Noted in NYC

Gotham Writers Workshop Open House

It’s been quiet on this blog for longer than I expected. Who knew changing jobs could keep a person so busy! My joke this year was that I could do one fun thing and write about it, or do two fun things and not write about either.

You can see which I picked.

But is a brand new year! And after the rollercoaster of 2016 it’s nice to come back to writing. Thanks for being here! (Shoutout to Victoria: Your requested blogpost about the Corning Museum of Glass is coming, but here’s something else to tide you over.)

I’ve been meaning to write for ages, but last week I got an invitation that felt fortuitous, the New Year’s writing kick-in-the-pants I needed: Gotham Writers Workshop emailed to tell me about their Open House classes. I believe they hold them periodically, so consider getting on their mailing list so you hear about the next one, or just check out their free events page!

On Wednesday and Thursday last week GWW offered interested writers the chance to sit in on two hour-long trial classes of their choice. I went on Thursday — my first time ever at a Gotham event — and was impressed by how many people were there. As far as I could tell almost every seat was filled in each class, and in the two I chose, everyone was very interested and focused.

I decided to check out Scriptwriting and Memoir. Memoir might feel a little obvious (hello, blog!) but it’s something I’ve thought a lot about. At some point I want to take some of the places I’ve written about and stories I’ve shared on this blog and shape them into a bigger story about life in NYC (with a more personal tone so you’d get to hear some of the stories I’ve left out.) The professor’s advice for process: Write it all down even if it’s just word vomit, excavate your theme, separate story from scene so you understand what needs to be shared and what can be glossed over, and then find your point of view, the personal meaning behind this story.

I took my best friend Kate (hi Kate!) with me to the scriptwriting class. One of my proudest achievements of 2015-2016 was co-writing a half hour musical for Kate’s students to put on. Seeing it staged last February and helping make it happen (the day after my last day at my previous job, how’s that for timing) was hugely meaningful. Kate and I have been talking about a new full length musical project on and off since last May — we have some characters and a sketch of a first act, but more work to do before the songs and book start being built. A free scriptwriting class seemed like a great way to get our brains in writing mode for 2017, and we left the class thinking a lot about conflict, about what our characters want and what their objectives and obstacles are across the show and in each scene.

The Gotham Writers Workshop is located at 1450 Broadway, at 41st and Broadway, on the 14th floor. I arrived early to eat some free donuts and drink some free hot cocoa, and made three new friends while sitting on the couches in the lobby. We all were coming at writing from different backgrounds, with different goals, and it was awesome to talk about writing with people who clearly love it and want to grow as writers. (I told two of them the name of this blog, so if you guys are reading, hi! Drop me a line at notednyc@gmail.com if you ever want to get together and write!)

I met two other nice people in the classes, and it was clear that GWW draws a ton of great people, at least for their free events. I’m not sure I can manage a full class right now, but I’m definitely considering going to one of their Friday night writing events — for $20 you can show up and write in a nice comfortable space that is not your apartment or a coffee shop, surrounded by people who are also writing. Seems like a great way to get butt-in-chair (always a problem for me) and maybe make some new writing friends along the way.

Thanks for inviting me, Gotham! Hope to see you soon! For more information about their classes and events, check out their website.

Friends, I hope to write more before too long — I’ve done some fun stuff in the last few months, some of which I even took pictures of! This includes a three week trip to Europe back in August which was one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to do. So vote in the comments, which should I write about first: Scotland, the Lake District, Paris, Budapest, Vienna, or Prague?

See you soon!

3 thoughts on “Gotham Writers Workshop Open House

  1. Thanks Mary Lane! SO many pictures, and I’m pretty sure I drafted something about Edinburgh a while back, will have to find it and get it up very soon….

    PS Loved your new first date story, but of course, the follow up. Sigh.

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