Frequently, ‘to workshop’ a piece of writing means to bring a finished or semi-finished piece of writing to a group of fellow writers for feedback and critique. The responses focus on how the work stands on its own, as a whole. The processes of writing, drafting, revising, and polishing usually take place off-stage.
In a Writing Circle, process takes centre stage. We use the company of one another as sounding boards for initial ideas, ‘early responders’ to fledgling drafts, witnesses to the emergence of story. When the time is right, we will do some workshopping, but we will also explore other avenues of response, with a sensitivity towards gauging what types of feedback are most helpful at various points in the writing process.
A writing circle goes full circle:
We go from the blank page, to draft, to polished product, and then we start again, with a new piece. Each time we become stronger as writers and more certain of our voices.