Real Writers is called Academic because it is designed to be like a workshop you would take at a big university, where the instructor would take seriously the fundamentals of literary techniques and straightforward criticism about member writing in order to understand those techniques.
Real Writers is a literary workshop in which substantial literary ideas are developed in order to facilitate 'real' writing both in the form of literature and in related media. Any writer or artist could potentially benefit from the group. It is a workshop that probes what might be called the 'philosophy' of art - a necessary fundamental not only for literature, but film, poetry, non-fiction writing and visual arts.
Who is Albert Ellis? Our group is informally known as the 'Albert Ellis Institute'. Why? Feel free to explore this great thinker and you will learn for yourself. For now let's just say he was confrontational and committed to the 'philosophy' of his ideas, not just the surface rhetoric.
Any artist can benefit from our meetings. And potentially anyone who wants to develop the necessary artistic components (and creativity) in their personality. Our workshop style does require participants to be thick skinned. Not all elements of the meetings are workshop-based and it is easy to imagine a 'safe' role as observer on a trial basis. So, come check out the group and risk nothing (psychologically-speaking).
Workshops are divided into three segments: 1) casual discussion about literature and technique 2) workshop-ing our own writing as a group and 3) group leader analysis. In the first segment we welcome all ideas about current topics and relevant techniques. In the second part all group members learn to take and give criticism in an easy-going manner. In the third part the group leader will take control of the workshop in order to evaluate the writing. In this section we reserve the right to bypass positive reinforcement with the intent of efficiently exploring the good and bad elements of the piece. All participating members have the option of not exposing their own writing to this invaluable part of the workshop.