Hosted by Anne Rainbow, these sessions will be presented by Kerry Hadley-Pryce.
Topics we’ve done to date are listed at the very bottom of this page.
For more details, contact Anne Rainbow on 07721 695044 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be Zoom sessions in three blocks as usual, on these dates.
Topics will be decided soon via a poll in our FB group.
Anne Rainbow moved from Surrey to Devon in 2006 with her husband, artist Stephen Thomas.
Ha-ha retired, Anne wears three hats: writer, mentor and teacher.
Her blog on the ScrivenerVirgin website encourages writers to use Scrivener, the sophisticated writing tool, which can take an author from blank page to self-published book. She moderates a Facebook group for Scrivener users on the Mac platform – Scrivener MacHeads – and hosts daily Write-Ins to encourage writers to make writing a daily habit.
Her ScrivenerVirgin website is also the door to RedPen through which Anne offers online training for writers in self-editing, publishing and marketing. For a few students at a time, this provides access to her RedPen Mentoring scheme.
In her ebook, EDITING The RedPen Way, Anne explains her tried-and-tested approach to self-editing.
Anne’s objective is always to help budding writers to learn how to edit their own words, and therefore to maximise their chances of having their manuscripts accepted for publication. And, she makes it sound fun!
When Anne is not working with other writers, or devising courses, she makes time for her own writing. Anne has published under two names: Jenny Lawson and Anne Rainbow. Her extensive publishing career of text books in Mathematics, and IT/Computing can be viewed on her LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/anne-rainbow-69b3945/. She has also published collections of her poetry and had some short stories appear in anthologies.
Anne’s focus in 2023 is her 2018 NaNo novel, Dead Wood, and a full length play, Waving, Not Drowning.
She has written three short plays and had all of them performed, script in hand. Running Wild Though Barren Ground was performed at TR2 in 2013, Coming Clean had two nights at The Drum in 2015, and When I have Fears was performed at Bridport Arts Centre in 2017 and then in Kingsbridge in 2019.
Kerry Hadley-Pryce has written fiction for as long as she can remember. She has had a thousand jobs ranging from dinner lady, petrol pump attendant, secondary school teacher to company director, but writing is the best job she’s had. Kerry was born in the Black Country and is currently a PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University, researching Psychogeography and Black Country Writing. She focuses on ‘writing with a sense of place’: how walking practice is linked to the art of writing.
Kerry has enjoyed holidays in the South Hams and attended a Wednesday Writers workshop. She was then invited to be a presenter for 2020 and, on the day we had our Zoom session to decide how to proceed, it should have been her workshop at the Cottage Hotel: Psychogeography as Inspiration for Writing.
Instead, the Zoom session resulted in the decision to create Wednesday Writers Online.
Kerry is now in the process of moving to this area and had been looking forward to attending Wednesday Writers in person regularly.
Kerry’s novels and short fiction tend to be dark and unsettling, and are usually set in the Black Country, or at least have a sensation of the place.
Kerry wrote The Black Country as part of her MA at Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, for which she gained a distinction and was awarded The Michael Schmidt Prize for Outstanding Achievement 2013-14.
Her second novel, Gamble was shortlisted for The Encore Second Novel Award 2019. She has had short stories published in anthologies and online. She has been appointed the first woman editor of The Black Country Society’s quarterly magazine, The Blackcountryman.
When Kerry isn’t writing, she researches for her PhD in creative writing, or can be found teaching creative writing on Creative Writing Ink and as a visiting lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, or walking alongside the canal thinking about writing, or running, thinking about writing.
Her two dogs, Rufus and Fflei, often assist her.
This is a big area of study, but the workshop served to whet our appetites by focusing on the features of a selected list of genres (romance, horror, crime, psychological thriller) in a general way, considering how to make genre writing feel fresh and original. The video of our discussion shows how much we enjoyed listening to each others inventions in response to Kerry’s Exquisite Corpse Game.
In fiction, the pleasure of the uncanny is in the sense of disturbance. It’s related to what Mark Fisher called ‘The Weird and the Eerie’. In this workshop, we worked on writing something that makes our readers wonder if what they’re seeing is real, or in their imagination.
We had some fun looking at archetypes and ways to build a ‘villainous’ character who is both compelling and narratively relevant by working on ways of avoiding clichés and stereotypical characters.
Both showing and telling are important aspects of a narrative. Here, we looked at how using both can manipulate your readers and make them work a little. We experimented with the art of implication and information as narrative techniques in an effective story.
Life is full of the hum-drum and unexciting, and this workshop aimed to encourage you to flex those creative muscles by looking at those ‘ordinary’, ‘everyday’ occurrences in a different way and, in so doing, spice-up your narrative style.
Creative non-fiction (CNF) has been a favourite of ours and, in this workshop, we focused on biography/autobiography, thinking about ways to manipulate language and point of view and the tricky aspect of making personal experiences highly readable.
In this workshop, we looked further at the important elements of flash/short fiction: brevity, plot and surprise. We considered the effect of creative restraint, and how keeping this in mind will enliven our creative writing.
The best way to complete a short story course is to explore ‘endings’. In this workshop, we looked at the different ways you could end your story. We’ll read some examples and consider, amongst other things:
This workshop encouraged us to experiment with our narrative voice by exploring ways to ‘find stories’ and to convey them in an original way.
The dictionary definition of ekphrasis means ‘to describe a work of art,’ and ekphrastic writing has traditionally been associated with poetry, but we’ll be using it to inspire short stories. We considered how visual images can work for us creatively, illustrating how art and image can both inspire and inhabit our short stories.
T. S. Eliot said, ‘Mediocre writers borrow; great writers steal.’ And here’s Mark Twain: ‘There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of coloured glass that have been in use through all the ages.’
In this workshop, we looked at ways to harvest the premise of a story and to develop our own ways of structuring and owning it.
We explored ways to make ourselves better writers, and ways of selective listening to our inner critic by looking at ways to:
We explored forms of non-fiction and what makes creative non-fiction by looking at ways to:
We explored ways to a sense of humour to your writing by looking at ways to:
(PS: You did not have to be a comedian or even consider yourself a ‘funny person’ to attend and enjoy this workshop.)
We explored ways in which we can use all our senses to create writing that engages our reader by looking at ways to:
We explored what ‘Travel Writing’ is, or could be, by looking at ways to liberate our thinking about what a ‘journey’ is. We considered the four key elements of travel writing
We explored ways to stimulate creativity and to encourage that genie out of the lamp by looking at how to invigorate your imagination, write what you don’t know and to be brave and explore ideas.
There is a growing interest in this genre, which is an umbrella term for a mix of descriptive and factual writing. For those who’ve read and enjoyed anything by Robert McFarlane or Rebecca Solnit, or liked to write something autobiographical, or felt driven to write something about ‘place’ or ‘landscape’, this workshop provided some ideas about how to get started.
There are many definitions of flash fiction but the important thing to remember is that flash fiction is a short, short story, usually defined in terms of word count. Not only can flash fiction be read in a flash, but it can also be written in a flash. In this workshop, we experimented with prompts and ideas, and working out ways to create complete, engaging fiction with a limited word count.
Writing a novel is a huge undertaking. It’s fun, for sure, but planning it is the first step. In this workshop, we enjoyed a whistle-stop tour of the basics of plotting the plot, the importance of characters and finding your voice.
How exactly do you write a short story? In this workshop, we looked at the components of the short story form, including getting started, responding to inspiration, and narrative and character arc. We looked at some excellent examples of short stories and writing the first draft of one of our own.
We explored what makes a creative piece ‘literary fiction’ and what techniques define it?
Readers love it when you make life difficult for your characters. In this workshop, we tackled how to create carefully planned obstacles which affect the tone and atmosphere of your story, and keep your reader turning those pages.
In this workshop, we looked at how to convey believable, naturalistic dialogue to enrich your characters and make your writing flow.
This workshop was all about how you lure your reader towards the end of a chapter, or section of your writing, by escalating the tension with a fictional ‘hook’.
This workshop was all about writing ‘from the senses/emotions’ to create a unique and evocative setting. We created vivid and original locations within which to set our stories.
The pace of your narrative is vital in order to keep your reader engaged, Judging timing is crucial for creating narrative drive.
This workshop examined how you can manipulate your writing by quickening and slowing the pace using flashbacks and story structure.
Juxtapositioning is a technique used in creative writing that places different, contrasting aspects of a narrative together in order to create a unique and interesting effect. The workshop identified how to use juxtapositioning in order to create an original and entertaining slant in your writing.
Symbolism is a literary device that uses, for example, abstract ideas, items, locations, the weather or people to represent or symbolise something beyond the literal.
Suspense is a literary device that authors use to keep their readers’ interest alive throughout the work. It is a feeling of anticipation that something risky or dangerous is about to happen.
This workshop looked at examples of these two literary devices in the work of writers like Sandra Arnold, Daphne Du Maurier, and Laura Van den Berg.
This workshop looked at the importance of characters as elements of storytelling, types of characters, ways of developing richer characters and avoiding character stereotypes by considering ‘what if?’, and the importance of dialogue in creating and conveying our characters.
We explored the term flash fiction but the session was mostly about being brutal with our work (editing?) and pushing the boundaries of our own work and style.
Kerry Hadley-Pryce specialises in psychogeography – how place affects us and can be used to good effect in our writing.