Classes

Workshops and masterclasses for 2020

TLC online workshop
* Wednesday 24 June 2020, 4pm-6pm SOLD OUT
* EXTRA SECTION ADDED! Tuesday 30 June 2020, 4pm-6pm 

Perfect Plotting
, online workshop with The Literary Consultancy: how to structure your book – plot, story, and the mechanics of storytelling. Booking details at TLC.

Four Elements workshops
Scheduled Words Away classes for March, May and June 2020 have been postponed, but I hope to be offering virtual and online workshops and masterclasses in the near future – contact me to be added to my mailing list or subscribe to my blog.

* Saturday 21 March 2020, 9.45am-5pm Earth Works: A Four Elements Workshop on Description and Action POSTPONED
The element of Earth, identified with our experiences of the material world, brings characters and settings to life through an effective balance of description and action, and in this workshop we’ll pay special attention to:
* symbols and representations of Earth in writing
* detailed use of the senses
* the grounding power of nouns and the moving energy of verbs
* the ways in which Earth interacts with Fire, Water and Air to create dynamic stories – using bodies and boundaries, sex and violence, and abundant forms of pleasure and survival
We’ll be joined in the studio by resident earthshaker Claire Dale, dancer, coach and author of Physical Intelligence. She will show us how understanding the physical workings of the body can change not only how we write, but what we write.

* Saturday 16 May 2020, 9.45pm-5pm Writing On Air: A Four Elements Workshop on Structure, Form and Focus, with guest aeronaut Bhanu Kapil POSTPONED

* June 2020, date tbc, 9.45pm-5pm The Four Elements of Editing POSTPONED


Recent workshops

Water Workshop
Cambridge University, 18 February 2020
A half-day version of Water Ways (described below)

Water Ways: A Four Elements Workshop on Feeling, Tone and Perspective
8 February 2020
Water is the element associated with emotions and the mysterious world of the unconscious, and in this workshop we shall tap into memories, dreams, and the workings of our inner lives to bring greater feeling into our writing by:
* charging our work with powerful symbols and representations of Water
* shifting tone and perspective to change the pitch of a story
* crafting sentences that convey a range of feelings
* balancing Water with the elements of Fire, Earth and Air to ensure that emotions are channeled purposefully throughout
Also in the studio will be resident wavemaker Sally Kindberg, comic-strip maker and author/illustrator of over thirty children’s books. She will introduce us to practical techniques from illustration that will add feeling and fresh insights to our work.

Writes at the Museum Food: Bigger Than The Page,
at the Victoria & Albert Museum (inspired by the V&A’s recent exhibition Food: Bigger Than The Plate), 26 January 2020
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.

Finding Your Fire: A Four Elements Workshop on Theme and Voice
9 November 2019
This workshop 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

Everyday Magic: The Four Elements of Creativity
28 September, 2019
Would you like to add a spark of magic to your writing? We’ll explore a variety of writing practices, inspirations, and departure points, including meditation, memory, fairy tales and the tarot. Summoning new powers to free our intuition, we’ll bring depth, texture, and balance to our writing 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


Craft masterclasses

During 2018/2019 I ran a sequence of six one-day craft masterclasses with Words Away, 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.