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Karl Drinkwater on WRITE!

The author, and host of the monthly creative writing workshop, shares what you can expect at a regular WRITE! meet-up.

“What goes on in a session of WRITE? Are there funny handshakes, grumpy faces, and writing snobs? I thought about coming but I haven’t ever written much.”

My experience of these sessions is smiling faces and laughter, people making friends, and just a shared joy of words. There’s no pretension, no criticism, no expectations of perfection. The people who’ve attended have been such a welcoming bunch that I love running the sessions!

The general format for a session is that people turn up and chat over a hot drink (and maybe cake), welcomed by the lovely Stove team. Then we get started and usually I get everyone to say their name, and maybe I make that into some kind of game related to the theme of the session.

Then we’ll move on to some thoughts relating to the writing topic or subject that I’ve picked for the night. We’ve had sessions discussing myths and legends; how to describe places or people; the importance of friends; beginnings and endings; and many more. Usually I’ll have questions or quotes to prompt discussion, and to give ideas. People take part as much or as little as they like. It’s fine just to listen!

The WRITE! ‘Writing Board’ at the session on ‘Place’.

That’s when we get to the main part, where we all do some writing related to the theme. I’ll usually offer a few options and some prompts, then we have 20 minutes to write whatever takes our fancy. It doesn’t even matter if it’s nothing to do with the theme – the key thing is that it is a chance to let our imaginations
free and write something that might never have appeared on paper (or screen) otherwise. It can be prose, or poem, or dialogue, or word lists, or doodles, I don’t care.

At that point we usually split into groups and everyone has the opportunity to read out some or all of what they wrote, if they wish. It’s totally optional, but everyone should have the chance. We never need to apologise for how rough it is: it’s accepted that it is an unedited idea. All that matters is the potential, and
we approach the readings and chat as if we are all good friends, supporting each other (which is actually what we are!)

And that’s it. Nothing crazy. Just a situation that encourages creativity, and an opportunity to give ourselves the time to enjoy it. If you don’t create the opportunity, nothing will happen.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written before, or you’re the world’s best author. We’re all equal in that room. We all have our own thoughts, our own voices, and that’s what’s so fascinating. Give ten people the same prompt, you get ten different creations. I love that.

WRITE! is the creative workshop at The Stove that gives you the space to guide your imagination and transform it into writing.

Hosted by multi-genre author and editor Karl Drinkwater, WRITE! is designed to allow you to play with words and construct short or longer pieces of work, whichever you desire, and it is open to all abilities!

If you would like to attend the next WRITE! session, click here.

To learn more about Karl, and to visit his website, click here.

Open Hoose is a project at the heart of the Stove’s community venue. Ideas are given the space, time, resources and support of the Stove Network to launch ambitious projects to galvanise and gather our communities together. From climate cafes to bread clubs, jam nights and creative writing groups, Open Hoose offers an eclectic mix of different activities for everyone to take part in. Find out more about groups like this one on our Open Hoose page, here.

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