Thursdays | April 16th – June 4th, 2020 | 7pm-9:30pm | $425+HST
Faculty of Social Work, 246 Bloor Street West
Saturdays | May 2nd – June 20th, 2020 | 1pm-3:30pm | $425+HST
O.I.S.E., 252 Bloor Street West
At Writers Boot Camp, you’ll be surprised how quickly writing in groups will fill your notebook with inspired ideas, sketches and stories. This workshop will help writers of all levels get in touch with their unique voice, expand their craft, and banish the fear of a blank page. Following the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method, Writers Boot Camp uses prompt-based exercises and a safe, non-critical environment to create and share your work.
Each session is limited to 11 adult writers (17+) and runs eight weeks.
Each week, workshop members will take part in 3-5 real-time writing exercises. These exercises are an invitation to experiment and explore new ideas without expectation, judgement, or homework. Our in-group writing is shared out loud for feedback, but is treated as rough work not yet ready for questions or criticism. From this immediate feedback however, we get to know more about our voices and complete the writer’s goal of being heard.
The exercises are usually directed towards fiction, sometimes memoir, and occasionally poetry. While the exercises are intended to spark your creativity, the structure is open-ended: you are always free to write in the genre or topic that interests you most. Occasionally we break out into discussions about craft and different ways to develop a disciplined writing practice.
What is a writer? A writer is someone who writes. Whether you’ve published volumes, are just getting started, or are seeking a way to kickstart your creativity, you are invited to take part in this workshop.
What People Say
What I’ve learned from learning to write – Caroline Hayes
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the Boot Camp. It was absolutely exactly what I was hoping for and needed to jump start me writing again after many, many, many years. I’ve been trying to keep up the momentum. So just a note of appreciation to you for doing something so great. – LG
David does an excellent job of creating a comfortable, safe and most of all creative environment to write in. The Boot Camp puts you in the the driver’s seat. The Novel helps to extract, encourage, and shape that longer piece you’ve been thinking about. It’s time for you to start writing. – Yashin
I have to say that the Thursday night sessions were so personally rewarding. My pen was often flying as I was caught up in the story that I was writing. I never thought I could go so far so quickly. – JT
Thanks for a really fun 8 weeks. I thought (David) did an excellent job of creating a supportive, welcoming space. It was exactly what I didn’t quite know I was hoping for in a writing class. – Melissa
I still remember the Boot Camp workshops every Thursday. In fact, I recently launched a blog, heavily inspired by the workshop idea of not feeding my own inner critic. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, and now it has a life of its own. – Poonam Patel
I found the course empowering because your confidence and comfort with writing sort of sneaks up on you over the course of the 8 weeks. – Genevieve
I wanted to say thank you so much for these past Wednesdays. I would come in exhausted from the work day, and leave energized. Thank you so much for your thoughtful facilitation and encouragement. – Paula
I really enjoyed Writers Boot Camp. It tested my creativity and helped me to loosen up a bit. The best way that I can describe what we were doing is “improv for writers.” That’s how it felt to me. Thanks for nourishing the soul. – David
David, you allowed the student to appear in the truest spirit, to learn and be inspired without fear and judgement. Surrendering to the written word seemed almost daunting but somehow this time it felt like magic. Thank you. JR.
I think the workshops that I attended exceeded my expectations. I have been encouraging others, even those who don’t consider themselves writers, to participate. The atmosphere and openness in which everyone’s work is thoughtfully discussed makes this an ideal environment for new writers and those getting back in touch with their creative intentions. – Ariel
David is a master of helping writers find their voice in their writing. He uses the just the right amount of structure in a session but not so much that creativity is hampered. Not only did I find strengths in my writing but I enjoyed writing more than ever in this environment. His facilitation was crystal clear and each session was something I looked forward to every week. – Huzefa Hamid
It really was the perfect way for me to start writing. Never felt like ‘work.’ I surprised myself. Every time I left class I felt more tuned in, found myself noticing details, just being more curious and enjoying the subtleties of things happening around me. Very refreshing, and motivating.– Justy B Goode
When I decided to take the plunge to go to Writers’ Boot Camp I was filled with nerves, what should I expect, what would be expected of me? What if’s came running into my energy soaking up what little confidence I had of myself as a writer. My critic was chanting “you? Ha! You’re no writer.” The workshop changed all that, within the first few sessions I began to feel and think like the writer I am and my critic got kicked to the curb! It’s non-judgemental setting along with David’s clear guidelines, challenging assignments and interesting conversations around format left me leaving Boot Camp very proud of my abilities. I feel authenticity for my writing I didn’t have before. Thank you – Fran
I think it’s a great way to get writing. I discovered voices and moments that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about and am interested in exploring them further. – Eric
Writers’ Boot Camp is a terrific experience for new and established writers alike. The safe, judgement free atmosphere made the sessions comfortable and welcoming. – Candace
The ten weeks I spent at Writers’ Boot Camp was one of the most positive experiences I’ve had as a writer. With David’s well-thought out and carefully structured writing exercises, he builds not only a productive environment but also a safe place for creative expression. Always welcoming, never critical and extremely professional, I appreciated David’s expertise and organization. I highly recommend Writer’s Boot Camp to anyone wishing to write more, if for no other reason than to (re)discover the pure joy of it. – Nicola
Can’t thank you enough for the class. It was such a positive experience. It gave me confidence and insight into my strengths and weaknesses and inspired some ideas I want to explore further — so much more than I expected to get out of it. Don’t be surprised to see me darken your classroom door again. – Scott K.
I remember feeling incredibly vulnerable but also proud because I had two goals in mind when I signed up for this workshop. One was to give myself a chance to be creative – the other was to open myself up to others – shortcomings and all! So it was terrifying. And then it was so wonderful! I wrote stories! And I read those stories out loud! And people seemed to like them, or parts of them, and I did too. I loved the whole experience, I would do it again. Thank you David! Christie
I loved my experience at Writers’ Boot Camp. It’s a great environment for writers of any level to share their voice and hear other people’s. Sitting at the table, it truly felt like no one there was any better or worse than anyone else. I would recommend it in a heartbeat. – Sam Bean
I remember being wowed by at least one something every single time I wrote with every group. It’s affirming and inspiring to write with talented writers from different backgrounds, and the method is a great equalizer. It also moved me to be accountable to show up for a few hours a week, and I can see definite changes in my attitude and craft because of the presence of Boot Camp in my practice. – Angelica