How to create an adult writing workshop

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The workshop proposal

The next step is to develop a workshop proposal. These five steps can help.

  1. What specific types of writing or writing techniques do you plan to teach? Do you see yourself teaching professional writing (resumes and cover letters) or creative nonfiction (essays, poems, articles)? Would your instruction focus more on the nuts and bolts of grammar, or on organization and clarity? This helps a program manager determine if students will find value in your workshop and to market the workshop to the appropriate population.
  2. Do you have previous teaching or other relevant experience that qualifies you to run this workshop? Do you have your MFA or teaching credentials? Has your writing ever been published? Do you have experience working with the elderly or immigrants?
  3. How many students do you plan to work with? This helps a program manager determine the best location for the workshops and anticipate possible material costs (if any). Don’t overestimate this number if you’ve never taught before. It’s better to have a small group of students and a productive workshop than too many students and a chaotic teaching experience.
  4. What days and times do you plan to hold your workshop? How long will your workshop run (five weeks, two months, all year)? Again, this helps a program manager determine the best location for your class and schedule your proposed workshop around existing classes. You should also consider the amount of time adult students could dedicate to completing a workshop. Could your students attend classes twice a week for fewer weeks, creating a more ‘accelerated’ program?
  5. What kind of support would you require from the organization to facilitate this workshop? Do you need help marketing and promoting the workshop? Do you need suggestions for resources? Will you have to purchase instructional materials? Hint: The more you can take on, the more appealing it will be to an overworked program manager.
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