Friday, September 2, 2016

The Workshop Handbook for Writers - available soon

Available from end of week ending 9 September
2016 from Arc Publications
I first encountered a writing workshop when I was with a news agency in Reading. The office was above a chip shop at Cemetery Junction. It was in the days when a mobile phone was shared, charged in the boss's car and we carried pagers to collect messages from the office landline. On my way home to Guildford at 2 am I'd be looking for phone boxes when the bleeper went off and have to shout a code into the handset to activate the answer phone in the office.

It was hard graft. And I didn't mind that but I wanted a reward. On my way home was South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell and I discovered it was running a poetry workshop. I signed up.

The smell of chips, chasing nuclear missile convoys around the Berkshire countryside, door stepping bereaved people or celebrities were all steps towards writing differently. And as I began to write poems and publish some in magazines other things changed too. I split up with a boyfriend and moved to Brighton. There I met the poets Don Paterson and Eva Salzman. We set up Brighton Poets and began inviting other poets to do readings as well as workshops. Then we began running workshops ourselves.

I learned on the job. Twenty years of how I learned, the workshops I ran, the records I kept and collaborations are compressed into this Ebook.

I look at how to structure a workshop, different models, schedules for short and long workshops and residencies and how to develop original materials.

There are case studies in it of work with Unilever (Lever Brothers, Lever Faberge), Rambert Dance, the London Symphony Orchestra, teachers, schools, museums and galleries and of my first long residency in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I end with some sample workshop exercises that I've tried and tested and have a particular soft spot for.

Available from Arc Publications week ending 9 September 2016 as an Ebook.
Arc Publications: Phone: +44 (0) 1706 812338   Email: info[at]arcpublications.co.uk

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