Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Creative Writing

From tiny acorns, eh?

Earlier today a fellow-blogger had some bad news: a creative writing course that she'd signed up for had been cancelled. I was disappointed for her, and slightly disbelieving at the stated reason - lack of interest. This was a free course, run in the community and accessible to all. There were no barriers to enrollment, no qualifications necessary, no grade to make apart from the single quality of enthusiasm. And enthusiasm for one of the fastest growing areas of education across many different sectors.

Time was when people were a little sniffy about teaching writing. Composers studied composition; painters, sculptors and - latterly - photographers went to Art School and writers well.... writers wrote. Anyone could do it, just like anyone who's ever been to school knows how to teach.

Not any longer. From tentative beginnings as a small, post-graduate Masters at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Creative Writing has become almost ubiquitous at educational establishments up and down the country. It's part of the National Curriculum in schools. Creativity in all spheres is a highly-prized commodity and the government isn't pandering to hippy liberal tendencies by making it an integral part of the English curriculum. But don't get me wrong. Some talented writers are definitely born, not made. And you can't teach genius. But then, as we all know (thanks, Einstein!) that's 99 per cent perspiration anyway.

So, to business. In a throwaway comment I suggested I might run an e-course as substitute for the one that had been cancelled. Erica (Littlemummy) has done just that for blogging; Josie (Sleep is for the Weak) runs a successful weekly writing workshop. So there's plenty of interest out there. But is there demand for a structured course? If so, I'd be happy to run one. As most of you know, I've got plenty of teaching experience: I've taught English, I'm a published author and I've been a creative writing mentor. And in saying that I'm not setting myself up as any kind of expert. But I do have plenty of experience in writing, publishing and teaching and I'd be happy to share some or all of it with others.

What I have in mind is something short - lasting, say, ten weeks - and quite informal. It'll be delivered weekly to your inbox and be reasonably brief but at the same time give you the scope to take it further should you wish to. It would cover creativity, different writing genres, publication and much more but all delivered in such a way as to enable you to take from it what you need and not labour at things you might have little or no interest in. Homework would be optional. And the course would be completely free!

If you think you might be interested, let me know by commenting on this post.

Oh, and tell all your friends!

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