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workshop creative writing feedback

QCS Workshop Responses

Silence in the classroom can be awkward, especially when your students are tasked with discussing their peers’ work in a creative writing workshop. I’ve found...
activity

Analyzing Privilege

In our current, cultural landscape there are many divisive topics that individuals associate with while dismissing contrary perspectives.  It is easy to disregard what someone else has to say when there is a gap in empathy and connectivity.  The goal of this exercise, in dismantling, or “checking one’s privilege”, is to allow students to see what kind of advantages they may take for granted while overlooking some of the obstacles others may have to face on a daily basis.
imagery

Concrete Imagery in Poetry Scattegories

To begin: I have students call out a list of abstractions. Usually we end up with some variation on the following: fear sadness joy depression ...
creative writing activities for college students

Characters, Conflict, and Goals

It can be difficult to reveal connections between key elements of craft in fiction writing classes, but this activity is designed to do just that.
touchstone moments

I Was Wearing Them the Day–Touchstone Moments and Details for the Fiction Writer

I’ve always been interested in the question of where the fiction writer finds material. I’ve always been particularly interested in how the autobiographical gets...
writing process

Lego: The Building Blocks of Writing

One of my favorite in-class activities is simple, easy to set up, and, most importantly, it involves Lego. I often use this in composition...

Ransom Notes

If you're looking for a different type of in-class activity to get students thinking about word choice, you'll find it with this fun but challenging task.
grammar as meaning

Grammar as Meaning in ‘Dear John’ Letters

Students are often intimidated by grammar because they're led to believe it's a case of 'right' or 'wrong.' Some students get so caught up...
critical thinking activity for college students

Zombie Apocalypse & Critical Thinking

It can be difficult to engage students in critical thinking, but this activity helps students think outside the box and anticipate problems. I've found...
activity creative writing workshop

Class Starters for the Fiction Workshop

For fiction writers, provocation is part of the job description. The same should go for our teaching of fiction, especially with students who are...

Evaluative Scavenger Hunt

One of the areas of writing I teach is evaluation.  Students learn that we make assessments based on quality, opposition, rankings or comparisons, and...
writing anxiety

Exploring the Output of Writers

A great piece of advice for any writer is to read as much as possible. If one wants to write novels, reading great novels...
grade reflection for students

Four Ways to Enhance Grading

Sometimes grading seems like a mystery to students so helping them understand how we reach our conclusions is a beneficial step in their learning process.

Sidewalk Chalk

An activity designed to help students understand the vulnerability that comes with public photographs, particularly in the context of war images.
Current Events Article Activity

The Current Event Article

I’ve taught multiple sections of composition over the years and without fail a majority (but not all) of my students have little interest in...
in-class activity

Post-It Notes Activity

This is a great first-day exercise used to create a sense of community as well as clarify questions or misconceptions about the course. It can also be used mid-semester as a check-in for the class.

Activity: Refurbishing

I recently read a quotation by Janet Finch, who reminds writers, “You’re a writer and you have to invent it from scratch, all by...
office challenge

The Office Challenge

Office hours can feel long, laborious, and lonely when no one shows up, especially in the beginning of a semester. One way I've found to increase my students' use of office hours is to challenge them to meet with me. 

Discover new resources...

Drawing, Doodles, and Sketches

Most of the activities and assignments in our classrooms revolve around writing and reading, but having students draw, sketch, or doodle can give them news ways to express and connect their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. In this artical you'll find five ways to help students embrace their visual skills.

Write Club

Two opposing writers. Two opposing ideas. This assignment captures the essence of Ian Belknap's Write Club as it has students face off in argument based presentations.

Place Essays – Finding Places to Write About

Writing about place is more than writing about a vacation or a childhood home. There are certain tensions evident in all spaces when we...