Workshop Wednesday- The Attic
Contact: Dave Jarecki
How often do your workshops meet?
Workshops meet at different times throughout the year. At the Attic, my workshops tend to meet over five-week periods, generally four times a year. I also teach workshops at Writers’ Dojo, which meet over 10-week periods, three times a year.
What resources and/or programs do you offer writers?
Other than the workshops themselves, I try to help writers find in-roads into the local and regional literary scene. This includes personal connections with other writers (when appropriate), links to web resources, books, and the names of writers they may want to check out as a way to support their growth as writers and readers.
What do you think is the biggest struggle writers face when trying to get published?
I believe the biggest struggle writers face when trying to get published is the mental hurdle that comes with “the idea” of publishing. There are a number of little steps along the way (writing; workshopping; editing; trusting your work; finding an agent; connecting with a publisher) and many writers get bogged down in the process so much that they take their eye off of the writing itself. I encourage people to stay with their words as a way to keep from losing faith. Publishing will come, but writing has to come first.
What is your workshop’s greatest strength?
One piece of feedback I’ve received a number of times about my workshops is that writers tend to leave the workshop setting with a renewed sense of ease and confidence in their work. The actual work that takes place within each session can be demanding, but I never want a writer to leave a session feeling beaten up. I try to create a space and an experience that is inviting and supportive, and that builds confidence.
Who is your workshop’s target demographic?
I like to work with anyone who writes, and anyone who is serious about the craft of writing. I’ve worked with MFA graduates and first-time writers alike. If you’re enthused, then I’m happy to work with you.
What purpose do you think workshops serve for authors trying to get published?
For authors trying to get published, workshops provide an environment where they can receive fresh input on their work while also inspiring new work. I think this duality is especially important: seek to refine the work you have while creating new work you didn’t even know you were going to write.
What is the best advice you have ever received regarding writing/publishing?
The best advice I’ve ever received is the same advice I like to give: keep firing. From there, the second-best piece of advice is to learn how to target your submissions. Don’t send your pieces out blindly. The web makes it much easier than it was in the past. Check out a magazine or journal online; go to an agent’s web site. See if there’s a match. Finally, if you receive a personalized rejection note, take this as an invitation to submit again. Don’t let the rejections bring you down. File them away or burn them - it doesn’t matter - but whatever you do, keep sending your stuff out there.