In a small community garden in Neukölln, a few writers with various backgrounds gathered together to share ideas in the Berlin Writers Sunday Workshop.
Lead by Sanna Kartau, an Estonian poet and writer living in Berlin for the past 2 years, we delved into each person’s individual style, as well as collective writing pieces and questions that we ask ourselves when writing in any form.
The most recent Berlin Writers workshop was on Sunday 21st, where we focused on the theme of embarrassment. Writing down a line of poetry that resonated with this theme, we passed it on, allowing the following person to only see the previous line to eventually cover the page. Some turned out to be hilarious, others weird and wacky, others actually turned out to be quite poignant pieces of work.
I always leave our meetings buzzing with creative energy.
We then continued to write, on a very small piece of paper a small piece with any format, on the embarrassment theme. We then randomly mixed them up, gave them out and then had to question our own writing with this new piece and to write with this as our central inspiration. It was really good for my personal creativity to adapt my inspiration sources and change my ideas continuously.
Sanna gave indieLit a quick background to its origins: “The Berlin Writers community started meeting in August 2015. I was spending my summer in the city and was missing the poetry workshops we’d held there, so I proposed starting one with the people we were meeting at different poetry events. The workshops, not very regular and completely informal, were nonetheless warm and comfortable spaces and that vibe is with us until today.’
The workshops usually start with the host opening their door to the first arrival. In the following hour or so, drinks and chats are shared and latecomers expected. Soon, the host will present one or two writing exercises, whether solitary or communal. After these are finished, writers are encouraged to present their works to others. Shorter works are read twice to build a closer understanding. Additionally, a Google Drive document is used so that comments could be recorded both online and offline and listeners could refer to specific parts of their work in their criticism. Writers are encouraged to ask questions and bring rawer works.’
The workshops are free and open to anyone who may have an interest in writing and developing their skills. In any case, and with any art, it is always constructive to be able to get this criticism in a warm and open environment such as this. With coffee, cognac, snacks and the fresh air, it’s definitely a group of people that will inspire you with your next piece.
It was really good for my personal creativity to adapt my inspiration sources and change my ideas continuously.
As Sanna elaborates: ‘Whether workshopping a text or not, I always leave our meetings buzzing with creative energy. Both platonic and productive relationships formed during the workshops have become central to my life in the city and I know many feel the same.
In the beginning of 2018, it suddenly felt as if enough excellent writers had participated in the workshops to release a small publication. We are currently in the process of editing the works and are hoping to release the Sundays Book mid-2019.’
For updates on the next Berlin Writers workshop, along with events and ideas from the authors and writers there, you need to join the Berlin Writers group on Facebook, check out their website and follow them on Instagram
These are also going to be the places you can find out more about the Sundays Book that the group are producing, so keep your eyes peeled!