Running Writing Groups
Course Directors: Anne Taylor and Victoria Field
Starts 1 May, 2017
Discover how to design, launch and facilitate your own writing group.
Do you want to start a writing group or run a workshop – whether for creative writers focused on the craft of writing, for professionals using writing as a tool for well-being, or for recreational purposes?
This six-week practical online course will furnish writers, academics and counsellors with the skills and confidence to run writing workshops.
As you work through each weekly session, you will explore what makes an effective writing group environment, gain the tools and resources for designing a writing group of your own, and devise a strategy for delivering workshops.
You’ll need to put in around five hours of study per week at a time to suit you, and you’ll work with participants from a range of disciplines, using carefully constructed online learning materials to gain a range of workshop management skills and a rich learning experience.
£399 Book now
Early Bird rate £350, if booked by 31 March Book now
Reserve your place for a £50 non-returnable deposit
Who is this course for?
The course is suitable for:
– Creative writers looking to set up an informal local group
– Academics or teachers who would like to use writing workshops as a learning tool
– Counsellors wanting to run writing groups as part of their practice
– Writers planning to run groups in a professional setting for reflective practice
How will I learn?
Learning is divided into carefully planned sessions, taught online in our virtual classroom. As you work through each session, you’ll build your skills and knowledge through a mix of audio and video lectures, written guidance and practical writing exercises, forum discussions and reflection.
You’ll learn from:
– Weekly podcasts
– Writing exercises to help you explore your facilitation style and ideas
– Tutor and moderator guidance
– Developing your own workshop-plan template with the support of peers and tutors
– Sharing and reflecting on each other’s progress through the course
What will I learn?
SESSION 1: Introducing writing groups
What is a writing workshop? We’ll begin by considering the history of writing groups and the variety of settings and participants that they might include. We’ll look at personal intentions for the course and start thinking about the sort of group you would like to run.
Outcome: Draft description of group
SESSION 2: How do groups work ?
We’ll consider the psychology of groups and what makes them tick, with reference to existing principles including transference and projection. You’ll consider your own experience of group dynamics and how this will affect your practice and workshop plan.
Outcome: Identify target participants
SESSION 3: Being a facilitator
What kind of facilitator will you be and what skills will you need? We’ll discuss facilitation styles and using writing and reflection, and will start to explore the style in which you will run your group.
Outcome: A strategy for facilitation
SESSION 4: Planning and managing
Now we’ll start looking at how to structure a session or group series, how to establish goals and evaluate outcomes. You’ll think about goals for your own writing group and content for the sessions.
Outcome: Teaching plan for one session and outline of workshop series (if appropriate)
SESSION 5: Staying safe
This session will consider the important issues of ethics and legalities of running groups and of keeping ourselves safe through mentoring and supervision. You’ll put your own ideas forward on how to deal with these challenges.
Outcome: Risk assessment and management
SESSION 6: Putting it all together
You’ll complete the course by formulating a mission statement based on your learning on the course so far. With the support of your tutors and peers you’ll put the finishing touches to your writing group project proposal and outline your intentions for the future.
Outcome: Launch plan and promotional materials
What happens after the course?
– Course materials will be available for a fortnight after the course finishes.
– You will have the opportunity to receive feedback on your final exercise (for an extra fee).
– You will have the option to join our Alumni area to continue working in your group and accessing your course materials.
Your Teaching Team
VICTORIA FIELD (Co-course director) is a writer and poetry therapist who has worked in the field of therapeutic writing for the past 15 years. She is an award-winning poet and playwright, and her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. She has co-edited three books on therapeutic writing and contributed chapters and articles to many other publications. She is a fully accredited Mentor-Supervisor for the International Federation for Biblio-Poetry Therapy.
ANNE TAYLOR (Co-course director) is a writer, teacher, coach and writing group facilitator. She works as a journalist and copywriter specialising in health, and has spent the last 12 years teaching in Higher Education, where she developed a special interest in online learning. Since securing an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development from the University of Sussex, she has been running writing groups in a range of settings. She is currently chair of Lapidus Cornwall and is a trained NAWE/Arvon Foundation writing coach.
Much of her recent work is concerned with giving voice to places and objects, bringing their stories to life and blurring the boundaries between past and present. Words are at the heart of what she does, although they appear in different formats: her work has been published in books, online, turned into audio recordings, performed in front of live audiences and engraved on wood, Perspex and glass.
Fiona is working on a YA fantasy novel, The Dreamcatcher’s Apprentice, and developing an idea for a children’s picture book. She also enjoys writing short stories and poetry.
Course starts 1 May, 2017
£399 Book now
Early Bird rate £350 if you book before 31 March, 2017 Book now