Workshops 2024

The competition may be on hiatus but the Organanising Committee has nonetheless planned a slate of workshops to help you to continue to develop your writing in the interim. And this year we have something special to offer!

  •  Online workshops – All our workshops will be offered online, making it more convenient than ever to attend and participate.
  • A workshop series – We’re excited about offering our first workshop series ever. You can attend the entire series or pick and choose sessions.

Because there is no competition this year, we unfortunately need to charge a modest fee to help cover our costs. The fees are noted below in the workshop descriptions.

Individual Workshops
“Fairy Tales and Writing in English” (3 February at 10:00 a.m.) is actually two mini-workshops in one:

Once upon a time… We all have our favourite fairy tales. They nourished our childhood days and impacted our minds. There are fears that we have not feared till the end, there are joys, laughter that will always remain. Fairy tales are wells of emotion and thus of inspiration. Get on the “Once Upon A Time” train with us and shape them to your liking.

But English isn’t my native language… Being a foreigner writing in English. How to do that? What does it take? How to get over that prevailing feeling that you are “a fraud”? How to write a story, send it to a competition and get published? To learn that and to start your writing/publishing journey, equip yourself with your favourite pen, exercise book, and open up your mind to all the possibilities in our online workshop session.

Bohumila Ottova will lead the workshop. As a native Czech speaker, Bohumila has much experience and some successes competing in English writing competitions.

The cost of this workshop  is 7,50€. You can register on our workshop registration page.

Workshop Series

This ten-part series is entitled, “Steering the Craft” and is based on Ursula K. Le Guin’s seminal book on writing, Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story. 

Steering the Craft is designed for writers looking to enhance their storytelling skills. Drawing from her own vast experience as a writer, Le Guin provides valuable insights and practical advice on various aspects of the craft. Through a series of well-structured chapters, each deliberately designed for use in a workshop setting, Steering the Craft encourages writers to explore and refine their writing abilities.

Each session costs 7,50€. You can purchase the entire series for 50 €, a savings of 2,50 € per session. Once you decide which workshop you’d like to attend, you can register on our workshop registration page.

Workshop Series Schedule 2024

Date and TimeWorkshop TopicWorkshop Description
27 January
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Sound of Your WritingLearn to craft sentences with rhythmic precision. Master the symphony of language, turning your prose into a captivating melody. Ursula K. Le Guin’s insights will tune your writer’s ear, creating narratives that resonate and leave an unforgettable impression.
10 February
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Punctuation and GrammarTransform punctuation and grammar into powerful brushes for vivid storytelling. This workshop guides writers through practical exercises, empowering them to wield these tools with precision. Enhance your narrative palette, painting rich and impactful stories.
17 February
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
Sentence Length and Complex SyntaxBecome a chisel-wielding artisan in this workshop. Sculpt sentences with artistic finesse, crafting varied structures that breathe life into your narrative sculpture. Shape your writing into a dynamic and textured landscape, inviting readers to explore the beauty of your well-crafted prose.
16 March
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
RepetitionUnlock the power of repetition in this workshop. Le Guin explores the art of skillful repetition, from words and phrases to structural echoes in narratives. Discover how repetition shapes rhythm, adds weight to themes, and infuses humor. Learn from examples, including a Paiute folktale and Dickens’ Little Dorrit. Elevate your storytelling with this essential tool.
23 March
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
Adjectives and AdverbsRefine your prose in this workshop dedicated to the artful use of adjectives and adverbs. Le Guin unveils their enriching potential while cautioning against laziness and overuse. Learn to create cleaner, more intense narratives by incorporating qualities directly into verbs and nouns. Tackle the menace of qualifiers and explore the pitfalls of meaningless or overused descriptors. Discover the power and pitfalls of unconventional adjectives. Strengthen your narrative muscles with a rich selection from the English bakery shop.
6 April
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
Verbs: Person and TenseThis workshop provides guidance on when to write in the first or third person as well as when to use the past or present tense in your narrative. Through concise explanations and examples, the workshop demonstrates how to use person and tense to further story and theme. By design, this workshop lays the groundwork for the next one, “Changing Point of View.”
13 April
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
Point of View and VoicePoint of view and voice are core aspects of your story. During this workshop, you’ll understand, through thorough descriptions and several examples derived from viewing a single piece of prose through the prism of different points of view, how the point of view you select and the voice you use can impact your story.
18 May
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
Changing Point of View
Building upon what you learned in the last session on point of view and voice, you’ll learn in this session the mechanical intricacies and pitfalls of changing the point of view of a narrative. You will understand why Le Guin cautions that it should be done rarely, done for good reason, and done well if it is going to be a smooth transition rather than a jarring bump in the narrative road.
25 May
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
Indirect Narration, or What TellsLearn the difference between story and plot and how each is related to the other and to the narrative itself. Next, understand exposition and why it is important to blend information the reader needs to know into the story and action rather than laying it out in obvous “Expository Lumps.”
8 June
10 a.m. to 12 p..m.
Crowding and LeapingIn the final session of the series, the concepts of crowding and leaping–what we leave in and what we leave out of our narrative–are discussed. Story and plot are once again distinguished from one another in terms of which is necessary and which is optional in writing fiction, and how crowding and leaping can contribute to a story’s focus and trajectory is explained.

Free the writer within!

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