Workshops – Practical Writing

Workshops – for ages 8 to 80, designed for your group, planned as a series or may be a single workshop – include

Scenes and Settings  – How to use all your powers of observation, including your senses, to maximise descriptions

Building a Character – Make a character live for your readers

Dialogue and Monologue – Use of dialogue and monologue in stories

Planning and Plotting

Drafting and Editing – Be your own ‘Critical Friend’

For instance, in January to March 08 I presented a series  of 5 writing workshops for WhiteSpace Community Arts at the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen, which culminated in publication of ‘Connections’ .  Connections was written by people taking part in a joint Aberdeen – Regensburg project, with groups of people writing in Scotland and Germany on a book of personal accounts and stories about their experiences at the end of World War 2.  

My own contribution to Connections (available from the Gordon Highlanders Museum) was written about a book of stories and poems my mother carried with her throughout the war, which a friend had given her.  After she died I found the book in a box.  Inside the book, a photograph of my parents – which had also been carried with her.

Book                                        Gráinne Smith

The cover is smooth, the binding worn

by years of kitbags and haversacks.

I stroke the title, faded letters rubbed nondescript,

find corners folded, favourite pages hidden in the mix.

This volume of hope you carried

all through the tears of war.

Pencil marks single lines, passages on time’s swift way.

Long months of fear, then short leave when you danced,

and how you danced, to Pennsylvania’s refrain,

quickstepping through happy days before you sang

goodbye. Did you die a little each time?

Was the nightingale singing in that square I never knew?

Tucked between Dover Beach and William Blake,

a photograph. Two lovers smiling, faded grey;

your arm holds my father’s waist. Beyond the parting,

such dreams were yours. There would be warmth

to heat bones chilled by duty, time to plan for waking

to quiet morning air and cradles filled.