The Writers’ Room is a nine-week programme run by Creative Learning (Aberdeen City Council) for emerging writers to develop their professional practice and, since the beginning of May, I’ve been a part of it.
We’ve had sessions looking at our creative “journey” so far; how we publicise ourselves (this shiny new website you’re looking at is a direct result); critically evaluating each others’ work; how to apply for project funding for solo and collaborative projects and how to plan and put on writing workshops. All under the expert tutelage of Shane Strachan and Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship awardee Morna Young.
However, one of the finest outcomes has been the way our group have grown together over the weeks. My fellow writers (Alison Bell, FE Clark, Sareen McLay, Elaine Reid and JV Simpson) and I now feel ready for our individual and collective next steps.
Perhaps my favourite week was the day devoted to our writing workshops in week 7. Although I could not attend all of them due to my work, I immensely enjoyed Sareen’s character-building workshop, Jan’s unique look at time and Alison’s clever reworking of the Dulux catalogue. I loved giving my “A Funny Thing Didn’t Happen To Me” workshop where I challenged writers not to write what they know…but employ What If? or WTF to really let their imaginations run wild. Some of the 2016 intake of the Writers Room came back to take part, I hope to do the same for the next group soon.
In our last session we will be looking at short and long term goals. Now, where did I put that pen?