From the 14th to the 16th of June, 2022, the EACWP launches its fifth 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 June, 10th, 2022
Teaching approaches to creative writing
This Premium Virtual Edition will comprise three different workshops that will take place on Tuesday, 14th, Wednesday, 15th and Thursday, 16th of June 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: Revising our work while revising ourselves
John Vigna (University of British Columbia / Canada). Tuesday, 14th
We revise our work and revise our own lives at the same time. Sometimes a revision is about the thing we’re also trying to solve in ourselves. It’s iterative, the peeling away of layers to get to the truth, the emotional truth of our stories (and maybe ourselves), a constant work in progress. We revise our process, our way of seeing the world we’re creating, and our own relation to it.
One of the things revising our work teaches us, the uncomfortable truth, is that we’re confronted with our own habits, skill, truth and technique on the page. This is why we need to look for moments of sleeping genius in our early drafts, because it affirms some of that excellent work. When we revise, we must revise or reconcile these feelings in our selves. We must confront our own choices where we cannot hide behind gimmicks and see our work, ourselves, for what it is: a half-formed thing, usually less than flattering. But it’s ours and it’s beautiful because it came from us, beautifully imperfect/flawed. But how can we find that in our work?
Workshop 2: Brief encounters: Once Met, Never Forgotten
by Claire Collison (NAWE / UK) / Wednesday, 15th
Meetings between strangers: it’s a rich seam to mine – a literary trope, and a cornerstone of film – from the waylaid wedding guest in Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, to Hitchcock’s crime swapping Strangers on a Train. Ever since drama began, messengers have turned up with their unscheduled actions and secrets, throwing spanners in the works, skewing the narrative trajectory.
But what about those encounters with strangers in our own lives, and their effect on our lived narratives? What makes them memorable? Can we draw on them for inspiration in our writing?
This workshop will provide a structure and a space to recall, unpack, and explore those once-met-and-never-forgotten characters. Using free writes, breakout rooms and pairs work, we will examine the role of the chance encounter in literature and in our own stories, while at the same time creating new interactions that might stimulate surprising results on the page.
Workshop 3: Food Writing: Much More than Writing About Food
By Mercedes Cebrián (Spain) / Thursday, 16th
Unless we understand how we write, why we write and what we write we cannot progress on our creative writing. It is obvious that the food habits of every individual are a very valid starting point to talk about a wide range of subjects: from anthropology and religion to current trends and social class. Moreover, food has great evocative powers that have been harnessed in literature (the most famous example is the madeleine scene in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time), so literature that narrates food experiences (whether travel diaries, annotated recipe books or food memoirs) is an excellent starting point for creative writing and, more specifically, for writing about the self.
In this workshop we will provide ideas on ways of approaching food as a literary topic and of writing the result of our interaction with all things culinary, not only with the experience of eating, but also with many others related to the previous one: that of buying food and cooking it, as well as those regarding the objects, situations and places linked to eating.
About the tutors
John Vigna’s first book of fiction, Bull Head, was published to critical acclaim in North America in 2012, and in France by Éditions Albin Michel in 2017. It was selected by Quill & Quire as an editor’s pick of the year and was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. John was named one of 10 writers to watch by CBC Books. His novel, No Man’s Land, was published in Fall 2022. He is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at The University of British Columbia’s School of Creative Writing in Vancouver, Canada.
Claire Collison was awarded the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize, 2018. Her first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, 2005. Her poetry appears in magazines and anthologies, and has been placed in Winchester, Resurgence (now Gingko), and Hippocrates prizes. She is a MacDowell Fellow (2007).
Claire is passionate about using her own practices as a writer and visual artist in her teaching: she was the first MaxLiteracy writer at Kettle’s Yard, and designs engagement resources for the Government Art Collection, National Maritime Museum, and Photographers’ Gallery. She runs Writing The City, prompted psychogeographic writing & walking adventures, and teaches at the Poetry School, City Lit and Mary Ward Centre. She has led creative projects within hospitals and schools, and with refugees and asylum seekers, vulnerable adults, elders, and young children.
Her artwork has been exhibited widely and is documented in What Can a Woman Do With a Camera? She was Arts Editor for Disability Arts Magazine, and Artist in Residence at the Women’s Art Library, 2018. Her recent ACE-supported project, Truth Is Beauty was performed in venues across the UK, including in pop-up shops, and at the Ministry of Justice. She is a founder member of Poets for the Planet. Twitter: @clairecollison1 Insta: @adalodge
Mercedes Cebrián was born in Madrid (Spain). She writes fiction, journalistic essays and poetry and translates from English and French into Spanish. Her writing has been published in newspapers such as El País and La Vanguardia; and in journals and magazines such as “Diario de Poesía” (Buenos Aires), “Poetry London” and “The Indian Quarterly.” Her literary universe explores, among other aspects of reality, the emotional ties that human develop with objects. She has been a writing fellow at the Spanish Academy in Rome, and a writer in residence in the Civitella Ranieri Foundation (Italy), among other institutions. She holds an MA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (USA). She has written two books about her food experiences: Burp. Apuntes gastronómicos (Punto de Vista, 2017) and Cocido y Violonchelo (Penguin-Random House Spain, 2022). During 2018 she was the guest editor of the imprint Caballo de Troya (Penguin Random House). She has taught Creative Writing workshops at NYU, Escuela Fuentetaja and Warwick University.