Archive for March 19th, 2009

danell-jones-bookLast night I spent several hours in a writing workshop. It was wonderful. How could it be anything else? The instructor was Virginia Woolf.

I found Woolf’s lessons on writing inside the covers of the charming book by Danell Jones called The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing.

Jones combed Woolf’s diaries, letters, essays and novels to pull together the author’s best advice about writing. Woolf then delivers this advice in a setting Jones imagines — at an imaginary podium in front of a room full of eager students in a writing workshop. Actual quotes from Woolf are connected by Jones’s own words, but all stay true to what we know and love about Woolf.

This is a little gem of a book that delivers big on its promise to “inspire great writing.” It includes chapters on practicing, working, creating, walking (Yes, walking! After all this is Woolf we are talking about.), reading, publishing and doubting.

And each chapter ends with what Jones calls “Writing Sparks” to inspire hands-on practice. There are more of these at the end of the book as well.

Whether you are a writer, a reader, a teacher or just a Woolf fan, this is a sweet little book to own.

Read a more extensive review here and an excerpt here. You can also read an interview with the author.

The Fall/Winter 2008 issue of the Virginia Woolf Miscellany also has a review of the book, as does the January 2009 issue of the Virginia Woolf Bulletin.

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