Workshops programme Spring/Summer 2017
WRITING POETRY: LOOKING OUT, LOOKING IN
(Wednesdays) Feb 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Workshop practitioner: Jehane Markham
Inside or outside, windows frame our lives and in this series of workshops we will consider the impact that windows can have upon us. From church windows to shop windows we will explore their different meanings and the influence they have had upon us and the memories and thoughts they may release. Where possible, students may do some individual investigation between classes, e.g. find a church and go inside it and take notes. We will use a variety of short writing exercises to ‘limber up’ and round the table discussion to support each other in our journey to explore the unconscious and be free from inner censorship. Each week we will consider a poem or two that relates to our subject. Our aim is to excite our imaginations while learning the craft of writing poetry so that we may produce work that is worth listening to.
SHORT STORY WORLDS
(Thursdays) February 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Workshop practitioner: Giovanna Iozzi
‘A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage,’ Lorrie Moore. The short story is an exciting and rewarding form of writing that allows both new and experienced writers to explore and experiment with new voices, ideas and worlds. This successful class, back for a fifth run, will teach you some useful techniques and tips for writing short fiction, from that killer first page to a compelling middle and ending that lingers on in your reader’s mind. We will focus on developing original characters and points of view drawn from both life and the imagination.
PERFORMANCE POETRY: FROM PAGE TO STAGE
(Wednesdays) May 10, 17, 24 (break for half term), June 7, 14, 21
Workshop practitioner: Paul Lyalls
This course of workshops will help you to write poetry which not only reads well, but sounds great. Focusing on bringing life to the epiphany moments of living, the ‘not agains’ and the ‘wows’, we will create poems to captivate an audience, looking at how the small detail brings into sharp focus people, places, memories and the wider world. Whether you are a beginner who just wants to write poetry to share with friends, or someone who is looking to get a paid gig from performing your words, this is for you. Warning: course contains lots of laughter, sharing good times, friendship making and treats from Marks and Sparks. Please note: Paul Lyalls is originally from a small town and as such is very friendly and smiley!
NEXT STEPS IN NOVEL WRITING
(Fridays) May 12, 19, 26, (break for half term), June 9, 16, 23
Workshop practitioner: Sara Langham
Following on from ‘Ways into Novel Writing’ this is a course for anybody who has already either committed to a novel writing project or would like to begin doing so here. Building on ideas discussed in the earlier course, ‘Next Steps in Novel Writing’ will look in more detail at development of characters, setting, pace, structure and plot as well as the importance of editing. We will also consider other more abstract ideas concerning productivity, being in it for the long haul and the personal tools you need to develop to write a novel. Using a range of practical exercises, group activities and discussion, the aim of this course is to assist you during the process of writing your book, give you plenty to think about whilst doing so and the confidence and ambition to continue with your novel at the end of the six weeks.
The course is suitable for all levels and there is no need to have attended the ‘Ways into Novel Writing’ course first.
PORTRAITS IN WRITING
(Tuesdays) June 6, 13, 20, 27, July 4, 11
Workshop practitioner: Alba Arikha
In portraiture, the artist paints what s/he observes, and the writer writes what s/he observes and imagines. That attempt to freeze time is what enables us to lose ourselves, even briefly, in another life – as readers, and as writers. In this class participants will be asked to pick one or several portraits and create lives for them: what is the story behind the face? How does a story begin? Can we look at art in the same way as we read a story? We will study what makes a great story and look at character, plot, setting and narrative structure. Participants will be given the opportunity to share their work in progress and receive feedback from the tutor and the group. At the end of the six weeks, participants should have the first draft of a story or a chapter of a novel. The class is aimed at those wanting to begin to write, or wanting to refine their writing skills, share a platform for constructive feedback, engage with other writers – or simply find inspiration. ‘What matters is to be fascinated by a singular world that overlaps with mine and yet is other,’ Simone de Beauvoir.
WRITE YOUR LIFE
(Thursdays) June 8, 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13
Workshop practitioner: Giovanna Iozzi
‘In order to write about life first you must live it,’ ― Ernest Hemingway. What’s the best way to write about real life experience? This richly rewarding course will help students decide their style and approach as well as supporting them on the personal and sometimes challenging journey to examine their own lives. Whether students decide to write a straight memoir or to fictionalize the past, the course will help activate the writing process with useful memory exercises, identifying important themes or threads and ways into structure and form.