Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Seriously writing

Welcome to the start of the third term of the year. If you are teaching a long course you may be flagging by now -- how to keep the students inspired and entertained, how to keep up your energy?

There's nothing like a goal, so this is the time to announce a group or class anthology -- you can make one or several (part) sessions of the topic. I talk about this in my Matrix book, but in brief: you can bring in samples of other class anthologies (you have saved them over the years, I hope; or those produced by, say, your Arvon/Ty Newydd etc week).

Debate/discuss cover, size, page-count, length limitations, deadlines, production -- oh, yes, and content. Should it have a theme? All be new work, a new assignment or inspiration? Or 'best of' work done during the year? This is excellent edtorial experience for students -- a little taste of the publishing business which sheds light on the process and how it relates to their own writing. What I mean is, you can point out how and why writing gets rejected: often NOT because it is not good, but because it doesn't fit the publisher's needs or parameters.

Other deadlines to shoot for are writing competitions -- I have blogged this before, check the 'labels' to find the blogs. June is a time of a number of important comp deadlines.

Meanwhile brinkmanship continues. At the time of writing, my class due to start in two days has not got the enrolment it needs... but then people are still waking up (or stuck due to volcano ash), so maybe by mid-day tomorrow, the college's cut-off hour, another 5 will join.

Otherwise I will have time for my own serious writing on The Gleaner, the resstless life of Ephraim Epstein. I refer you, regarding seriously writing, to my colleague, the novelist, writing coach and all 'round creative energizer Jacqui Lofthouse, who has an online support service and a free, encouraging weekly e-newsletter http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk -- look her up, and tell her Susan sent you!

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