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Focus on fiction: A series of workshops with Cambridge University’s creative writing tutors

Guardian Masterclasses

Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT)

Focus on fiction: A series of workshops with Cambridge...

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Focus on fiction: A series of workshops with Cambridge University’s creative writing tutors   more info Apr 12, 2019 £206.40 £7.80
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Event Details

Hone your storytelling skills and energise your writing with Professor Jem Poster and Dr Sarah Burton of the University of Cambridge creative writing programme

Whether you are a beginner when it comes to writing fiction, or you’d simply like to sharpen and energise your practice, this four-part series with Professor Jem Poster and Dr Sarah Burton, will boost your confidence and help you develop key skills. Currently leading the master’s degree course in creative writing at the University of Cambridge, between them Jem and Sarah have over 30 years’ experience and have published fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

This comprehensive creative writing series will start with a look at memory and imagination, helping you to unlock your creative resources. The subsequent sessions will see you delve into character and plot development, finding your narrative voice and the right point of view for your story, as well as creating a convincing setting.

You will work in a supportive and relaxed environment, participate in practical exercises and be able to receive feedback and ask any questions you may have during the sessions. Although you are encouraged to sign up for the entire series to best develop your writing, you also have the option to attend individual sessions, bookable via links below.

If you book the series, you will over 20% on the last remaining two.

Content

Memory and imagination - Saturday 12 January 2019 - This course has passed

Character and plot - Saturday 16 February 2019 - This course has passed

Point of view and narrative voice - Saturday 9 March 2019 - This course has sold out

When you have your story and your characters, how do you decide the point of entry for your reader? First person or third person? Reliable or unreliable narrator? One point of view or several? Whose voice do you want the reader to “hear”? All stories pivot on the question of which character knows what and – crucially – what your reader knows and when you let them know it.

This session engages with the narrative issues facing the fiction writer in relation to voice and viewpoint, exploring the advantages and limitations of various approaches. You will discover the importance of narrative voice and viewpoint to the establishment and development of your stories, and leave feeling more confident about cultivating your own voice and those of your characters.

Time and place - Saturday 13 April 2019

How do you create atmosphere and make your readers feel as though they are “really there”? How do you inspire a strong sense of time and place without holding up the narrative? This session will explore the ways in which you can evoke environment, from the intimate and domestic to the epic landscape, and make context work for your story.

You will observe the treatment of time and place in storytelling, paying attention to both landscapes and interiors. You will leave the day with an understanding of how time operates in fiction and how you can create a sense of place through concrete cues and sensory stimuli in your writing.

Tutor profiles

Jem Poster is the author of two novels – Courting Shadows and Rifling Paradise – as well as a collection of poetry, Brought to Light. He has also recently completed Volume 3 of the six-volume series, Edward Thomas: Prose Writings. He has won major prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry and the Peterloo Poets Open Poetry competitions. He is emeritus professor of creative writing at Aberystwyth University and has been chair of the editorial board of New Welsh Review and programme advisor to the Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education's MSt in creative writing. He is currently director of the institute's international summer programme in creative writing and is an affliated lecturer of the institute. He is director of academic programmes for the Financial Times Oxford Literary Festival and in 2014 was writer in residence at Arizona State University.

Sarah Burton was founder of the creative writing MSt at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and was its director from 2013 to 2017. Her publications include two critically acclaimed biographies, Impostors: Six Kinds of Liar and A Double Life: A Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb, which was shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year award; a children’s book, The Miracle in Bethlehem: A Storyteller’s Tale; a page-to-stage guide, How to Put on a Community Play, and the humorous Complete and Utter History of the World By Samuel Stewart, Aged 9.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible - but please contact us if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

Have questions about Focus on fiction: A series of workshops with Cambridge University’s creative writing tutors? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

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When & Where


The Guardian
Kings Place
90 York Way
N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT)


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Guardian Masterclasses

Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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