The CHINDI Writers’ Workshop, ‘From Pen to Publication’, proved to be a big hit with budding writers and poets. It was held at the Novium Museum on the morning of Saturday 20 June as part of the 2015 Chichester Festival. The fourteen participants all had a tremendous passion for writing. It was a great chance to share ideas, practice technique and meet other writers.
The workshop was led by local writers, and CHINDI members, Jill King, Christopher Joyce and Becky Edwards. It was very interactive with input, discussion and short exercises on opening paragraphs, characterisation and plot development. There was a huge amount of creative energy in the room and some wonderful examples of spontaneous writing.
Inspiration was drawn from the story of the cathedral spire collapsing in 1861, and from the use of creative prompts to develop stories from diverse characters, premises and obstacles. Participants were given a series of grids and rolled dice to select people and situations that they then wove into their stories. It was great fun and we all enjoyed hearing the ideas and stories that started to emerge. Feedback was really positive with a desire for more of these type of workshops in the future.
“It was great to have the opportunity to write and to meet other like-minded people.”
“The facilitators were really enthusiastic and the workshop was highly interactive and fast-paced.”
One of the workshop participants, Mary Ann Bart, wrote a fabulous poem having rolled a dice and been given two characters – pregnant mother and a smuggler – and the premise of a great injustice, to create a story from. It was so good we wanted to share it. Here it is.
I already have 3 children and now my heart is flappin’.
Aye – there’s a smuggler; I wonder if
He’d be obliging or will we have a tiff?
“Oh sir; I say, please pity me.
I am such a victim, you see.
My husband sails with each new tide
And each year I’ve borne a child as his bride.”
But money is so tight – his promises forlorn.
Please grace my palm with silver – I have little to pawn.
You are a smuggler – I can see
I can do you a trade it you’ll agree.
I’ll cook for you and clean your rented place
If you’ll provide me with the food, by your grace.”
The smuggler replies,
“I can see by your eyes
That your fate is so like mine.
My brother took the family fortune and left me far from fine.
I have had to struggle all my life.
Now I’m asking you to be my wife.
I’ll look after you and your three
If you will be good to me.
Mary Ann Bart