Today we had our second writer’s workshop and we were joined by special guests! Duke students, both a debate coach (thanks, Colin) and a whole smattering of freshmen in Duke’s Writing 20 class with Nicolas Eilbaum, came to sit in on our workshops to help students improve their writing. I hope our students got as much out of this experience as the Dukies did. You can ask them about it.
1. Settling in. Students completed questions 1-3 on their Writer’s Workshop #2 cover sheet (aka The To-Do List). As they did, I walked around to pick up progress reports and check homework completion. Students chose one of their scenes to workshop today. If they had time, however, they could workshop up to three scenes.
2. Review of Workshop Rules. We follow these steps:
- Writer reads aloud, editors take notes on plus/delta (pros/things to change) on the back of their cover sheet.
- Editors tell the writer what words or phrases worked. The Writer underlines those words or phrases.
- Editors tell the writer what they thought the main idea or feeling of the piece was. The Writer confirms or denies and adds to their To Do List accordingly.
- Editors tell the writer what more they would like to hear about (What to Add).
- Finally, Editors tell the writer what to cut and what’s not working.
- If time, editors and author can work together to make the changes agreed upon.