Saturday, 6 September 2008

Second session & still warming

[Preamble: Met some lovely teachers of creative writing at a Brunel conference Saturday; apologies to all trying to purchase the Matrix book this week -- I'm away in Peak District & York, will answer queries on my return 15 Sept -- Susan. Meanwhile, on with tutor tips blog...]

One week later, and the class still won't have fully gelled -- especially because, in adult education, newcomers continue to join in week 2 or even week 3. Unsettling to you and the class, but hey, that's adult ed for you.

So you did a questionnaire to keep 'em busy and suss 'em out last week. Here's a summary of one of my classes, which I incorporated into the content of the second session. Students themselves like to know about the group and it helps in the bonding process. Out of a class of about 12 (remembering that they could give 3 choices each, see last week's blog), the kinds of writing they wanted to work on were
  • Novels - 7
  • Short stories - 6
  • Memoir - 5
  • Feature articles - 3
  • Poetry - 2 (and those were as 2nd & 3rd choices)

So guess what's not going to feature very much in this course. There was also some demand for info on synopsis and letter-to-agent. You can tell that this is a pretty grown-up group. For beginners I'd take a sampling, but also set an agenda to guide them through a range of disciplines.

More on how I shaped the course to these needs as I go along. As for which exercises for these first few classes -- aha. See my book the Matrix? Or... one exercise per term for free on the

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