After a year’s hiatus, the Strasbourg Write A Story competition is back! And with it, a slate of free writing workshops geared to help aspiring writers to prepare for the competition.
The workshop schedule is below. Once you’ve decided which workshops you want to attend, you may register on our Workshop Registration Page As always, these workshops are free of charge.
All workshops except the May 13 workshop will be held at Lieu d’Europe, 8 rue Boecklin, Strasbourg.
Free the writer within!
14.00 to 16.00
|Samantha Clark Rajala El||Turn your Journal into a Story – Have you ever wondered how to use random bits of information to write a fantastic story? We will cover how to generate new creative ideas by keeping a journal and how to turn those ideas into a finished piece.|
14.30 to 16.30
|Jan Carson||Creating Captivating Characters — This interactive workshop will give you all the practical tools you need to create fictional characters your readers will both enjoy and remember. Facilitated by Northern Irish novelist and short story writer, Jan Carson, the session will be fun, informal and full of exercises and discussions. It’s suitable for beginner and emerging writers. All you need to join is a pen, paper and some imagination.|
|10 December 2022|
14.30 to 16.30
|Helen Mundler||Get your imagination going with cut-ups and blackouts — This workshop will encourage participants to stimulate their creative processes by having recourse – paradoxical as this may seem – to constraints. It is easy to get into a rut by always writing in the same way. Constraints such as black-out, cut-ups and so on are a way to get your creativity flowing in surprising and often gratifying directions.|
14.00 WORKSHOP FULL
|Jennifer K. Dick||The Mysteries that Surround Us — This generative writing workshop with Jennifer K Dick will be based around “mystery”. Not the genre, but instead the mysteries that surround us every day and which provide a million opportunities for us to encounter and make stories. As such, this workshop will focus on where to find a story, questions of what plot is and why it might or might not matter to story writing (for you) and how to use questions to find characters and their motivations. Finally, our afternoon together will close with some tips on how to hone and polish your story. The goal is to encounter a little of the unknown together, to write something into being, and to leave perhaps not with more knowns, but rather with more mysteries to explore on our own as we continue to uncover, craft and polish our own fiction. Please come with the necessary materials to write in situ and an openness to discover and encounter the mysteries of your own inner universes.|
|4 February 2023|
14.00 to 16.00
|Bart Hulley||Bilingual creation, dialogue, editing and insults — This workshop deals with, among other things, writing in a language other than your native, mother tongue. We will look at how self-translation, or machine-assisted translation, is not the same as original ‘exophonic’ writing, and how writers need to recognise how different natural expression can be in a foreign language. Nowhere is this more evident than when creating believable dialogue, which we will delve into with the help of some creative insults.|
|13 May 2023|
10.00 to 12.00
|Katy Masuga||Giving the Reader What They Need without Actually Giving It — This workshop focuses on “show, don’t tell” and “less is more” where writing emphasis is placed on conveying an effect through description instead of narration. We will find ways to connect the reader without telling the reader to connect. It also focuses on the tempered use of adjectives and adverbs to ignite the text and reach the reader in unexpected ways.|
Free the writer within!
(In alphabetical order)
Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. She specialises in engagement with older people. She has published three novels, two micro-fiction collections, and two short story collections. Her novel The Fire Starters won the EU Prize for Literature for Ireland 2019. Jan also won the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Competition (2016) and was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award (2020) and An Post Irish Short Story of the Year (2021). Her work has been translated into multiple languages. Jan’s latest novel, The Raptures was published by Doubleday in early 2022.
Samantha Clark Rajala El
Samantha Clark Rajala EI is a book author who runs the Strasbourg Creative Writing Meetup Group on Monday evenings. In 2022 she founded Porte Blanche for retreats, consulting, and coaching in the business of writing.
Jennifer K. Dick
Jennifer is our lead judge for this year’s competition. She is associate professor at the Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse where she teaches Creative Writing, American Literature and Civilisation. She is the author of three books and five chapbooks. Jennifer also translates poetry, curates Ivy Writers Paris, and co-organizes the Ecrire l’Art mini-residency for French authors at La Kunsthalle Mulhouse.
Bart Hulley is one of our competition judges this year. A literary translator with a PhD in translation Studies, he has specialized in the translation of French ‘bande dessinée’. He currently teaches Literary Translation at the University of Strasbourg as well as composition at the University of Syracuse in Strasbourg. He is also one of the founding members of the Strasbourg Writers’ Stammtisch and regularly writes articles on the subject of translation for The Comics Journal.
Katy Masuga is one of our competition judges this year. She is a genre-blurring writer and a professor of comparative literature for the University of Washington in Paris with a focus on Modernism. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and a joint PhD in Theory and Criticis. Her publications include the novels ‘The Blue of the Night’ and ‘The Origin of Vermilion’, two monographs on Henry Miller, various short stories and numerous essays.
Helen E. Mundler is Associate Professor in English at Université Paris-Est Créteil. She is also a creative writer and has published three novels, Homesickness (Dewi Lewis, 2003), L’Anglaise (Holland House, 2018) and Three Days by the Sea (Holland House, 2022). She has also published a few short stories, one of which was shortlisted for the 2018 Fish Publishing Prize (Ireland), and she has set up, and chaired, a number of university-based creative writing events.