Spotlight on Rose Writers Workshop

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spotlight on businessEverythingLongBeach recently spoke with Desiree Kannel, Founder, facilitator of Rose Writers Workshop, via email. They talked about inspirations, challenges and what’s it’s like having a business in the 4th District.

How long have you been in business?

Since 2008

Describe your business:

Rose Writers is a creative writing workshop for beginning and experienced writers of fiction, creative nonfiction (personal essays, memoirs) and poetry. Writers gather for weekly sessions where we write from a prompt or exercise, share feedback and offer helpful and gentle critiques of each other’s work. We follow the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) method, developed by Pat Schneider and outlined in her book, Writing Alone and With Others. Workshop practices and guidelines keep the writers safe and encourages risk taking and growth.

Why did you start Rose Writers Workshop?

As a person whose own creativity was criticized and suppressed, I wanted to create a space where other shy and reluctant writers could feel free and open to express the writer within. I was introduced to the AWA method in my last year of study at Antioch University’s MFA program. AWA practices are perfect for the shy or reluctant writer and have been proven to help writers find their voice, explore their dreams of becoming more creative, and gain confidence.

What makes Rose Writers Workshop stand out?

Rose Writers is the only AWA affiliated workshop in Southern California. The workshop format is different from traditional writers’ groups or classes in that the goal is to encourage and support the creative journey, not criticize and tear down. Class sizes are small and we serve a diverse group. Doctors, court reporters, teachers and stay at home moms have found their way to Rose Writers. Our fees are also significantly lower than other workshops or classes.

What is the biggest success Rose Writers Workshop has had?

Our biggest success would be our annual event, Rose Writers Read. Each summer we hold a writers’ salon where past participants present their stories to an audience. Last year’s event drew over 50 audience members. For most presenters, Rose Writers Read is the first time they have read their work to an audience.

What is your favorite part of running your business?

Meeting new writers and being a part of their creative journey.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

People think this is something they can do on their own, but they usually don’t. Getting people to take that next step, to believe in themselves and invest time and resources in their dreams is a challenge

What unique talents do you bring to Rose Writers Workshop?

I am a professional writing coach and teacher with a MFA from Antioch University and ten years of teaching experience. In 2009 I was formally trained and certified as an Amherst Writers and Artists affiliate (AWA). I’ve taught every grade, from kinder to high school and also college composition.

How is Rose Writers Workshop involved with the community?

Rose Writers held a book drive for Stephens Middle School last year. We collected used and new books from both students and friends of Rose Writers and delivered them to the school’s librarian in January. Rose Writers also conducts Saturday morning workshops at the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach (CALB) in downtown Long Beach on Pine Ave. CALB is a nonprofit organization that helps to bring local artists to the community for workshops, exhibits and classes. I became a member of CALB in 2012.

Do you have any future plans for Rose Writers Workshop?

Rose Writers is developing programs and curriculum to serve home schooled children, ages middle school and up. We are also developing writing conferences and lectures to be held in Long Beach.

What is the best advice that you received and who did it come from?

“A writer is someone who writes.”

Contact Rose Writers Workshop:
Address: 1535 Termino, Long Beach 90804
Phone Number: (562) 882-2183

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