The Writers' Block--Workshops for Steemit Authors

in #writing4 years ago (edited)

Are you a writer? Let me rephrase that. Do you write? Are you interested in seriously developing your craft, with an audience in mind?

There are people who write for themselves, people who write for others, and people who write for income. One type of writer isn’t better than the other, but the types are nonetheless distinctly different and need different support systems. An example of this is someone who writes poetry as an intensely personal catharsis, versus someone who writes novels sold by major retailers. Each person would not benefit from the same kind of feedback and support.

So, what about people who have a strong desire to produce technically solid, commercially viable literature with the potential of reaching a mainstream audience? What about people wanting to learn self-editing skills, and how to offer serious critique to other serious writers? What if you could interact with published authors and professional editors, and learn from their experiences in the international writing community and Top Five publishing market? And what if all of this was absolutely free of charge, offered through a flourishing and friendly Steemit sub-community on Discord?

Well, guess what? “The Writers’ Block” offers all that, and more. We started as a small workshop on a single channel of a much larger group, but interest in our mission has been overwhelming. So, we’ve spread out into a bigger workspace and added several new focus categories. Over the past few months, we’ve incorporated the talents of not only novelists and writers of literary prose, but gifted poets, screenwriters, and even artists. These artists help us with cover art, and @andrewgenaille even sketches our own comic strip based on the outrageous conversations we sometimes have in chat.

The interesting thing about “The Writers’ Block” is that you never know whose company you might be enjoying. We let our hair down and have some side-splitting comedic moments, but the “rhino” who charges in commenting on the backscroll “like she joined us at the bar then talked past us to people who weren't there anymore” might be a professional editor and book critic on staff with a major science fiction magazine. The polite gentleman who comments with both acumen and graciousness on the story you submitted for critique might be an attorney for one of the largest corporations on the planet. Or you might be entertaining a curator with one of the major Steemit curation trails. Or a dolphin incognito, or even a whale. Maybe a Steemit Witness. We have several of those. Or maybe it’s an award-winning Steemit author dropping in to say hello. Then again, it could be just Abuse Boy leaving a trail of narrative breadcrumbs through every channel that, if you follow, will guarantee at least one LOL before he curls up on his waterbed full of ice cubes and goes to sleep.

You don’t have to have a sense of humor to join The Writers’ Block. But you’ll probably develop one if you stay. We do require that you leave your ego at the door and not assume the world is holding its breath in anticipation of your flawless prose. It doesn’t hold its breath for ours. You are welcome to come hang out, even lurk. And you are definitely welcome to participate in the workshops. Some are busier than others. Some have one senior editor to help you. Others have several. But if you submit work for critique, expect thorough, intense feedback. We definitely recommend that people new to the critique process read the stories and comments in the submission queue before submitting their own work, so they can become familiar with the process.

I’m not going to name all our Fictioneers and members. But here’s a rundown of our workshop leaders (alphabetically, by group):
@gmuxx (channel administrator)
@rhondak (channel administrator)

FICTION WORKSHOP SENIOR EDITORS
@bex-dk
@carolkean
@cristof
@jrhughes
@rhondak
@thinknzombie
FICTION WORKSHOP JUNIOR EDITORS
@jhagi
@mk40
@nexusfyre
@tinypaleokitchen
@writerofthings

POETRY WORKSHOP
@geke
@sunravelme

NONFICTION WORKSHOP
@anarcho-andrei
@jasonbu

PLAYWRIGHT WORKSHOP
@pegasusphysics

ENGLISH LANGUAGE HELP
@lenadr

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of our Fictioneers and other members. These are just some of the names you might expect to see when dropping into “The Writers’ Block” workshops for the first time. In general chat, there’s just no telling who you’ll see. Or what you’ll see. Manners are required. Pants are optional.

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The feedback can be intense, and I hope people will see the value in that. The first time I got intense feedback from this group, I did a few hard swallows and decided to change the way I word things. I'm so glad I did! And I hope everyone will also remember that if you're getting intense criticism, it's because someone thinks your work is worth the time it's taking them to give that feedback. You can't grow or improve without a little discomfort, but what I love about this group is that everybody there wants to help everybody else. 💗

@writerofthings user don't exist. Is there a spelling mistake or perhaps a left out part of the name?

Try @authorofthings . She uses both, and that might be the Steemit one.

Manners are required. Pants optional.

😂 this should be our tagline

And bareback riding!

Pants should not be optional... they don't have to be worn but they should be somewhere near by in the event of a fire drill

Yes! Got one for the radio show, too. Posting now.

stick it in the top of general.

My favorite part of this group is the fact that pants are optional.

Much love to my Fictioneer family! <3

We miss yoooouuuuu!

The Writer's Block! Ha! I really love the play on words there! It's a great way to spin an otherwise negative term. With your leadership, I have no doubt that this group will thrive. You're already making waves, and I just know that all of you would dominate the seas of Steemit fiction in time. Best of luck to all of you! :D

Wow, it's common to see facilitated writing workshops being ran in a physical place and presence, but it's amazing to see that it can be done online too! I've always thought a few writers coming together and write will tend to create more results due to the peer support/pressure, which is great for new writers.

It makes a huge difference, having the support of other writers. Plus access to editors! That's huge. Workshop members have won a lot of contests recently. In one, the total prize pool was $300 Steem. Workshop members took home $250 of that with winning entries. :-)

Yes on the editors, HELL YEAH on the prize! What a great incentive!

Great write up... I highly recommend the workshop. You will be welcomed. Prepare for a learning curve and improvement of your writing.

This is a life changing place with a very strange but happy family living in its online rooms. group hug

This group has literally changed my life. I have never before been so enthusiastic about writing thanks to the amazing people at the Writer's Block. Motivation and helpful instruction abound. Not just that though, they are some of the most hilarious people I've met on the internet...and that is saying something.

wanders in to post Huh. I'll have to check out Abuse Boy's antics meanders off to The Writer's Block

Poor Abuse Boy.

Well said. The workshop helped me a lot . Even though I barely frequent there days, I'll come in more in subsequent days.

Hooray! Thanks for the shout out!

IF you come, prepare to get addicted. And be assimilated into our misfit family.

Resistance is futile, I suppose...

Depends. If you want to be a better writer and are willing to work for it, yes. No point trying to resist. If not, we won't try to assimilate you anyway.

I am so glad I found you. I need this in my life, and you were all so welcoming. I have only been on steem a week, and it is already transforming my writing goals. Thank you.

Well, I'm thrilled that you've joined us. Look forward to getting to you know better in the workshop!

perhaps there is some crossover with @minnowmentor?

Only incidental, if so. We have no affiliations.

So any advice for a writer just starting out. Who should I team up with, where should I go and what should I do to start?

You've made a great start meeting us all in the workshop chat. Next step is to submit a short piece of fiction (or whatever you write) into the submissions queue in one of the workshops. Our editors will look at it and guide you through whatever strategies you can use to make the writing stronger. :-)

Very nice. I like that there's a room for everybody.

Except cook book writers... darn them, am I right?

Hey, we all eat. Cookbooks are about food. We like food. We like cookbooks.

This post made my day.

Totally new here, but this one instantly grabbed my attention. Will check this out early next week when I get back home.

it's really good to be joined with you guys in writer's block workshops. Got to know a lot from you guys.

Calling @originalworks :)
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I love the idea of this. I'm a haiku translator and occasional poet and I wouldn't mind submitting my stuff or helping others in this craft. However, I'm afraid I don't often have time to sit in chat rooms. My day is such that I have ten minutes here and ten minutes there and that is the time I try to do (in parts) the posts I put on Steemit. Is there a tag I could follow or a forum that I could read as time allows?

I know what you mean about time. I'm one of the founders of this group, yet it seems I am almost never in chat. Yet the opportunity to participate is still there. The workshops usually move much more slowly than the general chat or even the text channels. @geke is the moderator in poetry. I know she'd love to have you drop in when you can. :-)

I love the idea of this. I'm a haiku translator and occasional poet and I wouldn't mind submitting my stuff or helping others in this craft. However, I'm afraid I don't often have time to sit in chat rooms. My day is such that I have ten minutes here and ten minutes there and that is the time I try to do (in parts) the posts I put on Steemit. Is there a tag I could follow or a forum that I could read as time allows?