On May 17, I participated in a one-day creative writing workshop offered by The Reader Berlin, a local organization that provides author and publishing services. I had heard about The Reader even before I moved to Berlin, and have followed them on Facebook for more than a year. As with most things, I like to be prepared. Before our big move, I wanted to be sure I was familiar with many of the main organizations and publishers, bookstores and reading series, so that I could hit-the-ground-running, as they say.
The one-day GET INSPIRED WORKSHOP started off at Berlin's beautiful Alte Nationalgalerie, which features 19th Century paintings and sculptures. Inside the gallery, workshop leader Victoria Gosling -- novelist, short-story writer, editor, and founder of The Reader Berlin -- provided participants with a series of writing exercises based on our intellectual and emotional interactions with the paintings and sculptures.
After a few hours of writing inspiration, our group traveled to the famed Another Country bookshop, in Kreuzberg, where we wandered and sat among the bookshelves, finding our own nooks in which to expand on the exercises from the gallery, or sitting together at the large communal table in the lower level, quietly writing away.
The price of the workshop included admission to the Alte Nationalgalerie, dinner at Another Country (cooked by store owner Sophie Raphaeline, whose Friday night dinners at the bookstore are highly-regarded salons for the city’s English-speaking residents), as well as three drinks.
The workshop was a terrific introduction to the types of offerings by The Reader Berlin. Gosling is a talented writer and equally talented workshop leader. I wrote a few flash fictions and three poem drafts over the course of the day.
The next one-day workshop is set for July 5.