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Tuesday, July 12,2011

Crafting the craftsmen

Boulder Writing Studio teaches fine art of storytelling

By Sara Kassabian

Everyone has a story — an inkling of a narrative that starts from a life experience, or an idea that has rooted in the imagination.

The Boulder Writing Studio is the first local organization devoted to teaching the mechanics of storytelling in a community setting.

“We should work as hard for one another as hard as we would want them to work for us,” says Robert Gatewood, the president of the Boulder Writing studio and a former writing instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Gatewood, a novelist and screenplay writer, says he sees his job as guiding his students through the fundamentals of crafting a story and helps them develop their ideas in a supportive environment.

Boulder locals that have a story on their desktop, journal or back of their mind are invited to take some of the studio’s summer workshops to help hone and articulate their interest in creative writing.

Class options include beginning fiction for new writers; creative non-fiction, a class focusing on the composition of memoir; poetry and screenwriting.

Gatewood says his students cover a large demographic, with 22-year-old undergraduates sitting next to 70-year-old former librarians critiquing and supporting one another’s art.

The studio offers youth writing programs as well. A teen fiction workshop helps break students out of their schoolwork regimen and into a more creative modality. For younger children and parents who want to be involved in the creative process, there is a three-week program of parent and child Saturdays.

Gatewood says he sees courage in his students that come into the studio. He finds the willingness to share creative intention and allow for public critique is a frightening, albeit enriching, experience.

“It’s sort of a terrifying pursuit, and it’s even a terrifying prospect to just turn up, show up, explain sort of what you have in mind, or what you’d like to try,” he says.

Beginning or accomplished writers of all ages are invited to check out the programs at the Boulder Creative Writing Studio, located a 2229 Broadway, or visit the website at

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