FAQ.

Hope to see on on 7/27!  Contact us with any questions.

Next Writers’ Workshop: July 13, 2011

Our next writers’ workshop will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2011.  Please login to your ColumbusCoop.org account for time and place information.  (Don’t have one?  Register here, it’s free)

June has 5 Wednesdays, so it’s actually three weeks out this time around.  We’ll get a writers’ prompt up for you shortly.

For more information on writers’ workshops, check out this FAQ.

Hope to see on on 7/13!  Contact us with any questions.

A Novel Approach – Announcing Long Fiction Feedback Sessions

At Columbus Creative Cooperative, we’re always looking for ways to grow and improve, and better serve our community of writers.

From the beginning, writers have been submitting novel chapters as part of our regular semi-monthly workshops, and we’ll continue to encourage this.  It’s a great way to work out dialog, muddied action sequencing and get feedback on tone and humor.

However, some elements of a novel need to be considered all at once to judge their effectiveness.  And besides, going through your novel at a rate of 2 chapters per month could take years to get through.

So we’re going to start doing novel workshop sessions by appointment.  This is an opportunity for you to have the group look at your entire novel in one sitting, and it should be extremely helpful.

Now you can get feedback on whether the clues from chapter one are panning out correctly in chapter 16, or whether the whole thing is just confusing.  You can get a sense of how many characters are too many or not enough to carry your plot, and so on.

We’ll do one novel every two months.  Please jump in and get your name on the schedule.  Priority will obviously go to those individuals who are participating and giving feedback to other authors first.

Our first session will be on July 9, 2011, I think it will be a good time.  Please contact us to let us know you’d like to participate, and we’ll get the manuscript to you to read ahead of time.  It’s a complete manuscript by a talented writer and fairly polished, so it should be a good read.

I hope to see you there.

Next Writers’ Workshop: June 22, 2011

Our next writers’ workshop will be on the evening of Wednesday, June 22, 2011 in Bexley.  Please login to your free ColumbusCoop.org account for specific time and location information.

This will be the last workshop before the June 27, 2011 deadline for the “Tales of the Unexpected” anthology.  Please use this opportunity to get some constructive feedback on anything you’re considering submitting for the anthology.

IMPORTANT EXCEPTION:  This time around, please make sure to email anything you’d like feedback on in by Saturday, June 18, 2011 at noon.

Need help getting started?  Try this week’s writing prompt: Unlikely Predators, or any of our other writing prompts.

Have questions about our writers’ workshops?  Check out our Columbus Writers’ Workshop FAQs or contact us.

Two Workshops Left – Please Join Us

There are two workshops left before the submission deadline for our “Tales of the Unexpected” anthology on June 27.

Attending our workshops won’t officially help your chances of being included, but whether you’re brand new to the craft or a seasoned professional, they will help you write a better story.

Our workshops will be on June 8 and June 23, both Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.  Create an account and login for location information and more details.

Anyone can join us for our workshops and get feedback on their story, essay, novel chapter, etc.  Don’t forget to send anything you’d like peer feedback on at our June 8, 2011 workshop to info@ColumbusCoop.org no later than midnight on Sunday, June 5.

Don’t know where to start writing?  Give one of our writing prompts a try.

Thanks!  I hope to see you there.  Please contact us with any questions.

Next Columbus Writers’ Workshop: June 8, 2011

Our next workshop will be June 8, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

More details will be posted as they become available in your “account” page.  Click here to register for a free account, or login.

Please email anything you’d like peer-reviewed by no later than midnight on Sunday, June 5, 2011.  The group can review short stories, poetry, essays, novel chapters, etc.

All are welcome to attend, whether you’ve submitted a piece for review or not.  Hope to see you there, it’s always a great time.

Please contact us with any questions.

Next Writers’ Workshop – May 25, 2011

Our next writers’ workshop will by May 25, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.  Please contact us or log in to your free ColumbusCoop.org account for location details.

All are welcome to attend our workshop.  It’s a fun, casual atmosphere to critique each other’s work and improve our craft.

If you’d like feedback on your work at this workshop, please submit your work by midnight on Sunday, May 22, 2011.  All of the pieces will be provided to workshop participants on Monday morning to give everyone a chance to review them before the workshop.

Have questions about the workshop?  View our workshop FAQ.

Still have questions?  Please contact us.

WP: What’s For Dinner (05/11/11)

The writing prompt for the May 11, 2011 writers’ workshop is “What’s For Dinner?”

Length guideline: 3,000 to 5,000 words

This could be the story of how your peas get to the dinner table, what happened to the dinner guest who never arrived, or an allergy mishap.

Nowhere to start?  You could just describe exactly what you had for dinner last night in savory, or disgusting, detail.

Our next writers’ workshop will be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.  You do not have to use this prompt.  If it’s helpful, use it.  If not, please continue to bring other materials or just your feedback.

Happy writing!  Questions?  Contact us.

The Book Exchange

I’ve been asked several times at workshops if we ever intend to read any novels or short stories together and discuss them, like a book club.

Not at this time.  It seems that most of our members have enough on their plate, I know I do, and adding another stressor would probably do more harm than good.  Simply reading the workshop materials can be a two hour chore some weeks.

But, I would like to find ways to read and talk about good books together.  In the words of Stephen King, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

So I’d like to introduce the book exchange.  If you’re interested in expanding your reading horizons, please bring a book to pass along, and arrive to the workshop 15 minutes early next time.  We’ll spend a few minutes talking books, then rotate what we’ve got around/across/above the circle, and make sure everyone gets something new to read.

You probably won’t ever get your original book back.  You’re giving it away for good.  Sorry.

But, you should have something to take home with you that’s just as good.  You can keep your new book for life, or read it in the following two weeks (or four weeks, or ten weeks) and trade it again at the next meeting.

I think this will give us a way to share insight into our reading without burdening our members with another line for the to-do list.

I hope to see you Wednesday!  For more information on our upcoming writers’ workshop and book exchange, please contact us, or become a CCC member today (log in for workshop info).  Membership is free.

Writers’ Workshop FAQs

The term “writers’ workshop” is used a lot of different ways. When we use it at the Ohio Writers’ Association we mean a meeting for Ohio writers to bring their work and give and receive mutual feedback.

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

When and where do OWA workshops meet?

Our workshops presently meet in Zanesville and Columbus, Ohio on a rotating basis. Check the calendar to see upcoming dates.

Workshops are free and you do not need to be an OWA member to join us.  To be alerted of the time and place of upcoming workshops, please join our mailing list or register for a free ColumbusCoop.org account.

What does a writers’ workshop look like?

Typically, our writers’ workshops consist of six to twelve people workshopping around a table for an hour and a half giving feedback on each other’s work. The mood is light and friendly while remaining professional; it’s an enjoyable, creative, constructive experience.

Most participants want feedback on short stories, but others bring essays or other formats. Sometimes work is submitted as a bare bones outline, and other times the author is just looking for nitty-gritty details before they send their work off to a contest or anthology.

The feedback is always honest, so sometimes hard when it needs to be, but it’s always a cooperative, pleasant atmosphere.

Can I bring my novel, poem, etc?

Yes! Our focus is primarily on short stories, but you may absolutely bring other forms of writing. Our general guideline for any piece to be reviewed is a maximum of 10,000 words.

I don’t have anything written right now, can I still come?

Yes! We’d love to have you. Whether you want to feel out the group before bringing your stuff, or you just don’t have anything you’d like feedback on right now, please come along and join our discussion anyways. The other writers would greatly appreciate your feedback. We just ask that you please read the submissions beforehand and be ready to add to the discussion.

Do I need to be a OWA member to come?

Nope! Everyone is welcome to join us.

Will my work automatically be submitted for publication with OWA?

No!  We run our publishing and writers’ workshops as independently as possible.  Although it’s a great way to improve your work before the next anthology, you are not required or expected to publish the work you bring to the workshops.

You are encouraged to bring stories and work you’ve been working on for other anthologies, contests, magazines, etc.

How do I submit my work for feedback?

We ask that all work you’d like feedback on be submitted no later than midnight of the Wednesday immediately before the workshop. Please email your work (preferably in PDF form) to workshops@ohiowriters.org.

You will receive a confirmation email if we receive your work. Writers whose work is selected for the workshop will receive a confirmation email; everyone else will be notified to please resubmit for future workshops. We’d love to have everyone’s submissions workshopped, but time restraints limit us.

Within 48 hours of the deadline for submitting work, all of the collected pieces will be posted to the members-only area of the website for download, so that everyone can read them in advance.  You can register for a free account to download the work. This gives everyone the opportunity to read everything and prepare their thoughts before the meeting.

Should I bring written notes?

No, you do not need to bring written notes. Our feedback sessions are just a verbal discussion.

If you’re a natural note-taker and would like to pass off what you’ve got to the author, that’s great and you’re encouraged to do that, but it’s not required.

What happens if my work is chosen but I can no longer attend?

Life happens, we understand. Do your best to notify us as soon as you know you won’t be able to make it. If you pull out in the week before the workshop (after your work has been chosen), you are required to attend one workshop before being allowed to submit your work again. This is out of respect to the time readers have put into reading what you have submitted.

Where can I find the workshop materials?

Log into your free OWA account, and then visit this page. From there, download the .zip file and read away!

Other Questions?

Please contact us at workshops@ohiowriters.org. We hope to see you at the next workshop!