From the 6th to the 8th of July, 2021, the EACWP launches its third 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 July, 2nd, 2021
Teaching approaches to creative writing
This Premium Virtual Edition will comprise three different workshops that will take place on Tuesday, 6th, Wednesday, 7th and Thursday, 8th of July 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: Reading for writing
By Javier Sagarna (Escuela de Escritores / Spain) / Tuesday, 6th
Analytical reading can be the basis to build up our teaching. In this sense, the first step would be to discover and explain in a simple way how some great literary texts work. The second step would consist on making our students write using the strategies and the literary techniques we have just seen working efficiently in those texts. And the third step would be to connect this work with some theoretical aspects, often more complex, that can be explained to the students, afterwards, in order they to understand them more easily.
The basic structure that gives meaning to a story, the motor that moves it, how to build the continuity of a text in a way that captures the reader´s attention from the first sentence to the end, how to build a scene, the hidden meanings that enrich a text and connect, sometimes almost subliminally, with the reader’s emotions, discovering the secret workings of great literary texts and combining them with prompts to practice these techniques is an effective way to help our students grow as writers.
Workshop 2: The House of Writing: opening thresholds in the teaching of ‘creative writing’
by Agnieszka Studzinska (Poland) / Wednesday, 7th
Writing I sometimes think, be it the writing of poetry or prose (and anything in-between and outside of it) is like entering a strange new dwelling in the deepest of woods or on the wildest of shores. Once inside; which room to enter? Which door to open or close? When to exit or indeed decide to stay. Teaching this craft can be just as complex, daunting, and thrilling. Why?
Because teaching creative writing is knowing how to draw out something of the uncertain, the undecided, the unknown, the unexpected, knowing how to create that balance between what the student knows, what they think they see and what they don’t even look at. As a teacher of this craft, you are working with ghostly narratives that take time in appearing.
This course aims to open new thresholds for you as a teacher in nurturing students how to engage in writing, how to generate ideas, how to guide them on their writing journey. Note, you are not teaching them how to write because that comes from them. You are teaching them, how to listen, how to eventually become a writer.
The workshop will be discursive, and practice led. You will become the writer, writing on the theme of ‘strange & distant homes.’ We will focus on aspects of Gaston Bachelard’s, The Poetics of Space as a point of departure in our writing and discourse on creative writing. Bachelard explores how our perceptions of houses shape our thoughts and memories, and to which, I add ‘our writing.’
My pedagogy will become apparent, in the act of your engagement in writing, reading, listening and discussing. I will use the image of the house as a foundation and framework, and appropriate it in the context of our learning together as practioners of writing and practioners of teaching how to become a creative writer.
Workshop 3: The Magic of Editing
By Gale Burns (UK) / Thursday, 8th
You have your raw text, whether it is poetry or prose; how do you bring out the best in it? How do you let it speak with a life of its own? And how do you enable students to develop their own ‘ear’ as a reader rather than creator – if necessary ‘killing their own darlings’?
This session will include exercises that help develop these skills, taking on board some general principles of ‘good writing’ and ‘editing’ but also exploring pedagogical approaches that can underpin the design of creative writing classes.
About the tutors
Javier Sagarna is a writer and teacher of creative writing. He is also the director of Escuela de Escritores and the president of the European Association of Creative Writing Programs (EACWP). Javier has worked as a teachers of novel writing and short fiction since 1998. He has taught at institutions such as the National University of Colombia, the Orivesi College of Arts (Finland), Scuola Holden (Italy), the School of Writing of the University of Alcalá or the Instituto Cervantes. He also advised the government of Panama in the creation of an official Creative Writing program. As president of the EACWP he has promoted various international conferences on the teaching and pedagogy of creative writing, as well as international writing courses such as Fundamentals of Poetry, Urban Storytelling or the multidisciplinary show Melting Plot.
Agnieszka Studzińska was born in Poland and came to live in the UK in the early 1980’s. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the UEA. Her first debut collection, Snow Calling was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. Her second collection, What Things Are is published by Eyewear Publishing (2014). Her forthcoming book with Shearsman Books, Branches of a House, is out in October 2021. She is currently working towards her PhD at Royal Holloway University of London exploring how the image of the house is appropriated in contemporary American poetry. She teaches creative writing for The Poetry School, among other educational institutions.
Gale Burns is a London based writer, teacher and poet. He was awarded a prize at the Serbian Indjija International Poetry Festival in 2017 and has been a writer in residence at Kingston University. He has served on the Board of EACWP and teaches creative writing and the pedagogy of writing for several institutions. He is strongly committed to maintaining the links with European Creative writing, and also runs the Shuffle Poetry Series in London. His poetry collection Mute House is published by Eyewear. www.galeburns.co.uk