Workshop Format and Etiquette
When you are presenting:
You must submit copies of your draft to each member of the class in the class period prior to when you are presenting.
For Tuesday workshops, you must provide copies of your draft by the preceding Thursday.
When you present, you won't be allowed to speak. The class will discuss your draft as if it were a work in the packet. Our discussion will concentrate on the requisite elements of the form with some attention to voice, structure, and effect. Even if we are way off when talking about the concepts in your essay/story, you may not interject and steer us elsewhere. Your writing should speak for itself.
When you are one of the critics:
You are to read and provide a brief, written critique of the piece(s) submitted for the workshop(s). Your responses are exercises in commentary and critical analysis, vital forms of prose. The length of these responses is optional but each should be at least two detailed paragraphs.** Responses are due on the day of each workshop; there should be one copy for the author, and one for the instructor. You may "mark up" the paper, but not as a replacement for a concise, articulate response.
You might structure your responses as follows: 1. discuss the narrative voice of the draft Who is the narrator? How does the narrator reveal and define itself? Or perhaps, how could it do so better? (Use examples.) 2. Close-read a specific part and explain how it relates or could better relate to one or more of the work's overall themes. Personal anecdotes and statements like "it was good" or "I didn't get the part about _____," are NOT helpful. You should make precise and opinionated comments using examples or comparisons. Especially useful might be comparisons to the works included in the packet. The golden rule applies to these responses; you should give others what you, in turn, would like to receive.
Keep in mind that being a member of this class gives you certain privileges. You will be privy to early draft versions of potentially brilliant or terrible work. Understand that regardless of the state or quality of the submitted drafts, they are shown to you for the purpose of making them better. All work submitted for this class is private property. Under no circumstances should the work of your classmates be shown to or even seen by someone who is not a member of this class.
**Instructor-requested revisions may be required for languorous responses.