Everyone has a story to tell, but getting started can be daunting. This course offers writing techniques to unlock the creative process, silence the internal critic and break through blocks that get in the way of free expression. It includes practical information about style, tone and grammar, as well as some tricks of the trade to help you craft and polish a piece of work.

Working with photographs, writing prompts and the richness of your own life story, you begin to uncover your distinct writing voice. There are short assignments after sessions one and two, for which you will receive individual feedback.

The aim of the programme is to sharpen your observation skills, equip you with some tools and options (blogging, haiku, short story or memoir writing) and to boost your confidence in your ability.
Anyone who is committed to a regular writing practice is welcome to attend.

Course

Venue: Small groups meet once a week in an informal home setting in Rondebosch, Cape Town.
Times: Morning sessions run from 9.15 – 11.45am, evening sessions are from 7.15 – 9.45pm.

Session one:
Getting started, creative techniques and daily practice. Silencing the critic, mapping your life story. Assignments: observation exercise and memory exercise.

Session two:
Brainstorming, rapid writing, steps to better writing: pace and tone, reading out loud, active and passive voices, alliteration, repetition, the trouble with adverbs. Assignments: photo caption and writing prompt exercise.

Session three:
Feedback, writing styles, common mistakes and how to avoid them, haiku and quick descriptive passages, examples of good writing.

Workshops

Memoir writing
A workshop is offered on the last Friday morning of every month. Each session is a stand-alone event focusing on a particular topic: family rituals, holidays, characters, first home, school days …
Collage materials, paper and coloured pens are available for visual prompts and mood boards.

Creative writing 
Depending on demand, a bi-monthly evening of writing practice around a set topic: journeys, home, dreams …

Writing for publication
Practical guidelines for writing and submitting articles to magazines; freelancing, interviewing tips.

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