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The Writers Group: An 8-week course for beginner and emerging writers
4 November, 2020 @ 18:30 - 20:30
Join Selma Ari De Rossi for an 8-week course aimed at helping beginner and emerging writers develop their storytelling skills. Throughout the eight weeks, you will explore the essential elements of creating ‘rounded stories’ across a variety of mediums, such as playwrighting, poetry, screenwriting or short stories. It does not matter what genre or form you write; this workshop will help you gain an in-depth understanding of how storytelling works and give you the skills you need to develop your craft. Participants will be consistently encouraged to write short pieces that can be shared with the group on a weekly bases in order to give and receive feedback.
The overall aim of this series is to create a long-lasting writing community.
Week 1: Wednesday 4th November @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Our Worlds and Stories
This workshop is all about understanding the basics and exploring the theoretical understandings of storytelling. Why do we tell stories? How is our world or our perceptions of the world impacted and influenced by storytelling? What purpose does storytelling serve to our experiences? This week we will:
- Explore the nature of storytelling and the various platforms we use to tell stories.
- Gain an understanding of our responsibilities as writers/ storytellers.
- Explore the purposes of storytelling around in different cultures and societies.
- Form basic writing habits that will help us strengthen our storytelling muscles.
Week 2: Wednesday 11th November @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!
In week two we’ll focus on sourcing, developing and filtering ideas. We will be exploring various techniques that can be used to collect and merge ideas as well as how to filter our ideas and translate them into characters, places and dialogue. This week we will:
- Build an organised method of collecting and storing ideas.
- Develop a project schedule.
- Explore how to feed off stimulates to build characters, worlds and dialogue.
Week 3: Wednesday 18th November @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
The House Theory
This week we’ll explore the ‘house theory’ and build an understanding of how this model can be used to help us develop our stories. This week we will:
- Develop dialogue work from last week.
- Explore Theme and setting
- Explore Character building (Part 1)
Week 4: Wednesday 25th November @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
The Foundation and the Structure
In this session, we will focus on establishing events throughout stories and understand its importance in building characters.
- Explore the difference between major and minor events.
- Explore the relationship between events, character and place.
- Explore how to effectively implement devices that can be used to manipulate time.
- Explore Character building (Part 2)
Week 5: Wednesday 2nd December @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
The Windows and Doors
During this session, we will explore the interlinking relationships between events, character, setting and theme. We will build an understanding of how one works to drive or influence another and how these relationships can be used to build dialogue.
- Explore types of characters and where to find them.
- Establish the importance of needs and wants – giving life to the story.
- Exploring impulses and purposes of characters and places.
Week 6: Wednesday 9th December @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This session will address the gaps in our stories. Everything has a purpose and so should every element of our story. Where you have an unnecessary character or event, you leave a hole in the roof of your story. This week we will:
- Explore techniques on how to find gaps in our stories and how to mend them.
- Developing histories for places, settings and characters.
- Create attachment between places and characters – they both influence each other.
Week 7: Wednesday 16th December @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This week will expand on week five and six, by:
- Exploring the finer details of each character and place.
- Looking at the importance of dialect and how this can be used to create new links within a storyline.
- Discover how language and accent contribute to characterization.
Week 8: Wednesday 30th December @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Setting the mood of your stories.
In this final workshop we will:
- Establish the purpose of our stories – their intentions.
- Map the journey our story is going to take the audience on.
About Selma Ari De Rossi
Selma graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2018 with a Masters in Drama (playwriting), and has since founded a theatre company called ‘Ari Theatre’.
Ari Theatre aims to re-shape the way we tell stories on stage and eliminate the single-story narratives that result in the creation of stereotypes, which then create divisions between nations, cultures and people.
Alongside Ari Theatre, Selma is a Mphil/PhD student at the University of Lincoln School of Performing Arts. Her research is provisionally titled ”Building the bridges and shifting societal perceptions of stereotypes through contemporary playwriting across Britain and Sub-Saharan Africa”. Her research is concerned with the contributions in which playwriting has/ has had in shaping our national perceptions of ourselves as well as of other nations.
Book your place
The cost of this 8-week course is £60.00 for NWS members and £65.00 for general admission. Book your place by clicking on the Eventbrite button, or to find out more about joining NWS, head to our membership page.
Please note: If you would like to split the cost into 2 instalments of £30.00 (NWS Member) and £32.50 (general admission), please click on the PayPal button below. Pay half now, and we’ll invoice you for the remaining balance in November.
The workshop will be delivered online via Zoom. Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others – either by video or audio-only or both. A user manual containing access instructions and a link will be sent out to you before the workshop. You will need an internet connection and a computer with either a built-in camera or webcam and a built-in microphone/speaker.