The Other Writing Group: an embodied workshop

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs


Australasian Association of Writing Programs


School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications




McKenzie, V. (2019). The Other Writing Group: An embodied workshop. TEXT: Peripheral Visions [Special Issue], 57.


New insights and approachesto creative activity grounded in embodiment have the potential to enhance creative writing practices by focusing on the embodied dimensions of writing, such as undertaking whole organism warm-ups, and attending to the material set-up of a workshop. This article presents findings from a pilot research project called The Other Writing Group thatoffereda structure for writersto exploreembodied strategies in a community of peers. The structure employed by the group owes its origins to dance researcher Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore, a collaborative creative model for practising and researching improvisation.It isarguedthat embodied and social approaches to writing, more usually associated with performing arts, can critique notions of the writer asvirtuoso andinnovator, and instead present repetition and habit as significant in a fuller accountof productive practice.Feedback and reflections from participants in the groupsuggest that approaches to practice whichemphasise social and embodied dimensions can enhance individual creative writing practice.

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