Summer Writing Workshops with Carmen Marcus


Carmen Marcus is an award winning author and poet. Her debut novel, HOW SAINTS DIE, won New Writing North’s Northern Promise Award and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Her poetry has been commissioned by BBC Radio, The Royal Festival Hall and Durham Book Festival. She regularly runs workshops on the writing craft for festivals and writing organisations. Carmen believes that biscuits are integral to the creative process. Her first work received ‘Weird minus one housepoint’ from her primary school teacher. This was enough to encourage her to keep writing weirdly. 


£15 / person / session. Please visit Book Corner or call 01287 348010 to book. All workshops must be paid for in advance. 

1st August - Planning Your First Draft 
2 pm - 4 pm 

Beginning your story is the most exciting and frustrating adventure. Many writers tell me ‘I have an idea but I don’t know where to start’ or ‘ I’ve written a lot but don’t know where it’s going’. The answer is structure. Every story we hear has one thing in common - structure. We recognise it from childhood; we can feel when a story has it and when it’s missing. In this workshop we’ll discover and revise the core structure of story and how it works. I’ll share techniques to plan the story you want to tell and you will take home the beginnings of your writing plan. 
 Writer level: Beginner

All you’ll need to bring is your idea for a story, a notebook and your pen. 


8th August - The Structural Edit
2 pm - 4 pm

Once you have or are approaching your first draft there is a well deserved feeling of exhilaration. Excellent. Have cake. It’s a massive achievement and you’ll need the sugar for the next step. There is a true but painful cliche ‘you write your first draft for yourself’. How do you write the next draft for your reader and hopefully agents and publishers? You need a plan and to make this you will need to approach your work with a critical eye - this process is called the structural edit. It makes you stand back from your story and ask about plot, character, theme and the reader’s experience of moving through your tale.  This workshop will give you the tools to critically assess your manuscript and develop your writing strategy to move your draft to the next level. 


Writer level - Intermediate
You’ll need to have made a start at writing, have or be on your way to a first draft or have mapped where you think your story is going. 
Bring - your manuscript, notebook 


22nd August - How to Write Magical Realism 
2 pm - 4 pm  

Magical Realism is not the genre of escapism. It is the genre of revolution and transformation. It has its origins in Latin America as a genre of political subversion because it makes us question the social, political and emotional realities we exist within. But its roots run as deep as Chaucer, Shakespeare and of course - fairytale. 
In this workshop we will discover ways to access the real, write the magical and explore how real and imagined worlds are connected. At the end of this workshop you will have an understanding of magical realism and tools you can apply to your own work. 


Writer level - All, with a passion for the magical. 


Bring your notebook and an idea or work in progress you want to make magical. 

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