Report on the Advanced Writing Workshop with Dallas Murphy 2019

From its origins eight years ago, it has been my pleasure to conduct, with Dr. Thomas Spengler, the annual CHESS Advanced Writing Course.  This session, 17—21 June 2019 was no exception.  We had eleven enrollees from a wide range of nationalities and scientific disciplines.  The students were avid participants, helping their peers with useful suggestions to clarify both the science and its presentation in the papers submitted to the workshop.

Again, we were joined by different faculty members for each student paper under consideration.  Their responses to the papers and their suggestions for improvements proved imminently useful to the students, and it was clear that the faculty members enjoyed their participation.  I’m grateful for their insights and active participation; so are the students.

The thrust of the course was to establish a means of formulating structure before the students actually begin writing any part of the paper.  Another way to say this is that we established the beginnings of a duplicable writing/thinking process that can be applied to the submitted paper and to ensuing papers.

We held our usual “Lit Night” and potluck dinner.  I select several short stories and personal essays that I read aloud, then discuss as a group.  I stress repeatedly during the workshop that the very best way to learn to write is to read good writing, but the primary purpose of Lit Night is the enjoyment of literature.

Looking forward to next year, Dallas Murphy.

Text: Dallas Murphy, photo: Mandy Kong