From the 1st to the 3rd of February, 2022, the EACWP launches its fourth Premium Virtual Edition of its European Course for Teachers of Creative Writing, involving three of our most expert European teachers. The sessions will be celebrated through Zoom. Worldwide participants are welcome to join us. Enrollments are already open until January, 27th, 2022
Teaching approaches to creative writing
This Premium Virtual Edition will comprise three different workshops that will take place on Tuesday, 1st, Wednesday, 2nd and Thursday, 3rd of February from 17.00 to 19.00 (CET). As in the regular format of our Teachers Training Course, 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.
Workshop 1: Travel writing
By Leen van den Berg (Creatief Schrijven / Belgium). Tuesday, 1st
According to one of the oldest travel writers, Herodote, other worlds, other cultures function as mirrors that help us understand better ourselves and our culture. In other words: by what he experiences abroad, the traveller is confronted with himself. The genre has been popular over ages. But what makes a travel story interesting? Is it the way it describes unknown destinations and cultures, with beautiful metaphors? Or are the most interesting travel stories those with a main character that evolves because of what he experiences during his journey? Travel writing is not about just writing anecdotes. It is about lifting the story up from anecdotical to universal. Travelling with an open mind means that you never come back as the same person you were before.
During the workshop participants will experience how to get started, how to find the common thread of their travel story and how to structure their story in function of their main theme. Afterwards, we will discuss the applied methodology, the different steps we take during the entire workshop and how to give feedback to the students, taking into account the characteristics and features of the genre. This workshop is an invitation to re-visit and, perhaps, reformulate the literary act of traveling, while still facing new challenges during pandemic times.
Workshop 2: The storytelling concept of time-space in Bachtin’s chronotopes
by Els Moors (ArtEZ / The Netherlands) / Wednesday, 2nd
In 1927, the Russian language philosopher Michaël Bachtin introduces the term ‘chronotope’ (literally time-space) to refer to the intrinsic connectedness of time and space in the novel. My teaching experience over the last decade, however, has taught me that this concept is also extremely useful for creative writing students. The fact that the abstract concept of ‘time’ can only become visible and concrete through the gateway of space, explains furhthermore why ‘novelistic’ thinking and the creation of ‘meaning’ is in fact impossible outside of the chronotope.
By introducing to the students the three major Bachtin’s chronotopes, they are able to get a better insight and dive deeper into the basic knowledge of storytelling. Additionally, this concept enable them during the development of their writing practice as they tackle into two basic problems. How to create an illusion that is ‘real’ enough to be believed (the willing suspension of disbelief for the moment which constitutes poetic faith) on the one hand, and on the other hand, how to efficiently make use of the mechanical apparatus that we call a ‘story’.
These are some of the pedagogical challenges that Batchin’s chronotopes theory may help us address as teachers.
Workshop 3: Creative Writing Analysis
By Graeme Harper (USA) / Thursday, 3rd
Unless we understand how we write, why we write and what we write we cannot progress our creative writing.
For many years, it was considered it was mostly enough to do literary analysis and apply it to creative writing practice and understanding. But literary analysis is simply not creative writing analysis – and we have come to understand the difference between creative writing analysis and other forms of analysis, and to begin to develop modes of analysis that are creative writing specific and creative writing relevant. This is now occurring all around the world – and increasingly so.
Creative writing analysis can combine consideration of actions, outcomes, reasoning, knowledge, culture, imagination and more. It is a practice that is exciting and is developing further as a field right now – sometimes combining creative practice with critical understanding, sometimes focused specifically on pedagogy, sometimes creating new theories that inform creative practice and critical understanding, and always highlighting creative writing as dynamic and as human centered.
This two hour workshop will explore the exciting area of creative writing analysis as it is understood today.
About the tutors
Leen van den Berg was born in Brussels in 1956. Degree in History and Psychology. In 1995 she made her debut as an author with the book In het teken van de dolfijn. She combines her work as a writer with teaching in literary creation workshops and the translation of children’s books in French and English.
Els Moors (Poperinge, 1976) is a Flemish poet and novelist. Her poetrydebut Er hangt een hoge lucht boven ons (There is a tall sky above us; 2006) was nominated for theC. Buddingh’-prize and was awarded the Herman de Coninck prize for best poetry debut. Her second collection of poetry, Liederen van een kapseizend paard (Songs of a capsizing horse), was published in 2013 and won the J.C. Bloem prize. and has been translated into German and French. Her novels include: Het verlangen naar een eiland (2008), Vliegtijd (2010) en Mijn nachten met Spinoza (2020). From 2018 till 2020 Moors was appointed National Poet of Belgium. She lives in Brussels and works as a teacher Creative Writing in Antwerp (Creatief Schrijven), Brussels (De Markten) and the Netherlands (ArtEZ).
Graeme Harper was awarded Australia’s first doctorate in Creative Writing and completed a second doctorate in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. He is a winner of the National Book Council Award for New Fiction (Australia), the Premier’s Fellowship, the Mutter Library Fellowship and a range of other international awards and fellowships. Currently he is Chair of the Creative Writing Studies Organization (CWSO) in the United States. Previously, he was the inaugural Chair of Higher Education at the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) in the UK. He is Editor of New Writing: the International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing (Routledge) and Director of the Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference (held at Imperial College, London). His latest work of fiction is Releasing the Animals (Parlor, 2022) and his latest critical work is Creative Writing Analysis (Routledge, 2022)