A Teacherless Writing Group: Why It’s Needed and How It Works

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As I said in my previous post, writing is not just about getting things down on paper, but also about getting things inside the reader’s head. Writing is not something happening in my mind only; it’s also a transaction between me and the reader. But how do we know what our readers think and how they feel about our writing?

A teacherless writing group is a place where people share their writing and give each other authentic, constructive feedback on how the author’s words were actually experienced: sort of like movies happening inside your mind as you’re reading. It’s important to note that this is not about offering advice on what to improve in a text. In fact, advice helps in a very limited way, as everyone has unique personal histories, values, and modes of expression.

A teacherless writing group:

  • consists of diverse people.
  • brings together group members committed to writing and giving feedback regularly during a set period of time.
  • offers its members «impact feedback», answering a simple question: what happened in your mind when you were reading the text?
  • provides a facilitator who makes sure the group and feedback rules are observed.

A teacherless writing group helps make writing easier, more pleasurable, and more prolific.

The man behind the idea of a teacherless writing group is Peter Elbow, Professor of English Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of several influential books on writing including Writing Without Teachers and Writing With Power.

I’ve been thinking about setting up such a group for a while. Previously, I conducted several writing workshops and online courses. Now I’m feeling it’s the right time. In the next post I will describe in more detail the kind of feedback that will be practiced in the group. Stay tuned!

If you are interested in becoming a member of such a group, let me know in the comments!

First published on Steemit

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