Another Term of Story-Writing and Telling


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Picture by Bill Heather

This was how we ended our creative writing workshop this week.

My creative writing group surprised me with champagne and birthday cake last week. Thank you Judy Ward for baking the delicious coffee-chocolate and Orange cakes and thank you Isabel and fellow writers for the champagne and all the snacks. We also celebrated the end of another great term of work-shopping our stories. The eight-week long workshop ended on Tuesday. Many writers in the group have been attending this workshop at Kenmore, Queensland (Australia) for as long as five years. I have been part of the group for two years. Author Isabel D’Avila Winter is a beautifully crazy and an inspiring teacher. Below was the note I got in email before we had our last workshop.

“No reading for next week, because we’ll be too busy eating the leftover TimTams and madly workshopping our work. We’ll also be discussing the upcoming local writing competition, and brainstorming what kind of stories might be suitable to enter,” Isabel D’ Avila Winter.

Isabel is seated in front (left). Other participants included writers of memoir, rural romance, fantasy, sci-fi and crime fiction. We are not all females, we do have two male writers. Tom was not well this night and the other male writer, Bill, took this lovely picture. The group members have planned to enter the local writing competition in August.

I find that being part of this group was a major contributing factor in my story-telling; both in finding constant inspiration to write and sharing my work for an honest feedback. I also enjoy listening to each writer’s story.

12 thoughts on “Another Term of Story-Writing and Telling”

  1. Nothing like a special and empowering writing group. Good wishes to you all. Honest and constructive feedback to strengthen the craft is one of the things I love most about writing groups that work well. Makes me want to come and visit you all one day 😉

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      1. Yes, sure am. About to start tutoring creative writing in the Oodgeroo unit for Indigenous students at QUT so preparing for that, and enjoying family and hoping to get out to see friends and beloved nature.

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  2. wonderful! keep getting encouragement to join
    writer’s workshop or take a class .. but i
    hesitate .. i can’t write ‘about’ things … i have to be
    inspired … which, i know I’m making all kinds of
    assumptions about what these workshops/classes are
    like … i’ve always said, i want to make my own discoveries
    for processing stories / poems … and i’ve heard this is valid BUT the classes and workshops speed the process … somehow i still have
    fear and not afraid to admit it …. i especially feel that workshop/class
    could seriously ‘damage’ approach to poetry since it’s SO individualistic with nuances/quirks unique perspective … how can it be taught? it is what it is … for me anyway … i don’t think i ‘personally’ could have been taught .. if you are a poet you just ‘do’ .. and i consider myself a
    poet who writes stories in poetic form ,… well anyway ..

    i get very frustrated and would like your opinion or otherwise just be a
    sounding board … i know i’ve written some beautiful pieces … and
    i do have some followers … maybe ten or so who it seems
    almost wait for me to post so they can read me … i have 290 followers
    but i think the process is … you ‘like’ so others will ‘like’ … its a way of
    increasing numbers since very few come back … and i understand … it takes time to do this … what really bothers me and saddens me and at times has made me resentful … is … you know me … i always comment … i feel people love and need comments … it’s only right if you
    get some kind of indication of the work you have done … especially if it’s something you really like that inspires you … so i almost always make comments for that reason … and of course, i would love to have them myself !… but other than a few cursory words like … interesting or i enjoyed … (and i’ve had few of those) no one has EVER made a serious statement … that has feeling anyway … . i mean, ”wow, that’s great!” would be welcomed. something with SOME indication .,.. in return … to what i have ”given” … since i feel each piece … though written from and for myself … is a gift for others to read. it feels like i’ve kissed or hugged a person and they haven’t shown anything in return .. which is ok … since gifts given are without thought of getting anything in return .. but … i was wondering if you can tell me why it is that i’m ignored? I’ve had one award nomination … and it seems others have them all the time. is it possible that people are intimidated? or … what? maybe it’s hard to comment on what i’ve written. can you enlighten me …. if i”d just receive one really good comment occasionally it’d be great!! i want to know ‘who i am to other writers.’ i guess this is one of the reasons why i shy away from writers workshops or classes .. so … if and when you have the time … ??

    on another note ,.. have you watched ‘Broadchurch’? i just discovered it … love it and especially the landscape of the countryside!! ks

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    1. Thank you very much KS for your thoughts. I enjoy sharing my memoir stories with the group and use the workshop as a sounding board. It is easy to become friends with other writers in the group. I do get a very thorough feedback from Isabel (our tutor). We meet two hours every Tuesday (school terms only). Every writer in the group writes their own stories and only bring them for workshopping. Occasionally we do free writing on the spot – so I guess a bag of mix tools to sharpen the skills and help those who are learning. 🙂 Writing groups are not for everyone. The groups can also become handwork if personalities within them become an issue. (ps, Don’t know Broadchurch..)

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      1. thanks … this is helpful .. i’ll let you know about Broadchurch … it’s a series about a boy who was murdered in a small town … i thought it took place in Papua. i’ll let you know. i started getting more ‘likes’ recently. it still seems a mystery to me that, despite the fact that i know some of my posts are really pretty good (of course, what writer doesn’t feel that way about their writing) and despite the fact that i have almost 300 followers … which by some standards is not that many but …i’m pleased with it, i get few comments! wish i did. but maybe this is typical for most bloggers unless the are wildly successful with lots of followers ….

        i enjoy your blog because it’s enjoyable for me to put myself into the culture … we live in a global culture … but it’s the details like the ‘tim tam’ cakes … and of course the wonderful water drummers and the different and sometime dangerous beliefs of different groups which your relatives were part of … so i must assume you have a deep awareness of which to me is so fascinating but for you, is part of who you are … plus your various heroes and heroines (sp) and why you have such respect for them … people who i could never hope to know about … and especially the fact that you have 50 trees (didn’t you tell me) on your property?! i’m at our cottage in northern michigan. we have huge oak trees that bombard us with acorns every year. wish i could send a picture. it’s interesting that there is a certain type of fungus growing on oak trees in this region. this year HUGE numbers of acorns dropped from the trees. my thought about this unique phenomenon is that somehow the trees have a kind of awareness that they are being threatened hence … they are dropping more of their “seeds” to insure that there is new growth. … take care … i’ll be around. thanks again … ks … aka … kurt

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