Day 2 in Paris: Building Character and Practicing Yoga


Day 2 of our summer Paris retreat began with our usual congregation on our hotel patio. Today, CWW directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai led a workshop on character development. Szokolyai shared a few tips for making believable and memorable characters, even sharing a few writing exercises from authors like Rachel Basch, Cai Emmons, and Edie Meidav. Banerjee discussed the differences between dynamic and flat characters, and even talked about how both can be useful for a story. IMG_1267


The class also shared some of their favorite dynamic characters, ranging from novels like Invisible Man to shows like The Sopranos. The lecture ended with participants by writing short prompts based on the exercises, using their own characters or people they noticed walking around the Rue Daguerre.



Some of our students also went to Elissa Lewis’ yoga classes today. Hosted at a nearby yoga studio, Lewis led two 45 minute sessions, using a variety of yoga styles and practices, including the use of aromatherapy.


It was a quiet day today, but most of our participants are taking it easy. Tomorrow, some of our participants will be heading to Versailles to see the palace and the events there, so be sure to check back to see how that goes.





Rita Banerjee teaches Character Development Workshop at the Munich Readery – October 12


Character Devleopment & Playing with Persona Workshop
Sunday, October 12, 2014 * 14:00-16:30
The Munich Readery, Augustenstraße 104, 80798 München

Femme fatales, gumshoe detectives, star-crossed lovers, wicked stepmothers, wise fools, empathetic anti-heroes: dynamic and archetypal characters can be key to making a good story or lyrical piece tick and pulling in the reader deeper into your creative work. In this workshop, we will discuss how dynamic and archetypal characters can help structure stories, propel narratives forwards, and how they can provide interesting ethical dilemmas and emotional spectrums to narratives and verse. We will learn about the building blocks of creating strong, unforgettable characters, and learn how playing with persona can help liberate nonfictional stories and lyrical poems. So if you’re currently working on a short story, novel, screenplay, theatre play, lyrical essay, memoir, or poem which has a strong and unique character at is heart, come stop by the Munich Readery on Sunday October 12 for our next creative writing workshop led by Rita Banerjee, Cambridge Writers Workshop’s Creative Director. Workshop fee: €25. To register, send an email to by October 8.

Rita Banerjee is a writer, and received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. She holds an MFA in Poetry and her writing has been published in Poets for Living Waters, The New Renaissance, The Fiction Project, Jaggery, The Crab Creek Review, The Dudley Review, Objet d’Art, Vox Populi, Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, and Chrysanthemum among other journals. Her first collection of poems,Cracklers at Night, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010 and received First Honorable Mention for Best Poetry Book at the 2011-2012 Los Angeles Book Festival. Her novella, A Night with Kali, was digitized by the Brooklyn Art-house Co-op in 2011. She is a co-director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop, and her writing has been recently featured on HER KIND by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and on KBOO Radio’s APA Compass in Portland, Oregon.