2017-05/24 Amherst Writers and Artists Workshop with Ann Bancroft
This is a workshop using the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method designed to strengthen writers’ voices on the page, to stimulate creativity, encourage new work and support other writers.
Writing to prompts, reading our work, providing and receiving positive feedback, we will learn what makes writing strong. Responses and discussion will provide insight into elements of craft including point of view, setting, sensory detail, voice, rhythm and mood.
The belief behind AWA is that, simply, a writer is someone who writes, no matter her experience, education, age or identity outside of writing. In the AWA method, a small group of writers gather and the workshop leader gives a writing prompt. This can be a line of poetry, an object, a photograph, really anything that might stir memory or imagination. The group then quietly writes, from memory or imagination, whatever comes to mind. The writing continues for a specific, usually short amount of time, from five to twenty minutes. When the writing time ends, the writers read to the group what they have written. Because all work is new, only positive responses are allowed: what I liked, what was strong, what stays with me.
AWA keeps writers feeling safe in their writing by demanding confidentiality of the writers. Nothing about the writing leaves the room, even in discussion with other writers. All writing is presumed fiction. There is no discussion about the subject of the writing, only the writing itself and only in context of those three responses. (www.amherstwriters.com)
Ann Bancroft began writing fiction after a career in journalism and political communications. She was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Associated Press, a stringer for the New York Timesand an editorial writer at the Sacramento Bee, before being appointed by California Governor Gray Davis as Assistant Secretary for Education in charge of communications. She taught journalism courses at American River College, California State University Sacramento and University of California, Berkeley, her alma mater. After treatment for breast cancer in 2009, she retired as communications director for the California Department of Education, and began writing short stories and personal essays for Open Salon. She began work on her first novel after the Tomales Bay Writers Workshop with Dorothy Allison and Dangerous Writing workshops with Tom Spanbauer in San Diego and Portland, Ore. She was represented by Janklow and Nesbit literary agency in New York, and is working on her second novel. Ann has written with Amherst Writers and Artists workshops for several years and so loves the method as a way for inspiring confidence and creativity, she trained in Chicago to became certified as an AWA Affiliate.