What Now?: Turning Ideas to Essays Through Collaborative Discussion


3 Thursdays (every other week)
writing Memoir & Essays
with Cait Weiss Orcutt
July 9,  July 23, Aug 6
from 6 to 9

Out of stock

Writing workshops are great as long as you have a piece ready to workshop. Many of us, though, spend weeks, months or years in the idea stage of writing. Is there a way, we wonder, to speed things up?

Designed specifically for those Creative Non Fiction writers who have yet to get to the writing phase of writing (whether because of work, family, health, emotional overload, sheer terror, or “writer’s block…”), this workshop will help you take the great idea you’ve been turning over in your head and finally get that idea down on the page as prose. Over the course of three alternating Mondays, we will go from collaborative discussion of form and content (our first meeting) to presenting outlines and influences (our second meeting) to sharing a draft ready for revision feedback and publication suggestions (our third and final meeting).

The basis for this idea-to-essay multi-weekend intensive workshop comes from my experience leading over a dozen writing workshops in Houston and on Zoom over the past five years. This past Grackle cycle, with all that is going on, one writer simply didn’t have a piece “ready” for workshop, yet she had an excellent essay idea she’d be mulling over in her head for years. Instead of the traditional workshop session, we took the time as a class to hear her idea, to help her find its roundness and depth through asking questions and voicing our excitement for specific characters and moments, to suggest existing forms and mentor texts that might help guide her process, and to conceptualize together, with her guidance, what a finished piece might look like based on her original idea. We should do this more often, I thought, as I watched her piece take shape.

If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time and place to grow your idea into an essay, why not make that time now and that place here with us in our Grackle & Grackle Zoom room?

While open to all writers of any level, this workshop will be especially useful for people who have been mulling over a memory or topic for years, knowing it needs to get on the page, but having trouble motivating themselves to do it or envisioning what form the final creation might take. Join us for three meetings over six weeks and let’s turn your idea into the essay it’s been trying to become this whole time.

CAIT WEISS ORCUTT’s work has appeared in Boston ReviewChautauquaFIELD, and others. Her manuscript VALLEYSPEAK (Zone 3, 2017) won Zone 3 Press’ 2016 First Book Award, judged by Douglas Kearney. Cait has an MFA from The Ohio State and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Poetry at the University of Houston.

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