I’m looking forward to a week packed with writing activities and opportunities to meet my fellow writers. There’s the social media panel, a radio panel on Saturday with fellow writers Orla Shanaghy and Mary Grehan. But first, I’m giving a free two hour workshop as part of Waterford Festival of Learning, to give people a taste of the joys of creative writing. That’s tomorrow, Wednesday 20th, at 11am in the historical Edmund Rice Heritage Centre in Waterford City.
When people leave this workshop two hours later, they will leave with a piece of writing, freshly minted from their imaginations. It’s important to give people a sense that they’ve achieved something. Even in such a short space of of time, people can produce strikingly original writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s raw around the edges or unfinished, the important thing is that it contains the gem of a genius idea that people can develop further if they wish.
We’ll start with a few warm-up games, including 20 Questions, where people write a description of a famous person and the others have to guess who it is. People love this game. They start looking over each other’s shoulders to see what famous people they’ve picked.
Getting Down to Business
Then they’ll do a few exercises to help them gather ingredients for their stories. They’ll play God and create characters, travel to strange lands and be journalists, reporting on exciting events. They’ll use the characters, settings and plots they create in the exercise as the basis for their story.
Now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty, as the budding writers combine the ingredients and start writing their story. They don’t have to use any of the information they’ve gathered so far if they don’t want. They just need to make sure their story has a beginning, a middle and an end.
End of Story
Hopefully, the writers will still be in full flow when the session comes to an end at 1pm, but if there’s time at the end, they’ll have the chance to share their stories with the group and bask in warm applause and praise.
Anyone in the Waterford area who wants to come can just turn up at 11am tomorrow. It’s totally free. Otherwise, you can ring Waterford VEC on 051 870047