Writing Alone and with Others

Writing Alone and with Others

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For more than a quarter of a century, Pat Schneider has helped writers find and liberate their true voices. She has taught all kinds-the award winning, the struggling, and those who have been silenced by poverty and hardship. Her innovative methods have worked in classrooms from elementary to graduate level, in jail cells and public housing projects, in convents and seminaries, in youth at-risk programs, and with groups of the terminally ill. Now, in Writing Alone and with Others, Schneider's acclaimed methods are available in a single, well-organized, and highly readable volume. The first part of the book guides the reader through the perils of the solitary writing life: fear, writer's block, and the bad habits of the internal critic. In the second section, Schneider describes the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method, widely used across the U.S. and abroad. Chapters on fiction and poetry address matters of technique and point to further resources, while more than a hundred writing exercises offer specific ways to jumpstart the blocked and stretch the rut-stuck. Schneider's innovative teaching method will refresh the experienced writer and encourage the beginner. Her book is the essential owner's manual for the writer's voice.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 139.7 x 203.2 x 27.94mm | 430.91g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019516573X
  • 9780195165739
  • 156,216

About Pat Schneider

Pat Schneider is Founder and Director of Amherst Writers & Artists and Editor at Amherst Writers & Artists Press. An adjunct professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, she has taught independent writing workshops nationally and internationally. Her pioneering work using creative writing as a means of empowering low-income populations is the subject of an award-winning documentary, Tell Me Something I Can't Forget, by Florentine Films. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Peter Elbow is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Writing with Power and Everyone Can Write.show more

Review quote

"An entertaining and enlightening book...should prove invaluable to poets, writers, teachers, and workshop devotees of all backgrounds and creative denominations."- Mindy Kronenberg, poet and teacher, author of Dismantling the Playground and editor of Book/Mark Small Press Quarterly Review "Schneider can help you find your genius. She encourages without ever condescending. She is guide, cheerleader, and advocate. 'What you see, write it,' she counsels. 'Surprise yourself.' You'll find exercises here that will help you do it. The second part of the book, focusing on 'writing with others,' can help the workshop leader or teacher create the kind of atmosphere in which 'images pass in silence from mind to mind,' as writers are affirmed and energized by experiencing creativity, their own and others'."-Marshall J. Cook, author and editor of Creativity Connection "For anyone who wants to write, Writing Alone and with Others is heartening and practical. It unfolds as the story of one writer's journey, and invites the aspiring writer along with a rich variety of anecdote, exercise and advice, celebrating both difference and difficulty as the gifts they are."-Janet Burroway, author of Raw Silk and Writing Fiction "Honesty is creative oxygen. Generosity is creative fire. Pat Schneider is a fuse lighter. Her work is gentle, playful, brilliant, and revolutionary. She is the real animal."-Julia Cameron, author of The Right to Write and The Artist's Way "I am grateful to Pat Schneider for recognizing that our species is a writing species. If we don't write, it means something in the culture has blocked our natural instinct. [This] helpful, totally personable book shows us how to undo that cultural abuse."-Carol Bly, author of Beyond the Writer's Workshop and My Lord Bag of Rice: New and Selected Stories "The wisest teacher of writing I know."-Peter Elbow, from the Foreword "Drawing on her many years of working with writers and would-be writers in workshops, Schneider has authored a useful and comprehensive text for the creative writer seeking to find his or her own voice and authority. Starting with the need to overcome fear, anxiety, and nagging of the relentless self-critic within us, Schneider provides some practical exercises to get the writing process started (again) and to avoid the pitfalls of internal and external criticism. Citing the experience of the hundreds of writers to privilege their own writing despite the distractions they face, to keep a writing journal, and to participate in a writing community with other writers. More than movitivational or purely experiential, this very sensible yet practical text provides scores of proven exercises to help encourage the writer in all of us."-Library Journal "Schneider's book is inspiring, full of common sense about fears every writer will recognize and exercises for jump-starting a manuscript. She is well acquainted with naysayers, external and internal. A storyteller, poet, librettist who once struggled to believe in herself, she sees teaching as a mission, writing as empowerment. She's led four workshops a week (one in a low-income project) for 12 years; she explains here how to lead your own. Writing Alone is as much an antidote to writer's block as you're likely to find between two covers: Writing teachers will use it as their bible."-C. Carr, O: The Oprah Magazineshow more

Table of contents

Contents ; Foreword by Peter Elbow ; Acknowledgments ; How to Use This Book ; Introduction: A Writer Is Someone Who Writes ; Part I: The Writer Alone ; 1. "Feeling and Facing Fear" ; 2. "Getting Started (Again)" ; 3. "Toward a Disciplined Writing Life" ; 4. "Writing Practice: The Journal" ; 5. "Writing Practice: Developing Craft" ; 6. "Voice" ; 7. "Growing as a Writer" ; 8. "The Form Your Writing Takes" ; 9. "The Ethical Questions: Spirituality, Privacy, and Politics" ; Part II: Writing With Others ; Introduction: Writing With Others ; 10. "Basic Principles of a Healthy Workshop" ; 11. "Writing in a Classroom" ; 12. "Creating Your Own Workshop or Writing Group" ; 13. "Using Writing to Empower the Silenced" ; Part III: Additional Exercises ; Afterword ; List of Exercises ; Recommended Resources and Reading List ; Credits ; Indexshow more

Rating details

427 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 42% (179)
4 38% (161)
3 16% (70)
2 3% (12)
1 1% (5)
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