Thursday, August 29, 2013


I spent each Monday night this past summer, and the summer before, in the aptly named Summer Workshop. Basically, a small group of folks from my MFA program committed to weekly meetings, for which we would read two or three pieces, and then gather at a different home each week to critique, comment, and/or celebrate (but mostly critique). This is pretty much what we do all year long as graduate students, and you might think we'd welcome a break for workshop, but you'd be wrong. I love workshop, and Summer Workshop is special. Not only did we drink beers and share snacks, but we also encouraged each other to keep writing, keep submitting, and occasionally get published. 

We always ended each workshop with Recommendations - that is, everyone would recommend something they thought the rest of us should experience. Katie kept track of our recommendations, and earlier this week she created an awesome poster, showing everything we'd shared and found delightful. I love it - it's a sweet reminder of a great summer, and perfectly captures the variety of personalities I'm lucky enough to know. Katie gave me permission to post it here, and I hope y'all enjoy it half as much as I do. 

(right click to open image and then enlarge)

Until next summer. <3


  1. This sounds wonderful. Have you ever had to find a critique community outside academia? When I was getting my BFA, I learned the value of good critique and I would love to bring that experience back into my life. I found a local writing workshop group, but the pieces from the last meetup are...well...not something I would have called ready for submission. I'm now torn as to whether I want to attend a workshop because I really want something rigorous, with serious enough work that I know I am going to get great notes, not "I liked it." Sigh.

  2. Finding the right writing friends can be difficult. If you've already got a group that you're just not clicking with, then don't feel badly about moving on! You might had to the Internet - I've had decent luck using in the past for a workshop environment (plus it's free!) and you could always try to start up a new workshop group, either by asking around at a college campus (though just because someone is in a writing class doesn't mean they're at your level). I hope you find a good group - I know how valuable readers are, and finding a few of my own has been the number one perk of the MFA experience.