ARCHIVE FOR The Workshop

Novel, Inc.: News from the Novel Incubator: Q5: Bring on ‘da Quiet

I once had a writing teacher who advised us to begin the first draft, not with writing, but sitting.  Specifically, we were to descend to the basement and sit cross-legged on the damp floor.  Preferably we would be wrapped in a sleeping bag.  The basement, as I understood it, because we were meant to draw on our deepest subconscious.  The sleeping bag, to protect our quivering writer egos.

October 10, 2013 | Guest Author

Guest Post The Workshop The Writing Life

The Importance of First Lines: Why Revision Should Begin at the Beginning

Did you know agents might not read beyond your first line? As a hopeful novelist, clutching a newly-completed first draft and wondering where to start with revision, I was aware that the opening pages of a novel were important, but I didn’t realize how crucial first lines could be until I met Sorche Fairbank, agent and Grub Street instructor.

October 8, 2013 | Sarah Colwill-Brown

Guest Post The Workshop

How to Make Your Writing Group Work

Notes from a Grub Street-inspired writing group

By Joanne Barker, Cloe Axelson, Pat McTiernan, Julia Rubin, Carol Steinberg, Judith Vick

We met in Michelle Seaton’s Six Weeks, Six Essays class and quickly got to know each other in a way that typically takes months or years. Perhaps rapid intimacy is a hallmark of creative nonfiction. The class ended and six of us decided to keep going. 

August 29, 2013 | Guest Author

Craft Advice Inspiration The Workshop The Writing Life

Ode to My Students

By Nadine Kenney Johnstone

The night before the first class, I panicked.

What had I been thinking when I agreed to teach a workshop just five weeks after giving birth?

During pregnancy, I thought I'd actually be bored (yes, BORED) once Geo arrived. I imagined hours of nursing and cuddling, but I had also heard that babies sleep. A lot. So, I honestly envisioned an lot of thumb twirling happening on my end while Geo napped

August 21, 2013 | Nadine Kenney Johnstone

Inspiration The Workshop

Welcome to The Freelance Life

[Announcing a new monthly column, The Freelance Life, by Ethan Gilsdorf, about the trials, tribulations, triumphs --- and tips to share --- along the path to becoming a freelance writer. This fall, Ethan is launching a suite of classes at GrubStreet called the Freelance Essentials Series, which teaches students the skills and craft to become working freelance journalists.]

by Ethan Gilsdorf

Back in the 1990s, when I first contemplated becoming a freelance writer, I was green. OK, I was more than green. I was chartreuse. I was viridescent. I was so naive-green, it hurt to look at me.

But for some reason ...

August 20, 2013 | Ethan Gilsdorf

Craft Advice Different ways to learn to be a better writer Secret The Workshop