Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The size & timing of creative writing

Wow. Started my 5-week Hero's Journey/Writer's Journey course last week, enrolled to the max of 19, with 3 others who turned up. First of all there's Health & Safety, and more than that: rather a lot to teach such a subjective, experiential discipline. But then, I asked for it.

I ran the same course in spring in the afternoons and it drew only 6 people; worse, the summer school repeat had not enough to run. So I proposed to Team Leader that we try evenings. And there you have it, with wings. So much of adult ed is the right time for the right subject for the right market. To bear in mind when pitching your ideas and slots.

These days, too, I think short courses are the way to go -- less commitment for new and/or busy people, and less costly. Of course less money for you; but then more time for your writing.

How to handle such a big group? The course is not planned for workshopping so no one is expecting to read out and get feedback. My plan in any case was to do several exercises per session, some very reflective or brainstormy, thus not suitable for reading out. However, it is nice to hear some work, pour encourager les autres. And, interestingly, the majority are beginners, new to creative writing classes.

So: I will put them in pairs to share some writing done in the session; or even just to talk about it. This gentles newbies into reading out and, just as important, creates supportive bonds of friendliness.

But I will ask for volunteers and hope I get one or two next time, when we advance to Obstacles & Allies.

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