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Writers' Comments

Works of art are of an infinite loneliness and with nothing to be so little appreciated as with criticism. Only love can grasp and hold and fairly judge them.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I have followed Patsy Ludwick through her many incarnations - as a superb and passionate actress, as an adventurous playwright, and as an extraordinarily perceptive script consultant. Though I have taught writing for ten years myself, I ask Patsy for editorial assistance to improve my own work in creative non-fiction and memoir. She is clear-eyed and honest, but also supportive; she can see what in the manuscript needs help, and she can suggest the help that's needed.
Beth Kaplan, Creative Non-Fiction Instructor at Ryerson University

Comments re screenplay analysis:

[Patricia's] reports are consistently amongst the most intelligent, perceptive, and conscientious of any of our readers. Her analystical skills are second to none. She also brings a sense of fairness and a balanced objectivity to all the projects she reviews. I always know I can rely on her. . . To my mind, a good story editor has to be a good writer as well; Patsy is both.
Bill Hurst, Telefilm Canada

I heeded your suggestion that I go back to the outline process and start fresh once the ideas "percolated" for a while. It was easier than I thought because you offered great ideas on how I could focus the drama on characters critical to the theme, and I felt myself brainstorming along with you on how to imporve my scenes. . . I credit your analysis for kick-starting this process for me. [My screenplay] is a better, more marketable script because of your expertise and willingness to share ideas.
Laura Scott, screenwriter

Comments by community class participants:

A few comments from writers in community education courses at several Vancouver Island campuses of Malaspina University-College and on Gabriola:
I loved Patsy's teaching style which freed me up to write.
She gets right down inside you and makes you want to write all the things you thought you had forgotten.
Patsy's writing classes are addictive. . . [They] nurture the nonjudgmental voice. She can ignite that dormant spark in us to tell our story as we know it.

I found out some things about myself and a few quiet people in the class. We felt safe in your class, vulnerabilities protected because you wouldn't allow harsh criticism or value judgements or people taping our class. You'll never know how much light you let in.
Name withheld in respect of confidentiality

Patsy's approach to teaching writing opened me up to stories I didn't even know were inside  of me.
I would like to be a student to the end of my days if Patsy were my teacher.

Einar was interested in exploring playwrighting so his evaluation of the community education course was written as an imaginary dialogue with me. Here's part of it:
She: Tell me, if you don't mind, what did you get in class?
He: (shifting nervously) Well, you gave us all . . . .
She: What? Tell me.
He: You gave us all . . . me . . . a lot of love . . . while you instructed.
She: Instructed?
He: Yeah, when you were talking. Also when you were not talking.
She: Well, you were a good group to talk to.
He: But you didn't have to. And the fact that you didn't have to give all you were giving made it very special.
She: Oh, it's so nice to hear that. But . . what did it give you? I mean, why did it mean so much to you?
He: Well, I was kind of new to the whole thing. And I felt a little strange about putting all those things in writing. And what was more, to have other people hear it later on.
She: And what did all that do to you?
He: I think it was exposing myself that way, not just to the class, but almost to the whole world. It made me less afraid of all what was going on inside of me. Do you know what I mean?
She: Oh yes, I do!
He: And it kind of opened up my heart to the rest of the world, also, outside of my writing. You know, less fear - more love, that sort of thing.
She: I know what you mean. I am glad you told me. I think that part often is much more important than learning the skills of writing itself.
He: You know, I think I have found that there is nothing within that I need to fear. On the contrary, I believe that the truth in all matters probably can be found there. And that I can access it through writing.

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Gabriola Island, BC
Canada V0R 1X6
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Last revision: October 2007