Rose Lane Writers start soon at #Canterbury Waterstones

Since 2011, I have been running informal writing groups to share the tricks and skills I’ve picked up through more than twenty-five years of published novels, drama, humour, journalism and poetry. Several of my ‘alums’ have become full-time writers, some are working with agents and publishers, others have successfully self-published and many of them are proud to have finished drafts for the first time in their lives.

Are you longing to write a book and have no idea where to start? Have you stopped and would love to find your way again? Are you well on your way and would just love some writing company and a few tips? You will be welcome to join me in ROSE LANE WRITERS.

Who is welcome?

Everyone.

Cost?

The sessions are free.

Where?

This new group will meet in the café on the first floor of Waterstones in Canterbury, Kent, UK.

When? 

We plan to meet between 10am and noon on the 2nd Monday of each month, starting on Monday 8 July 2019. You needn’t bring anything but your imagination and favourite writing materials. There will be a break at half-time for tea and coffee.

What will we do?

We start with a bit of free-flow writing to get us limbered up. This can be tremendously liberating, no waiting for inspiration, no redrafting, who cares if it’s a bit rough. Like all creativity, writing combines adventure with planning and the quality of what we write in short bursts often surprises us. Something magic happens and our writing takes off in its own intoxicating direction. Come and try with us and you’ll soon know what I mean.

I do all the exercises alongside you, by the way, and sometimes we read aloud what we’ve written, sometimes we don’t. There is no need to read aloud if you don’t want to. Sometimes, even if you have all the confidence and experience in the world, an exercise can bring up something that should stay private. My advice is to write it as honestly and deeply as you can and decide later if you want to reveal it to anyone else. Your privacy is sacrosanct.

We study the craft. Each session has a theme designed to help you avoid pitfalls I’ve learned the hard way. I guide discussions about where to start your writing, how to develop characters, how to find your theme and throughline, whether to self-publish or find an agent – that sort of thing. Coming up to the summer, we concentrate on tricks of the craft like the best uses of point of view and dialogue. Our sessions in the autumn are usually about getting deep into our fictional characters. Spring is one of my favourite times when we look at classic plots and genres.

Our exercises and discussions help writers of non-fiction as well as fiction. It’s all about how best to engage our readers and hook them in with good narrative drive.

Each session has a workshop element too. You are invited to bring about three pages (max, 1500 words please) of your writing to read to the group if you’d like to. It doesn’t have to be the best piece you’ve ever produced – work in progress is fine – and I make sure that feedback is positive, constructive and relevant. I do not permit feeding frenzies of criticism in my groups.

Writing and imagination are like muscles. If they are flexed and enjoyed often, they get stronger and will reward you in more ways than you ever dreamt possible.

If you would like to come, please let me know first – rosiejohnstonwrites@gmail.com or through Facebook. Thank you. 

See you soon!

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