FRED JOHNSTONGO ONLINE WITH CREATIVE WRITING COURSES FROM WESTERN WRITERS’ CENTRE. Separately, the Centre is also offering an online editorial service for short story and poetry manuscripts. Manuscripts are submitted and critiqued online.

We live in a digital age. In spite of the recession, it remains a fast-moving age. Spare time, for many people, is still hard to find. To facilitate aspiring writers who find it difficult to avail of evening classes, The Western Writers’ Centre, Galway, is offering an on-line, eight-part Creative Writing Course, which will engage with both prose and poetry. The course, which can be tailored to the writing needs of participants, engages creative writing through a series of exercises and papers which are corrected and returned. There is no specific deadline on each exercise, but it is hoped to contain each lesson to one lesson per week. Participants can now work directly from home and at their leisure, to a course sculpted towards their own needs and abilities.

One important components of the course, which has already proved very successful in dealing with writers from as far away as Australia and Canada, as well as writers closer to home, is a concentration on reading. Advice and direction on poetry and prose writers, both contemporary and of previous ages and from various languages and cultures, is inserted in to each segment of the course.

“It is vital that anyone wishing to write should read widely,” says course Director, poet and novelist Fred Johnston. “Participants have come back to me and stated how much they enjoyed being introduced to a new poet or novelist they had not heard of, perhaps an Italian or a French contemporary writer whose work seems relevant to them. The course aims to increase participants’ reading spectrum too as an enhancement to their own writing.” Discussions often arise, with critical as well as editorial comments going back and forth online. “Sometimes too a paricipant will be interested in writing a sonnet, so we will concentrate on that. Or flash fiction, and we will work on that.”

“It is possible to have a direct one-to-one engagement with a participant in a way not always possible in a classroom situation,” says Johnston, who was a founder of the Irish Writers’ Co-operative, along with Neil Jordan and Peter Sheridan in the ‘Seventies, and is the founder of the Cúirt Festival of Poetry, which became the Cúirt literature festival, in 1986. In 2004 he was appointed Writer-in-Residence to the Princess Grace Irish Library at Monaco. He teaches Creative Writing as part of the Adult Education programme at NUIGalway and his most recent publication is a second volume of short stories, ‘Dancing In The Asylum’ (Parthian, UK.) He has also written and published in French.

This is the first time such a Creative Writing programme has been offered online in the West of Ireland.

Separately, the Centre is also offering an online editorial service for short story and poetry manuscripts. Manuscripts are submitted and critiqued online.

The Creative Writing courses will cover topics such as What is Poetry? Music and Poetry. Why is Poetry different from Prose? Short story writing – Research, Development, Planning and Plotting a story. Characterisation. Background.  Comparisons will be drawn between a variety of novelists and poets, their individual styles and how style promotes meaning and value in literature.  “Many people are interested to engage with Creative Writing of many types,” says the course Director, writer and critic Fred Johnston. “But they don’t have the time. Now they don’t even have to leave the comfort of their own home. This course affords them some space in which to work at their own pace, and, vitally, I believe, will direct participants towards reading. Criticism too is important – people do not participate in creative writing courses merely to be praised, they expect more.” 

Further details of the courses and editorial services can be obtained from westernwriters@eircom.net or (091) 564822 ext 312 or by calling 087.2178138.

Posted on January 7, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on GO ONLINE WITH CREATIVE WRITING COURSES FROM WESTERN WRITERS’ CENTRE.

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