Testimonials from Bereket writers Sibylla, novelist, workshop group leader at Bereket since Fall 2021
I love our [Bereket workshop] group. I think if Sevde [Bereket's founder] was a matchmaker, she would have a lot of happy couples running around. [...] Our personalities mesh really well. I learn so much from reading their work and look forward to being able to talk about our work. I’ve so appreciated the thoughtful critiques I receive on my work.
I’m glad to be in community with Bereket. It can be isolating as a writer but to have people who understand what you’re going through is priceless. [...] These workshops are set up like MFA writing workshops. It’s great to be able to talk and share information about writing and our writing lives.
Sofía, writer and editor, workshop group leader at Bereket since Winter 2022
My writing wouldn’t be what it is without my fellow writers Shareen, Petra, and Noah. They’re all such careful readers, so full of insight and genuine advice, and because of them, I’ve been able to get several pieces of writing published after going through our group critique. And of course, it’s been wonderful to read their work as well, learn from their own techniques, and see their growth and skills develop. We all uplift each other!
Zora, writer, dancer and performance artist, member at Bereket since Fall 2021
[Through Bereket] I have gained something invaluable—a consistent intimate circle of writers that I love who are committed to walking this path of healing through words with me, even when things are incredibly difficult. I LOVE LOVE my writing group. Each member of our four-member group brings the perfect and unique life experience that I need to help me evolve as a writer. We’ve bonded over the past few years, each of us experiencing serious life travails, and we each hold space for one another and encourage each other through it—and always, at the foundation of it all is our commitment to each other to make sure we all keep writing.
Testimonials from Bereket alumni Leah, community storyteller
I was not a fiction writer before joining my Bereket workshop, but through the support of the women in my cohort, I can confidently say that I am now. We learned how to better our own writing from engaging with each other's work.They encouraged my fiction writing, were honest and thorough in their feedback, and supportive of my constant experimentation as I worked to find my style. The consistency and accountability of the workshop helped me complete my third novel, a collection of short stories. I am forever grateful for the eighteen months I spent with these ladies and the writing skills that I learned that I will continue to use throughout my writing career.
Dina, novelist and screenwriter
Writing is a lonely journey and the last two years have been lonely for all of us. I’m so glad to have found this community of trusted writers, peers helping peers. We all strive to read, learn, and to give constructive feedback. My group helped me reach a deadline, pointed out my blind spots, and their notes made my stories better!
The feeling of community and being accountable to your fellow group members has had such a profound effect on me. I wrote my first short story because of the workshop, because people engaged with my writing like they would a Booker Prize novel. They were thoughtful and kind and honest, and made me believe I could go deeper and farther. It is such a great feeling to have a group of talented people look at your work, look at your writing, understand who you are and what you are trying to do and tell you to your face that you can do it.
Jennifer, flash fiction writer
Bereket is a welcoming community that goes beyond reading and critiquing. My group members were kind, thoughtful, and just a pure joy to be around. Each session felt like an outing with old friends generously devoting time and tactful attention to my stories. Their thoughts and insights were always greatly appreciated.