Thank you for Visiting
I hope you enjoy reading my blog. On this page I try to keep up-dated details of my creative writing and creative reading classes.
If you want to know more about my teaching, check out the Workshops and Courses tab above.
WEA is on-line for the Autumn 2020 term.
We will be using Canvas, a virtual learning environment and zoom a video conferencing software. You will need a reliable internet connection and internet-linked device with camera and microphone. WEA will email you links.
My classes are:
The Oxford Book of Short Stories. C3531639
In her introduction to the anthology we shall be reading from, AS Byatt states that ‘the workmanlike English story is bland, and the great English story is… shocking – even the sparest and driest – and hard to categorize’, we will be thinking about this as we discuss one or two of the stories at each of our six sessions. Starting with Anthony Trollope’s 1859 story, we will work our way through a range of writing styles. In the process,we will seek to identify topics, themes and techniques and think about how and why this form of fiction developed.
6 weekly sessions: starting 11th November, 2020. 5pm – 6.30pm
Reading 1952, Shute, Laski and Pym. C3127822
Three of the popular novels published in 1952 were: The Village, by Marghanita Laski; The Far Country, by Nevil Shute; Excellent Women, by Barbara Pym. Had you been on the panel for a literature prize for that year, and these were your short-list, how would you judge them? Each week the group will discuss a portion of one of the books. We will think about the writing: the characterisation, plotting and style, but what else influences the reader? Additional questions will include: Why do some authors endure and others get forgotten? Are the life and experiences of the author reflected in their writing? As the course progresses we will increasingly compare and contrast the three novels, culminating in a vote to decide which novel we would award a 1952 readability prize to.
6 weekly sessions: starting 29th September, 2020. 3.15pm – 4.45pm
There will be four creative writing classes this autumn. The two that begin in September will be based on the same course materials.
Short, short stories. C3531714
Learn new skills and explore your creativity as we practice some of the techniques for creating very short stories, true or untrue. We will be thinking about micro-fictions, flash fictions and prose poems. Vladimir Nabokov said that ‘a writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist’, this will be our guiding principle. I will set structured exercises. You will be encouraged to experiment with form and style, and explore a range of key techniques. The intention will be to create first drafts during the sessions.
6 weekly sessions: starting Friday 25th September, 2020. 9am – 10.30am
Very Short Stories. C3531712 Is the same course content as the Friday course, described above.
6 weekly sessions: starting Thursday 24th September, 2020. 5pm – 6.30pm
Confusingly, (and demonstrating a lamentable lack of imagination) I have given the second pair of sessions the same titles as the first two. The difference is in the course code.
C3531715, Short, short stories, begins on Friday 6th of November, 9am – 10.30am.
Everyone has a story to tell; sometimes we need a little help to get started, or even to complete it. This constructive and friendly creative writing course is a place for both beginners and more experienced writers, to find inspiration and practice key techniques. In each session, the tutor will give prompts and set tasks to encourage weekly writing. We will concentrate on the shortest forms of story: micro-fictions, flash fictions and prose poems. We will be thinking about creating them, and polishing them. The emphasis is on enjoyment and finding your own style, in a friendly and supportive environment.
C3531713, Very short stories, begins on Thursday 12th of November, 5 – 6.30, and will be based on the same course content as C3531715.
To enrol, and to find out more, search for courses on-line: www.wea.org.uk OR Telephone 0300 303 346
Pre-enrolment is essential for all courses.
WEA classes are generally free for anyone in receipt of a recognised means tested benefit.