Thursday, 8 December 2016

A writerly Christmas

Gift vouchers ~ Christmas stars with old drafts ~ presents for writers ~ the hilarious present game ~ and some writing prompts to give you a much needed snippet of creativity in the midst of the festivities

Gift vouchers

You can now get gift vouchers for any of the Writers' Greenhouse courses or workshops: the Story Elements course, the Imaginary Worlds course, and the Summer of Writing workshops. You can also get vouchers for any amount towards a course or workshop. Read more about the vouchers here and maybe, if you're hoping for one yourself, discreetly leave the page open or forward it on Messenger, WhatsApp, text, Facebook, and Twitter, and tag them on Instagram...?

Christmas stars

These stars are very easy to make (eight-year-olds manage fine), very striking, and a beautiful use for piles of old writing print-outs. The writing becomes a texture of fragmented words, rather than something one reads, as if your prose is breaking free and into poetry. If you're using your old writing print-outs, make sure to cut the squares from the centre of the A4 sheets, so you get writing across the whole square. Find out how to make the stars here.

More present ideas

Lots more ideas of presents for writers across a wide range of budgets, from Poundshop stocking-fillers to suggestions for subscriptions and writing tools. Get more present ideas.

The Present Game

This isn't especially writerly but it's massive fun as an alternative to Secret Santa or to Christmas Crackers. Everyone gets presents - YAY! - and then passes them round, swaps them, steals them, et cetera, all in accordance with the rules which, being a good teacher, I have helpfully typed out on a doc for you to download and chop up. You can ask people to bring presents (generally cheap ones or regifting) or, if you forget, do a shopping-swoop somewhere cheap and cheerful. (I did very well with my one-pound-shop raids a couple years ago.) How to play the present game.

12 days of writing: The maps

Why did the protagonist fake those maps? A mini writing course with prompts to explore twelve elements of story-building by creating your own story. You can also use the prompts to develop a premise of your own. These are the twelve topics explored in Story Elements: premise, characters, place, time, plot-layering, tension and stakes, beginnings, themes, symbols, detail, and endings. Sneaking off for some writing time each day, or every few days, can help keep you calm and sane during the festivities.

12 days of writing: The spices

Why did the protagonist steal those spices? Another mini writing course to explore the twelve elements of story-building, looking at the same elements but using different prompts. Again, you can also use the prompts to develop a story of your own, or combine the prompts from both 12 Days of Writing on one of the premises. 

Happy Christmas and have fun writing!

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