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July 9, 2013

SAGE’s Weekly Writing Workshops Thrive

SAGE Volunteer, Kristina Villarini
Today’s post is from Kristina Villarini, creativity enforcer and a New York Writer's Coalition volunteer at SAGE. Follow her on Twitter


It can begin with a prompt. Or not.

The prompt is like a shadow. It is a welcome breeze on a summer day. It is a catalyst; one used to flow the writer’s juices. It serves to inspire and engage, and then it’s gone, and the real work begins.

For the last year, I have spent my Mondays with SAGE, as a creative writing workshop leader from 3pm to 5pm, thanks to a partnership with the New York Writer’s Coalition. I have said to the group, on more than one occasion, that writing with them every week has become one of the most fulfilling things I do.

The NYWC’s guidelines set the parameters for the workshop: positive feedback only, treat all work as fiction, refer to the author as “The Narrator,” etc. This acts as a mean for novices and published, professional writers. I would like to believe, as I’m sure any good workshop leader would, that the SAGE Lounge during my workshop is the safest place in the world to be.

There is an equal respect for the storyteller, the poet, the actor, the novelist, the professor and the playwright in that light-filled room. I’ve watched as people closed their eyes to visualize a piece of work being read aloud.

You can hear desire, conflict, and jubilation in the work. You can hear pieces about picnics in New York spring or hear about two lovers meeting for the first time in the 19th century. All little sparks of joy dancing across blank canvases. The same blank canvas that we submit willingly to every week. We are unafraid of what’s to come.

In the last year, I’ve watched as a myriad of guests passed through a frosted glass door, “our room,” for a singular purpose: to write. Are they fables? Was that a journal entry? We never know. All that remains is the passionate exchange of energy between creators, navigating their own resistance to contribute to a little piece of legacy.

For two hours every Monday, I am guaranteed to be in awe of one of the greatest things humans have ever done: sharing and exchanging stories. Anyone can write, anyone can share, and during the workshop, we are whoever we want to be.

I hope you’ll consider joining us for the next full session during the winter. To find out more information about the New York Writer’s Coalition and their phenomenal work, please visit them on the web.


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