I often get emails or FB messages from people who ask if I know of any writer's groups or workshops. This post is for you.
Please note: the information below is not comprehensive and I post it as it's sent to me, so check back for updates.
If you have a writing group or writing related activity on for anywhere in Israel this spring, please send me the information through my site and I'm happy to post.
For more details about any of these events, please contact the event organizer.
From Jennifer Lang...
Writing Auto-Fiction, or How to Write about Yourself without Writing about Yourself with Janice Weizman
You want to write about the life you've lived, the experiences that shaped you, the hard-won insights you've gained along the way. But what if rather than just telling your story, you want the freedom to explore it without the constraint of "the facts"? How can you write truthfully about your life while rejecting memoir's insistence of remaining faithful to "the truth"? The genre of Autofiction offers a way of writing a protagonist that shares key traits with the author but ultimately, and importantly, is not the author.
In this workshop, we'll look at works of autofiction by Rachel Cusk, Chris Kraus, Ben Lerner, and Teju Cole, examining how these writers fictionalize themselves and their experiences. The writing exercises in this workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to experiment with material drawn directly from their own lives, while making use of the creative flexibility which the genre unlocks. and facilitating the first steps toward writing a work of autofiction.
Date: Thursday, April 23, 2020 from 10:00 – 13:30
Cost: 390nis if you register by April 13 and 420nis after
Roots in Our Throats: Using Etymology to Deepen Writing with Natasha Sajé
English has more words than any other language, so researching word origins enables us to choose wisely. "Language is fossil poetry," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, referring to images revealed by the history of words. Paul West, for example, began a novel about astronomy with the word "consider," which comes from "cum" (with) and "sidus" (star). Using etymology to access history—and the process of change—makes writing more dynamic.
In this workshop, we'll read examples where etymology allows the writer to riff on or deepen her thinking. And we'll practice using etymology to unblock us, move us from one idea to the next, and offer surprising turns to a piece of writing. Bring a piece (any genre) you want to strengthen, and bring a device through which you can access online etymological dictionaries. We'll do exercises to hear the differences in tone between synonyms from Latinate-Greek and Anglo-Saxon-Germanic. We'll consider the value of words from foreign languages. And we'll access historical change that might give you a way into your ideas.
Date: Friday, May 15, 2020 from 9:00 – 12:30
Cost: 390nis if you register by May 5 and 420nis after
Write Now, Write Together with Jennifer Lang
"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect." –Anaïs NinBring what you're working on. Bring what you want to write. Bring what's on your mind. Bring what you think about at 3 a.m. Bring an empty notebook or your worn journal. Come, sit, write. We'll begin with a prompt and go from there. Open to all levels and genres. Light refreshments will be served. Limited to 6 people.
Wednesdays, May 6, 13, 20, 27 and June 3, 10 from 17:30-19:30
Cost: 750nis if you register by April 23 and 800nis after
All classes take place at Israel Writers Studio in Lev Ha'ir Tel Aviv. Space is limited. Advance registration required. Details at https://israelwriterstudio.com/
From Nadia Jacobson...
Story FoundationsFocus on Crafting ProseWorkshop series starts May 2020 (in-person & live online options available)with writers & editors Batnadiv Hakarmi & Nadia Jacobson
We're always looking for more time or the perfect time to write, but, let's face it, the time will never be "right". Instead, we'll explore how to turn small pockets of writing opportunity to our advantage, heighten our observational skills, and move dramatic situations from our imagination to the page.
Over the course of this series, you'll dedicate time and space to learning the craft of writing, nurturing your writing style, and letting your stories emerge. You'll explore and experiment with the elements of the writer's toolkit: character development, point of view, setting, dialogue, story arc, narrative time, rhythm and narrative pace.
Nadia Jacobson and Batnadiv HaKarmi - both experienced writers, editors, and teachers - have combined their strengths to create a workshop for memoir and fiction writers who want to write regularly and improve their writing exponentially. Each week, participants will hone specific skills through readings, discussion, and in-class writing exercises. There'll be many opportunities to share writing for immediate feedback and to submit an edited piece for peer review with a sensitive critique from an instructor.
Haunted Textswith playwright & screenwriterAmital SternMay 21, 2020 * 10:00-15:00In this experimental workshop, we will read texts, watch scenes, look at images, discuss and write, in order to unearth haunted elements in our writing. Drawing from various art forms, we will explore memory, dislocation, and alienation. Focusing on the body, and ways it manifests existential monstrosity, we will experiment together, in radical and transformative ways.
Even if your current project or writing tendencies lean towards non-fiction or straight-up realism, this workshop will push you to dig deeper in your quest for original, poetic language and imagery, daring innovations in form, and exploration of materials that feel stuck.
We will dig up the obsessions, ghosts, aliens, and demons that inhabit our stories and let them take over. We will blur lines between fantasy and reality. Lean into the gothic, the uncanny, horror, glitch aesthetic. Interchange dream and reality. Allegorize. Science-fictionalize. We will play with conventions, break them open, allowing supernatural material to roam free.
**********The Lyric Speakerwith award-winning poet & lyric essayistJane Medvedfor personal & lyric essay writers & poetsMay 7, 2020 * 10:00-15:00
Memoir, personal essay and even poetry are usually written in first person. "I" and "Me" are pretty much the default points of view. But what if one plays around with the pronouns – how does that change the experience of reading, and more importantly, of writing? What if the writer alternates between He, She and I? And about that slippery "You"? How can we, as writers, use it to our advantage?
In this class focusing on personal and lyric essay, we will explore how a simple change of pronoun can alter the lens through which we perceive. And how changing the point of view can access material that may be locked to the traditional "I" narrator.
Class reading materials will be distributed beforehand. Come prepared to experiment and write!