Author: Guest Blogger

5 Things to Remember When Running Writing Workshops

Earlier this year, and as a representative of The Student Wordsmith, I was invited to deliver an introductory workshop to members of Nottingham Writers’ Studio. It was the first time that I had delivered one in a few months, since my days of teaching Creative Writing at Loughborough University, and (if I am being completely honest) I was a little nervous.

Throughout the workshop, I adopted a very ‘human’ and friendly approach—being open, honest, and encouraging when you’re meeting new writers with varying levels of confidence is really important—and this struck a chord with Kristina here at The Writers’ Cookbook who has since commented on the warmth in my style as a workshop leader.

While running a workshop is always going to be daunting (even if you are considered to be a seasoned pro!), this exchange reminded me that we’ve all been there. We’ve all felt nervous and like we’re about to scale an impossible mountain; whether that’s running a workshop for the first time in a while or reading in front of large group of people you know!

So, to help you through if you’re planning on running your own workshops anytime soon, we put our heads together and have compiled our top 5 things to remember when running your writing workshops.

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How to Find Your Space to Write

Many people might tell you they don’t have the space in their lives for writing, either it’s because of a time issue, or no physical space to write in. For others it’s because after a long day, they don’t feel as if they have the mental capacity to even begin writing.

I believe many writers have an additional issue to work through. They don’t have space in their mind. Mostly because many modern lives are set up to focus on what we feel we should do, and not what we want to do.

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Writing a Character into Womanhood: A Creative Guide

We all love our haloed heroines, our femme fatales, our underrepresented underdogs. They bloom through the cracks of literature and wiggle past the hundreds, and hundreds, and…oh, you have got to be kidding me. Not another…

Another white male, who has come along to ‘save the day’! He has his superhero spell-checker! Hang on just one second while I get all my imaginary heroines on speed-dial to sort this nonsense out.

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The Elusive Art of Writing Confidence (And How to Build Yours)

I knew that I couldn’t write. I’d sent manuscripts to publishers twice in my teens, and they’d both been rejected, which proved that I had no talent. I still scribbled down my poems and stories, but I accepted that they’d never give pleasure to anyone but me, and that I was being self-indulgent and probably pretentious in writing them.

Eight years since last feeling like that, I’ve had over 200 poems and stories published, won 14 writing competitions and awards, and had two poetry collections published by small presses. My first novel, Pride and Regicide, is out in a few months from the prestigious publisher Crooked Cat. I still get rejections all the time, smile ruefully and carry on.

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