New skills in creative writing – Autumn 2017

writing-1209121_1920Taught by a published writer, this course enables you to make the most of your creative writing skills and techniques. Via exercises in poetry and prose, you will be encouraged to ‘have a go’ at new ideas. The concept we will explore is that the more new things a writer tries, the better their work becomes. We will also embark on exercises that help with editing and polishing skills. Advice on where to send work out to, should writers wish to do so, will also be available.

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £84.70 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 12:15pm, 11 meetings from 27 September 2017
Course Ref – C2337851

Online enrolment is available from 20 June – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online/coursesearch.aspx

Moments in creative writing – Spring 2017

eraser / 消しゴムThis course is aimed at both new and more practised writers. Its objectives are to get writers to consider how to make the best of their craft and skills. We will examine both poetry and prose and other work via both exercises taught by a published poet and short fiction writer, and reading work aloud. So come along, share work, and get the best from your writing.

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee £84.70 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date
– Wednesday 10:15am – 12:15pm, 11 meetings from 18 January 2017
Course Ref – C2337139

Online enrolment is available from 5 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online/coursesearch.aspx

Intensive creative writing workshops 1 – Summer 2017

Pen and PaperThis course looks at the nuts-and-bolts of creative writing, using exercises in both poetry and prose. It considers how writers can make the very best of their work.

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee £50.05 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date
– Wednesday 10:15am – 1:30pm, 4 meetings from 3 May 2017
Course Ref – C2337140

Online enrolment is available from 5 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online/coursesearch.aspx

Intensive creative writing workshops 2 – Summer 2017

Autofocus dual notebooksThis course enables writers to explore their creative ‘voices’ and discover what it is they really wish to write. The idea of the course is to provide writers with an opportunity to grow their creative vocabulary via exercises in both poetry and prose, taught by a published and award-winning writer.

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee £50.05 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 1:30pm, 4 meetings from 7 June 2017
Course Ref – C2337141

Online enrolment is available from 5 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online/coursesearch.aspx

Work with creative writing – Autumn 2016

HandwrittenThis course, taught by a published writer, enables participants to discover their creative writing talents and to hone these via exercises in both poetry and prose. In following the exercises, students are encouraged to discover and polish their own writing ‘voice.’

Tutor – Debs Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £84.70 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 12:15pm, 11 meetings from 21 September 2016
Course Ref – C2336466

Online enrolment is available from 4 July – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Intensive creative writing workshops 1 – Summer 2016

Pencil is MightierThis course is taught by a published writer, and considers skills in poetry, prose, and polishing work. It suggests ways in which writers may make the most of their pieces, and crafting these. It also shares information on methods of publication and editing work.

Tutor – Debs Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £50.05 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 1:30pm, 4 meetings from 20 April 2016
Course Ref – C2335613

Online enrolment is available from 1 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Intensive creative writing workshops 2 – Summer 2016

notebook page leventyThis course can be taken as a follow-on to the previous creative writing course, or as a stand-alone course. It looks at writing skills, how to develop these, and how to search for your own writing ‘voice.’

Tutor – Debs Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £50.05 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 1:30pm, 4 meetings from 15 June 2016
Course Ref – C2335614

Online enrolment is available from 1 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Working with creative writing- Spring 2016

Red-Gold Matrix Emperor FPcThis course is aimed at all who wish to write. Using both poetry and prose techniques, we’ll look at how to get the most out of writing, how to polish and edit pieces, and where to send work should you so wish to.

Tutor – Debs Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £84.70 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 12:15pm, 11 meetings from 6 January 2016
Course Ref – C2335612

Online enrolment is available from 1 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Crafting creative writing – Autumn 2015

Writing? Yeah.Do you love writing, or just want to start?  We will explore different types of creative writing work and how to really make the most of words.  Taught by a published poet and short fiction writer, who has also had published textbooks on creative writing, the course involves writers ‘having a go’ at exercises in poetry and prose.  It also offers advice on editing and crafting work, and sending work out, should you wish to do so.

Tutor – Deborah Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £84.70 or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am-12.15pm, 11 meetings from 23 September 2015
Course Ref – C2334910
Online enrolment is available from 1 July – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Creative writing news from the East Midlands from Debs Tyler-Bennett

It’s a real privilege teaching creative writing and seeing someone’s words and ideas form on the page, whether this is for the first time or whether they’ve been writing and shaping work for ages.

As a tutor teaching three groups in the East Midlands (Derby, Beeston, and Loughborough), as well as being a published writer of poems and short fictions myself, I’m increasingly struck by how lucky writers are that the East Midlands is such a creative centre, and that their work, should they wish it, has many potential outlets locally as well as nationally.

Recently, Mike Wilson at Loughborough Branch hosted a poetry evening (Not National Poetry Day) which once more acted as a reminder of where creative writing might lead.

I thought I’d share a few of my students successes from the WEA across the region, both to celebrate their work and maybe to encourage those new to writing to have a go at sending work out when they’re ready.  The students mentioned are only a handful of those achieving both personal and national successes with their work.

From Derby, Maureen Neal has had several short works of science fiction and fantasy anthologised, and has performed from these at readings at The Quad.  She was also short-listed for a novel competition, winning a professional critique of her work.  Peter Shanks, an active member of Wirksworth Wordminers regularly performs his work and has poems in the Wordminer’s anthology Upright and Eating Salad, the title of which was taken from one of his pieces.  Also, Joy Revell was commended in the Southwell Apple Poetry Competition. 

Liz Brownhill a member of the Loughborough group has had work displayed recently at an exhibition on World War One in Belton.  I was also thrilled that Liz attended my creative writing workshops for the Heritage Lottery Funded Diseworth and Kegworth World War One project, and that one of her poems from the workshop was chosen to form part of the community play, ‘Till The Boy’s Come Home directed by the Chorus Theatre.  The play (shown over the weekend of the first week of September this year) was really moving, and I was delighted Liz’s excellent poem was part of it.

Many other writers from Loughborough, Beeston, and Derby are being anthologised regularly in magazines (including my own Coffee House), and being placed in competitions, Jonathan Hill winning a prize for his poem on New Walk for a past WEA project.

Stephanie Bowes, another Loughborough student, has had a running series of stories in The Trencherman, the Richard III Society’s magazine.

But it isn’t just literary places where a students work might appear. Much of Brenda Boggild’s work (Beeston branch) is included at events on Anglo-Indian history, while Elizabeth Dodds (also Beeston) uses her writing to depict a Scottish childhood and memorialise changed places.  Robert Howard runs his own Littlehand Press Blogspot, and has just co-authored a fantastic History Guide on the 35 Bus for Travel Right.

Most recently, WEA Beeston’s Jan Norton had her poem ‘Miner’s Welfare’ published by Writers’ Forum, had a short story ‘Bristol Cream’ short listed for The Penfro Book Festival Short Story Competition, and her poem ‘Hiraeth’ was one of two runners-up in the Elmet Trust Poetry Competition.

In fact, these students’ stories demonstrate the great thing about writing, you never know where something will appear, or who will be interested in it.  Some students, like Loughborough’s Roy Kershaw, are working on longer pieces, such as Roy’s memoir, Mother and Me.

And the WEA affects tutor’s work, too. For example, my latest collection of short fictions Turned Out Nice Again from the King’s England Press tells the story of a group of variety performers during the 1940s.  During my research for the book (where all the stories are linked by fake news cuttings and music hall histories) I got in touch with the Max Miller society.  I’m now a member, and write regularly for their magazine There’ll Never be Another.  After a recent reading in Brighton, a woman came up to me who’d worked with the great Max, and told me about her time with him.

This anecdote may not seem to have much to do with the publication and teaching experiences I’ve been writing about, except that my work on variety has informed my writing and my teaching more than I would have thought possible, and I’ve designed several writing exercises for my WEA classes based on it.

So that’s what I’d tell anyone thinking of doing a creative writing class for the first time. You may be nervous of sharing your work with others, and this may always be the case.  But all writers, even the most published ones, are nervous of this.  So I’d say, give it a go and when you’re ready, think of those students who’ve found publication, and send your work out.  Or, even if you’re just writing for family or yourself, imagine a wider public reading your pieces and those pieces will undoubtedly improve (on the other hand, it’s amazing how many published writers begin with a desire to jot down family history).

Writing and creative outlets for it are adventures in themselves, and you never know where something you created will end up!  So, I’d say, get writing, and as the Cheekie Chappie himself would have said, make sure the things you say are snappy!

Creative writing for everyone – Spring 2015

Writing samples: Parker 75These sessions will allow new and more seasoned writers to expand their portfolio of creative writing techniques. By exploring exercises in both poetry and prose, writers will continue to develop more skills and ideas for their work.

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £84.70 (discounted £76.25) or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 12:15pm, 11 meetings from 14 January 2015

Online enrolment is available from 1 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Intensive creative writing workshops 1 – Summer 2015

saturated writingTaught by a published writer, this course offers intensive workshops aimed at improving techniques and exploring themes. Exercises include poetry, prose, and work for voices. All levels welcome.

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £50.05 (discounted £45.05) or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 1:30pm, 4 meetings from 22 April 2015

Online enrolment is available from 1 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Intensive creative writing workshops 2 – Summer 2015

Writing ToolsStudents who attended ‘Creative writing workshops 1’ may wish to use this course as a follow up, but it is also a stand-alone course, suitable for any writer. Involving exercises, new writing games, and exploring thematic ideas, it should help writers to evolve and improve their work. Please bring paper, pens, and a folder to keep work in.

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £50.05 (discounted £45.05) or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10:15am – 1:30pm, 4 meetings from 03 June 2015

Online enrolment is available from 1 December – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

An introduction to creative writing

creative-writingHave you ever wanted to write creatively and never quite known where to start? We will explore the tools you need – how to make time, find the motivation and generate ideas – and learn different writing techniques to help build your confidence as a writer. Both beginners and more experienced writers are welcome.

Tutor – Ruth Litton
Fee – £52.00 (discounted £46.80) or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby, DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 7.00pm – 8.30pm, 9 meetings from 24 September 2014
Online enrolment available from 1 July – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Creative ways with writing

Creative writingBy exploring techniques in poetry and prose using exercises, reading aloud in class, and discussion, consideration will be given to themes and ideas such as images, characters, settings and time-frames, as well as to what turns a good idea into a memorable piece.  There will also be opportunities to discuss how to edit work for publication.  

Tutor – Deb Tyler-Bennett
Fee – £84.70 (discounted £76.25) or Free
Venue – WEA, The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby, DE1 3HB
Date – Wednesday 10.15am – 12.15 pm, 11 meetings from 24 September 2014
Online enrolment available from 1 July – go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online