The Workshop: Week One introduces nine competitive college students who will battle for literary superiority and existential purpose over sixteen weeks of their course. Who will find a career? Who will cry all the way home? Who had garlic for lunch? – Back cover blurb for The Workshop: Week One
It’s clear that Matt Mills is a writer (yes I know, duh, he wrote this book). But he’s a writer that’s fought in the trenches and, so far, has lived to tell the tale. And that tail entails (heh) nine students, one teacher, and a sixteen-week “Creative Writing in Various Media” course.
The story just zips along, full of energy and amusing situations. The writing is extremely witty, especially in the sort of observational humor that an omnipotent narrator can indulge in while scrutinizing his own hapless creations. But he isn’t just writing about their writing. He writes about their romances, whether they are real or imagined. He writes about hopes and dreams, indulgences and excesses. Winners and losers. Having once been a college student myself, I recognized plenty of the symptoms..
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned fonts and formatting in a book review before, but I think it’s time I did. Somewhat like Calvin and Hobbes and their daydreams that would burst into an epic graphic novelesque adventure, The Workshop will occasionally morph into a screenplay – literally, with that wonky Courier font, absurd indentations and mandatory CAPITALIZATIONS. If you aren’t familiar with screenplay formatting, it goes a little something like this.
The Workshop: Week One was a swift read that ended before I was ready to let it go. And now that I’ve bonded with these hapless embryonic writers. I need to know if they’ll be okay. Bring on The Workshop: Week Two! Hopefully, Matt is busy editing it and not procrastinating over pizza. Writers… such a strange breed.
My thanks to author Matt Mills for granting me a review copy of this book.