Workshop Events

Critique Workshop: May 1 – June 2


This 5-week workshop will explore the mental and emotional aspects of giving and receiving critique, coupled with practical instruction for how to constructively inspire a positive revision experience that supports peers in their creative growth. In addition to weekly written content (starting May 1st), participants will have the opportunity to swap written material for critique practice, discuss content via Zoom, and join the Polish & Pitch Discord server (a community for life, not just the event!) Zoom chats will be recorded in order to keep the material accessible for those who miss a meeting.

May 1 — June 2

$25 registration/per person


Week One (May 1-7) — We’ll dig deep into our mental and emotional reactions to receiving critique so we can better understand ourselves and develop a process that enables us to bypass negative feelings and tackle revisions with confidence. Zoom on May 5th, 7-8 p.m. EST

Week Two (May 8-14) — Armed with confidence, we’ll now talk about the technical aspects of how to give a critique that is enthusiastic and encouraging while still providing clear and actionable advice. Zoom on May 12th, 7-8 p.m. EST

Swap time! (May 15-June 1) We’ll pair off and swap stories to practice everything we’ve learned. Note, this period will NOT have a Zoom so that everyone can focus on critique and revisions.

Regroup (June 2) — We’ll wrap up with a longer Zoom session to discuss what feedback was helpful and what wasn’t, so that we can continue to develop our critique methods and further support each other toward a fully revised draft. Zoom on June 2nd, 7-9 p.m. EST

Writing Basics

Thank you to everyone who joined the January 2020 Writing Basics workshop. I had such a blast creating the event for you, and I look forward to seeing where your writing takes you next! -Jaime

Next Writing Basics workshop- To be determined.

The Polish and Pitch Writing Basics workshop is an 8-week course that focuses on popular modes of fiction writing, the elements of good storytelling, and the steps to provide useful critique. This intensive educational experience features interactive peer review on a week to week basis for assignments, as well as 3 full draft critique sessions with peer and instructor feedback. Learning material is provided as written lecture accompanied by video. 

This course does not require the purchase of textbooks, though it is encouraged that you consider acquiring a copy of “The College Handbook of Creative Writing” by Robert DeMaria as it is the source used and referred to in the lectures. 

The prospective work schedule for our Workshop is as follows:

Week One-
Lecture: Exploring fiction as short story, poetry, and screenwriting. 
Assignment: Submit an exploratory example of writing in one of the three fiction types and review two peer submissions. 

Week Two- 
Lecture: Establishing setting
Assignment: Submit an exploratory example of writing that focuses primarily on establishing setting and review two peer submissions. 

Week Three- 
Lecture: Developing plot movement and character
Assignment: Submit an exploratory example of writing that focuses primarily on developed plot and character and review two peer submissions. 

Week Four- 
Lecture: Pitching your story idea
Assignment: Submit a pitch that reflects your draft and review two peer submissions.

Week Five- 
Lecture: How to accept and interact with feedback
Assignment: Submit your first full draft for instructor and peer review. Short stories must be 3-5 pages, poetry must be 30-50 lines, screenplays must be one full scene. 

Week Six-
Lecture: Providing constructive developmental feedback
Assignment: Provide constructive developmental feedback to two peers using Track Changes in Word

Week Seven- 
Lecture: Creating tighter prose
Assignment: Revise your draft using lecture notes and feedback from instructor and peers

Week Eight-
Lecture: Finding places to submit
Assignment: Submit final draft for ending notes from instructor, and a brief review detailing one publication you plan to submit to and what you gained most from the experience. 

Assignment submissions are due on every Thursday of the course week. This allows time for peer reviews which are due by Sunday.

While this course is not for institutional credit, it is important that you only commit if you know you can meet deadlines and participate as the schedule entails. This ensures that every participant gets the best possible experience from your feedback and timely interaction. 

Next Writing Basics workshop- To be determined.