Even though the MFA writing program is officially on summer break — whoo-hoo! — some of us from the creative-nonfiction writing workshop decided we were having so much fun (or something like that) that wanted to keep on meeting. Last Tuesday we had our first informal workshop. It was so nice to catch up with everyone and to chat about our writing.
As I’ve alluded, everyone in my classes always recommends I read David Sedaris when they find out I write about growing up Greek American. I do get a kick out of David Sedaris, but it’s his sister Amy Sedaris who captured my heart with her book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. There’s just something about us Greek women — we love hosting and feeding people. I barely had anyone over during the semester so I was super-excited to volunteer hosting the writing workshop in my apartment.
Since my classmates have been giving me feedback all semester on the Greek American memoir I’m writing — and since I’m the Queen of Theme Parties — I of course prepared Greek meze for them. I served feta cheese (imported from Greece! I’m stimulating the Greek economy!), sliced tomatoes with sea salt, pita, red pepper & eggplant dip, dried apricots, and almonds. The other writers graciously brought delicious homemade (!) scones and sumptuous red wine. I pretty much gorged!
We had a great conversation about nonfiction vs. fiction writing and talked about the role of blogging in our writing. Then we spent some time critiquing each other’s works. I got helpful feedback on a short reflection I’d written about my experience at the 2011 Gabby Awards. I really enjoyed reading their new pieces too. Everyone has such interesting stories to tell!
Now I’ve got to get to work on the next chapter to submit!
In the meantime, if anyone has any tips on how to run a writing workshop, please post in the comments section.