Last Sunday, I attended a writing event held in Dudley with a writer friend of mine, Kath Eastman. It was organised by Miranda Dickinson, best selling author of Fairytale of New York and It Started With a Kiss. She promised a 'day for writers to come together, share ideas, be inspired and, most of all, reconnect with a love of writing.' And it did just that! I came away inspired and wanting to get back to my writing.
First, we introduced ourselves to other writers over coffee. It was interesting to hear how some writers were like me with some short stories published on-line, others had agents and the publication dates of their books were imminent and others were already published. What was lovely was to put faces to some of the names I follow on Twitter and to chat to them about their writing.
Miranda opened the event by explaining the format of the day, including pointing out that there was a room set up as a Writers' Den for our use if we didn't want to sit in on any of the workshops. Needless to say, I didn't want to miss a word from Miranda and her speakers so I didn't venture in!
She then introduced us to her three presenters:
- Julie Cohen, best selling author of Dear Thing and her new book Where Love Lies, which has just been shortlisted for the 2015 RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel category.
- Kate Harrison, best selling author of fiction and non-fiction including The Secret Shopper series, the Soul Beach trilogy, The 5:2 Diet and her new book A Batch Made in Heaven.
- Rowan Coleman, best selling author of The Accidental Mother, Dearest Rose and The Memory Book.
|Julie, Kate, Rowan and Miranda|
The first workshop, led by Julie, was on creating characters. By the end of the session, we had each created a character not just through a description of his/her appearance and actions. We also looked at how objects used by a character can introduce symbolism into our writing, how a character's conflict may be internal and external and how a character can grow and change over the course of a story.
After coffee time, it was the turn of Kate. We returned to a room where the lights had been dimmed, candles lit and we were asked to choose a pebble or sea-shell. She led us to think of our emotional blue-print when she asked us to think about the type of stories and themes we normally write about. Thinking about the emotional journeys we were taking in our stories in such a reflective way was designed to make us more confident.
Straight after an excellent lunch, Rowan's workshop was all about discovering your voice as a writer. Something that's very hard to define, yet it's integral to what is unique and distinctive about a successful writers' work. Rowan asked us to think of three words that sum us up as writers and we then had to think about how those words are intrinsically linked with what we want to achieve in our writing.
The final session of the day, 'Writing Against the Odds', was taken by Miranda. It was interesting to hear that even as very successful published writers the four presenters had all experienced disappointments and setbacks along the way. We shared what held us back as writers and the whole session served to boost our confidence and feel positive about our writing. From now on, whenever my writing is not going well, I will leave my computer and adopt my Superman pose! I'll chuckle as I remember eighteen writers all doing that in Miranda's session. :-)
Many thanks are due to Miranda, Julie, Kate and Rowan for such an inspiring day. If you get the chance to attend a WriteFoxy Writers' Inspiration Day, I thoroughly recommend it; you'll be in for a treat!
What has inspired you in your writing lately? I'd love it if you left a comment. Perhaps you've been on a WriteFoxy day, too.
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