Sunday, 25 April 2010

Hieton Writers' Group, Hamilton

Once upon a time, when the days seemed longer and the weeks were full of promise, I facilitated writing workshops once a fortnight for a lovely group of writers in Hamilton. Lovely - but also talented, intelligent and warm-hearted.

Since that time, I've worked almost exclusively on teaching The Open University's creative writing courses online. Online teaching suits me very well: the OU's courses provide high quality learning; I can plan the working hours to suit myself; and I can break for coffee or eat lunch in front of the screen and no-one notices. It also suits me because I meet people from different parts of the UK and beyond. One element that is missing from most online teaching is face to face contact with writers - with only two dayschools a year on my OU courses.

For this reason, and to meet up again with old friends, I was delighted to accept an invitation by Hamilton's Hieton Writers' Group to run two workshops this April.

On an unseasonably bright April day, I took myself down to the grand blond sandstone building which is Hamilton Town House and introduced myself to the group. It was super to catch up on news with those I'd known previously and I was impressed at the way the group has developed, with a considerable number of new members, all of whom were keen writers and willing participants.

During the two classes, we looked at how to boost flagging language when writing about spring and summer, and how to boost our portrayal of momentous moments by using all five senses to help us visualise in close detail the people and places.

We worked on several exercises over the two weeks and I'm hoping to be invited to their end-of-year performance this June to hear them at their polished best!

George, Joey, Ian, Rita, Teresa, Jean and Eileen standing behind Sandra, Nan, Barbara and Jean.

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