Surprising Expansion: One Workshop Unexpectedly Goes Global

A local writing workshop made public online had sudden (and surprising!) consequences.

Radio producer and writer Susan Marie was planning to teach a creative writing workshop in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. To help students communicate with each other, she made an online Facebook event page. After a sudden show of interest from potential participants hailing from further afield than Buffalo, she decided to open the workshops up to a virtual audience.

Before she knew it, the group was a global one. Susan said in an email interview: “The international participants seem to find me, however, that was simply through a Facebook event and the public relations work I do.”

The group expanded to participants from Pakistan and Peru during the three workshops, and across the US.

For the production end of things, Susan says

There were many platforms used here: Big Marker is the virtual network where you can hold webinars, audio, video, and immense data for people to access, Think Twice Radio is currently holding the end result of the submitted audio from everyone who participated…

Recently, one of the participants Amreen Naqash, a poet and advocate from Kashmir, went on air over Chicago about her poem, My Name Is Kashmir, produced during the workshops. The radio station's website calls the interview a “direct result of the proper utilization of technology to cross borders, create, produce and connect all of us, together, in a positive fashion.”

Sue summarizes:

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I walked into this hoping, in the very least, that it will be interesting and had no idea that 3 simple local workshops would go massively viral and global as they have.

You can hear some of the audio produced during the workshop online.


Icon published under creative commons license, MacBook writing by Håkan Dahlström.

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