Workshops vs. Large Group
What’s the difference between the “workshops” and the “large group” meetings?
They are both complementary parts of the ‘South Bay Creative Writers Group.’ The key differences:
- Large group meets on the first Saturday of each month at the Redondo Beach Main Library (10:30am-Noon);
- Smaller ‘Writers Workshops’ meet weekly in the same time-slot for all other Saturdays;
- The Workshops are held in a private residence (location provided upon RSVP confirmation from the metope.com website):
- Large group is effectively open to the public and free;
- Workshops are capacity-controlled in order to foster continuity and the creative process;
- Nominal donations are suggested for the Workshops to both offset meetup costs and foster ownership amongst participants; and
- The primary focus of the Workshops is writing and supportive critique, while the large group tends toward more general topics related to writing, publishing, and marketing.
I’m allergic to dogs. Is that a problem?
For the large group meetings, no. However, the Workshops are currently hosted in a household with two 20-lb dogs. If the presence of the dog is a problem for you (either allergy or phobia), contact the Workshop coordinator so he can consider moving the Workshop(s) to an alternate location to accommodate you.
I’m not 21 yet. Is that a problem?
Currently, no. However, it is possible that either the Workshops and/or the large group meeting might contemplate a move into a 21-and-over space. Please let the coordinators know if such a move might impact you.
Does everyone get to read? How much?
Ideally, everyone participating will have pages to read and there is time for everyone to share. To that end, Workshops are intentionally kept to small groups (generally 6-8 people) and we generally allot 10 minutes per reader. Allowing for feedback, that means a read of about 6 minutes (roughly 4-6 pages). For new participants or stories, we may allow for a longer read and feedback in order to get our feet appropriately wet with the material.
If we don’t get through everyone’s material, we’ll start the next session with those writers we missed.
What do I need to bring? What’s the format and who reads?
Participants are expected to bring 5-10 pages to share each week. It is the author’s choice to either (a) read their own material out loud for the group; (b) have another group member(s) read the material out loud; or (c) distribute copies for members to read quietly to themselves. Please bring sufficient copies to accommodate your preferred approach.
[A fourth option (to drop a PDF of your material into a shared workshop folder) will likely be offered within the coming weeks, but it is not available yet.]
Coffee, tea, juice, and water is provided.
So, I am “expected” to write at least 5 new pages each week?! I’m busy. What if I don’t?
Since the intent of the Workshops is to push writers to actually write, we’ve set our expectations high. If you weren’t able to get any new writing onto the page, no worries. You are still welcome to participate.
If you are still in the process of finding your story or structure, bring an abstract or outline. You might find the supportive feedback you receive will focus your thoughts and help you move forward.
Got material that’s sat on the shelf for a while? Dust it off and share. Approaching it fresh might motivate you to finish it!
What’s with donations? I’ve attended meet-ups that didn’t charge anything…
There is no charge for the large group meetings. However, to make the Workshops (and large group) broadly available, there are costs associated with meetup.com and maintaining an online presence. Some meetup organizers eat those costs themselves.
However, as the intent of the Workshops is to push writers to actually write, participants are more likely to invest in their writing (and show up) if they are also financially invested in the process. The nominal suggested donation may help keep some writers committed to their work.
So when and how can I make my “donation”?
Essentially, there are two good options:
- In person (cash or major credit card)
- Securely online via major credit card via the SouthBay HQ Online Store (we use Square market)
Do I need to pay $5 for each Workshop I attend?
No. $5 is the suggested donation per Workshop session. You may donate more or less on a sliding-scale basis depending on your financial situation and/or perceived value of the Workshops (four options ranging from $1 to $10 are available online).
Also, monthly and semi-annual subscriptions are available for $10 or $50, respectively, if you purchase them in advance (again, intended to encourage your personal ownership of your writing process). The monthly subscription is valid for up to 4 sessions a month, while the 6-month subscription provides up to 20 sessions (a savings of 50%).
If you’re not sure if the Workshops are right for you, you are welcome to attend your first one free.