Behind the Scenes at the Workshop

When Jessie and I began talking about starting Four Windows Books, the project quickly became about more than just publishing stories, although that was obviously a huge part of it. We wanted to bring talented authors together into community. We wanted to provide them with trusted colleagues who would give them solid feedback and constructive criticism. After a writer leaves college (if the author attended), it becomes difficult to find that community, which is so vital to producing good work. No one can create a polished piece of writing without readers. It is a collaboration, and every good writer I’ve ever known craves feedback like an addict craves a fix. So we decided to have workshop sessions as part of the writing process for our serial publication.

We had our very first of these workshops this week, and I was privileged to host all of our talent in my very humble home.  Jessie G-chat-videoed in from Portland. I’m so lucky to live in the same (amazing) city as three of our four writers, and there was a lot of Seattle love around the table. Over a salad we talked about general life issues: Seattle traffic, The Odyssey, the general and sometimes unfortunate state of the world. And then we broke out the wine.

Jessie videoed in, and we sat around my living-room and went from story to story. The writers had sent in their first 5000 words on the 18th, so everyone had a chance to read and comment on the stories. These writers are true professionals. The feedback provided was thoughtful and inspiring. The stories, even in their infancy, are intoxicating and exciting.

The workshop went until after midnight. By the end of the evening we were all too excited to sit still, and yet very tired. Since that night, I have heard from the writers, and it sounds like the workshop was a great success! Each of them has said that the process was immensely useful and productive. We are all looking forward to the next workshop. And I know I can’t wait to see what happens next in each of these stories!

Happy reading!


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