Here is a general guideline to simply and easily running your own poetry workshop. All that means, is getting together with some writers you admire/respect and getting/giving constructive criticism on each others work.
1. Bring a poem
2. Print it out so each person has a copy
3. Take turns reading your poem out load. Read slow and confidently.
4. First the author reads it aloud.
5. Then one other person in the workshop reads it out loud (usually, a woman reads a man’s poem or vice versa) This way there are two distinct voices reading the same piece aloud.
6. Each person in the workshop makes notes/notations on the print out poem passed to them that was just read.
7 The notations should mention everything you like about the poem. There is always something good to say about someone’s work. Always. Let them know what you appreciate.
8. After that, the notes should mention everything you don’t like about the poem and why with a focus on saying, “what didn’t work and how it can be resolved or refined to become successful”
For instance: typos, jumbled words, unclear imagery, weak words, unintentional confusion …
9. Each person in the work shop takes turns reading their notes about your work/poem/story out loud.
Take this opportunity to mark up your work for later revision.
10. when everyone has critiqued it, you are able to offer some explanation of your work, but really that should be unnecessary. The object is to use their notes for your benefits. You already know what you know. You want to use the experience to strengthen your work, not rationalize its flaws.
11. Then you all move on to the next poem and repeat steps 1-10 for the next poem and the ones after that.
12. Afterwards, collect the notes on your poem from the group for your own benefit.
I found the workshop to he highly effective. Very enjoyable. It was my first writing group meet up/work shop for poetry and I have to say it was very enjoyable in a way that I hadn’t considered.
We did ours in a neighborhood bar, at a regular table with people around us. No one even seemed to notice what was going on. Certainly you can do a workshop in any public space, including your own home.
Of course, this could easily be done for short stories. Give it a try.
Good luck. Hit me up if you have questions. Let me know your experiences with these in the past.