the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

How many pens does a writer need?

on July 10, 2013

No wonder my handbag was feeling a little heavier than usual. When I turfed out the contents I found the following lurking at the bottom:


Bearing in mind that I can only use one pen at a time, there surely is no need to lug around FIFTEEN! And what a motley assortment of biros! I may have to purchase a rather more distinguished writing implement once my redundancy pay comes through. Any suggestions for a posh brand?

In the meantime, I have a task to complete for 21 July when I will be returning to the Bridport Arts Centre for the second part of a two-day writing course delivered by Paul Dodgson. The first session included the following:

  • a warm up exercise: write about an incident that happened within the last year. Take turns to give your name and the first line of your writing. Does the writing contain a hook that makes others want to know more?
  • discussion about what a short story should include
  • writing task: tear a sheet of paper into four rectangles. Write a first name, a family name, an incident and a lie on each piece. Redistribute the papers and use your collection to create a character and the first part of a story.
  • This story forms the basis for a longer piece of writing that will provide material for the next workshop
  • Short stories shared included: A painful case, James Joyce (Dubliners); Birds of America, Lorrie Moore; The Turning, Tim Winton; Fat, Raymond Carver

I very much look forward to the next workshop and thank Paul for a wonderful day of literary stimulation, lots of laughter, fun and sharing.

2 responses to “How many pens does a writer need?

  1. Regina Keith says:

    Sounds fun ….

  2. I love all of the stories in Dubliners and also like Carver a lot, very spare writing. Enjoy the rest of the course. It sounds very good.

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