Category Archives: workshops

National Poetry Day 2020

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Happy National Poetry Day! I hope you find some good words to dive into today.

Here’s a small guide to places you can spend some time in. Enjoy!

The main website for National Poetry Day is worth a good look around, but in case you are snatching a poem on your lunch break or pressed for time, I have selected some options.

36 Poems to read

Articles National Poetry Day

Poetry Recommendations

Poetry Archive

7 poems to listen to.

There are plenty of events happening online, nearly all are ticketed, some are free and there are lots of poetry take overs across social media platforms.

An exciting aspect of this year’s NPD is we are no longer bound by Geography – look beyond your region, spread the poetry love!

© Hay Festival 2020

You could treat yourself and listen to Poet Laureate Simon Armitage reading in Dove Cottage (Wordsworth). This is a ticketed event.

https://wordsworth.org.uk/blog/events/simon-armitage-in-dove-cottage/

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm BST

Tickets £7; £5 to current supporters of the Wordsworth Trust.

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist. In 2010 he was awarded the CBE for services to poetry and in 2019 he was appointed Poet Laureate. This year we have invited him to take over Dove Cottage for an exclusive performance of his own poetry, bringing to life the house that Wordsworth lived in 200 years ago.

Simon Armitage Trailer

Or you could just find a quiet spot, take a book off the shelf and indulge in a read, or grab a notebook and pen and have a write.

Between 2013-2018 I offered an annual writing retreat here on AWF. Over the 6 years of INKSPILL we had various guest poets gift us writing prompts, I have included a couple in this selection.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2018/10/28/inkspill-2018-picture-prompts/

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/inkspill-2018-writing-activity/

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/inkspill-guest-poet-stephen-daniels-workshop-exercise/

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/inkspill-workshop-with-roy-mcfarlane-objects-to-hang-our-words-

on/https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/inkspill-beautiful-ugly-part-1/

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Workshop with Kevin Brooke – The Sealed Envelope

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This workshop was devised with Young Writer’s in mind… we were all young once upon a time and still are at heart… so give it a go. 

Guest Writer Workshop with Kevin Brooke 

The Sealed Envelope

Young Writer’s Workshop on the theme of A Sealed Envelope with the story to be written in approximately 300 words

In giving advice to a writer, J K Rowling has been quoted as saying “Write the story as well as you can, revise it, refine it, and if it still seems alive to you, you’re done”.

The items each student requires are to complete the workshop are – a pen, some paper and an imagination.

The Workshop begins with each student being handed a sealed envelope

Please don’t open this as yet, because this is crucial in the creation of your story. All you need to do to begin with, is think about what is inside the envelope. Write down a few ideas of what it could be, for example, a letter, pictures, symbols, something else?

Character Creation

Now that you have some idea of what’s inside, I want you to think about who or what would send it to you? Try and picture them, imagine what they’d look like. Are they young / old / a boy / a girl / an alien / a Vampire / a goblin?

If you are struggling, have a look around the room to see if there is something that catches your eye or inspires you. If you are in a library, have a look at some of the books on the shelves and focus on what you can see on the front covers / internal illustrations.

Plot creation

Now that you have a picture of what is inside the envelope and who may have sent it, try to think of a reason why? For example, is it a threat, a wish of goodwill, a symbol of hope / disaster or a cry for help or even a goodbye?

Setting creation

Now we have a character and a reason why the envelope has been sent. The next stage is to try and imagine where they were when they sent it. Were they on the beach, on the moon, hidden in a wardrobe, inside a dungeon? Draw some pictures if this helps.

The Resolution

The story you have written so far should tell you whether it will be a happy ending, an open ending, or a sad / violent ending…read the story, think about the character, the setting. Read it through your notes several times – the ending is there if you think about it. The most important aspect is that the resolution must be based on how you think the story should end.

How? First of all, don’t forget the basic checklist

  • 300 words isn’t many. Try to keep characters to a minimum – maybe one main character and a maximum of two others.
  • Use dialogue if you can as this brings the characters alive.
  • Try not to use too many adverbs i.e. words ending in ‘ly’. If the man is tall, we don’t need to know he is really tall. Tall is usually enough.
  • Try to be specific i.e. instead of ‘she ate a pizza’ maybe think of the ingredients i.e. ‘spicy pepperoni with mushrooms’. In this way, the reader not only knows the details of what is on the pizza, they gain a sense of taste.
  • Avoid clichés – one way of doing this by using Imagery. As Stephen King is quoted as saying “see everything before you write it”. Try, therefore, to visualise every sentence you write and then write what you see.
  • Another way of bringing your story alive is by experiencing what your character is experiencing. If they go into a forest, do this for yourself, make some notes on what you saw, felt, heard or smelt and use these in your story.

Reading your work aloud

I’m a great believer in the notion that story telling is best told live. It provides the storyteller with a few, powerful minutes to take us to their alternative world, wherever it may be. In addition, if you are reading to others, listen to their feedback – they might tell you something you hadn’t considered, but something that could transform the entire story.

 

INKSPILL 2018 ARCHIVES Open

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Yesterday we opened the Archive and shared some posts from previous years of INKSPILL. Today the Archive opens once more – an offering from 2015 a workshop on Creating Characters by me, Nina Lewis.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/inkspill-workshop-2-creating-characters/

 

INKSPILL 2018 ARCHIVES Open

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This is the 6th year AWF has hosted INKSPILL. Spend some time delving into our Archives.

From 2014 

Guest Writer Heather Wastie on Editing a Poem.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/inkspill-guest-writer-heather-wastie-editing-a-poem/

Heather Wastie headshot

From 2015 

Our Guest Writer interview with this year’s Featured Writer – Alison May. Find out about her latest novel tomorrow.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/inkspill-guest-writer-interview-with-alison-may/

Alison May (2)

From 2016 

Our Guest Writer Workshop with Roy McFarlane – Writing their presence

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/inkspill-guest-writer-workshop-roy-mcfarlane-writing-their-presence/

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Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Workshop with Kate Garrett – Fear of the Known

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INKSPILL GUESTS Kate G

Fear of the Known

What scares you?

The other day my husband remarked that horror films and books, as clever and dark as they are, usually don’t write about the mundane things that really scare and disgust people – aging, speaking in public, listening to people chew, answering telephones, bananas… all the seemingly normal things that get to us in our day to day lives.

So what I would love to see is this:

pick one of your everyday fears – or if you are truly fearless, try to imagine what it would be like to be afraid of a commonplace thing – and write a poem about it in the vein of real hauntings-and-monsters-and-slashers horror.

person woman dark girl

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

INKSPILL 2018 Writing Activity – Words

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Getting into the Zone

We start this morning with a writing activity.

What’s in a Word?

Use the word, do not look up the definition. Spend 3 minutes writing about what you think the word means.

  1. Choose one of these words (pick a language you don’t speak).
  2. Set a timer for 3 minutes, if you don’t have one use this link and set one in the background. https://timer.onlineclock.net/
  3. Start writing – it is important you keep your pen or keyboard moving, don’t worry if your mind takes you off the original instruction, don’t worry about the content, silence your inner editor and just keep the words coming.

castravetele

maglayag

landsby

danza

bjerge


Don’t forget to click.

 

INKSPILL 2018 Programme

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SATURDAY 27TH OCTOBER

DAY 1: Writing activities, Workshops, Guest Writers, Articles, Interviews, Book Promotions, Charity Fundraising and Poetry Film. The virtual Bookshop and Archives will also be open.

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9 AM – Welcome Video

 

WRITE TIME

INKSPILL WRITING 1

9:10 AM – GETTING INTO THE ZONE

Writing Activity 1: Playing with language.

9:20 AM – FROM THE BENCH

Writing Activity 2: A short story/flash fiction prompt (40 minutes)

 

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GUEST WRITERS

10 AM – Meet our Guest Writers

INKSPILL was founded in 2013, that first year I wrote all the posts and activities. We had a fun and successful weekend. From 2014 I invited Guests to take part. The weekend features interviews, promotions of their work/ projects and workshop exercises for you.

Meet this year’s Guests: Kate Garrett, Kevin Brooke, Elephant’s Footprint – Helen Dewbery & Chaucer Cameron. This weekend we are also featuring a previous Guest Writer (2015), Alison May with her latest publication.

10:00 Kate Garrett

10:10 Kevin Brooke

10:20 Elephant’s Footprint

 

Today’s featured writers are Kate Garrett & Elephant’s Footprint.

INKSPILL GUESTS Kate G

10:30 AM – Interview with Guest Writer Kate Garrett

11:00 AM – Workshop with Kate Garrett

Join our Guest Writer for a Dark Workshop activity – Fear of the Known.



Make sure you break for Lunch – we will be back at 1 PM.

 


 

Inkspill news

1:00 PM Article – A Revolutionary Act: Samantha Zighelboim by Zachary Pace

 

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1: 30 PM Book Shop OPEN

Come and browse books by Kate Garrett our Guest Writer,

 

2:00 PM Guest Writer Kate Garrett Editor Interview

Find out about the books and journals Kate Garrett publishes and what is involved in the process of editing.

 

3:00 PM Simon Armitage

A Guardian Poem of the Week by Simon Armitage, including interviews and Magic Realism in fiction.

 

4:00 PM The Archive Opens

Delve into some posts from previous years of INKSPILL. Looking back at a selection of interviews, articles and workshops provided by some of our Guest Writers in 2014, 2015 & 2016.

 

6:00 PM Bonnie’s Crew with Guest Writer Kate Garrett

Find out more about this Charity Fundraising, how you can donate, submit, get involved.

 

7:00 PM Elephant’s Footprint Feature

Find out about our Guest Writers Chaucer Cameron & Helen Dewbery a.k.a – Elephant’s Footprint, including exclusive Poetry Film material.

8:00 PM Elephant’s Footprint Film

Enjoy some of the work developed and created by this dynamic Poetry Film duo.

 

9:00  PM Finish

Complete any notes/writing from today, comment on some of the posts – let us know how you are getting on.

 

 

 

 

INKSPILL 2018 Our Guest Writers

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Our 6th Annual Writing Retreat kicks off tomorrow morning at 9 AM. We have a whole weekend of exciting writing scheduled for you including writing activities, videos, articles, workshops and interviews.

INKSPILL was established in 2013 when I started this blog and since 2014 we have featured Guest Writers:

2014 – Charlie Jordan, William Gallagher & Heather Wastie

2015 – David Calcutt, Alison May & Daniel Sluman

2016 – Gaia Harper, Roy McFarlane, featuring Deanne Gist

2017 – Stephen Daniels & Antony Owen

Last year we had launched the first WPL Contour Poetry Magazine Issue 1 Place during INKSPILL – this year the final WPL Edition will go LIVE during the weekend.

So who will be joining us this year?

 

Kate Garrett Poet/Writer & Editor

Kevin Brooke Writer YA/Children’s Novels

Elephant’s Footprint – Chaucer Cameron & Helen Dewbery

Featuring Alison May (Guest Writer in 2015) celebrating the release of her latest novel.

Sculpture Trail Poetry Workshop at the Jinney Ring

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It is time for the Annual Sculpture Trail at the Jinney Ring Craft Centre in Hanbury. This is the 13th Trail and my 2nd year of offering a writing workshop linked to the sculptures.

sculp trail

One of my first jobs when I got back from Australia was to arrange a meeting, having secured the repeat workshop back in April.

It was also my first chance to visit this year’s trail and I spent a good hour taking photos and scribbling notes. There is always a preview of the Trail and I would have liked to have been available to attend but I was some 40,000 feet in the clouds at the time.

This year they have an added area, The Secret Garden and the work in there will take your breath away!

As with every year a range of Local and National Sculptors are exhibiting on the trail and the work is for sale. There are several pieces which would look great in our garden!

So come and join us and get creative.

POSTER FOR JR

 

POSTER JR Info

There will be cake!

Last year was great fun and we had an exhibition in the Restaurant for 3 months which was read by a LOT of people.

The writing activities/workshop content is different from last year – as are the sculptures, so if this was something you enjoyed last year I would encourage you to come again. The workshop is suitable for writers of all abilities.

There will be no pressure to read your work during the workshop and you will have a while to edit and redraft poems before they are displayed. The exhibiting of the work this year will be at no cost to the poets (it wasn’t last year either) and it is a chance for people to access and read your work who may otherwise not do so.

As with last year, a reading of our Sculpture Trail poems will be organised in the Spring.

Contact me for details ninalewisnal[at]gmailDOTcom

Here are some photos from the Sculpture Trail Poetry Workshop 2017.

Enjoying the Guided Tour of the Trail with some time to write whilst outside with the sculptures.

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Getting creative, responding to activities in the workshop.  WP_20180427_001

Our Poetry Exhibition in the Jinney Ring Restaurant.

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Our Bank Holiday Reading in 2018 at the Church in Hanbury.

A Flurry of Poetry – Open Mic, Workshop, Stanza

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As I am gearing up for Australia I am winding down other poetry activities apart from the desk-bound art of actually writing.

There are however, a few events still in the diary and the end of July saw Poetry Bites, a workshop in Stratford-Upon Avon and a Stanza meeting before it ground to a halt – where I had blanked out days to ensure that all my paperwork, adventure shopping, packing and performance/workshop preparation is in place.

I thoroughly enjoyed Headlining the bi-monthly Poetry Bites event in May and was looking forward to seeing Holly Daffurn and Jonathan Edwards perform.

It was a wonderful evening in a packed out Kitchen Garden Cafe. I am always delighted when friends discover poets I know and hear/see how good their work is.

As a Costa Award Winning Poet Jonathan Edwards wowed the room. (Some of us already knew he would.)

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Holly Daffurn Headlined with a POWER set! She went on to win the Oooh Beehive Slam at the Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham a couple of nights later as well.  WP_20180724_004.jpg

It was a fabulous night and my final open mic before I whizz off around the world.

Remaining photos © Elaine Christie

Roger D_boer

Rodger D’boer

maggie

Maggie Doyle

neil richards

Neil Richards

Moggs

Moggs

Anne Hodnette

Anne Hodnette

Al Barz

Al Barz

clive oseman

Clive Oseman

matt nunn

Matt Nunn

jonathan edwards

Then our first headliner – Jonathan Edwards

 

 

Matt Nunn and Elaine Christie have done a sterling job taking over Poetry Bites from Jacqui Rowe. It is always lovely to see the venue full and this evening certainly pulled the crowds in.

andrew barnes

Andrew Barnes

mickey ali

Mickey Ali

nigel hutchinson

Nigel Hutchinson

me pb1

Nina Lewis

mike alma

Mike Alma

gerald kells

Gerald Kells

Liz Jolly

Liz Jolly

ruth williams

Ruth Williams

holly d

The evening ended with Holly Daffurn Headlining.

It was definitely an action packed poetry evening, sometimes it can feel overwhelming listening to this many acts, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

 

Following this event my next was a workshop where we looked at Travel – an apt theme, especially as I plan to work on a book during my 20 hour lay over! Which is fortunately on the return journey. That’s the thing with travelling so far you lose 4+ days just getting there and back!

 

I finished my poetry diary with a Stanza meeting which was a great evening. Lots of exciting news to come from this.

 

The final, FINAL poetry outing is the  4th August for the Cat Rescue Anthology Launch. Then Australia… I am coming to see you!