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Kathy Garlick: Daily Write “Round Robin” – Creativity, Community, Commitment

garlick-2September 25 – November 20
8 weeks of daily online activity (facilitated by Kathy)
Plus in-person final meeting
Sunday, November 20, 10:30am – 1pm (optional)
$250 members/$275 others 

The imagination is like a muscle: The more you use it, the better it performs and the quicker you get ideas of higher caliber.—Dean Koontz

“The more you use your writing muscles,” said Jane Underwood, founder of the Writing Salons, and creator of Round Robin, “the more you tone and strengthen them. In the Round Robin, you practice writing every day, just as piano students practice scales and swimmers do laps. The only difference is that the Round Robin is more fun.”

Jane had a unique vision when she developed the Round Robin class.  By combining several elements – partnering, repetition, practice, feedback, and dedication — she created not just a writing course, but an actual community, one that has continued and grown for over a decade.

This class is structured around a carefully facilitated exchange of daily emailed writings based on prompts provided by the facilitator and the participants.

Round Robin’ers aim to do four things:
1) Write regularly.
2) Enjoy and explore the process of writing freely and playfully.
3) “Partner” on a rotating basis with classmates.
4) Provide positive feedback in order to encourage one another and create community.

We might cover some basic elements of craft in our daily exchanges, but the main focus will be on finding the inspiration, motivation and self-discipline to keep writing and generating raw material that you may eventually choose to rewrite, revise, polish and publish. It will also be about learning to recognize and appreciate the strength of your natural voice, before you have a chance to snuff it out by revising your work too hastily.

Writers in all genres and at all levels of experience take this class. Beginners use it to get started.  Seasoned writers participate in order to stave off writers block and to produce new material.  Many participants return session after session in order to keep their writing practice going.

“One of the great benefits of this class,” says Suzy Parker, this session’s facilitator, “is that you never have to get out of bed in order to participate!”

NOTE  Every student must commit to full participation on a daily basis. Time required: 20 to 30 minutes each day, on average. If you are unable to honor your daily commitment to your writing partners, you cannot continue in the class. (Substitutes are available on a limited basis in case of an emergency.)

The final in-person meeting/party is optional, but highly recommended. It will be an opportunity to meet your partners and revel in the community. You will be asked to bring something to read aloud to your fellow classmates.

Susan Parker has had over 500 essays published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. She is the 1999 winner of the Richard J. Margolis Literary Prize. She was named “Best of the West 1999” columnist for essays selected from the San Francisco Chronicle.  Four years after her memoir, Tumbling After, Pedaling Like Crazy After Life Goes Downhill, was published, (Crown, 2002), she took almost a decade off from writing to adjust to the death of her husband, and to help raise her brother’s children. Participating in Round Robin as a student, and now as a teacher/facilitator, has helped her get her groove back.


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