Deep Reading for Writers is a workshop designed for writers who believe that reading great literature is an ideal writing education but who don’t have the time or don’t know how to use this vast resource on their own.
Maybe you feel you don’t read as much literature as you should, or that you don’t quite understand what exactly is going on in the books that you admire (or hate); maybe you want to write exactly like writer A or B but can’t figure out how to make your own words sound like that; or maybe you want to do something that’s never been done before but end up imitating others. Or you just don’t have time to read all the stuff you want to read.
This workshop is about getting the most out of the best literature, in a concrete, fast, and enjoyable way:
• Figure out, in detail, how great writing is done.
• Reverse-engine the shining examples of the art.
• Understand how the masters do what they do.
• Take home the tools and techniques you like.
• Imitate, reconfigure, transform: Turn inspiration into words.
• Bring your own writings, let them be deep-read and refined.
Li’l Update: The workshop is now also available at The Reader Berlin
I think I know how to read fiction. What’s so special about Deep Reading, and why would it be good for my writing?
Deep Reading is a journey into the heart of darkness and light. Even if you know your way around fiction, it’s virtually impossible not to understand something better by deep reading it. It’s similar to the level of insight you experience when, rather than just reading a poem, you’re translating a poem.
Also, writing exercises will deepen your understanding and make you gain a more secure grip on the art of juggling with words and images, sounds and rhythms.
And: In the master class you can deep-read each other’s stuff once you know how it’s done, which in turns means you will get a deep feedback you’ll rarely get anywhere else.
Also: A wonderful opportunity to meet fellow writers and experience first-hand how they see things.
Also: It’s an introduction to texts you may not yet be aware are awesome.
And: Deep Reading is slow at first but saves a lot of time: Why read a whole novel when a few pages give you what you need?
Plus: A writing exercise is a perfect opportunity to start writing.
Almost forgot, but the experience of focus you get is fundamental: Deep Reading is like a 90 minutes vacation from distraction.
And finally: A short-cut to getting inspired, moved, and agitated: Write more, write better.
I’d like everything for free, but I know that can’t happen. So how much is it gonna cost?
A workshop is 12 € per 90 min session, 33 € if you buy three in advance and 50 € if you buy five sessions in advance.
I’m really more of an amateur / I’m a super professional writer / I write only about French mountain lakes with a water temperature of 10 degrees. Is the workshop for me?
The workshop is supposed to be for every kind of writer, although we put an emphasis on fiction (including poetry and drama) and literary nonfiction. Journalists and academic writers may find the workshop useful too though, because it teaches attention to detail and shows what can be done with words.
Even the most accomplished writer will profit from deep reading the classics.
You don’t have to be an actual writer to take part. Absolute beginners with an interest in applied poetics welcome. (Though if you love reading but don’t care for writing at all, you may want to take a regular Deep Reading workshop instead.)
Is this workshop safe at all?
The workshop has been tested and is now in an alpha state. That means it’s pretty solid but may still contain exercises which, even if executed correctly, may result in little transparent monsters appearing on your windowsill at night.
Mein Englisch ist sehr gut, aber gibt es den Workshop auch auf Deutsch und mit deutschen Texten, z.B. Ilse Aichinger oder so?
Wir arbeiten wie die dampfenden Maschinen im Bauch der Titanic daran, die erste deutsche Staffel vorzubereiten. Es kommt übrigens immer mal wieder vor, dass der Workshop auf Deutsch stattfindet, weil sich herausstellt, dass alle Anwesenden auch Deutsch sprechen.
Do I need to bring or prepare anything?
You don’t need to do anything in preparation: we’re going to do ALL the reading in the workshop.
No heavy machinery needed; everything can be done with 20th century household materials such as pen and paper; but of course you can bring your diamond-encrusted laptop if you want.