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Gotham Writers

April 11, 2013

Bathurst muses central park crop

The responses to the first writing prompt were poetic, prosaic, timid or direct.

“I am from home.”

“I am from Brooklyn.”

“I am from a place where there is music everywhere.”

“I pass,” said one of the two men.

With those introductions, twelve strangers dove into the one-day intensive class offered by Gotham Writers’ Workshops on a sunny Saturday in lower Manhattan. Founded by Jeff Fligelman and David Grae in 1993, Gotham offers workshops in more than a dozen forms of writing, led by professional writers. On that sunny day, other members of our writing group explored Memoir, Script-writing, and Dialogue.

Melissa Petro led mini-lectures, discussions and exercises in our Personal Essay Writing class.  A self-described former Craigslist sex worker, Melissa has published stories in Salon, Rumpus, the Daily Beast, Penthouse, Bitch. She taught us about deks, ledes and nutgrafs and suggested ways we could shape our own unique stories  to bolster a compelling argument, illuminate a problem or highlight a universal truth.

The final writing exercise on Vanity illustrated Melissa’s contention that we all have expertise on any topic—if we can only figure out what it is. Alex described an encounter with Gary Oldman, who caught his eye in a mirror while Alex pinned his Prada tuxedo.  A fashion industry blogger confessed her unwitting crime of pairing running shoes with a gold dress. And Aduke, “I’m from where there is always music,” argued, “If everyone was vain there would be no problems in the world. Who would use drugs? Who would go to war?”

Gotham Writers is a wonderful resource for anyone visiting New York! Check it out.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2013 2:14 pm

    All the participants seem zanier than zany…refreshing!

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