The Pragmatic Hybrid

Hybrid Writers Circle – Brooklyn style!

Eight weeks of support and sweet progress for Writer You.

This writing stuff can be hard.

It takes heart to show up at the page and discover what wants you to write it.

If you’re like me, you’re most productive with the right support system in place: space, time, and comrades.

This in-person workshop is a safe space where you can sharpen your craft, and make huge leaps and progresses on a project you’ve been working on forever. It is also a place where you can explore and play with the written word, even if you don’t consider yourself a writer or have never been in a writing group.

My grand aim for the workshop: to create a structure that supports you in going deeply into your writing.

(My secret subversive aim for the workshop: to create a space that lets you dive into your You-ness in writing, safely and supported-ly. )

What we’re doing:

We’ll write together to prompts and exercises designed to draw out goodness and practice our craft.

We’ll be a small, supportive group, where we can share our work as much or little as we feel like, and get and give feedback.

In the course of my writing life so far, I’ve been in workshops and I’ve not been in workshops. And I can say that the most productive times by far are when I’m writing in community.

There is nothing like making a commitment to showing up at a particular time, with a group of supportive colleagues waiting to read your work, for finally committing a draft to paper, and for drawing words and work out of you that you didn’t know were in there.

Who this is for:

People who write, in any/all genre(s). You don’t have to call yourself a writer – it’s more than enough to want to show up and write with others.

If you are a capital-W Writer, you will find substance and support to help you make progress with your important projects.

And who might I be?

Hi there! I’m Amna. I’m a writer too, and essays and memoir-ish things are the kind of writing I seem do most naturally. I’ve had essays and fiction published in various places, and been a leader of several writing workshops, online and in person.

I see my role as one of facilitator and community-gatherer. I believe that everyone is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe, supportive space to learn and experiment and grow in.

How it works:

We’ll start and end our time together writing. I will provide prompts, starting points, and craft exercises.  During our meetings, there will also be dedicated time for members who want feedback on manuscripts to share their work and discuss it.

No worries if you’re new to workshops or giving feedback on manuscripts – we’ll talk about how to do this skillfully and kindly, and establish guidelines so that you can request the kind of feedback that will be most helpful for you. (We’ll follow the Amherst Writers & Artists workshop method – a very compassionate and smart model for writing workshops, with the guiding principle that everyone is a writer, and has a strong, unique voice.)

Dates and times:

Weekly, for 8 weeks, starting March 23rd. (The last meeting will be May 11th.)

Wednesday evenings, 7:30 – 9:30.

Meetings will happen in my living room, in Kensington/Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, near the F and Q trains.

Some other things you might be wondering about:

  • Will I have to share my writing?

Only if you want to. You could get tremendous value from the workshop just by showing up and writing with us. If you were to never share a peep of your own writing, but only comment and give feedback when others request it, this is completely okay.

  • What about critique? I’m scared!

Critique is a horrible word for what we’re doing. I wish there was a better one. I can tell you that the safety of all the writers in the group is my highest priority. Feedback will be balanced – there will be as much, if not more, affirmation as there will be suggestion for change. And you always get to set the parameters for what kind of response you want. If you’re having a moment when you only want to hear what’s strong and resonant about your piece, you’ll say so. And other participants will respond accordingly. If you want substantive critique to improve a piece, you can request that too.

  • What if I don’t know how to give feedback on a manuscript?

I give you reassurances! We’ll talk about this in detail in person, but I will tell you that you won’t have to figure it out on your own. If it’s the providing-feedback part that makes you nervous: we’ll be talking about the elements of useful feedback, to give you a starting point if you haven’t done it before.

You’ll find that you get comfortable with practice, and from watching others do it. You’ll get to see these discussions in action, and get a sense of what the possibilities for contribution are.

Other questions? Send me an email!

Nice things participants have said

“I’ve never had a safe space for writing. I got the feeling that writing groups were about criticism and showing off and had this kind of manufactured masculine nature going on.

People told me I was good at writing, so I believed them, but I didn’t think I could really be a writer because I didn’t know all the big words and hadn’t read all the classics. Personal writing was something I wanted to do more and more because it allowed me to express something exquisite within myself that had no other outlet. But writing was painfully difficult because I couldn’t bear to read what I wrote for the sake of writing.

Amna’s writers circle has brought gentle love to my writing. It’s showed me something I didn’t think was possible: that by providing a supremely sacred space and only positive feedback, it is possible to produce immense growth.

I love that I now know that this is possible, because it speaks to what I have always doubted but genuinely wanted to believe: that we are divine just as we are, and that we do not need to be molded or taught or shaped into something better.

Also, that by entering a truly safe space, I can create something beautiful. I can see that I’ve created something beautiful, and I can share it with the world, un-colored by shame or ego (which are really one and the same).

I recently made a pact with myself to invite magic into my life, whatever that may mean. It has arrived, on Sunday afternoons, for an hour or so. And then it has stayed with me as I write on the train to and from work, and as I type on the computer at night.”

-Kylie Springman, www.kyliewrites.com

The cost of the workshop:

The cost of the program is $240.

Ready to register?

The thing to do once you’ve taken care of payment is to to send me a note and tell me a teensy bit about what you hope to get out of participating. I want to be sure that the workshop is an excellent fit for you.

This is an intimate group. I’m limiting the workshop to eight people, so that everyone gets lots of time and attention. So if you want to make sure you’re in, please sign up early!

P.S.: If you’re feeling sad because you’re really drawn to this workshop, but you’re not in NYC, be not disheartened! I’m hatching an online+phone group especially for you. To hear about it first & get a secret discount option, sign up for my Happenings list. More details on that one to come!