Creative Writing Workshops? Bored Former Teacher (Frankfurt)
Hey, I see that a lot of people on this site have Creative Writing/Literature as an interest, and I was wondering if anyone would be interested in intensive (or not) creative writing workshops?
I was thinking of having little classes/workshops in which everyone creates a portfolio (based on a theme of choice) encompassing all of the main types of poems. We could explore the major English literary movements (skipping the "harder" writers if some people aren't native English speakers), from the English Renaissance to Modernism. For example, a workshop on the former could include a brief introduction of the English Renaissance for historical context, a reading/analysis of a Shakespearean sonnet, followed by time to brainstorm for our own sonnets, which we could write as "homework" or together, depending on the time. We could have partners to exchange/comment on our works as well. After everyone has a completed portfolio, we could even bravely head to open mic one night, get over our social anxiety, and read onstage.
Anyway, another option could be fiction writing. Who hasn't always wanted to write a book? Yet who actually knows the necessary steps involved, like how to create a character sketch, how to create realistic dialogue, how to technically structure a plot outline, and so on? And who actually musters up the courage to sit before a blank page and actually try, instead of coming up with an excuse? This type of class/workshop would be more intense and only recommended for those willing to pour their heart, soul, time, and energies into a project. To be honest, most people suck at writing (because they don't read enough classics) BUT it is very easy to make leaps of progress once you actually learn the elements of a story and how to manipulate them. And the reason there are so many half-finished books is because people simply do not make plot outlines, blinded by the naive hope that the story will just unfold itself and that a conclusion will magically appear and neatly wrap things up.
Anyway, I've been here for 1 month and found that Frankfurt does not have much to externally offer. There are a handful of museums and places to see, but overall I am not satisfied. I don't want to meet random people on random days for random events--that is too superficial, the conversations oft too trite. Even if the conversation is intriguing, it is too temporary and sporadic, and usually people aren't coming from similar frames of reference anyway, so how deeply can you really explore a topic?
I want to have a community where members can exchange ideas and engage our creative faculties. A community where one is intellectually and creatively stimulated, and where everyone appreciates good conversation and good company while possessing a willingness to learn. Imagine those literary salons in France back in the day, or even something crazier like when Beat Generation writers would meet up in NYC and just talk or write. How cool were those times? There was never a dull moment, and as Frankfurt is so (literally) grey, it would be nice to add some colour to life.
I am happy to give (obviously free) classes and organize workshops. I'm stuck in Frankfurt b/c my bf works here, so I've decided to spend the next few years reading, writing, and drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate. If anyone wants to join, it would be great! As for credibility, I've taught high school English for a few years in NY, TA'ed for English seminars at Harvard, taught creative writing/literary analysis at Chinese colleges, and have edited/ghostwritten a million books and published some poetry (but not enough). I'm definitely not an expert in anything, but I am sure I can get anyone to appreciate and come to love the English language while honing their writing skills. :)
If interested, do let me know what type of writing you'd like to do (poetry or novel) and also around how often would be ideal to meet. I really miss teaching and having students, but even if we just meet regularly to chat about books it could be cool to meet fellow bibliophiles. I don't see a point in meeting for the SOLE purpose of writing, because that can be done at home in pyjamas. But if something is to be learnt, social interaction is always worth it.
** Also, I think many ppl underestimate how much creativity (even if just doodling with markers at home) can add to your life, how it allows for essential introspection, and most importantly, how it makes you feel alive!