Workshops


OH, HELLO.

I have developed a series of writing workshops with a variety of concentrations and goals that I am thrilled to be offering in classrooms, libraries, writing groups and chicken spots near and far, allowing me to connect, write, eat and grow with writers of all ages, chicken preferences and levels. Below, you'll find descriptions of my current workshop offerings. Each of these is fully customizable, and I am open to and capable of developing a customized writerly experience for your class, writing group or staff.

I am currently based in New York, but am open to traveling to your city to make some literary magic happen. También, I am also available for moderating, lecturing, mentorship and panel commentary, in educational, corporate, literary and academic spaces, etc. I speak and write about LGBT issues; race and racism; mental health; sex and sexuality; Blackness and issues relevant to Black life; pop culture; media; journalism, etc. I am available for appearances in/on journalism classes, diversity events, student-run media outlets. The workshops presented herein are fully customizable, and he is capable of collaborating on events (readings, showcases, roundtables and the like) and offering talks or leading discussions on topics within or at the intersections of the aforementioned areas.

Here are my writerly receipts.



LITERARY THERAPY: WRITING (FOR) YOUR LIFE
Busting your emotions open upon a blank page often works wonders for the soul. Writing through the rough patches and rolling in the deep, on paper, can be both therapeutic and revelatory. It’s an undertaking sure to bring clarity (and closure?) on life’s problems, patterns and sharp turns.

During Literary Therapy: Writing (For) Your Life, we’ll relax (with snacks) in a secluded, intimate setting as we open those closets and mine our lives for rich, relevant writing material. In a safe, calming and encouraging environment, you will flex your creative muscle while writing your way through the inspiring, the life-changing and the tragic alongside a dynamic group of similarly openminded, clarity-seeking folks.

We will read published excellence by wonderful people like Samantha Irby and Kiese Laymon and Dave Eggers and discuss what it takes to craft powerful, engaging and relatable written work. Using a (masterfully seasoned) gumbo of writing exercises, group discussions, peer review and instructor feedback, you will produce a collection of raw and revelatory new material while experiencing the cathartic and healing power of writing firsthand. With some good parenting and a heap of perseverance, one of those powerful personal sagas may even grow up to become a book, a blog, or an Ava Duvernay-directed biopic starring David Oyelowo or Viola Davis.

This workshop is intended for beginning and seasoned writers alike who want to strengthen their creative voice and answer difficult personal questions through introspective writing. This workshop is also suitable for mental health professionals, scholars, and administrators seeking new methods of clarifying and exploring personal narratives with clients, patients or students. For example, I recently lead this workshop at Adler University in Chicago for students and administrators in the clinical mental health graduate program. This workshop can be conducted over an afternoon, day or weekend.


WRITING LESS TERRIBLY: A TWO-DAY INTENSIVE 
When reading great writing, the words should sing. Imagery should be vivid. Clarity should be a writer's guiding light. As a wordsmith — whether casual or professional — words should be carefully considered, lovingly crafted. They should be memorable and respected enough to be taken seriously. But writing the words is one thing. Polishing, rearranging, and pruning them for public consumption is another matter altogether. How do you get better at writing and self-editing? Practice. Well, practice and stumbling and embarrassment and wars with editors and critique (both constructive and mean-spirited), too, but mostly practice.

In this two-day writing intensive, you will submit up to 10 pages of your work to be read, critiqued and edited by your instructor, Alexander Hardy. You will gain practice interrogating your words, considering punctuation, fine-tuning tone and weighing things like connotations and modifier placement, construction and necessity. We will hunt down lazy verbs and eradicate weak words and phrases. You will acquire techniques for examining their work comprehensively and at the sentence level, sharpening their eye for cohesion, clarity, accuracy and effectiveness. You will learn to spot ambiguities and convolution that deflects a piece from its target or betrays the writer’s intentions. You will become a better writer and editor.

On Day One of the intensive, your work will be read, interrogated, praised, questioned and encouraged amongst an intimate group of ten to twelve awesome, passionate writers. Throughout the day, we will be reading examples of good and awful writing, addressing, among other things, frequent literary pitfalls, murky modifiers, trite foolywang and heavy-handed attempts at grandiosity (I called this "swirliness”) that prevent good writing from becoming great writing. We’ll work through Alexander’s Advice For Awesome Writing, curated to empower wordsmiths, guiding them from blunderful literary existences into a fruitful, magical land where semicolons are safeguarded, verbs dazzle and grandiose adverbs don’t get overworked in the name of sounding smart (or woke).

On Day Two, we will put what we've learned into action by cranking out powerful new writings; revisiting our edited and workshopped writing; and engaging in some considerate, respectful and constructive peer editing. The day shall be peppered with readings, collaboration and aggressive snacking. The open exchange of affirmations and chicken recipes will be fostered and welcomed.
Read more about Writing Less Terribly here.


PERSONAL ESSAY AND MEMOIR WRITING
Writing about your life is no easy undertaking. Your life is still being lived, so where do you begin to tell your tale? Have you ever thought that your story should be told in a book? Have you ever asked yourself why anyone would want to read about your life? Or how you can turn those big life-changing moments into a readable story?

It’s not as difficult as you think. In this hands-on workshop, led by freelance writer and culture critic Alexander Hardy, writers of all levels will explore and begin or gain clarity on a draft for an engaging personal essay that could be developed and published via blog, magazine, book, newspaper, online magazine, etc. Through lecture, readings, group discussion, writing exercises and critique, participants will sharpen skills to help translate life-changing moments into digestible, compelling personal essays or memoir chapters. You will learn about the different types of personal essays, elements of a successful essay, how to offer strength-based critique to your peers, and tools for amplifying your unique writing voice. Alexander will also offer advice on how to get your work published. You'll learn, create and be challenged in a safe, encouraging environment of writers also share their powerful narratives with the world.


WRITING FOR COLLEGE AND BEYOND
Leaving the comforting, predictable high school classroom and being thrust into a world of 20-page research papers, dense and scary syllabi, and endless homework can be a terrifying experience for unprepared students. In this intimate workshop, Alexander breaks academic writing down into digestible chunks, helping participants understand what is expected of them as college-bound students. Topics covered include: the importance of the syllabus; maintaining your voice and individuality in academic writing; researching, outlining, and planning your papers; paraphrasing versus quotation and how not to be a plagiarizing jerk; citing your sources; and why the answer to almost every question is almost always, “Check the syllabus.” Together we’ll compare syllabi of varying complexities from all sorts of programs; practice paraphrasing, summarizing and outlining; prepare a works cited page using an array of print and digital sources; and work through various writing exercises. This workshop can be customized to meet your specific needs.


WRITING FOR A LIVING: PITCHING, FREELANCING AND EDITING
Making the leap from part-time blogger to full-time, bill-paying freelance writer is no easy feat. How do you get your writing from your typewriter to the Internets? Who should you contact at your favorite publication? What does a pitch look and feel like? How much should I expect to earn? How do I present my work and my splendor? How can I be better freelancer with more jobs and better relationships with editors?

Freelance essayist and copywriter Alexander Hardy – whose words can be seen on Courvoisier.com, EBONY.com, Huffington Post, Abernathy Magazine, CNN.com, and Saint Heron, among other outlets – walks aspiring writers down the path to publication, from idea generation and pitching to getting your work print-ready, portfolios and invoices.


INTRO TO CREATIVE NONFICTION
Have you ever wanted to write a memoir or dabble in feature writing? Would you like to channel your passion for music into blogs, essays, reviews or profile stories? The world of nonfiction, whether freelance or personal, has room for all styles of writing, from formal to funky to vulgar to authoritative; there is room for every passion, voice and motivation. This intro to nonfiction writing gives participants of all levels a sampling of memoir, personal essay, food writing, reviews and short stories. Participants will learn brainstorming techniques and engage in group writing, peer editing and group discussion with fellow scribes. This workshop can be customized to fit your group needs and tailored to all levels, from grade school-aged kids to working professionals.

Would you like to discuss a workshop found here or one you'd like to collaborate on? Motorola two-way page me or send me a carrier pigeon or email.

Read my bio here.

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