The Worlds of R. A. Hortz
The Writing Workshop Note Book
The Writing Workshop Note Book: Notes on Creating and Workshopping
By Alan Ziegler
Soft Skull Press (2007)
Reviewed by Harry S. Chou - Posted March 21, 2012
Ask most people about a writer's life, and they will say that it is a solitary lifestyle, spent in some lonely garret, office or kitchen table with little interaction with other writers. That might have been a correct hypothesis in the good old days, but not now. Today, writers have ample opportunity to interact with other writers, in school, via the internet, and at workshops where writers share not only their ideas, but also their masterpieces.
In The Writing Workshop Note Book, Alan Ziegler, a writer, teacher (he is a professor of writing at Columbia University), and workshop leader, offers advice on how to organize, run, participate, and benefit from a writing workshop. Along the way he also provides tips on creativity, the writing process, and how to accept your role as a writer. Perhaps most important for workshop participants, Ziegler teaches you how to accept and grow from the criticism that your writing might garner from your cohorts. In short, this book will teach you how to productively use the workshop experience, and how to honestly critique other writer's writing.
Ziegler is an excellent teacher, and if you are serious about your writing, you should read this book! It is filled with personal anecdotes, quotes from other writers, and a wealth of information. The Writing Workshop Note Book is an essential writing text for writers of every ilk, and for anyone who has ever, or is considering, attending or leading a writing workshop.
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