Although informal discussions about technique and other writing issues are a constant at L'ATELIER, with spontaneous conversations about pacing and plot erupting over after-meal coffees, we still dedicate time every afternoon for a deliberate and specific session on craft.
Every session is different, but they are all oriented towards problem solving. We each come to the workshops with our questions and struggles, and we leave with strategies and solutions. Each year the session topics vary as we tailor L'ATELIER to our participants' specific needs.
To give a sense about past craft session topics, here's what instructor Laura McCune-Poplin recently said about how the sessions have impacted her.
"I find them incredibly instructive. For example, one year Sara gave a workshop on setting, which solved a problem I had been having with my current book (set in 1915 Boston). That same year Michelle gave a workshop on how to begin a novel, which I have needed to rely on many times since, as the beginning of a piece is always the hardest for me to write. Last year, I partnered with a new writer during a goal setting workshop, and during our guided discussion, she solved a problem with plot, and now is many thousands of words into a novel that she had been struggling to write."
These afternoon craft sessions are optional to allow those who want more time to write on their own to have the freedom to do so.