Workshops

Coming soon:

Everyday Magic: The Four Elements of Creativity
London Bridge Hive, Saturday 28 September 2019, 9.45am-5pm

Would you like to add a spark of magic to your writing?

In this day-long workshop, we’ll energise our instincts as writers by working holistically with the Four Elements:

  • Fire – to power our voices and strengthen our intention

  • Water – to evoke feeling and connect with readers

  • Earth – to embody all the senses with detail and action

  • Air – to bring focus and structure to our stories

This workshop is designed for beginners in search of inspiration as well as experienced writers looking for fresh perspectives and new energy for their writing. We’ll explore a variety of writing practices, inspirations, and departure points, including meditation, memory, fairy tales and the tarot. In doing so we’ll summon new powers to free our intuition, and bring depth, texture, and balance to our writing.

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Food: Bigger Than The Page
Victoria & Albert Museum, Sunday 13 October 2019, 2pm-5pm

This workshop explores new ways of thinking about food as inspiration for our writing. We’ll investigate how food activates all the senses, and we’ll also consider its symbolic powers and collective energies. We’ll talk about food writing as a literary genre, and look at the wider uses of food in fiction and poetry. And most of all we’ll write: cooking up memories, recycling recipes as poems, and harvesting stories from the compost of our desires.

Taught alongside the V&A’s innovative exhibition Food: Bigger Than The Plate.

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Finding Your Fire: A Four Elements Workshop on Theme and Voice
London Bridge Hive, Saturday 9 November 2019, 9.45am-5pm

During 2019/2020 I shall be taking the ideas of Everyday Magic deeper, starting with this workshop that intuitively explores the symbolic power of Fire in our writing and creative process.

We’ll consider how Fire can:

  • sustain the creative energy of our writing practice, from initial spark to final draft

  • help to deepen the intention and draw out the theme within our writing

  • bring life to aspects of craft such as voice, dialogue and characterisation

  • not only fuel conflict but also critique its role in our stories

Brief preparatory exercises, including reading suggestions, will be circulated in advance, and further resources will be provided on the day and in follow-up notes. We’ll also have a guest guru (to be announced) – a firestarter who will lead a session that brings in fresh (and fiery) perspectives from creative practice in another field in the arts.

The emphasis during the day will be practical, and there will be plenty of exercises to fire up your writing and intuitively build passion and power in your storytelling. And all writers are welcome – we’ll be talking about fiction, and nonfiction, and poetry, and perhaps scripts too. Though our activities will be focused on writing, I’d hope there would be a broader application in any creative field (or even everyday life).

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We’ll follow Finding Your Fire with further Four Elements workshops:

Feeling Your Way: Water – emotion, tone and perspective (January)

Grounded in Action: Earth – character, action and description (March)

Clear Thinking: Air – symbol, structure and form (May)

In June we hope to repeat the successful masterclass The Craft of Revising. More information to come.

These one-day classes are run in conjunction with Kellie Jackson of Words Away, and they are held at London Bridge Hive, 1 Melior Place, London SE1 3SZ.

During 2018/2019 Kellie and I ran a sequence of six one-day craft masterclasses, designed to use intuitive approaches to the craft topics that might be covered in seminars for an MA or MFA in creative writing: Plotting; Voice; Character and Setting; Prose and Literary Style; Space and Time (advanced techniques in fiction); Revising and Self-Editing. We hope to repeat these again in the future.