Story Workshop

The Story Workshop Method is a method of teaching writing originated in 1965 by John Schultz . The Story Workshop Institute Was founded to bring the method to elementary and secondary classrooms and other forums for writing instruction. [1] The Fiction Writing Department at Columbia College in Chicago uses this methodology in its core writing progress course, and Hair Trigger is its annual award-winning student fiction and creative nonfictionwriting.

Main features

The Story Workshop method “Focus on helping you hear your own individual voice and provide a supportive, interactive, and challenging environment for developing your reading, writing, listening, speaking, critical thinking , and imaginative problem-solving capabilities.” [2]

The Story Workshop Method differs from criticism -based writing pedagogy in the process of developing one’s writing process, trusting that a good writing process will lead to good writing. Story Workshop instructors are called “Directors” and they coach students through different parts of the writing process during class, such as:

aloud to an audience writing, rewriting, problem-solving (through word games, experiments with form, point-of-view, voice and other elements, coaching and questions), developing a sense of one’s own voice, and developing an inner sense for one’s audience .

“You can identify the Story Workshop method of teaching by its structured, flexible time-period format, by its theory of seeing and voice, by its repertory of oral word, oral telling, oral reading, writing and recall exercises by semicircle format, which facilitates the group of students and their sense of audience, and by its teaching approaches, techniques, strategies, and tactics made possible by the exercises and their many variations. , The Story Workshop method that assumes that all forms of writing from the image and story, from the image and movement of voice organizing the expression of perceptions through time, The development of these human perceptual, imaginative,The Story Workshop Objective. “From” The Story Workshop Method Writing From Start to Finish, “by John Schultz[3]

The Story Workshop pedagogy aims to allow writers to move beyond dependence on the instructor and the classroom . With the emphasis upon process development, Story Workshop Methodology Sometimes Who frustrates students are used to a pedagogical model That features red pen markings on Their papers and Direct negative criticism as icts primary form of feedback . When we are in the process of being instructed by the instructor during the course of the day, and the questions of the instructor or the decision-makerand responsibility of the writer-such a student will react negatively, claiming that the method “does not give any feedback.” Successful students Develop the Ability to internalize various coachings Heard in class, to read published literature with a critical eye and apply the technologies and approaches gleaned to his or her own writing, to use, and, Where Necessary and Appropriate combines a wide variety of prose forms and points-of-view in their writing, and to rewrite a solid sense of what a particular manuscript needs.

Measured results

The Story Workshop has been used to meet the needs of each level. In boxes That-have-been tested Comprehensively Comparing results from classes of Several teachers (in a major urban community college system over fourteen full semesters ) 90% of the Story Workshop trained students Passed a posttest Rigorous successfully (two hours of argumentative writing) while only 50% to 70% of students from other traditional and ad hoc composition classes in the same college passed the test. [4] [5]

Notable writers

These writers have taken and instructed Story Workshop classes:

  • Joe Meno , winner of the Nelson Algren Award in 2003
  • Don Grazia
  • Shawn Shiflett
  • Megan Stielstra


  1. Jump up^
  2. Jump up^
  3. Jump up^ College EnglishVol. 39, No. 4, Dec. 1977
  4. Jump up^ See also quantified results of Story Workshop Composition classes in “My Own Voice: Students Say It Unlocks the Writing Process,” by Zoe Keithley, in theJournal of Basic Writing, Vol. II, No. 2, 1992.
  5. Jump up^

References and further reading

  • Zoe Keithley. “My Own Voice: Students Say It Unlocks the Writing Process,” Journal of Basic Writing Vol. II, No. 2, 1992.
  • John Schultz, editor. Writing from Start to Finish: The Story Workshop Rhetoric-Reader Basic Forms. Montclair, NJ: Boynton / Cook Publishers, 1982
  • John Schultz. Writing from Start to Finish: The Teacher’s Manual. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton / Cook Publishers, 1983.
  • John Schultz. “The Story Workshop Method: Writing From Start to Finish,” College English Vol. 39, No. 4, Dec. 1977
  • Betty Shiflett. “Story Workshop as a Method of Teaching Writing” College English Vol. 35, No. 2 November 1973