Erin Robinsong

Erin Robinsong is a writer and interdisciplinary artist. Her work has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and her debut collection of poetry, Rag Cosmology won the 2017 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Recent performance work with choreographers Andréa de Keijzer and Hanna Sybille Müller includes Polymorphic Microbe Bodies, Facing away from that which is coming, and This ritual is not an accident. Erin has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, works an editor and writing coach, and has taught in Sarah Selecky’s Writing School since 2014. Originally from Cortes Island, Erin lives in Montréal.

T The Story Intensive is the most power-packed, electrifying way to study and practice the art of fiction I have encountered. It wakes up the places in ourselves where story lives, through the honing of attention, ability to be in the unknown, and curiosity—as well as the nuts, bolts, and secrets of craft. Students come away from the course having written incredible stories, but more than that, they come away with a deepened writing practice, writing community, and set of tools that are endlessly generative.

I love teaching for this school because I have seen students develop their craft and writing practice more here than in years of creative writing workshops. The writing that emerges is astonishing. It’s so rewarding to guide writers through the process, offering feedback and support, but what I love best is the community of support and insight that arises as students write, read, share, reflect, and critique together.

On that note, after spending years in creative writing workshops with bodies, I’ll admit I was skeptical that an online writing school could foster the kind of chemistry and accountability that makes a class really fizz and gel. What I found, however, was not only that chemistry and accountability showed up (in spades!), but that the digital/written medium can elicit a different, deeper quality of listening and reflection. For instance, with more time to reflect on the material via written conversation and feedback, we accidentally created valuable documents for ourselves. Also, because students are not confined geographically, workshop groupings are assigned with chemistry, compatibility, and writing experience in mind, which is rarely possible to this degree in regular classroom workshops. So, I’m a fan now. It really, really works (even for students who did not consider themselves ‘tech savvy’ before).

Personally, this course and the writers I’ve seen through it have taught me as much about craft (how story works) as it has about how to simply open the door to the unknown and walk out into it; how to transform ‘trying’ into a practice of discovery, and I am endlessly curious about what will come from it next.