Writing Alone and with Others

( 2 )


For more than a quarter of a century, Pat Schneider has helped writers find and liberate their true voices. She has taught all kinds--the award winning, the struggling, and those who have been silenced by poverty and hardship. Her innovative methods have worked in classrooms from elementary to graduate level, in jail cells and public housing projects, in convents and seminaries, in youth at-risk programs, and with groups of the terminally ill.
Now, in Writing Alone and with ...
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For more than a quarter of a century, Pat Schneider has helped writers find and liberate their true voices. She has taught all kinds--the award winning, the struggling, and those who have been silenced by poverty and hardship. Her innovative methods have worked in classrooms from elementary to graduate level, in jail cells and public housing projects, in convents and seminaries, in youth at-risk programs, and with groups of the terminally ill.
Now, in Writing Alone and with Others, Schneider's acclaimed methods are available in a single, well-organized, and highly readable volume. The first part of the book guides the reader through the perils of the solitary writing life: fear, writer's block, and the bad habits of the internal critic. In the second section, Schneider describes the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method, widely used across the U.S. and abroad. Chapters on fiction and poetry address matters of technique and point to further resources, while more than a hundred writing exercises offer specific ways to jumpstart the blocked and stretch the rut-stuck. Schneider's innovative teaching method will refresh the experienced writer and encourage the beginner. Her book is the essential owner's manual for the writer's voice.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Schneider's book is inspiring, full of common sense about fears every writer will recognize and exercises for jump-starting a manuscript. She is well acquainted with naysayers, external and internal. A storyteller, poet, librettist who once struggled to believe in herself, she sees teaching as a mission, writing as empowerment. She's led four workshops a week (one in a low-income project) for 12 years; she explains here how to lead your own. Writing Alone is as much an antidote to writer's block as you're likely to find between two covers: Writing teachers will use it as their bible."--C. Carr, O: The Oprah Magazine

"I am grateful to Pat Schneider for recognizing that our species is a writing species. If we don't write, it means something in the culture has blocked our natural instinct. Pat Schneider's helpful, totally personable book shows us how to undo that cultural abuse."--Carol Bly, author of Beyond the Writer's Workshop and My Lord Bag of Rice: New and Selected Stories

"More than movitivational or purely experiential, this very sensible yet practical text provides scores of proven exercises to help encourage the writer in all of us."--Library Journal

"Honesty is creative oxygen. Generosity is creative fire. Pat Schneider is a fuse lighter. Her work is gentle, playful, brilliant, and revolutionary. She is the real animal."--Julia Cameron, author of The Right to Write and The Artist's Way

"For anyone who wants to write, Writing Alone and with Others is heartening and practical. It unfolds as the story of one writer's journey, and invites the aspiring writer along with a rich variety of anecdote, exercise and advice, celebrating both difference and difficulty as the gifts they are."--Janet Burroway, author of Raw Silk and Writing Fiction

"Schneider can help you find your genius. She encourages without ever condescending. She is guide, cheerleader, and advocate. 'What you see, write it,' she counsels. 'Surprise yourself.' You'll find exercises here that will help you do it. The second part of the book, focusing on 'writing with others,' can help the workshop leader or teacher create the kind of atmosphere in which 'images pass in silence from mind to mind,' as writers are affirmed and energized by experiencing creativity, their own and others'."--Marshall J. Cook, author and editor of Creativity Connection

"An entertaining and enlightening book...should prove invaluable to poets, writers, teachers, and workshop devotees of all backgrounds and creative denominations."-- Mindy Kronenberg, poet and teacher, author of Dismantling the Playground and editor of Book/Mark Small Press Quarterly Review

Library Journal
Drawing on her many years of working with writers and would-be writers in workshops, Schneider has authored a useful and comprehensive text for the creative writer seeking to find his or her own voice and authority. Starting with the need to overcome the fear, anxiety, and nagging of the relentless self-critic within us, Schneider provides some practical exercises to get the writing process started (again) and to avoid the pitfalls of internal and external criticism. Citing the experience of the hundreds of writers she has read and worked with, Schneider counsels writers to privilege their own writing despite the distractions they face, to keep a writing journal, and to participate in a writing community with other writers. More than motivational or purely experiential, this very sensible yet practical text provides scores of proven exercises to help encourage the writer in each of us. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Herbert E. Shapiro, Empire State Coll. of SUNY, Rochester Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195165739
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 327,430
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 10.84 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Schneider is Founder and Director of Amherst Writers & Artists and Editor at Amherst Writers & Artists Press. An adjunct professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, she has taught independent writing workshops nationally and internationally. Her pioneering work using creative writing as a means of empowering low-income populations is the subject of an award-winning documentary, Tell Me Something I Can't Forget, by Florentine Films. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. Peter Elbow is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Writing with Power and Everyone Can Write.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Peter Elbow
How to Use This Book
Introduction: A Writer Is Someone Who Writes
Part I: The Writer Alone
1. "Feeling and Facing Fear"
2. "Getting Started (Again)"
3. "Toward a Disciplined Writing Life"
4. "Writing Practice: The Journal"
5. "Writing Practice: Developing Craft"
6. "Voice"
7. "Growing as a Writer"
8. "The Form Your Writing Takes"
9. "The Ethical Questions: Spirituality, Privacy, and Politics"
Part II: Writing With Others
Introduction: Writing With Others
10. "Basic Principles of a Healthy Workshop"
11. "Writing in a Classroom"
12. "Creating Your Own Workshop or Writing Group"
13. "Using Writing to Empower the Silenced"
Part III: Additional Exercises
List of Exercises
Recommended Resources and Reading List

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2003

    An Intelligent Guide for Intelligent Writers

    Experienced writers so often wind up feeling frustrated, wondering why they can't find much inspiration from the plethora of new writing books out each year. Writing Alone and With Others, however, will leave readers with the opposite reaction. This is no 'dumbed-down' beginner's manual, though it definitely has much to offer to new writers. Schneider's book is smart, sometimes funny, and thoroughly illustrated with excerpts from well-known writers as well as from participants in her Amherst Writers & Artists workshops. Writing Alone and With Others is filled with wise advice from a writer who has literally 'been there.' Schneider is honest with her readers, describing her childhood and early beginnings, using them to illustrate how writing can transform a life. Her techniques are gentle, yet incredibly inspiring, leaving the reader longing to write, but almost unwilling to put the book to pick up a pen and paper! Schneider also includes a chapter about writing workshops for underserved populations, which details the amazing impact this technique can have on those who are often 'voiceless' in our society. The book is organized so that writers working alone and those writing as part of a group can find exactly what they are looking for. It also offers sage advice for those who want to start writing workshops based on Schneider's Amherst Writers and Artists method. And, in the back, is a treasure-trove of exercises to help jump start the creative process for individuals and groups. Writing Alone and With Others is not a simple book, nor is it easy in the sense that you can read through it in an evening. It is full of information that takes some time to process--that is a welcome change for writers who have been 'at it' awhile, and are tired of entry-level how-to books. This book is a must for writers who are serious about their craft and about sharing their passion for writing with those around them. I would--and often do--recommend it to absolutely anyone I know with an interest in the written word. It is a beautiful, charismatic, and emotionally magnetic work.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 16, 2012

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