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Been There, Done That – September 2018

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In our "Been There, Done That" series, Literary Mama editors and readers share their experiences at conferences, workshops, classes, and residencies. This month Christina Consolino recalls her time at Antioch Writers' Workshop at University of Dayton.


What program did you attend?

I attended the summer program at the Antioch Writers' Workshop at University of Dayton in July, 2017.

Where was it and what was the time requirement?

The workshop took place on the campus of the University of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio. All workshop courses were held in lecture halls or classrooms within a certain distance. The time requirement varied because the workshop provided several options: 1. Saturday only. 2. Saturday and Sunday. 3. Full week (Sunday through Friday). Writers chose which program suited their needs and timetable.

What were the course offerings? 

The workshop began with a keynote speaker and a master craft class on the weekend. For the full-week option, morning sessions consisted of craft classes on fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, as well as a seminar geared toward professional skills for writers. The seminar varied each day, and we had the chance to hear from agents, editors, and critique groups, among others. The afternoon sessions offered options as well. A writer who had fiction, nonfiction, or poetry works-in-progress could sign up to work with a group of about ten other writers in a workshop setting. The workshops were led by published authors. For those writers who did not have works-in-progress, AWW offered an afternoon seminar for helping novice writers get started. In the evening, the workshop offered sessions (free and open to the public) that included an open mic night and readings by the faculty. The workshop also offered an agent pitch session, which was included in the tuition.

How did you spend your time? 

I attended every morning craft session and signed up for the afternoon fiction workshop with Crystal Wilkinson. In that session, Crystal imparted her wisdom on how she likes to critique a set of pages, and divulged some of her tips on characterization and voice. We also workshopped twenty pages from each participant. In addition, I spent my lunch time getting to know several of the faculty (you pay for your own lunch). Sitting at a table and listening to the faculty was both fun and informative. Lastly, my writing group, The Plot Sisters, served on a panel during the professional skills session.

What did you take away from the experience?

The experience changed my life. It gave me more confidence as a writer and as an editor, and opened up my personal network to writers within and outside of Ohio. I still go back to some of the notes I took at the program and I am in contact with both participants and faculty who attended. Furthermore, I was asked to serve on the board of trustees for AWW and have been with them since October, 2017.

Did you have the opportunity for a writing critique? Was it helpful? 

As stated above, the afternoon sessions offer critique that was very positive and helpful. A second option (not included in the price) is to pay for a one-on-one critique.

Would you attend this event again? 


Share some helpful tips for a writer considering this experience. (Tips may include transportation, lodging, food, classes/instructors, or anything you think future attendees would benefit from knowing.)

The Dayton region and University of Dayton are great places to visit and spend time. The campus is both lovely and easily accessible, and many places can be reached by walking. The campus also has tucked away corners that are perfect for writing, alone or with a friend. The dining options are abundant and affordable and while the workshop offers discounted lodging, the area also boasts plenty of private places that can be rented for the week. The faculty are top-notch and amicable, and the entire experience fosters a "family" feel. I think it's also important to note that AWW offers a Young Writer's program during that same week.

Have you attended a conference, workshop, residency, or class? We'd like to hear about your experience. Email us at lmblogcontact (at) literarymama (dot) com.

The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editor is Rudri Patel; read her bio here.

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