Raise your hand if you’ve ever said to yourself, “I could totally write a novel.” No, just me? Ok, well I think some of you are fibbers. With that being said, if you have ever muttered some variation of the sentiment to yourself, now might be a great time to explore the written word.
Despite the tough realities of obeying stay at home orders, the number of virtual opportunities to learn and explore has exploded in the past few months as creatives have adapted and shifted away from in-person events. An example of this in the DMV is author Kristen Zory King‘s MoonLit DC.
King knew MoonLit’s workshops, often hosted at local bookstores, would have to change. With people no longer able to congregate, like most entertainment and education activities, her literary offerings moved to Zoom.
“The transition to online workshop wise is relatively straightforward, because they’re one night,” King says over the phone. “Outside of that it’s been pretty parallel, people sign in, make introductions. Then people work from readings and prompts, and there [are] writing elements and sharing and critique elements. The point of all of the workshops is [that] these are just creative sparks, kicks in the butt.”
With most folks stuck at home for now, this is an opportune time to take up writing if you’ve ever been interested. MoonLit offers one-night workshops on very specific topics, whether you’re into erotica or science fiction. Since its inception in 2017, King’s goal was to “bridge the gap” and provide a less expensive option for people to explore potential literary interests. She even has a limited amount of “pay what you can” slots for each session.
“Writing is all about the details and noticing what’s around you and reflecting the moment and it’s uniquely situated for a catastrophe like this, you can open up an empty email and write a poem,” King says. “Everyone knows how to write, we’re all communicators as human. We’re storytellers. That’s what we do; that’s how we connect, and people now more than ever are more excited to tel their stories.”
Normal class prices are $20. There are two more sessions in the spring season, including tomorrow’s “Beyond the Morning Pages: Identifying Themes in Writing to Unblock Creativity” at 6 p.m. Future summer classes are also on the horizon. King says the virtual and in-person offerings will remain diverse, as the one-night-only feeling offers a dynamic opportunity to be extremely niche and thought-provoking.
“People do have more time to explore things they may not have,” she says. “Part of the reason I offer so many diverse workshops is so they are one night, and it gives people this easy access to things they’re not sure about. Maybe they go on to take a six week class on sci-fi, and it’s a way to access that immediately. For people who are interested. My philosophy around the workshops I offer, is I’ve always been open to what teaching artists pitch me, I want people to have that space to run free.”
If you’re still unsure or a little nervous about trying your hand at the written word, King assures that the classes are extremely low stakes. And beyond the creative avenues each class could open for attendees, the writing itself could provide a certain catharsis.
“If you don’t like it, you didn’t lose that much,” King says. “I think now is the time for people to sit with their thoughts and record them, and I’m really happy to provide that space for people. Again, if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. There’s so much going on and if you have a crying kid, now you’re home and you have to take care of that. For people who are new to it, and kind of want to give it a shot, it’s not much of your night, so give it a shot.”
Interested in giving it a shot, head here to learn more about MoonLit and its future events.
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