Making the most of the writing workshop
My Writing Novels for Young People group is really making good use of the workshop element of our seminar. Three students email me work in advance. I photocopy it and bring it to class. The work is always to do with what we have studied in the week before and we comment both on this and any other “creative writing” issues we notice. So far we’ve looked at the young adult character and story shape. For next week they’ll work on how the characters change throughout the novel. They all make notes on the copy they have and keep that. This may seem unusual, but it does allow them to keep a copy of texts that work well and having other people’s work to hand gives them a point of reference. I actually pass back my copy and the notes thereon to the writer.
This has all worked really well so far and we tend to spend the first hour workshopping. It really leads to a much deeper understanding of the young adult text and provides the students with many insights about their own writing.
I’ve been really pleased with my students’ response to this.