A new *online* workshop for LGBT teen writers: Keywords takes to the ether


UPDATE (10/6/13): The start date for the new online Keywords has been pushed back to winter 2014. If you’d like to be sent the official registration form when it’s available, please let me know by emailing me directly at rgouirand [at] gmail [dot] com. Cheers!


Friends, I’m very happy to announce that beginning this fall I’ll be offering a new program—an online workshop for LGBT teen writers.

For many years I have engaged teen writers in a variety of programs I’ve created—through California Poets-in-the-Schools programs, independent high school classroom adoptions funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and local grant-funded workshops I’ve lead at teen centers and libraries all over greater Sacramento, as well as more recently at the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center, where the seed of Keywords took root last winter. I know from personal experience how lifechanging it can be to have a creative community, at any age, and with this new program I hope to create a community and safe zone for young writers who might find themselves in search of a workshop that will meet them where they are.

My new online Keywords is open to all teens in the LGBT community far and wide who’d like to explore creative writing in good company. Every month, I will provide participating writers with a series of new writing exercises and prompts and facilitate the sharing of works-in-progress on our password-protected group site. All exercises and prompts will invite writing in all forms, so participants will be free to move between genres, to dabble, to try out new forms and subjects and approaches, and to come back to individual pieces over time. The group site will serve as an interactive space where each writer can plug into daily writing and conversation about the creative process, on whatever schedule works best for them, and where they can gather feedback (or momentum) from their follow writers. Our focus will be genesis rather than critique, and our primary aim to help each other develop confidence in our individual visions and voices while writing together, steadily, for a long enough stretch of time to engage and embrace the creative process. All participants will learn how to serve as advocates of each others’ creative work and as peer mentors. Along the way, we will enjoy occasional conversations with LGBT authors, links and recommendations for lots of great reading, tips about opportunities for teen writers to publish, and possibly a group anthology, depending on group interest.

If you’re tuning in to this announcement as someone unfamiliar with me, my teaching, or my connections within the LGBT/literary communities, I invite you to surf around and check out my links here, and to email me with any questions you might have. I’m more than happy to talk with any prospective teen writer or guardian/parent who’d like to touch base, introduce themselves, or learn a little more about my teaching philosophy and the community-based workshops I’ve started and lead for the last decade.

Registration opens today and runs through December; on January 1st we’ll hit the ground running for six solid months of writing together. The course fee is due at the time of registration; I’m happy to negotiate payments by installment on a case-by-case basis for families who need them.

To request the registration form and get all the rest of the details, just email me at rgouirand [at] gmail [dot] com.



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