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Learning and writing workshops

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

When writers talk about their books at Festivals, it all seems to effortless. They researched, they wrote, they never looked up from their laptops, they found a publisher instantly, and the book was published to wild acclaim.

Or so it seems to the rest of us who are struggling to get the words down on the page, who can't quite nail the tone or the plot, who are struggling to bring our characters to life. And even if we are lucky enough to type those precious words The End, what then? How do we go about getting those chapters we sweated over out to the  public, who really would benefit greatly from reading them?

Writing is a lonely place, but this year, as we have done for several years, the Stratford Literary Festival is offering a positive GPs' surgery of workshops for those who are at the foothills of their writing, and battling half way up the north face, or who have got to the top and are looking out at the frankly terrifying view and not sure where to go now.

Don't look down and don't look back. Instead bring yourself and your ideas to this year's festival. Learn something new, reinvigorate yourself and change your life.

How to Write Historical Fiction: Karen Maitland
Mon 24th April 2017
10.00am - 3.00pm
Stratford Artshouse
Price: £90 inc refreshments
Explore the challenges and delights of writing historical novels and short stories, with the acclaimed author of Company of Liars. You will generate ideas for a new project or develop and improve a novel or story you’re already working on. Explore how and when to use historical detail, the pitfalls of historical dialogue, how to help modern readers relate to historical characters. Receive advice on the key questions to ask yourself to ensure you get your details right. Find out too how to blend and balance plot, character and research so that you produce a gripping and enthralling story rather than a history textbook.
Lunch not included by cafe on site.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here


How to do Paper Cutting: Poppy Chancellor
Tues 25th April 2017
10.00am - 12.00pm
Stratford Arthouse
Price: £30 inc refreshments and materials
Learn how to produce personalised cards, invitations and decorations and to master a new skill with the leading illustrator and paper cut artist Poppy Chancellor. Forget complicated instructions and expensive equipment, as she guides you through what it takes to create something very special and unique.
A veteran of workshops at the Royal Academy, the V&A and Latitude Festival, and loved by Vogue, she also exhibits her exceptional work.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here

How to Edit Your Writing: Meg Sanders
Tues 25th April 2017
10.00am - 3.00pm
Stratford Arthouse
Price: £90 inc refreshments
Good writing is about re-writing and the most important work you do on your novel will be during the editing stage. This workshop will help you to sharpen your plot, ramp up suspense, refine your scenes, flesh out your characters and examine your use of language. You’ll also learn from your fellow writers and develop the critical technique that’s crucial to creating a compelling narrative.
Meg Sanders, novelist, non-fiction writer and creative writing tutor, will share the skills you need to create a submission-ready, professional-looking manuscript.
Lunch not included by cafe on site.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here

How to Write for Well-being: Deborah Alma
Wed 26th April 2017
10.00am - 3.00pm
Stratford Arthouse
Price: £90 inc refreshments
Writing can be good for you. This day long workshop is a gentle introduction into writing the self for those with little or no experience of doing their own writing. Through a series of enjoyable exercises, conversations, and through looking at your own life experiences, you will be helped to transform some of the material into imaginative writing; focussing on the positive, to help achieve self-acceptance, calm and to be properly in the moment. There will be no pressure to share your writing. Just bring yourself.
Deborah Alma is a published poet and highly-experienced in leading workshops with those with physical and mental illness.
Lunch not included but cafe on site.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here

How to Write Poetry: Simon Armitage
Wed 26th April 2017
4.00pm - 5.00pm
Stratford ArtsHouse
Price: £30
Simon Armitage is widely regarded as the most important and influential poet writing today. He has published eleven single volumes of his work, and he is a playwright, scriptwriter and regular broadcaster on TV and radio.
We bring you the unique opportunity to learn the skills of writing memorable and inspiring poetry with the Professor of Poetry at Oxford University whose prizes include a BAFTA, the Keats-Shelley Prize, an Ivor Novello Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer’s Award. Numbers are limited.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here

How to Navigate Your Way to Publishing Success
Wed 26th April 2017
7.15pm - 8.15pm
Stratford Arthouse
Price: £10
The chair of the influential Society of Authors Nicola Solomon, the head of the Independent Publishing Guild Bridget Shine and the leading digital publisher Endeavour Press give anyone hoping to be published or interested in the massive changes in the book world their expert view on the book industry today and a unique perspective on how best to ensure your work reaches the bookshelves, helping you with the pros and cons of traditional vs digital publishing.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here

How to Write a Novel That Sells: Claire McGowan
Thurs 27th April 2017
10.00am - 3.00pm
Stratford Arthouse
Price: £90 inc refreshments
Arm yourself with all the tools you need to write a novel that’s marketable to traditional publishers. You’ll look at story and concept, characterisation and viewpoint, structure, suspense, and more. You’ll also look at ways to get noticed by agents and editors, and paths into publication. Finally, you will look at some of the blocks and obstacles that stop us finishing our books. Claire McGowan is the author of eight novels, including crime and women’s fiction, and runs a creative writing MA at City University London.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here

How to Write Calligraphy: Eileen Worthington
Sat 29th April 2017
10.00am - 1.00pm
Stratford Arthouse
Price: £40 inc refreshments
Back by popular demand! The art of calligraphy is a much admired and useful skill in creating beautiful cards, book plates and jackets and memorable invitations. In this hands on workshop, the expert Eileen Worthington will guide you through different lettering styles and show you how to use them in different small projects so you take away a skill for life.
To book call 01789 207100 or book online here

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