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Teachers and writers everywhere are facing the limits imposed by the prevailing models of teaching: community or MFA “workshops” or, at the high-school level, “peer review.” In Beyond the Writers' Workshop Carol Bly presents an alternative. She believes that workshopping’s tendency to engage in wry scorn and pay exaggerated attention to technical details, causes apprentice writers, consciously or unconsciously, to modify their most passionate work.
Inspired by a philosophy of individuality and moral rigor, Bly combines ideas and techniques from social work, psychotherapy, and neuroscience with the traditional teaching of fresh metaphor, salient dialogue, lively pace, and analysis of other literary work in her pioneering new approach. She also includes exercises and examples in an extensive practical appendix.
“Bly is both a great writer and a great teacher of writing...brilliant, passionate, and outspoken. This book is filled with useful ideas for beginners and for old timers like me.”—Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia
“In this bracing critique of workshop culture Carol Bly reminds serious writers to be passionate, be brave, and tell the truth.”—Carol Conroy, Teachers and Writers Collaborative