Whose Workshop Is It?

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Here’s what I mean by not centering the author of the workshop piece: I always tell my students, following the lead of my favorite MFA professor, that the truth is that workshop is most helpful to the person talking, not the person being workshopped.

Not that it isn’t or can’t be helpful to the person being workshopped, but the workshop is mostly about each writer trying to clarify her own aesthetic. And this is important work. Another way to say this is “finding one’s voice.”

Over at Pleiades, author Matthew Salesses has written the first of a series of posts about the role of critique in creative writing workshops.


Stephanie Bento is a writer, classical cellist, and photographer living in Washington, DC. In her writing, she is interested in exploring the musicality of sound and form, and our connection to time and place. Find out more about her creative work at saudadebelle.com, or say hello/bonjour on Twitter @saudadebelle. More from this author →