Writing Circles · Writing Prompts

The Writing Circle Experience

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I remember being very nervous the first time I attended a writing circle. I was concerned that my writing would seem immature or unpolished. I worried that I would be criticized or embarrassed.  I was SO WRONG!

An underpinning of the Women Writing for (a) Change experience is celebration of the individual voice. Our writing circles are nurturing and safe places to explore your writing life — or your life through writing — without criticism.

Here’s the general flow of a writing circle. There are many variations, but this gives a sense of it:

  • We begin by lighting a candle (reminding us of the confidential space) and reading a poem.
  • Next, we’ll write together in a “fast write,” a short period of writing where we keep the pen moving to stay ahead of the inner critic.
  • For longer circles, we’ll move into small group work. This is where much of the magic happens!
    • You’ll be invited to read your fast write or something you’ve brought, and YOU claim the type of feedback you’d like.
    • Maybe you just want the small group members to listen. Or maybe you want to know how they experienced the piece from a “heart” perspective.  Perhaps you crave a standing ovation. It’s up to you!
    • It’s also important to note that you are never required to share.
  • We’ll gather again as a large group for other activities. Sometimes we do a large group “read-around,” a very powerful way to share our words.

Writing Prompt – Consider spending a few minutes writing about the questions below:

  • Have you participated in a WWf(a)C writing circle? What is your experience?
  •  OR – what excites you about this description? What challenges you?

If you are ready to give this a try, join us at an an upcoming event.

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