A Week in Paradise

Written by larry on October 25th, 2015


I had the good fortune to spend last week at the nineteenth Viable Paradise Writer’s Workshop, on Martha’s Vineyard. It was five days of classes, seminars, reviews, and insight, taught by some very talented people. The affair is by invitation, based on a work you submit, and I was actually quite shocked (gobsmacked, really) to have been invited. I didn’t realize that I’d progressed to a level where I’d be taken seriously, and seeing the work of the other students didn’t exactly help my confidence level – there were some VERY capable attendees there.

At a fundamental level, there’s probably not that much that I learned that I couldn’t have found in a book on writing, or eventually figured out on my own. And I’ve gotten useful reviews of my work both from my local writers’ group and online. However, I’m far more likely to retain something presented by a veteran author who also happens to be an excellent speaker, than if I skimmed over it in some ‘how to write’ book.

But more importantly, VP is far more than it’s classes. The event is designed to engender camaraderie in the attendees, partly through it being a high-pressure environment, and partly by cultivating a communal atmosphere – a sense that we were not kneeling at the knee of giants, but rather working collaboratively toward a common objective.  A core goal of the workshop is also to motivate it’s graduates to actually get out there, write, submit, and get published. And that particular kick in the tush was of particular value to me at this point in time.

So now the post-VP part of my writing begins. Like before, I’ve got the same challenges: time and self-doubt being the biggies. But I’ve also just received a first-class vote of confidence. Now it’s time to see if I can convince some editors as well.


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