One wanna-be writer asked me why I was attending a poetry workshop if I had no intention of ever becoming a poet. Writers of all genres have many skills they can impart.
Apply their techniques to your own paragraph/scene/chapter/project. Ask them probing craft questions. When you have a thoughtful problem within your own work, make it into a universal question in which the others in the workshop can benefit from the answer.
In the case of the author above, I did my own research by typing David Corbett onto Amazon. He received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, not easy to accomplish.
Are there any spare minutes in the workshop for extra questions? It looks like his books are a master of suspense, so although his workshop focuses on character and plot, I’d ask him a question on his suspense technique, because EVERY book, nonfiction or fiction, requires this important element.
What do you need to know about plot and character? How can you be enriched by another author’s take on it? His advice? If you are fortunate to be in an area where an author is speaking or teaching, take the opportunity to listen, learn, and write.
Do you feel like your writing isn’t fresh and unique 100% of the time? We all feel this way. Do something about it. Learn from other authors.