Writing  Workshops  2018

​                              2  dates and locations to choose from

        *      St Yrieux    Sunday, August 20     @ Café Chateau de Gateaux  
                                     *     Exidieul    Sunday, September 10    @ Le Patio Café  
Classes 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. 39 €     (1 hour lunch-break 1.00-2.00pm)

This introduction to creative writing course focuses on finding your unique writer's voice and on how to turn your ideas, memories and experiences into writing. In a relaxed and informal atmosphere  you will be walked through the tools tha go towrads effective writing –  character, plot, scene-setting, dialoge and imagery – as well assome of the technical aspects and the different effects they create. By sharing ideas, getting feedback and appropriate guidance you will discover the joy and adventure of writing and reading in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Learning outcomes 

Upon completion of this course particpants:

- will have read a range of prose and poetry in a variety of genres
-- will have developed their understanding of the key principals behind effective writing
- will have built confidence in their own creative process
- will be on the way to being an active writer


Portes Ouvertes   

                                                                    ON CREATIVE WRITING

An introductory meeting to be held at
    Le 7, Pompadour on Tuesday September 4th 2018, 18h30 – 20h30

You are invited to join a community of people interested in experimenting with writing and enjoying the pleasures of deepening their reading!

This occasion is to provide an outline of what you can acquire when developing your creative skills, the key aspects to reading and writing for yourself or an audience, with a particular slant on France and French literature.

This is for anyone of any level, beginner or closet poet, aspiring memoirist or journalist, or those who simply want to become a more active reader and writer!

Entreé est vin gratuit


Discovering  Form  and  Voice

Maison Lyre    Pompadour, France    Intense Weekend Workshop October 26 and 27 

Reading material, morning and afternoon tea included, €295

Course Program  – day one

9.45 a.m. - 10 a.m

10 a.m. - 11.15 a.m.
- technique and genre
- overview and introduction
- what defines poetry? prose? fiction? non-fiction?
- what is genre?
- what is meant by form?
- what is meant by ‘finding your voice?’
- matching style and subject matter
- when style overshadows story
- developing a critical eye
- engaging with various techniques and genres

11.15 a.m. - 11.30 a.m. morning tea

11.30.a.m - 1 p.m.
-the nuts and bolts;
-feedback and response
- writing lively prose and poetry
- first person/third person
- verbs
- adjectives, adverbs and modifiers and when to use them – or not
- prepositions and conjunctions

 1.pm - 2.p.m.  lunch 

2 p.m. - 3.30 p.m.
- observing the extraordinary in the ordinary (avoiding the mundane)
- when is it description, when is it padding?
- the pitfalls of ‘psychologising’
-exploring unconventional approaches
- there’s more than one way…
- encouraging risk-taking
- transformation of ideas

3.30 - 3.45 afternoon tea

3.45 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. 
- shaping sentences
- characterisation
- observation and experimentation
- what can be discovered through trial and error.

Course Program – day two

9.45 a.m. - 11.15 a.m.
-action, and internal/external dialogue
- drama and the importance of what happens next
- developing a good ear
- natural speech
- time signatures

11.15 a.m. - 11.30 morning tea

11.30.am - 1 p.m.
- the importance of rigourous self-editing
- Integrating dialogue and action
-shaping a reality
- narrative choices
- creating the internal logic of your world

1.pm - 2.p.m.  lunch

2 p.m. - 3.30 p.m.
- description
- metaphor
- scene structure
-writing readability
- first sentence/last sentence

3.30 p.m. - 3.45 p.m. afternoon tea

3.45 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
- describing moments of being
- constructing the present from the past and the past from the present
- writing what you do know about what you don’t know
- hidden meanings
- achieving a desired outcome

Writing Residencies are also available by arrangement, both mentored and independent, in the self-contained gite. To enquire please email [email protected] with 'Maison Lyre writing residencies' under 'subject.'

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this workshop participants:
- will be able to confidently read and analyse a range of prose and poetry texts in a variety of genres
- will have developed skills in the principals of narrative, particularly with regards to form and voice
- will be able to produce original stories and/or poems that demonstrate effective dialogue with established and traditional literary texts, while having expanded the knowledge required to create work that pushes conventional boundaries 
- will be able to identify and apply rigorous editing in the context of their own creative writing
- will be able to prepare, present and defend their work while remaining open to the critique of others 
 -will have enhanced the vibrancy, style and readability of their writing. 

Two days    

9.45 am – 6.00pm both days


The Truth about A​       
A contemporary re-imagining of the myth of Antigone         Published September 2017
                                                                                                               Ginninderra Press

​Available through Amazon, Book Depository, Ginninderra Press , and selected bookstores.

The Truth about A.

In his interpretation of Antigone, Seamus Heaney says, ‘Nobody can be sure they are always right.’ The Truth about A, further attends to this idea through various readings of the myth as portrayed by Sophocles, Brecht, Ted Hughes, Anne Carson, and most particularly Euripides. Set in contemporary Sydney, among a fictional underworld family, The Truth about A considers not only the issue of whether to obey the law or your conscience, but strikes at the heart of the nature of the creative impulse and the eternal bonds and chasms between generations. Antigone, daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, sister to Ismene, Eteokles and Polyneices, provokes the fury of the crime-overlord Creon with her profound sense of honour, family and duty. But this spirit of defiance discharges questions infinitely more complex than the brute facts of power and order, engendering a meditation on justice, ethics, and personal judgment.
 published November 2015  (Ginninderra Press)     
                        Stand too close to horror, and you get fixation, paralysis,
                        engulfment; stand too far, and you get voyeurism or forgetting.
                        Distance matters.
                         EVA HOFFMAN
                        After Such Knowledge
Lakeland is a hybrid novel, a fictional recreation told in prose and verse of multiple characters in one family. Inspired by real events, the story moves in and out of Nazi Germany, across hemispheres and through generations of exile and emigration to explore one of history’s big questions, how to make sense of the actions of ordinary people under a regime whose unspeakable deeds ensured there were no longer any ordinary people?     
In the first years of the twentieth century, Anna, a young unmarried middle-class woman, gives birth to twins. While she keeps her son, her daughter Helene is raised by the state and later ‘adopted’ by her aunt so as to be allowed to marry Hans, a Prussian industrialist. Hans is captured by the Russians in 1945 and imprisoned near Leningrad, where he dies in a gulag. Helene twice flees with her children, first to the Communist East, then to West Germany. In the early 60’s her daughter, Sieglinde, makes her way to Australia, where she has a family of her own; seven children who know little of their mother’s past.
The many voices build a kind of collective memoir dealing with family relationships, the stories we tell ourselves, the passing of time, and the link between history, imagination and memory. In Lakeland, as with other multiple format books like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, William Carlos William’s Paterson and Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, there is a counterpoint between the intimate/domestic and its point of contact with the world at large. The ‘Sees’ ­– the lakes – with a different meaning for each character, act as a bond, a motif for the ways in which we experience and give shape to what we may conceal, but can never escape.
Available through Amazon, Ginninderra Press , Book Depository and selected bookstores.