Jean Gill's Workshops
The Welsh Academi’s ‘Writers on Tour’ Scheme gives details of writers and what they offer in the way of readings of their own work and ‘workshops’.
A ‘workshop’ usually means that the writer will use starters to get the group writing and will then help them to recognise ‘the good bits’ and improve the quality of the writing.
Most writers have a set repertoire which will vary according to age and audience but is based on what they write/perform themselves so that they can illustrate points with examples from their own work.
Some writers groups set regular competitions and the visiting writer chooses a theme and judges the entries.
To pay for a writer you can apply for match-funding from the Academi; a fast-track lottery grant; local sponsorship.
Jean Gill’s Workshops
I have worked with Writers’ Circles, groups of teachers and with adults with learning difficulties through Artscare. I like to plan the activity beforehand by telephone because I will adapt what I do to what the organisation wants. I prefer workshops creating poetry or short stories but also write drama myself. I always start with warming up ice-breakers then a main writing activity followed by sharing what we have written and feedback from me highlighting the good bits and making suggestions for improvement.
A typical session lasts 1.5 to 2 hours and might leave work to be finished. I am happy for work to be sent on to me and I intend publishing poetry from workshops on this web-site.
Warm-ups might be list poems, found poems from words generated by the group, a group poem or Phil Carradice’s favourite ‘5 lies’.
Main stimuli have included the use of 40 plastic mirrors (exploring the theme ‘reflections’), a carrier bag of objects such as a trainer and an asthma pump, a variety of pictures in a home-grown collection or – equally successfully – oral instructions feeding line by line for the writers to adapt as they follow a given structure.Ideas for activities can be found in the excellent books:
Impro for Storytellers Keith Johnstone
The Write Way – Phil Carradice
‘Can We Write it as a Play?” – Barry Simner