– Thursdays, 7:00-8:00 pm EDT ($6/ month)
Meet weekly with a community of writers to practice and improve your craft.
Timed or free writing practice is a proven technique to push past the internal editor and critic and to learn to trust your own mind and talent, often delving into the unconscious and creative. Many writers have used and promoted it, including John Steinbeck and Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones).
In these free-writing sessions, members work from writing prompts for 2-20 minute sprints, with some discussion. Prompts are words, quotations, or images that provide a potential idea or starting point for an original writing.
The discoveries in these exercises are always amazing, and some members have been inspired to take their work further, developing short stories or nonfiction vignettes, even ideas for larger works, based on the prompts. If not inspired by the prompts, members work on whatever projects moves them, sometimes using the structure to develop, edit, or revise during the sessions.
The sessions are held via Zoom on Thursdays from 7:00 – 8:00 pm ET.
The fee is $6/month.
Because of the low cost and administrative charges, no refunds will be issued.
Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.Steinbeck in 1975 interview about facing blank pages.
Here is what some participants are saying about the Timed Writing Group and my teaching:
“I really feel energized by your prompts.”
“You are so good for me – keep me inspired.”
“Your efforts are amazing- thank you.”
“I’ve been really enjoying these weekly groups.”
“Thank you for everything – these sessions have really helped me prioritize a piece of writing that has been very important to me.”
“What I liked about the sessions are that it was it drove home to me the importance of structure.”
“Many of us have been inspired and encouraged by you.”
“Thanks for all you are doing to inspire us in these writing sprints. I am learning so much thru these sessions.”
“You are such a sensitive and encouraging teacher. I am amazed each week how you really seem to understand the goals of each person and then are able to speak to them—even remembering things they have written many weeks or longer ago.”
Responses from other programs I’ve taught:
“I want to both compliment you and thank you for a wonderful writing class experience. It has represented a fabulous early step for me on a new writing journey…
…So, how pleasantly surprised I have been to find you are a great teacher who really knows how to encourage writers. I have learned so much helpful information. More importantly, I have gotten several ideas for things to write that I am now pursuing. The upshot is, I am now writing, for the first time in my life — yay!”
“I never would have done this if you had not told me about it—and showed me it could be done.”
“I am really enjoying the challenge. It is making me find time for me and my writing.”
“I feel good about the project. Each day the project is evolving for me.”
“I’ve never gotten so far in my prior attempts.”
“Ellen your suggestions are so spot on.”
“Thank you so much for the terrific notes.”