Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beth’s Rant on her Memoir/ Fiction Masterclasses

These workshops would suit those who are working on a writing project, e.g. fiction (stories or a novel) or memoir/ travel narrative. Or, those who have such a project in mind, and would like to get started in a supportive but concrete way. (Yes – for this workshop you would have to produce a piece of writing – 1000-2000 words, first draft – towards your project every two weeks. This can be new material, or a rewrite.)

Sound scary? Don’t worry, as those of you who’ve been to my workshops will know, I will provide you with a framework of readings (examples of good, exciting, inspiring writing and thoughts by writers on the writing process), in-class writing exercises as a warm up, and I will also give you written feedback and a detailed edit on work submitted for workshopping each meeting.

Each workshop will focus on writing but equally on critiquing and editing – both structural and copy-editing. This two-pronged approach to the writing process means that you develop your skills to create new work, but also to shape it for an audience. Allowing our work to take shape in a safe and supportive space gives us the freedom to experiment, play, take risks. 

Fortnightly meetings mean you have time to write, and that you produce work each fortnight. (Nothing like a dedicated audience to keep one going!) The workshop operates on the understanding that you are producing mostly first or second drafts.

The masterclasses are open to those who have been to my Journeying Self or Creativity in Practice workshops – or those who have been in some other writing workshops – so that you have a foundation in writing craft and some of the techniques that bring both fiction and non-fiction alive for readers.

Numbers are strictly limited to 6 so that each person receives a substantial amount of time for feedback each meeting. If you are interested in attending, you would need to send me a half page description of your project, as well as a two page example of your writing. Because of limited numbers, inclusion in the workshop would be based on a selection process.

As WH Murray said (attributing it to Goethe): “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, magic in it. Begin it now.”

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