I started The Lab more than ten years ago in response to a frequent question: "When are you going to teach a private writing class?" My former BA, MA, and MFA students from San Francisco State University who'd finished their formal study of creative writing still yearned for original prompts and exciting readings to keep their writing going over the long haul.
Those in-between have worked at The Lab to develop a portfolio for MFA applications or literary magazine submissions.
Whether you're wanting to blow up/blow out/expand an existing project or start a new one, writers of all levels have found the six-week sessions fruitful.
Subjective positive feedback; e.g.: "what I like" too often illuminates the taste of the person giving feedback without providing the writer with actions aimed at deepening or developing.
(In traditional workshops, people voice opinions about what "worked" and what didn't along with what they "liked" and didn't.) Writing time is divided between a warm-up and two deepening exercises that are all based that week's experiment.
Not for the goal of publishing a book, necessarily, but to explore creative writing as a personal form of artistic expression. I also didn't want to come and lecture to people about what "is" and "isn't" fiction and memoir. The laboratory is not a place for fore-drawn conclusions. Whether alchemy or chemistry, the laboratory is dedicated to mystery and the unknown.
So I kept thinking about it what I could offer that would be completely unique and stimulating in a city with so many choices for writers. In a science laboratory, "experimental" is not synonymous with sloppy.
You'll also have a chance to get feedback from me on your work whether or not you're able to physically make it to class. If it's a match for you and your goals, I hope you'll sign up!
Jan 2014 My 10 year old homeschooled daughter is 112 pages into her first novel (an elaborate fantasy) and needs someone to act as a mentor to support its completion and revision.
The Lab focuses on generating new material and/or deepening existing projects.
Each week participants write for up-to one hour of the 2.5-hour session.