Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Creative Writing Workshop @ the John Theurer Cancer Center, Tuesday October 22

If you're a young adult affected by cancer, we'd love to have you join us for this event:

Tips for the Creative Writing Exercises:
  • Writing materials will be provided, but please feel free to bring your favorite journal, a laptop, or a tablet with a keyboard.
  • Never tried creative writing to help you deal with cancer? No worries, this session will be a good introduction. If you’re an experienced writer, we’ll challenge you with new prompts and give you an opportunity to share your own tips with our writing community.
  • You won’t be required to share what you write following each prompt, but those who wish to participate in the post free-write discussions will be encouraged to do so.
  • Ninety percent of writing is revision. The atmosphere of the workshop will be relaxed and friendly, with no expectations of perfect work. We’re all dealing with stupid cancer, and this will be a chance to “work it out” in a supportive environment.
Tips for Giving an Open Mic Performance:
  • After the writing exercises, there will be an *optional* opportunity for participants to read something they have prepared in advance. 
  • Each presenter will have three minutes. This is enough time to read a full blog post, a few poems, or 2-3 double-spaced pages. No one will be timing you during your reading. From my experience at open mic events, presenters who meaningfully exceed the three minute mark tend to lose the attention of the audience.
  • Practice at home: read slowly, out loud, in front of a mirror, and time yourself. You’ll feel more comfortable when in front of the mic if you’ve practiced. And if you have last minute jitters: don’t worry; it’s OK to pass! We all have good days and bad days.
  • When choosing your material, consider the following: a serious piece may be exactly what you need to share with this audience, who “gets” what you’re going through. If so, you will receive support and praise for your courage afterward. A serious piece, however, can be harder to read than a humorous one because you may not receive audience cues real-time. A humorous reading elicits laughs, and thus can be a more positive experience while you’re holding the mic. That shouldn’t stop you from reading your serious work; just know ahead of time that the positive feedback will likely come post the reading instead of during. Both types of work will be well-received by the audience, just in different ways. Share with us whatever is most important to you.
  • Avoid controversial topics or language that might offend an audience member. We want this to be a positive experience for all.
Tips for Being a Good Audience Member During and After the Open Mic Performances:
  • Every person who takes the mic deserves our praise for sharing something personal with us. Immediately after or at the end of the evening, let the presenters know how much you enjoyed their readings.
  • If a particular reading moves you, don’t be shy in asking for a copy or connecting with its author!
Questions? Contact me here.