As a writer and arts educator, I’ve run creative writing workshops for years and years. Recently I’ve been thinking about alternative ways to approach the practice of creative writing. About a year ago, I developed a program called “Visual-Spatial Storytelling” for an arts center where I was working with young children. This was a great success with the children as well as with the art center administrators; and I began to wonder: why not provide these workshops for all ages? While writing prompts are nothing new in creative writing workshops, the focus on training a writer to develop more powerful observational skills here is a bit different.
This year, in discussions with visual artist, Brooke Lanier, I suggested that we try to expand on that and present a workshop which combines visual arts training with creative writing. We’re going to be launching our first 8-week sessions on February 11 in Philadelphia. I’m excited about this because I believe that inter-disciplinary explorations are so wonderful in increasing the potentiality of creative expression. Brooke will be presenting a variety of explorations in both style and technique in 2-D and 3-D art. I’ll be leading our workshop participants through writing poetry, fiction and drama, using close observation tactics and visual art prompts. The result will be a rich experience that combines a variety of narrative techniques with visual art-making in a unique and entirely new interdisciplinary way.
My hope is that, as we work with our students and share discoveries of this process, Brooke and I will be able to put together a book, and perhaps teacher-training materials in order to help educators use our program. I plan to blog a bit more about this as we move through the sessions.
If there is anyone reading this who would be interested in taking part here in Philadelphia, or if you would like us to travel the program TO you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. This is absolutely a workshop that can be taken “on the road”. If you would like to know more about me, my own writing and other activities, visit my website.
For more details, or to invite us to put a workshop together for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Visual Spatial Storytelling.