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Pitch, Plan, and Lead: How to Get and Give a Workshop for Writers

5 March at 08:00 17:00 EST

Are you ready to share your knowledge of your chosen literary field? Need a hand getting started on your pitch, or polishing your workshop-leading skills? Together with other emerging and established literary folk, we’ll talk about how to conceive, plan, and lead a successful workshop, whether on an aspect of craft, a literary genre, or an angle on the business of writing – just in time for QWF’s spring call for workshop proposals.

Over two Sunday mornings, we’ll explore possibilities for bringing as much creativity to your workshop design as you do to your art. You’ll develop and refine your workshop idea and transform it into a solid pitch. We’ll talk about how to plan a workshop that’s fun and effective for you and the participants, whether it lasts one afternoon or ten weeks, including how to manage a diverse group of participants with differing goals, skill levels, and workshop experience.

In the first session we’ll talk about:

  • choosing your topic
  • how to design a format (one day, four afternoons, two hours a week for eight weeks?) and plan your activities across that time frame
  • how to add readings, videos, or reference materials
  • how to describe your teaching experience and approach to leading a workshop – what will you lead participants to accomplish, and how?
  • what to include in a “more detailed workshop description (up to two pages)”

Between sessions you’ll create a clean draft of your pitch using this form: https://qwf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/QWF-2022-2023-Proposal-Form-for-Workshop-Leaders.pdf and share it with the group by email. In the second session, we’ll consider the drafts and help each other make them even clearer, more powerful, more engaging.

We will also discuss:

  • how to manage workshop time to strike a good balance between the various elements, such as in-class writing, group discussion, and homework tasks
  • making sure everyone in a diverse group gets what they need (even the difficult ones)
  • accounting for – and celebrating – each participant’s distinct individuality
  • cultivating a sense of community
  • sharing information about the writing life – how to get published, how to get paid, do you need an agent, doing public readings/open mics, etc.
  • modeling and fostering respect, warmth, honesty and generosity in your workshop

In this context we’ll discuss the Guidelines for QWF Workshop Participants and Workshop Leaders. Please have a look at these before we meet: https://qwf.org/activities/programs/workshops/guidelines-for-qwf-workshop-participants-and-workshop-leaders/

The workshop leader will wear a mask during meetings. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to do so as well, which will increase the accessibility of the workshop to anyone with increased vulnerability.

*Note: Professional literary credentials vary depending on the type of workshop you plan to offer. If you aren’t sure whether your credentials make you a candidate for leading a QWF workshop, please contact Lori Schubert at admin@qwf.org.

Elise Moser has published short stories, a novel for adults, a YA novel, and a nonfiction book for kids. She has edited anthologies, been literary editor of online arts and culture magazine Rover, and sat on the boards of Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, PEN Canada, the QWF, and the English-language Arts Network. She has twice been a mentor and has led workshops on the short story, on having a successful writing group, and on combining the practices of writing and walking. At least two of her workshop groups became writing groups, and continue to meet and write together.



1200 Atwater Avenue, Room 3
Westmount, QC H3Z 1X4 Canada


Join Waitlist We will inform you of any newly available spots for this workshop via email. Please note: once you receive the notice of availability, you will have 48hrs to register —or 24hrs if the workshop begins in a week or less— before the spot is made available to the next person.
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