Because a place like Write On doesn’t exist in our area, people get a little confused about what it is we do. So, here’s a little rundown about what we as a business do and what a writer might expect at a day at Write On.
Write On is first and foremost a place for writers. This might seem obvious as we are called the Write On Creative Writing Center, but we often get inquires as to whether or not we’re a tutoring or literacy center, and while we want to support those endeavors as much as possible, what we at Write On want to focus on are not the things that a child (or adult! Write On is open to all ages!) has to know but rather what they want to know. Write On is for writers looking for a place to write that isn’t solely for academic purposes or obligation but because they have a love and passion for writing, just like we do!
Now, creative writing is kind of a broad label, so let’s discuss what we mean when we say creative writing. Creative writing covers a lot of things, but the only stipulation is that it isn’t academic or technical writing. So, for example, creative writing could be fiction or non-fiction. It could be poetry, short stories, novels, journalism, music (yep!), or many other things. And whatever you or your child are interested in working on, I can guarantee we have a lesson plan for it. This means that we don’t really work on things like college application essays, but we will help writers work on something like a graphic novel or a play!
So, since I brought it up, let’s talk next about who is welcome at Write On! The absolute easiest answer is EVERYBODY! However, we do have an age starting point for most of what we do. This is mostly on a case-by-case basis but the easiest answer is that our programs aren’t well-suited to children under the age of eight, or someone going into third grade. While we love working with children that young, it’s a little more complicated because they often haven’t reached the comprehension level of some of the activities and lessons we want the writers to partake in, which is necessary to really interact with the workshops. That aside, we’re open to all ages. Some of our workshops (such as our current summer camps) were created for children and teenagers, while our standard workshops (offered in the evenings and on Saturdays throughout the year) are for anyone. With any luck, we’re hoping to introduce some classes geared just toward adults with some more advanced workshops, so stay tuned for that if you’re interested!
As for what a workshop looks like, we can talk about that. With the exception of our summer camps and some specialized weekend workshops that will be all-day workshops, all of our standard workshops are one hour workshops that begin with a journal prompt (something very broad that will help get your brain warmed up and get your mind focused inside instead of outside) that will be worked on for 15 minutes, a 10-minute focused lesson, 25 minutes of work time and then a 10-minute activity we call “Author’s Chair” where our writers get to share what they worked on while they were here. We’re also hoping to introduce series’ in the near future that will allow writers to come in and build on existing work in order to have a slightly longer finished product or portfolio. We already have some of these series as part of our Zoom workshops, but we’ll get to that. While the last 30 minutes of the workshop time is individual writing time for each writer, everything we do here at Write On is guided. That means we have an activity for the writer to focus on and while they’re working, we’re always around to assist. Our goal at Write On is not only to create a space for writers to meet and interact with other writers and have a place to let inspiration take hold but also to give them the tools to improve. Every staff member at Write On has previous experience in teaching and in language arts, and we want to help writers not only realize their passion for writing but also how to build skill and improve as they move forward.
Which brings me to our Zoom workshops. As you can probably imagine, the Zoom workshops weren’t exactly in our original business plan. Much like everyone else, we had adjust in the midst of the pandemic. Without in-person classes, we needed a way to reach writers, and that’s when we found out about Zoom. Our Zoom workshops actually ended up being a blessing because it meant we got to reach not only the writers in the DFW area but writers all over the country! We have people coming in from multiple states now via Zoom, which is extremely exciting. Our Zoom workshops work very much like our standard workshops, with the same length of workshops but a slightly varied schedule. Right now, our Zoom workshops are focused mainly on series like Writing With the Moon and Nature Journaling, but as our online clientele continues to grow, so will our workshops offerings. The future of our Zoom workshops remains to be seen as our country’s overall business model changes and evolves, so stay tuned for information on that in the near future.
I hope this helped you to get a picture of what we do on a normal day at Write On and what we’re trying to accomplish here. As we just opened in March (and immediately had to adjust to make room for the pandemic), we’re still building our workshops and rearranging to fit needs that we see in the community. If you have questions, comments, or want to connect with us in person or via Zoom, give us a call!