From July, 7th to July, 12th the EACWP launches the third edition of its European Course for Teachers of Creative Writing, taking place in Belgium at the 16-century castle of Alden Biesen. Eramus+ funding applications are open until February, 5th for Europeans willing to participate
After two editions celebrated in Normandy, this year Martino Gozzi (Italy), Jenny Tunedal (Sweden) and Daniel Billiet (Belgium) will be the European teachers invited to impart and lead the different working sessions taking place in the inspiring 16th-century castle of Alden Biesen. In the occasion of this third edition, we would like to make extensive the invitation to worldwide colleagues interested in joining this pedagogical interchange. Participants interested will find below a description of the main pedagogical program. Registration will be open in February, 2019.
Teaching approaches to creative writing
The general course will be divided into 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 in the hypothetical context of a creative writing class. Participants will be encouraged to try out new approaches and take risks. It is not an evaluation but a constructive laboratory. At the end of the 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.
Criteria for participants
- Beginner teachers keen to learn about the pedagogy of teaching creative writing and the different international approaches
- Intermediate teachers wanting to broaden their grasp of pedagogical concepts in an international and culturally diverse environment
- More expert teachers interested in sharing their experiences and approaches and enriching their own perspectives from international discussions and comparisons
- Students of creative writing willing to deepen into their knowledge and skills within the contents of the different working proposals in an international context
Working session 1: The new frontier of narrative nonfiction
By Martino Gozzi (Scuola Holden / Italy)
There have been many debates, over the years, about the autobiographical element in literary fiction. And there has been a lot of speculation on the accuracy – on the faithfulness – of reporting pieces. And then, in the last few decades, a new genre has emerged, mixing everything up: narrative nonfiction. One could argue that some of the most compelling books of the new millennium fit into this category: Emmanuel Carrère’s Limonov, for instance, or Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time, or Javier Cercas’s The Anatomy of a Moment. But what do we mean by narrative nonfiction? Does it fact check? Does it allow the author to experiment with, say, language and point of view? During this course, we will take a close look at a few good examples of the form, isolate some of its defining features, and, needless to say, try our hand at it.
Working session 2: Reading and writing as collective practise
By Jenny Tunedal (Valand Academy / Sweden)
Literature is where we go because we want to be alone and where we turn to when we want to feel less alone. How do educations in writing negotiate the space between loneliness and togetherness, individual and collective, when it comes to experience, knowledge and structures of power? What does togetherness in reading and writing mean? How can we as teachers create a space of trust and challenge, where a multiplicity of readers and readings becomes meaningful to the writer as student and to the student as writer. When and how do people start learning from each other – rather than from teachers – and what does this mean for the role of the teacher? What are the challenges and potential risks of a communal reading practise? What are the benefits? The session will consist of a lecture and a workshop. We will try out methods for collective reading and writing and discuss their implications for various types of texts and writing.
Working session 3: How to give feedback in a creative way?
By Daniel Billiet (Creatief Schrijven / Belgium)
The importance of feedbacking can hardly be overrated. In addition, it is an interesting way to be able to talk about texts in a group. That is what this workshop is all about: to provide tools so that you can ‘speak’ about texts in a different ways than only the verbal one. From simple ways to more complex and sophisticated ways. Creative and original approaches to express what you think and feel about a text.
We may feedback by playing with a rope. Or by making a ‘guesspoem’ from a poem by omitting a number of words. Or by looking and talking about a text by pretending it is a room. Or by releasing the ‘four seasons’ and the connotations around it on a text. Or by forming a large sieve together. Or by only ‘speaking’ through body language. These are some of the feedback tools we will explore over this course.
About the tutors
Martino Gozzi was born in Ferrara in 1981. A philosophy major, he was worked for several years as a freelancer, translating British and American authors, such as Keith Richards, Marlon Brando, and Steve Earle. He has published two novels with Feltrinelli, Giovani promesse (2009) and Mile volte mi ha portato sulle spalle (2013). He has been the Head of Studies at Scuola Holden since 2015.
Jenny Tunedal is a poet and translator. She works as senior lecturer in Literary Composition at Valand Academy, Gothenburg University. She has published five collections of poetry and translated books by Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Etel Adnan, Claudia Rankine. She has also worked as a literary critic and as literary editor at Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet and as editor in chief of the magazine Lyrikvännen.
Daniel Billiet was born in Ghent, became a teacher Dutch and English. He wrote over twenty volumes of poetry, most of them for youngsters. He is one of the leading poets for young people in the Low Countries and an enthusiastic advocate for this genre. Billiet wrote short stories too, a novel and critics. He often performs his literary work in schools, libraries and jails. He is well known as a teacher creative writing, not only in Flanders but abroad as well.
The past decennia Billet was active in more than nine jailhouses. He has conducted workshops (love) poetry, short stories, prose, plays. For more than six months he wrote with prisoners the play ‘The house that stands between the thorns’. (2004) Billiet himself directed that play that was performed with prisoners five times in the jail of Ghent. In 2005 and 2006 his documentary ‘Three women’ – was broadcast on national televisonnet Canvas (VRT).
The fee includes the course itself, overnight accommodation (5 nigths) at Alden Biesen and all meals (breakfast, lunch, refreshments and dinner).
Course Fee (for self-afforded teachers)
- 1200€ (single rooms)
- 950€ (shared rooms)
Course Fee (for teachers finnaced by an institution)
- 1200€ (single rooms)
- 1050 € (shared rooms)
Additionally, two scholarships of 550€ will be offered this year for teachers not funded by an institution.
Candidates interested must send their CV plus a motivation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org before June, 1st. The subject of the message must be “Course scholarship / Alden Biesen, 2019”. Results will be announced on June, 10th.
The scholarships will be only granted if the course gathers the minimum required number of students.
- Course from Monday, 8th of July to Thursday, 11th
- Arrivals scheduled on Sunday, 7th and departures on Friday 12th
About Erasmus+ funding
The Eramus+ program offers finnancial support for KA1 mobilities, which suit the profile of our course. The 2019 deadline for the application is February, 5th. Participants interested in joining the course may find further details here (KA1/Decentralised activities/ Mobility for adult education staff)