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writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

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A sense of place fiction workshop

Flyer for Rosanna

I am delighted to announce that in partnership with Waterstones Dorchester, the Dorset Writers Network are offering the following workshop with Rosanna Ley at Waterstones in Dorchester on Sunday 5 November 2017, 1:30-3:30pm.

A Sense of Place Fiction Writing Workshop with Rosanna Ley

Does your fiction lack a sense of place? By the time you leave the workshop you will:
  • understand the role of place in fiction: where to go and what to do in terms of research for your story or novel
  • develop atmosphere in your descriptive writing using all the senses and visualisation
  • learn how to connect your viewpoint character with their surroundings
Places limited to 12
Cost £15
Click here to book through the DWN website.
Rosanna Ley has written numerous articles and short stories for magazines. Her novels The Villa, Bay of Secrets, Return to Mandalay, The Saffron Trail, Last Dance in Havana and The Little Theatre by the Sea have been published in the UK and widely overseas. Rosanna has also worked as a creative writing tutor for over 20 years. She has led courses for colleges and universities in England, and runs her own writing retreats and holidays in the UK and in stunning locations in Europe. She lives with her artist husband in West Dorset and her favourite writing place is anywhere with a sea view.
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Poetry and Prose Performance Workshop

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Rob Casey

On Saturday 10 June, I joined sixteen other writers attending Rob Casey’s workshop at The White Room, in the Chapel in the Garden, Bridport. The building is set back from East Street and provides a delightful oasis on a busy market morning. We had such fun trying out ways of how-not-to perform and of course, there were plenty of tips and advice to get the delivery right. Rob had us working in small groups to share ideas and generate writing for development. It was great to hear other people’s work and learn from an experienced performance poet.

Rob is one of the founders of the Apothecary Open Mic, poetry and spoken word event that is held regularly at the Beach and Barnicott in Bridport. For more information see the Apothecary Facebook page.

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Performance Prose and Poetry workshop with Rob Casey

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For more information and to book see Dorset Writers’ Network

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This Little World: workshops and publication launch

Please find details of a writers’ day in Dorchester with flyer and booking form below:

BOOK LAUNCH FLYER 2015 MASTER

NOV 14TH WORKSHOPS - BOOKING FORM

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From page to stage workshop and performance

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I’ve been attending workshop facilitation training with the Lit Up Writers’ Pool since the beginning of 2015. It’s provided a fascinating opportunity to share practice and receive training on working with a range of groups in a variety of settings. The participants are hugely talented and come from many different writing backgrounds including novelists, poets, playwrights, performance poets and more. Please find below information about an event that is being hosted by members of the Lit Up Writers’ Pool. There are workshops for adults and children aged 7-15 years and the opportunity to showcase your work at an event in the evening. Do go along – I’m sure it will be lots of fun.

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FROM PAGE TO STAGE

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP

Write, develop and refine a poem, rap, story, song, short play and perform it in The Talent Showcase that same evening.

Price: £7-50

Where: At the Twisted Teapot, 16 Sea Road, BH5 1DB

When: 30th of May 2015 workshop from 13-30pm to 15-30pm and Talent Showcase from 18-30pm to 22-30pm

Also workshop for  7 to 15 years old

Write, develop and refine a poem, rap, story, song, short play and perform it in The Talent Showcase that same evening.

Price: £5

Where: At the Twisted Teapot, 16 Sea Road, BH5 1DB

When: 30th of May 2015 workshop from 13-30pm to 15-30pm and Talent Showcase from 18-30pm to 22-30pm

For further information contact: sistermym@yahoo.co.uk and Facebook Myriam Word Maker

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FREE creative writing workshop in Bournemouth

James Cole attends the Lit-Up workshops with me and is running the event below. I’m not able to attend as it’s my final MPhil weekend residency at the University of South Wales. I have masses of reading to do as three fellow students submitted full manuscripts for feedback. I better get on… If you’re free on Saturday, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the input.

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FREE short story workshops in Dorset

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As part of the Dorset Digital Stories project, a series of workshops will be held in January and February 2015 at rural locations throughout the county. The idea is to encourage local writers to submit a story up to 500 words for inclusion in a new e-book. All stories will be set in Dorset so that the anthology reflects the diversity of Dorset: from the human perspective to the sense of place.

I will be delivering a workshop on Friday 16 January 2015 from 10-12 at Cerne Abbas Village Hall DT2 7GY. Everyone is welcome! To book a place please email sue@dorsetwritersnetwork.co.uk or get in touch with me through the contact page on this blog.

For details of other workshops please click here.

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Flash fiction workshops in Dorset

Dorset Writers' Network, Winfrith Newburgh Village Hall

Dorset Writers’ Network, Winfrith Newburgh Village Hall

I was delighted to offer two flash fiction workshops locally on Saturday. The first was delivered at a fantastic event in celebration of Dorset Women’s Day, held at the Dorford Centre in Dorchester. The second was in the afternoon, working with some wonderful Dorset writers on behalf of the Dorset Writers’ Network. The content for each workshop varied slightly, but as an overview, I’ve listed some of the activities included.

  • Definition of flash fiction

Not an easy task, but we did our best to come up with a definition by considering the length, the content, the structure, the process and the purpose of writing flash fiction

  • Giving it a go – six word stories

Using models from the famous (Hemmingway and Atwood) and the not so famous (shortlisted entries to Fleeting Magazine’s 2012 competition) a variety of six word stories were shared to inspire participants. The resulting writing ranged from the sexually-charged to the humorous.

  • Keeping it short

Using a piece of paper with a pretty picture prompt (a bit larger than a post-it note) participants produced pieces of flash fiction by drawing on the senses. Something about writing on a small piece of paper seems to focus the mind on careful word selection allowing participants to keep the writing short.

  • Using stereotypes

This is a quick way into writing. Using prompts from the addictive television series ‘Come Dine with Me’ some useful characters sketches were drawn

  • Putting yourself in the shoes of a photograph

By looking at a range of black and white photographs, participants were asked to imagine that they were the photographer and to write a short piece of fiction considering their relationship with the people in the photograph and to think about why the photograph was taken

  • Making an origami book as a form of self publishing

This involved a demonstration and the distribution of a pre-prepared book containing one of my flash fiction stories.  If you want to know how this is done, you’ll have to attend one of my workshops in the future.

A big thank you to everyone who attended the workshops – you were generous in sharing your writing and it was a pleasure working with you. If you would like me to deliver a workshop to your writing group, please get in touch using the ‘contact me’ page.

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Spring writing workshops

I’ve been invited to deliver several flash fiction workshops in the coming months and I’m delighted at the prospect. To give you an idea of what I’ll be covering, please see the outline below:

Flash fiction, keeping it short

Everyday lives are packed with tasks and activities that leave little time for reading or writing at length.  Flash fiction has the ability to fit into the breaks and provides satisfying stories with all the elements of a longer piece of fiction.  ‘Keeping it short’ is an interactive workshop that explores opportunities to incorporate flash fiction into your creative life and will use examples to share:

  • Flash fiction at its best
  • Starting points for writing flash fiction
  • Ideas about the definition of flash fiction
  • Websites and journals that publish flash fiction enabling writers to reach a wider audience

What do you think?  Have I got all the bases covered?

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Having a blast at the Mani Lit Fest

Over the weekend, I was delighted to present a workshop and talk at the Mani Lit Fest in the Peloponnese, Greece. The invitation came as a good excuse to continue our itinerant lifestyle and we’re spending the next month roaming around the country. Stoupa makes a delightful starting point and the Mani Lit Fest was a wonderful event to be involved with. I delivered a Get Creative! workshop where I shared prompts and exercises to generate ideas for short fiction. One of the participants had read This Much Huxley Knows and throughly recommended my novel to the gathered group. The following day, I gave a talk about my experience of being published by small presses. This was well received and an email arrived soon after from a member of the audience who said my input was thought provoking and reassuring.

There was a real buzz around the Lit Fest. The highlights for me included a talk from James Heneage (founder of the Chalke Valley History Festival and Ottakar’s bookshop chain) who shared stories from his new book The Shortest History of Greece. Carol McGrath gave a hilarious presentation on Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England (the name of her forthcoming non-fiction book) and then there was a delicious introduction to the cookbook Salt and Honey from Nicholas Tsakiris and his daughter. (David followed a chilli lentil recipe last night which was very tasty.)

The Lit Fest was held at a local restaurant where the venue created a cocktail in honour of Huxley. A non-alcoholic drink (Huxley is only seven years old) can you guess what it contains?

There was also delicious cake (enough for two) called Ekmek Kataifi. It’s made with a layer of syrupy shredded filo pastry, another of vanilla custard, a layer of whipped cream and topped with pistachios. It goes very well with Greek coffee although I think it’s also good with tea.

If you’d like to enter the Mani Lit Fest Flash Fiction Competition (I’m the judge), send up to 1000 words on the theme of return. The competition is free to enter and is open until 30 November 2021.

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