Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Happy New Year of the Rabbit!
May the carrots and lettuce flow in abundance,
and bring us a year of peace, creativity, fortitude and joy.
Lots of stories, too!

NEW Six Memoir/ Fiction Masterclasses with Beth Yahp from 13 March to 5 June 2011

Announcing a new series of 6 Memoir/ Fiction/ Travel Project Masterclasses beginning 13 March 2011.

These workshops will be a chance for participants to work with me (and other members of a small workshop group of 6) over a sustained period in the development of their writing towards a larger piece of work - e.g. a travel book, a memoir, a novel, a collection of stories.

The masterclasses feature indepth workshopping and detailed written editorial feedback from me each meeting, as well as a lesson focussing on an advanced writing skill (e.g. structure, transitions, point of view) and in-class writing exercises.

The masterclasses are for people who have previously attended writing workshops or classes, or have already published their writing, and therefore have some experience of writing craft. They are strictly limited to 6 participants to ensure that everyone has adequate time for discussion and feedback on their writing projects.

The meetings are fortnightly for the first three weeks, with a month's break in April, then fortnightly for the final 3 weeks.

When: 6 meetings, beginning 13 March 2011. Classes are mostly fortnightly.
Dates: Sundays 13 & 27 March, 10 April, (4 week break), 8 & 22 May 2009; 5 June 2011
Time: 2.30 - 6.40pm (there will be two 5 minute breaks)
Where: Bronte 2024, Sydney
You will get: A reader of course readings and writing craft notes, in-class writing exercises, presentation/discussion of particular writing/editing skills & techniques, and one detailed written edit of your submitted work per meeting (up to 2000 word submissions per meeting, 6 detailed edits from me in total). Each meeting you will also receive verbal feedback and detailed discussion of your work from me and other members of the group. You will also get acess to a safe space in which to test out your writing and exchange ideas and skills - a community of writers, engaged in a similar writing journey. Tea/ coffee/ snacks also provided.
Course covers: In-depth writing and editing skills for fiction and creative non-fiction (memoir/ travel narratives); generation of new material through writing exercises and reading/ discussion of samples of particular craft skills; advice on writing craft and sustaining your writing life, as well as publication strategies; how to give and receive feedback/ criticism that is supportive and helpful to yourself and others as writers; mentorship of you as a writer and of your writing project over the period of the course.
Application Process & Registration: Due to the small number of participants, there will be a selection process based on whether I consider I can be of assistance to you and your writing project; quality of work; and how I think the different projects in the group will resonate with each other. Selection will be based on a half page description of your project, as well as a two page example of your writing, which should be submitted to me by email ASAP.
Closing Date for Applications: 1 March 2011 (but as places are limited, it would be a good idea to send me a sample of your work ASAP)
Contact: For more information, please contact me at:

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.”

What past participants of Beth Yahp’s Writing Masterclasses say:

Odette S: I liked being in a ‘safe space’ around other writers sharing our work, learning together, guided by a fabulous teacher; improvement in my craft; being inspired by the group; reading some amazingly good work (and even commenting on them!); being REQUIRED to write AND read (that discipline has long been overdue); ideas from the others’ work and the reading. I was given confidence that I ‘could do this’. The course exceeded my expectations. The tutor, teaching method and materials were excellent and the masterclass stoked my dream [of writing my story]. The course was very good value.
Elizabeth B: I think more than anything the course provided the discipline to keep going with my project… now I have a much clearer view of the structure of what I'm writing and how the content can evolve inside it. I knew that the tutor would be fabulous… (that was part of the inspiration for taking the course!) and the writing materials were excellent… I would absolutely recommend it to someone who has a project and is looking for support and feedback to help them along what is otherwise a pretty lonely road… the community it provides has been invaluable to me.
Karen W: I gained more confidence and trust in my work; practice at critiquing; an avenue which allowed experimentation and a response to it; consolidation of writing skills; a group I am excited about continuing to work with. [The course] fulfilled all my expectations, which I must add were very high. Beth inspired, challenged and encouraged her students. She created a supportive, respectful, ordered and safe environment. The material was highly relevant and interesting. I have already recommended this course to everyone who will listen.
Leanne M: I liked the detailed feedback... The range of input was helpful - the variety of perspectives was very valuable. Giving feedback also helped me to start to look at my own work more objectively. The discussions and exercises on different topics related to writing craft helped me to see some of what I need to do and an inkling of how to do it. I feel that I am well-equipped now to take my first draft to the next stage. That was my goal and it has been reached.
The tutor was knowledgeable, friendly and kind, also encouraging and supportive. Firm when that was needed in terms of feedback/constructive criticism points. Teaching methods are very immersive and experiential and therefore effective. Materials - the handouts each session - are helpful and valuable references for the future… a good mix of inspiration, examples and practical guidance.
I would recommend the course, but emphasise that each participant has to be prepared to work and give of themselves. It was so good I didn't want the series to end! Mind you I was exhausted - like a marathon runner perhaps. Thanks for a great course.