Picking up the starter handle, going to the shop

Get writing from a standing start! Stock up your creative larder and take stock of all that is already in there, on this playful and evocative Start to Write course with Yvonne Cullen.

This weekend workshop will include celebration and performance for an invited local audience, plus a chance, weather permitting, to dance outdoors to gramophone tunes, Sunday night.

Yvonne will introduce you to a range of short forms of creative writing, from tiny memoir to lyric poem and tiny play. Encouraging you to bring evocative memorabilia with you around which we can get your own true stories growing, we will also spend equal time across the weekend introducing you to the exhilarating delight of MAKING EVERYTHING UP! (And to the pleasures of combining these two tricks as well!)

With a view to unlocking the most playful corners of your imagination Yvonne has even promised to bring costumes and hats to this weekend beginner’s writing course. (And as we’ll be doing a bit of lighthearted channeling of the past during our two days together, if you’re on for bringing an item or two of vintage garb yourself, to add to our stock, that would be even better). But in reality, what waits for us all here at the Common Ground farm will probably be more than evocative enough.

For decades the Common Ground farm was the location of a rural shop: a shop which once brought together everybody within miles of here. Before the days of community projects talking about the diverse traditions in an area like this, and ways of bringing them together, it was shops like this that did precisely that. And in sharing stories and responses to the world during this weekend, on Common Ground’s land, wherever each of us comes from, whatever else we do, we will be certainly also channeling the spirit of the Common Ground shop. But Yvonne is hoping the shop will be much more of a presence than that in our weekend.

The physical fabric of the shop and its preserved artefacts, its display cabinets, tilly lamps and scales are sure to provoke both memory and imagination, Yvonne believes. Not to mention how they may remind us of the equivalent places in our own younger lives. And the shop may have more to give us yet. Using shop memorabilia such as a grocer’s order sheet, and images of shops like this one, in the past, Yvonne will encourage you into the fiction, drama sketches and lyric poetry that are all here to be found in this silent space now, and give you a taste of the fun of creating while also using your empathy to reimagine finished lives.

With time for quiet writing for an hour after lunch each day, and after our evening meal on night one, there will also be a gentle introduction in our Sunday morning session to the practice of a writing workshop. Sunday afternoon will offer options for further quiet writing, writing in teams or one-to-one chats with Yvonne. And Sunday evening will be our time to celebrate the work we’ve done and put on a low-key show.

Your readings on Sunday evening will begin to bring the past to life, our local audience may be encouraged to complete that magical process by sharing their memories with us. In this way, it’s our hope that our weekend will end on not just creative but on remembered, also now reinvigorated Common Ground.

To show your interest in this event and make it happen for yourself and/or others please either comment below or go to this private registration of interest form I AM INTERESTED

Dates will be published later.


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