Posted by: administrator | December 1, 2008

Who we are and what we do

Amherst Writers Ireland: awlogo2Who we are and what we do

Amherst Writers Ireland (AWI) is an autonomous chapter of Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA).  We are a group of writers and creative writing facilitators whose main purpose is to maintain and promote in Ireland the five essential affirmations, outlined by the founder of AWA, Pat Schneider:

  1. Everyone has a strong, unique voice
  2. Everyone is born with creative genius
  3. Writing as an art form belongs to all people, regardless of economic class or educational level
  4. The teaching of craft can be done without damage to a writer’s original voice or artistic self-esteem
  5. A writer is someone who writes.

AWI maintains a spirit of generosity and collaboration amongst its members and is committed to upholding the principles of an AWA workshop as outlined by Pat Schneider:

  1. A non-hierarchical spirit in the workshop is maintained while at the same time an appropriate discipline keeps writers safe;
  2. Confidentiality about what is written in the workshop is maintained and the privacy of the writer is protected. All writing is treated as fiction unless the writer requests that it be treated as autobiography.  At all times writers are free to refrain from reading their work aloud.
  3. Absolutely no criticism, suggestion or question is directed toward the writer in response to first-draft, just written work.  A thorough critique is offered only when the writer asks for it and distributes work in manuscript form. Critique is balanced; there is as much affirmation as suggestion for change.
  4. The teaching of craft is taken seriously and is conducted through exercises that invite experimentation and growth as well as through response to manuscripts and in private conferences.
  5. The leader writes along with the participants and reads that work aloud at least once in each writing session.  This practice is absolutely necessary, for only in this way is there equality of risk taking and mutuality of trust.

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