Friday, 3 September 2010


Hello, creative ones. We are back in the back-to-school saddle. My first class isn't til 16th Sept. because this year, in these hard times, my college is running a promotional 'taster' week. I wasn't invited to offer a tasting, nor were any other creative writing courses, but anything that gets people through the doors might bring want-to-writers our way.

If you need them, find tips and ideas for start-of-term introductions and exercises by calling up the labels on this blog -- like 'starting term' and 'start of term': 4 entries altogether, what more can I say? (I can say buy the book; also can say, I put this term's new excerpt of exercise and tutor support tip on the book's website

As an old hand, having taught this course in various versions for several years (Creative Writing: Hero's Journey/Writer's Journey) I won't re-organise my notebook and review my first session plan until 2 days before, so that I am sharpened and energized by the slight adrenalin of performance anxiety. However I have decided to add an element to the course -- one must ever be tweaking in order to keep fresh.

In describing archetypes I tend to talk about films in this course, as well as novels, as there is more of a concensus of those who have seen or at least know the story of some popular movies. But it is a prose narrative writing course not scriptwriting. It's only 5 weeks long, we haven't time to read a novel nor view a whole film nor do people have the commitment to watch a given film as homework (I've tried, but nope).

So I am going to find a short story and photocopy it (one is allowed to, for teaching purposes) so we are all on one hymn sheet. I have several volumes of the excellent annual New Writing anthology sponsored by the British Council (is it still published? I must check), in which I found many good stories to study with my Writers at Work class. I have to find one that illustrates the hero's journey quest structure and (given that it is a short story, not film or novel) some of the key character archetypes. I will let you know what I choose -- and welcome your suggestions.

PS I have added pictures of some of my more recent sculptural papier mache fantasy figures to my Susan Lee Kerr 'holding' blog page. Take a peek

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