Some Of The People You Will Meet At A Creative Writing Workshop

Shutterstock / Dragon Images
Shutterstock / Dragon Images
  1. The quiet ugly guy who will write really good fantasy/sci-fi and really bad chick lit that the women of the class will eat up anyway, saying stuff like “How were you able to tap into the female brain?”
  2. The really blokey guy you would expect to see roughing up some guy in front of a bar rather than in a creative writing workshop who you would also expect to write crime fiction, which he does. You want to tell him that no one writes about heavy smoking and drinking private eyes anymore, but you’re too scared – he might beat you up after class.
  3. The woman in her fifties who writes really bad stories about her experiences as a teenager during the 70s with plot points thrown in that don’t really work – like the boy she helps with his studies who turns out to be her son she gave up after the love of her life who she had a night of bliss with after a dance, who later dies in Vietnam. She asks you what your sign is and acts like she knew it all along. She has no idea how to do an assignment and the teacher has to practically do them for her.
  4. The teacher who thinks all stories should be really descriptive and emotive, and when someone brings up Jack Kerouac, has no idea who that is. When she pronounces Bach “Boch,” we all laugh at her and she can’t figure out why.
  5. The deaf girl who writes really clever poems and stories and always has really helpful comments for your work written in purple so you know it’s her. She’s good at picking out all the flaws in your plot and instead of feeling angry at her for picking apart your story you want to gush a thank you and run home so you can apply all her corrections.
  6. The woman in her sixties who won’t shut up about her children and keeps saying her writing style is so different from the youngsters in the class and that it must be generational. The only difference is that she is really shit and somehow thinks that her age automatically means she is a great writer with really interesting things to say. You’re thankful when she misses classes because of her back issues.
  7. The girl with a faint moustache only you seem to notice who has arrogance and no guilt about telling you if she does not like your piece. Her pieces are romantic fantasy/sci-fi Doctor Who inspired shit she thinks is really deep because she uses Greek mythology for metaphors.
  8. The guy who comes in late with his eyes really red and reads stories about beatniks showing squares the joys of weed.
  9. The young woman in her late twenties who writes about housewives who are sex addicts, bulimic and want to abandon their families – which is really awkward because we all know that she really does have a husband and child at home.
  10. The girl who keeps changing the wacky colors she chooses to dye a single strand of her hair and who writes about the fights she has with her mother.
  11. The Asian girl who writes really funny and quaint stories about growing up in an Asian family with cutesy observations which the whole class loves, but for some reason, your teacher hates.
  12. The guy who mysteriously drops out after reading a story about a serial killer that was really intense and who everyone’s kind of glad is gone.
  13. The girl who writes about all her experiences living in a dangerous area and even though her stories aren’t that good the class is always on the edge of their seat because they cannot believe what she’s reading actually happened. Her best story so far has been about the night she was working late at her local video store and it was held up.
  14. You, who always gets comments like “great set up” and “brilliant idea,” which really mean the actual story was not enjoyable to read and you will never be a successful writer. TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • SD

    My too scared what?

  • Sandra

    did you read this in your class?

    • Scott Lewis

      i wish, that would really shut them up

  • guest

    sorry but this article is pretentious and kind of insulting

  • Francisco García

    That “your” should be a “you're” in line 7.

  • guest

    great set up

  • Summer

    There are many grammar errors and run-on sentences in this. Next time, you should think about thoroughly editing what you write.

  • Jessica Blankenship

    the guy with two grammatical mistakes in his second paragraph.

  • Aelya


  • Asdf

    Terrible article is terrible.

  • breemeup

    *you're. But other than that (not to mention the run-on sentences), cute. (:

  • Douglas Lain

    You forgot to mention the thirty something housewife who writes about the abuse she suffered as a child and how nobody can really critique her work because, after all, to tell her that the story was cliched and boring would be to add insult to injury.

    • Asdf

      brilliant idea

  • Ricky Stewart

    Maybe he would get better comments on his pieces if he proofread them. That being said, great set up, and brilliant idea.

    • Asdf

      That's OK. We're all deaf and we wrote them all in purple. He'll be fine.

    • Scott Lewis

      you bastard

  • Oliver Miller

    The use of Sarah Lawrence photos is my favorite ongoing in-joke/non-sequitur

    • Paul Allen


      • Oliver Miller


      • Paul Allen

        1.pfft898 up, 109 down1.An expression of a lack of interest in another persons comment 
        2.Used to look down upon another1. Person 1: u really suck man Person 2: pfft 2. Person 1: Well i had to build my house with my own two hands Person 2: Pfft…i Had to build this whole dam city with mine

      • Oliver Miller

        So you're not in favor of my boring comment, is what we've established.

  • Tim

    I'd have believed if this if you'd have included someone who you described as actually having talent. Otherwise, you just sound like you're choking on your own cynicism/jealousy.

    • guest

      I completely agree!

  • Jeffdanho

    you gave a 100% accurate description of 3 people in my fiction writing class.

  • Briana

    where do you find such a mixed age/race/lifestyle class? at nyu, the creative writing workshops were all early 20s white and asian kids who, while having slight variations in terms of consistent themes and ways of critique and personality quirks, were pretty much the same.

    isn't bach pronouched 'boch'? or do you mean 'bOHch' as opposed to 'bAHch'?

    i liked the mid-50s woman's story. feels relatable.

    • Scott Lewis

      in Australia, we're a multicultural country

  • Bourdillon

    The guy whose sycophantic, middle class, patronising views on minorites prevents him from criticising them the way he criticises everyone else, leading to the conclusion that his favourite authors are Maya Angelou and Bret Easton Ellis.

    • Scott Lewis

      I love Bret Easton Ellis

      • Bourdillon

        Me too mate. But there's only one Bret Easton Ellis. Didn't mean to give off the impression that I was just dicking on you there, I quite liked this piece… still, Ellis hints glow like radium if you know what to look for.

  • MarkC

    that's some workshop.

  • klehr smells

    kinda had a crush on the guy who looked like he'd beat you up later. he was missing a finger.
    sums up the creative writing workshops i've been in

  • Jelly Roll Morton

    I think you're too judgmental to write creatively. Generally, good fiction writers are not excessively critical of other people; rather, they try to understand people in context – which it seems like you do not do so well. maybe you could be a critic. seems like you're already doing okay in that genre.

  • Notreal

    This article sounds like it has been written by, frankly, a retarded sociopath who thinks his shit don't stink ( to put it crassly). Maybe you would be a better person if you pulled your head out of your arsehole. The way you describe people makes you sound like a magnificent God who is better than everyone else. Stop writing this bullshit to feed your ego. 

    Just my two cents, you cunt.

  • Minster of Comments

    I am a thought catalog writer and I can judge at a fifth grade level.

  • Karen

    why are commenters so gd annoying?

  • mininunu

    I think I might be that asian girl haha

  • mininunu

    “The guy who mysteriously drops out after reading a story about a serial
    killer that was really intense and who everyone’s kind of glad is gone.”

    On this note,

    The girl who submitted the story about the kids that crushed their Father's skull with a table lamp after he raped their sister over a long descriptive page and a half of moaning, grunting and crying, then killed their Mother who protested his murder. They spend the next three years in Russia “looking for their parents” as testament to their innocence.

    The same girl whose name no-one can place but secretly look out for in the weeks following the workshop wondering who this dark, twisted and sinister,yet absolutely ridiculous, vision belonged to. She never manifests.

blog comments powered by Disqus