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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Creative Writing Classes with Dave Lordan at Bray Institute of Further Education

Award winning poet Dave Lordan is giving a new round of creative writing classes at Bray Institute of Further Education (www.bife.ie/nightclasses 012866233) beginning on Monday 22nd Sept (Beginners) and Tuesday 23rd Sept (Intermediate). The course will last ten weeks and the cost is 95 euro.





COURSE OUTLINE

* THE OVERALL AIM OF THE COURSE IS TO GIVE STUDENTS THE CONFIDENCE IN THEIR OWN WRITING VISION ALONG WITH THE METHODS TO CARRY THAT VISION OUT.

* A WIDE VARIETY OF SHORT TEXTS FROM WRITERS AND CRITICS WILL BE USED IN PHOTOCOPY. HOWEVER, THE MAIN FOCUS WILL BE ON LOOKING AT AND IMPROVING THE STUDENTS’ OWN WORK

* STUDENTS WILL BE GIVEN REALISTICALLY ACHIEVABLE GOALS AND SHORT, BUT USEFUL, CREATIVE WRITING EXERCISES TO COMPLETE EACH WEEK..

* AT THE END STUDENTS WILL HAVE THEIR OWN SMALL AND WELL-WORKED CREATIVE WRITING PORTFOLIO.

* THE COURSE CAN BE TWEAKED TO SUIT DIFFERENT LEVELS AND ABILITIES.

WEEKS 1-4 BASICS OF WRITING

INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING- WHY WRITE.

Using quotations and short texts from experienced and successful Creative Writers we allow each individual student to come to establish and express their own particular motivations for writing.

WHAT TO WRITE- A LOOK AT GENRE AND SUB-GENRE.

The decision to begin writing creatively is the first step in a huge and sometimes bewildering journey. One of the first questions we will need to provide an answer for is what should we write? Films? Poetry? Horror? Aphorisms? Comic strips? Invent a completely new genre to suit ourselves? The answer depends on personal circumstances, as well as ON the individual talents, goals and insights of the students. This session will look at students bringing to bear their talents and insights on the particular genre/s of writing most suitable to them.

HOW TO WRITE-INSPIRATION AND ROUTINE.

The focus is on finding the space, time and method, in the light of each students individual personality, goals and circumstances to write. Keeping notebooks. Regular writing sessions. Personal deadlines. Short, medium and long term goals.

READING AND WRITING-LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS.

A look at the work and techniques of some of the great masters of past and present. The supreme importance of wide and constant reading to improving one's own writing. The focus here is on the infinite variety of writing masks and voices, with the aim of building up each student's belief in their own individual vision and powers of expression.

WEEKS 5-8 INTO ACTION


BUILDING A CREATIVE WRITING PORTFOLIO

In this central part of the course we will take turns to provide group feedback and constructive criticism on each other's work. The aim is to build up student's ability to be objective in analysing and bettering their material. Over the course of the four weeks the students will build up a small portfolio of work in at least two genres. The students will realise through this that consistent work and genuine criticism improves their writing. They will also have the basics of a portfolio needed to apply to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Creative Writing.


WEEKS 9-10 KEEPING GOING


STICKING AT IT 1- EDITING AND PERSEVERANCE.

How to be ruthless in applying the editor's pen to your own work. Drafting, redrafting and proofreading. How to bring work to a satisfactory completion. This session will also look at Writing as a life-long journey and at how to make a long term space for writing in your life.


STICKING AT IT 2- OUTLETS FOR YOUR WRITING.

This session looks at how to find an appreciative and responsive audience for your writing. Publishing and self-publishing. Magazines and online journals. Creative writing groups. Publishers and agents. Teaching students finally that the most important audience for their writing is themselves.

FOLLOW UPS TO CONSIDER

1) STUDENTS ORGANISE A READING TO WHICH STUDENTS TEACHERS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC ARE INVITED.

2) STUDENTS PREPARE AND PUBLISH A JOINT COLLECTION OF THEIR WORK.

Either or both of these suggestions usually generate press interest and are huge feel-good factors for the students, as well as generating positive feedback for the school. They are a record of the class's achievement and as such are something the school can point to when trying to attract further students.