Elizabeth Hawksley: Novel Writing Holiday in Fishguard
On February 18th-20th I shall be in Fishguard to take six one hour workshops for the Winter Writers and Artists’ Workshop Weekend run by Anne and Gerry Hobbs. Shortly, first chapters and synopses from my prospective students will be thudding onto my doormat. Some of them will be from beginners, others from more experienced writers.
First, I must read the typescripts and then decide what workshops to do. My aims are to stimulate debate, both in the class and afterwards; to give them various technical pointers – for example, to include a number of hooks in the first chapter to draw the readers in; and to be helpful and encouraging. When the time comes to go home, I want them to feel that they have really learnt something.
I know how scary it can be to expose your writing to others, so I shall be keeping an eye on the group dynamic. Occasionally, one can get a member of the ‘awkward squad’ who needs firm handling if the atmosphere is to be as supportive and friendly as I’d like.
My guess is that the workshops will include Plot, the First Chapter, and Character but there are other possible topics. Writing an effective synopsis, for example, is notoriously difficult and they may need help with that. I shall also be available outside the classes to talk to anyone on a more personal level.
My Novel Workshop is one of five courses offered and they make for an interesting and lively mix of people. The weekend (nice hotel and good food) is as much about meeting other people who share your interests as it is about the workshops themselves, and Anne and Gerry are always very welcoming and helpful.
It’s a lot of hard work for both tutors and students but it’s also a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it. If you’re interested, you can book in here.