From the 16th to the 21st of July, 2018, the EACWP launches the second edition of its European Course for Teachers of Creative Writing take place in Normandy (France). Enrollments are already open for worldwide participante. Please fill our registration form before June, 30.
Teaching approaches to creative writing
The general course will be divided in two separated sessions: mornings and afternoons. During the mornings, each teacher will deliver his/her own working session. Over these sessions, our EACWP teachers will share their different methodologies, approaches and experiences in the teaching of creative writing by offering a so called “auteur workshop” by performing and explaining their own ars pedagogica and didactics from both a theoretical and practical approach. All the working sessions will be focused on pedagogical training and guidelines to empower the participants to develop their own teaching interests and new possibilities.
Additionally, over the afternoon sessions, the teachers in training will be invited to take part into pedagogical creative laboratories to discuss the different teaching proposals discussed over the morning sessions in order to design a final workshop in the context of a potential creative writing class. Participants will be encouraged to try out new approaches and take risks. It is not an evaluation but a constructive laboratory. In the last day, the outcome of this exchange will be presented in groups in a final sharing session, supported and commented by the EACWP teachers and the rest of the participants.
Ultimately, the full bibliography along with some other support materials will be provided by the teachers in their corresponding working sessions.
Workshop 1: Voices of my own?
By Reijo Virtanen (Orivesi College of Arts / Finland)
Teachers of creative writing typically insist that a writer should develop a voice that is his/her own. Some teachers use this simple metaphor when referring to the style or the tone or the attitude of one’s text. Some teachers use it as a magic word which refers to the creative talent and personality of any skilled writer. The idea of a personal and subjective voice of one’s own belongs to the age of modernism. After modernism, we ask is it possible to write in many voices. And how could we teach other people to master doublevoiced, or multivoiced writing?
My thesis is that multivoiced writing is as natural as multivoiced speaking. It evolves during dialogical interaction with others. We’ll just have to bring forth those skills that we, as writers, have ignored.
- From dialogic imagination to multivoiced writing.
- Some examples of doublevoiced and multivoiced texts.
- An experiment in writing a multivoiced text.
- An experiment in creating a workshop / workshops for our own students.
The analytical and practical workshops consist of close interactive dialogues. The participants will find out skills to recognize doublevoiced and multivoiced elements in any text, and they’ll also learn skills to create multivoicedness in a dialogue. They will also learn to invent new pedagogical methods to guide their own students to find out similar skills.
Workshop 2: Being creative with story and plot
Therése Granwald (Sweden)
Story can be a delicate subject when teaching creative writing. It was a subject I tried my best to avoid when I first started teaching creative writing. But then something happened that made me change my mind. It was right after I had published my first novel and just started to write my second. I considered myself to be a writer that wanted to write outside the borders of traditional story and plot structures but then I realized that in order to be truly creative I first had to learn more about the basics of storytelling.
However, I still find story to be one of the most challenging subjects to adress and work creative with. Some of my students hesitate on even speaking about it, saying that thinking too much about building a plot limits their creativity and artistic vision. Others testify that they need to build the structure first before they can start writing. How can you as a teacher find a method for introducing and working with story that will suit both groups? How can you inspire to a more creative and playful approach on story but at the same time use the basic, and classical views that we all have deep within us, and that goes back all the way to Aristotle? And how can you as a tutor use story based questions to help a writing student develop their writing and overcome writers block? These are some of the discussions and subjects that this working session will both approach and address.
- Basic story model.
- Views on story and plot in the creative writing classroom.
- Methods for introducing story and plot.
- Using story in your tutoring and in our workshops – useful questions to ask both writer and text.
- Creativity and story – breaking and playing with rules.
- Story exercises.
This course session consist of a lecture and a workshop, including creative writing exercises and discussion.
In the first half (the lecture), the participants will be introduced the subject story, different elements of craft as well as different views on story and plot structure. The lecture will also introduce my own teaching practices and my own thoughts on how to be creative, playful and somewhat ”disrespectful” with story structure. I will, during the lecture, show examples of writing exercises I use and also share methods from my own practice.
In the second half (the workshop), the participants will try some of the writing exercises introduced in the lecture. After writing, we will look at text examples, written by creative writing students and discuss methods of tutoring and workshopping these texts, having the resent experience of writing the exact same exercise. Then we will discuss and share our experiences of working with story in our own practices and how we can use, play and be creative with the basic story model presented in the lecture. Finally we will discuss creativity and how story methods can be both limiting and freeing for the writer and for our students.
Workshop 3: Enduring territories for migratory readers
By Luis Luna (Escuela de Escritores / Spain)
By definition, readers are migrants that look for a displaced territory (literature) to inhabit. However, they may leave soon those territories that we may offer them as authors that are not literary enduring. Moved by my own search and research as a poet in displacement backgrounds and migratory groups, I’ve insisted in the importance now-a-days of creating sustainable, solidary and common shared literary territories that our readers may engage and inhabit more permanently along with us. How, then, can we make readers to put down roots and remain in our homeland and make it their own? In order to approach this objective, this session will provide participants a series of basic theoretical-practical concepts and tools to be practiced with their students in order to teach them how to create long-lasting literary territories and, therefore, an ongoing sense of microsociety within their artistic creation.
- The literary microsociety: the relationships between authors and readers.·
- What a literary pact is? How to engage and make a fair treaty with the reader.·
- Contemporary linguistic territories: heterotopia, no place, dystopia.
- The path of meaning within our literary territories. How to build it up and walk it along with the reader?
- Different class exercises to bring your students to the experience of creating endurable both territories and microsocieties for and with their readers.
The pedagogical approach will be both theoretical and practical. During the first two hours, participants will be provided with a series of concepts such as place metaphors, contemporary territories or displaced language that will be, subsequently, practice and experience in the last two hours of the working session throughout individual, small and large group dynamics. Afterwards, the applied methodology and the different exercises will be commented in order to discuss how to give feedback to the students, taking into account the characteristics and features of the different concepts and practices.
Reijo Virtanen has graduated in 1990 (MA in comparative literature) from the University of Oulu, and accomplished his Licentiate of Arts degree in 2004 at the University of Jyväskylä. He has worked at Oriveden Opisto (Orivesi College of Arts, Finland) as a teacher since 1993, and the main designer and the head of creative writing department since 2000. He has also worked as an arts journalist and critic, a university scholar, and writer. He has released satirical columns, short stories, and essays in magazines. He has co-written satirical comedy: Yökkö with K. Röyhkä, and Burleski Pohojanmaalta with A.Kivi. As an EACWP member, along with his colleagues from Jyväskylä University, he organized the III International Pedagogical Conference in Finland (2014).
Therése Granwald is a Swedish writer with a masters degree in creative writing from Lund University. Since 2005 she has been teaching beginners as well as undergraduate and postgraduate creative writing students, mainly at Lund University, but also on Kristianstad university, Jönköping University and Skurups folkhögskola. Between 2013 and 2017 she was responsible for the under- and postgraduate programs in creative writing at Lund University. In 2005 and 2006 she published her first four children’s books and in 2015 she debuted as a novellist with the novel ”Ty riket är ditt”. In 2017 she published her fifth picture book. Therése is also a songwriter and a translator of young adult novels from English to Swedish. She is currently working on a creative writing textbook for Swedish universities witch will be published in the end of 2018 and finishing her second novel.
Luis Luna (Madrid, 1975) is Doctor in Romance Philology and Bachelor in Hispanic Philology. He is a specialist in the study of spaces of displacements, borders and exile in contemporary poetry. Since 2003, he works as a teacher in Escuela de Escritores. Currently, Luis directs the poetry collection Fragmentaria by the Spanish publishing house Amargord. Some of his poetry books are The forest warden’s notebook, Al Rihla (The journey), Gloomed territory, Almond (book-disc in collaboration with Lourdes de Abajo, with engravings by Juan Carlos Mestre and preliminary words by Antonio Gamoneda), Umbilical, Helor, with engravings by Miguel Ángel Curiel and Open sky, on whose poems have been created choreographies by Gloria Arambary. His work has been translated into different languages (English, French, Romanian, Italian, etc) and his anthologies have been published in Chile, Argentina, France, Ecuador or Germany under the title Look at birds. His work gathered until 2016 has been published by Artepoética Press in the USA under the title Language rooms.