Winchester Writers’ Conference workshops
Yesterday I returned from a packed and inspirational weekend at the conference. I’ve been several times before and always find I return with a mass of new ideas. The secret is to make use of them before they disappear into the ether of forgetfulness.
I did a workshop on drafting and redrafting poems, given by performance poet Agnes Meadows. Not only did we come away with some seriously imagination-loosening exercises, but we had a good laugh on the way.
Also in a poetic vein was the discussion on haiku. The main message seemed to be
throw away all the 300 odd haiku rules and concentrate on the minimalist and in-the-moment requirements
I’m all for that. Remembering all those rules is beyond my limited brain-storage capacity.
The fiction sessions were also good. Using maps and ribbons to explore character and plot, are things I’m going to try, and I won’t forget the tutor who complained about a boxful of heavy metaphors.
The weekend was tiring – doing fiction exercises at 10:30 at night after a long day and a huge meal requires some stamina. But the ideas and insights are worth it. One can always sleep.