Chicago-Method Writing Workshop Rules

Over here at The INKubator, we’re pretty excited about getting the Chicago workshops running.

It really is a different and insightful method to get a variety of reader’s and writer’s opinions on your work and put you in a fantastic position for making revisions to bring your work to burnished perfection.

What follows is a guide to explain the rules and give you an idea of the process, in the hope this makes the events an easier and smoother experience for everyone involved.

If you are joining us for the workshop, please take the time to read through these guidelines.

Before the Event

If you’d like to have a piece of work included in the workshop, or even if you’d just like to attend, please fill out the sign-up sheet you can find at Google Forms.

You’ll need to make two copies of your Google Document: one should allow for comments so that your fellow workshoppers can annotate your work; the other should be read-only to allow the reader to concentrate on the piece without the major distraction of people live editing as they do so.

If you are submitting prose, please make sure it is formatted to have a single line space after every paragraph.

Submit only a single poem, up to three pages (max 1500 words) of prose, or five pages of properly formatted script.

Please make your submission at least thirty minutes before the start of the workshop so we can fix any problems in advance of it beginning, as there won’t be time to do so once the workshop has begun.

Before entering the channel, please set your discord mic settings to push to talk.

During the Workshop

Work will be workshopped in the order it appears in the queue.

A reader will be selected to read the piece out. It must be someone other than the author. It should be read exactly as it is on the page. The reader must resist the urge to extemporise or correct errors as they go. This way the writer gets to hear their words read back to them with all the clunks and stumbles.

After the work has been read, the members of the workshop will have a chance to feed back over voice chat on the piece. This must be done with no interruptions from anyone. You must wait for your turn to feed back.

Once everyone has fed back, the writer can ask readers to explain any comments that weren’t clear to them or they didn’t understand and ask one or two questions if there were concerns they had about their piece that weren’t brought up. Just remember if there is a long queue, and many people who want feedback on their work, to be fair and reasonable in the number of questions you ask.

We then move on to the next piece in the queue.

If we don’t get to your piece this time it will keep its place in the queue for the next workshop.

Chicago workshops are a fantastic way of developing your craft as a writer. So why not come along and give it a go?

Damian (AKA Big Bad Bear)

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