‘Creative Writing: A Handbook for Workshop Leaders’ (1995) now available free at Google Books

Creative Writing‘Creative Writing: A Handbook for Workshop Leaders’ (1995) by Sue Thomas. Published by the Dept of Adult Education, University of Nottingham.

Download free from Google Books.

In the early 1990s, there were very few creative writing degrees in the UK but lots of creative writing workshops in the community. Many writers, including me, taught creative writing in libraries, prisons, hospitals, schools, even living rooms. The students were hugely varied, from enthusiastic poets to prospective autobiographers and hopeful screenwriters and everything in between. I’m no longer involved in that way but such groups are still very popular, and they often provide a valuable income for self-employed writers.

The idea for ‘Creative Writing: A Handbook for Workshop Leaders’ came from a collaboration between East Midlands Arts and the University of Nottingham’s Department of Adult Education, both now defunct. Its aim was to support creative writing teachers by collecting the wisdom of those East Midlands writers who were already involved in the practice. Many writers who teach writing have no formal training in teaching or facilitation and can find very few resources to help them when they’re starting out, or support them as they develop their skills. The book is divided into the following sections:

  1. Teaching Adults
  2. Teaching Writing
  3. Workshop Exercises
  4. Problems and Issues
  5. Resources and Information

Of course some of the material is now wildly out of date and there are virtually no web-based resources but a lot of it will still be useful. I especially like the inspiring vignettes by writers Catherine Byron, Kevin Fegan, Martin Glynn, Jacek Laskowski and Kathy Page.

A scan of it is now available free at Google Books, and you can download the pdf via the Gears icon on the right of the page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s