Tomorrow it won’t be January any more, which feels rather abrupt. But there are still a few hours left of the month in which The Guardian suggested we feed our souls with a literary diet, and generously provided daily links so we could do just that. Some of those links led to an easily digested nibble, some to something more substantial, others to the literary equivalent of a three course meal. I wasn’t always able to consume their offering, but when I couldn’t I found an alternative. Today they suggest, rather than consuming a piece of literature that someone else has made, we learn to make our own, and they provide a link to a short creative writing course at the Open University.
As I’ve already taken loads of writing workshops and courses, including a master’s degree, and am an established writing tutor in my own right, I offer an alternative.
I usually teach small groups, both independently and for various organisations in the region. Last year, for example, I taught in a number of schools for the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, which runs Scotland’s National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling. And then Covid hit, and everything changed. It’s fair to say my adjustment has been less than lightning fast. But, towards the end of last summer Lockerbie Writers asked me to deliver a prerecorded video workshop for their Book Week Scotland project. I couldn’t say no, not to Lockerbie Writers, so by watching many videos, and reading many articles, I worked out how best to video myself and do a very basic edit.
And, of course, like pretty much everyone else in the country, my only contact with friends and family has been via a variety of online meeting platforms. So I have learnt how to use the basics of Zoom, Teams, and Google Meetings.
I’ll be continuing my learning in that regard later in February when I will run three creative writing workshops, via Zoom, for a collaboration between Peter Pan Moat Brae and Grimm & Co. Whereby I will be helping children write contributions to a Magical Travel Guide. Needless to say I’ve been working like a loon on that one! So, why not try out my new found digital skills by running my own workshops?