How fun is it that I found myself in NYC the very same week that GWW (Gotham Writers’ Workshop) held their annual Winter Open House? Much fun, for me and for Paul, who (being the gentleman that he is) escorted me to the classroom on Bowery (Lower East Side) then had himself a pint or two at McSorley’s Old Ale House while I learned how much there is to learn about writing.
The first class (Nonfiction Writing) was taught by Pauline Millard, who had me at “I write for the The Huffington Post”. I love that she stressed that in order to be a good writer, one really must read. I can do that. I know there is more to being a writer than reading a lot, but it’s a good start, isn’t it?
Ms. Millard gave us several writing prompts (my favorite being “Write about someone you can’t stand”). A few brave souls shared their five minute manifestos with the rest of us (apparently we all have someone or something we can’t stand – relief all around). She suggested we read On Writing by Stephen King. Being the good (i.e. obsessive) student that I am, I decided I must read that book. Now.
Evan Rehill taught the second class (Creative Writing). I enjoyed his teaching style (fired up) and the fact that he felt mortally wounded by a paper cut inflicted upon him last class. I wanted to know (and still do) what the tattoo on his inner wrist symbolized (it looked like a star that had lines missing). Don’t ask me why I didn’t ask him – I don’t know why – just didn’t. Maybe I will e-mail him.
Mr. Rehill taught that the words coming to life are what we give to the reader and gave us the following writing prompt: “Pick an ordinary object and infuse it with magic”. OK, got it. Next prompt? “Add conflict”. What does my character want? What is in the way? Juicy. Let’s make the impossible possible, shall we?
Now, of course, I want to take classes every Saturday in NYC. The classes aren’t too expensive, but the travel (train, parking, subway, etc) would run a couple hundred a week, easy. Alas. GWW does offer classes online, which I typically shy away from…will have to think about it. Meantime, thank you Gotham Writers’ Workshop for enriching my NYC experience!