Many writers like to seek solitude when they're working on a poem or a story — not only is it often easier to write when we're free of distractions, it also can feel preferable to keep your creative work private until you're ready to share. However, you also shouldn't underestimate the power of community in writing. Writing workshops are a great way to find a writing community that will give you the space and motivation to become an even stronger writer.
Why Participate in Writing Workshops?
Everyone performs better with a little support and encouragement. Think of a writing workshop as your fan club — even if the workshop you attend in a one-time event, for that day the writers in the room with you are there to bring their full attention to your work. Learning how to workshop a poem for the first time might feel intimidating, but this exercise can teach you a number of important skills. During writing workshops you practice analyzing poetry and literature, learn how to give and receive constructive criticism, and build confidence in your ability to read out loud and present your poetry to others. Writing workshops that meet regularly also help you stick to deadlines and hone good writing habits by holding you accountable to "homework" prompts as well as the fellow writers in your community.
How to Find Writing Workshops
Writing workshops take many different forms — if you're looking for a workshop near you, try using the following resources to connect with available writing and poetry communities:
- Use Your School Networks. If you haven't ever looked into finding a structured creative writing environment before, start with your own school or university English departments. Are there creative writing classes that you can enroll in for credit? Are there writing or poetry clubs you can join? Both formal educational environments and student-run groups can provide valuable writing workshop experiences. If a poetry club doesn't yet exist at your school, reach out to members of the school newspaper or literary magazine to see if there's interest in starting one.
- Use Your Social Networks. Your social networks are just as important as your educational ones. In today's digital world, social media gives us another valuable avenue for connecting with others and creating communities. You can use social media to find writing workshops by joining writing writing or poetry-related Facebook groups, following writing-related trends and hashtags on Twitter or Instagram, or even making requests of your own followers to see if anyone has recommendations. Social media can be useful in connecting you to online writing communities as well as upcoming poetry events.
- Ask a Librarian. Libraries have always served as community centers for both readers and writers. Pay a visit to your local library to ask whether there are any one-time or recurring writing workshops hosted there for teens and young adults. You might also come across readings, book signings, and other literary events you might enjoy!
- Create an Online Workshop with Power Poetry. Make use of our digital poetry tools to create online writing workshops! You can use the Power Poetry Groups function to join or create a safe space withing the Power Poetry platform and share work about a particular topic with other writers. You can also browse the poems posted by other Power Poetry users to find one-on-one moments for providing feedback to your peers' work.