WRITING & DO-IT-YOURSELF PUBLISHING WORKSHOPS
I’m available to facilitate workshops in your classroom, bookshop, community space, or elsewhere. I conduct writing and small press publishing and zine workshops to both teens and adults at independent bookstores and in schools, and I find it one of the most rewarding facets of being a writer.
In my experience, participants respond best to an environment of openness, respect and creativity, where everyone is heard and different learning styles and abilities are respected and encouraged. A combination of planning and organization, along with openness and spontaneity works best for the workshop environment. A mix of both practical information and hands-on experimentation and constructive feedback is key.
I have an extensive collection of North American zines and chapbooks of poetry and fiction, in a range of writing styles, and a wide variety of diverse formats and materials. I bring in samples to explore, and they’ve been tremendously inspiring to students and participants, many of whom have gone on to create their own small press projects outside of the classroom.
For writing workshops, I facilitate a variety of writing exercises in poetry, fiction, memoir, character development, journaling and more. As a starting point, I provide samples of contemporary published poetry and prose to be read and discussed. The writing exercises that follow embody a spirit of play and exploration, encouraging fresh new writing. Students leave with several new pieces and if desired, we hold an impromptu reading of the work at the end. There’s always time for questions both about the specific exercises, as well as about writing and publishing in general, and this frank discussion is always invigorating for both myself and participants.
Some comments from teachers:
“Students were clearly engaged with her well-planned presentation and were especially impressed with the massive collection of small press samples by various artists that Jennifer made available for us to study. As a result of Jennifer’s openness and warmth, students asked challenging questions that were answered with honesty and ease.”
“Jennifer has proven herself to be an earnest, diligent, and creative workshop facilitator. Her strengths are many: her dedication and commitment to careful planning, her creative writing talent, her ability to work with others with respect and kindness, and her willingness to take risks and challenge herself – which in turn inspires the participants to work towards exciting goals.”
“Jennifer’s workshops were creative, thoughtful, and addressed a variety of learning styles. She has a real talent for developing engaging in-class activities that both inspire and challenge the students. Her knowledge of contemporary poetry and indie publishing is vast.”
My availability is flexible. Please contact me if you’d like to book a workshop with your Writer’s Craft class, book group, writing group, or other collective.