Workshop Writers Work 2016 Jan – April

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Bourne to Write is a writing community that currently numbers over 40 writers from the weekly Eastbourne and Lewes Creative Writing Workshops. Bourne to Write published its first anthology, ‘Strangers in Paradise’ in 2014 and it is now also available as a Kindle book on amazon worldwide. A new Kindle book for Amazon ‘Short and Curly’ featuring short pieces by our writers is also available.

Buy the Strangers in Paradise Kindle book on Amazon.co.uk

Buy the Short & Curly Kindle book on Amazon.co.uk

In this section we share the writers’ weekly homework pieces and timed exercises. Homework is normally 500 words maximum, the timed exercises are completed in the workshop within 20 minutes.

Read our tips on writing timed exercises…

Read Chekhov on writing…

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April

For this week’s homework I read from the short story ‘Two Words’ by Isabel Allende from her collection ‘The Stories of Eva Luna. Read Two Words by Isabel Allende . I then gave the writers a title inspired by this fantastic short story, ‘The Seller of Words’.

Words for Sale

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

Word Seller by Mia Sundby

Listen to Mia reading her piece

The Seller of Words by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

The Seller of Words by Nick Lazar

Listen to Nick reading his piece

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After giving the titles of Dickens’ novels as a timed exercise I gave the writers ‘Our Mutual Friend’ as a homework title.

Our Mutual Friend by Nick Lazar

Listen to Nick reading his piece

Our Mutual Friend by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

Our Mutual Friend by Tania Beudel

Read Tania’s piece

Our Mutual Friend by Rosalind May

Read Rosalind’s piece

Our Mutual Friend by Paula Napier

Read Paula’s piece

Our Mutual Friend by Penny Humphrey

The Darkness in a Man’s Eyes by Fiona Dennis

Daddy Mountain by Elaine Weddle

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For this week’s homework I read A Tall Order by the great American poet and short story writer Raymond Carver. I then gave the writers that title for their homework. Read A Tall Order by Raymond Carver

A Tall Order by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

A Tall Order by Katy Wise

Read Katy’s piece

For Sale, Bleak House – timed exercise by Judith Horth

Read Judith’s piece

A Tall Order by Hannah Blunt

Read Hannah’s piece

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Only fairy tales exist without time and suspense. Fiction on the other hand can’t be created without time, even by using basic words like ‘but’ or ‘then’ or ‘however’ and ‘therefore’ the writer is playing with time. For the homework I asked our writers to create a piece in which time played an important role. The title was ‘About Time’.

About Time by Sue McCready

Listen to Christina Buchanan reading Sue’s piece

About Time by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

A Waste of Time by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

About Time by Hannah Blount

Read Hannah’s piece

Raymond – a timed exercise by Hannah Blount

Read Hannah’s piece

Five Minute Maureen by Nigel Butler

Read Nigel’s piece

Time by Lesley Dawson

Read Lesley’s piece

Raymond and the Superman Annual – a timed exercise by Christina Buchanan

Read Christina’s piece

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One of the easiest way’s to define a character is through their actions. We do this in conversation every day. Rather than describe someone’s height or eye colour we talk about what they did. To set the homework I read from Eudora Welty’s brilliant short story Powerhouse. Read Powerhouse by Eudora Welty

A Cupboard with a View by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

Resurrection by Nick Lazar

Listen to Nick reading his piece

Rupert by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

He Had a Fag – a timed exercise by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

Maisie by Christina Buchanan

The Fourth Cigarette – a timed exercise by Elaine Weddle

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March

For this week’s homework I discussed Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I asked the writers to consider the meaning of the title, which is essentially the conflict between intellectual and emotional responses and write about two sisters.

My Sister by Rosalind May

Listen to Christina Buchanan reading Rosalind’s piece

Sense and Sensibility by Mia Sundby

Listen to Mia reading her piece

Daisy and June by Nick Lazar

Listen to Nick reading his piece

Sense and Sensibility by Christina Buchanan

Sense and Sensibility by Garf Collins

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Conversations with John Le Carre is a fantastic book about writing. I discussed it at the workshop and read from The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. I then asked the writers to create a character who is camouflaged.

Veneer by Natalie Simmonds

Listen to Christina Buchanan reading Natalie’s piece

Camouflage by Simon Fielder

Read Simon’s piece

Camouflage by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

It Never Rains on A Saturday – a timed exercise by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

That Sort of Thing by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

Camouflage by Rosalind May

Read Rosalind’s piece

Camouflage by Fiona Dennis

Read Fiona’s piece

Lasting Impact by Jill Webb

Read Jill’s piece

The Weather Report, a timed exercise by Angele Tornabene-Parsons

Listen to Angele reading her piece

If it was Love by Ellis Goodwin

Read Ellis’s piece

Working Under Cover by Nigel Butler

Read Garf’s piece

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For this week’s homework I gave the writers the opening line of Paul Auster’s autobiography ‘Winter Journal’ You think it will never happen to you…

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/18318883-winter-journal

You think it will never happen to you by Stella Newing

Listen to Ellis Goodwin reading Stella’s piece

Mathilda by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

Hubris by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

You think it can never happen to you by Simon Fielder

Listen to Ellis Goodwin reading Simon’s piece

The Woes of a Young Fudger by Angele Tornabene-Parsons

Listen to Angele reading her piece

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There was a time when the poetry of William Carols Williams was on the UK school syllabus but now he seems to have attained a certain obscurity. Poem 22 of his first collection is one of his most famous and studied works.  ‘So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.’ For the homework I gave the writers the first line of the poem ‘So much depends upon…

Holes by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

Laura’s Day by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

The Broker by Nick Lazar

Listen to Nick reading his piece

So Much Depends Upon by Jill Webb

Read Jill’s piece

Lucky by Elaine Weddle

Read Elaine’s piece

Capricious Wind by Richard Wilding

Read Richard’s piece

Badger by Sian Crossland

Read Sian’s piece

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February

After discussing Tolstoy’s War and Peace I gave the writers that title and asked for a domestic setting.

War and Peace in Limericks

Read Steve’s poem

War and Peace by Stella Newing

Listen to Christina Buchanan reading Stella’s piece

War and Peace by Christina Buchanan

Edgeland by Steve Brown

War and Peas by Elaine Weddle

War and Pieces by Jill Webb

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For this week’s homework I read from At Lehman’s, a short story by Katherine Mansfield, a brilliant writer now greatly overlooked. The homework title was The Servant.

The Quest of Lost Memories by Angele Tornabene-Parsons

The Servants by Mia Sundby

The Maid by Christina Buchanan

The Servant by Nick Lazar

Charles the Hero by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

The Square Root of Molly Bobbins by Elaine Weddle.

Read Elaine’s piece

The Servant or the Worm Turns by Lesley Dawson

Read Lesley’s piece

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The publication of a new novel by Julian Barnes is always an exciting event. I used the opening of his new book ‘The Noise of Time’ to set this week’s homework. In 1937, suitcase in hand, the composer Shostakovich patiently awaits the arrival of the NKVD.

Elevated by Richard Lewis

Midnight. Summer. I never liked hotels or corridors. I waited.

Read more of Richard’s piece

Elevator by Mia Sundy

Listen to Mia reading her piece

A Pig in Time by Nick Lazar

Listen to Nick reading his piece

Sliding Doors by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

The Elevator by Rosalind May

The little boy wriggled and nestled his downy head into the soft hollow of Mary’s neck.

Read more of Rosalind’s piece

The Middle-Aged Runaway by Stella Newing

His shoes are sensible and so is his suitcase – a small compact affair that can be made into a rucksack if desired.

Read more of Stella’s piece

Go Lightly by Richard Wilding

She stands at the lift, waiting for it for it to descend, every inch the modern international traveller

Read more of  Richard’s piece

The Lift by Nigel Butler

Joe waited for the lift as it inexorably towards the ground floor.

Read more of  Nigel’s piece

The Case you Bring by Steve Brown

Should it be the silver trumpets’ final clarion

Read more of  Steve’s piece

Reginald Farthing and the flight against time by Angele Tornabene-Parsons

Listen to Angele reading her piece

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To set this week’s homework I read from one of My Press & Journal columns entitled ‘A Change in Circumstances.

Read A Change in Circumstances here

The Secret Diary of Alice Emsley by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

A Change in Circumstances by Fran Duffield

Listen to Fran reading her piece

A Change of Circumstances by Nick Lazar

 

A Change in Circumstances by Richard Wilding

After they had left, I took a look around the house. Hmmm.

Ariel and Goldfinch (a timed exercise) by Julia French

She rooted through the mending box, armpit deep in coloured plastic and hollow fibered plushness.

Read more of Julia’s piece

Memories of My Time as a Land Girl by Angele Tornabene-Parsons

The Pearce’s farm was situated at the bottom of a dirt track off the lane that ran down to the village.

Read more of Angele’s piece

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January

For the homework I read from a short story by Julian Barnes called A Short History of Hairdressing.
Read A Short History of Hairdressing I then asked the writers to create their own Short History.

The Short History of Nothing by Steve Brown

Nothing was not given: it had to be

thought-through, uncovered.

A Short History of Joe Ruddles by Christine Buchanan

A Short History of Australian Cane Toads by Nick Lazar

Short History of a Treasure Hunt by John Demetriou

Leo and Billie were on the last leg of their long 3-month quest to find the golden skull.

A Short History of the Short Story by Garf Collins

@witsend Ho Nunkie homework origin of short story Can u help me? #suicidal

A Short History of the Pantomime Horse by Nigel Butler

‘A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse’, bemoaned the unfortunate King Richard at Bosworth.

A Short History of Dying by Rosalind May

Had Mary known she was going to die today, she might have preferred to spend an extra ten minutes relaxing in the downy softness of her bed.

A Brief History of a Dangerous Liaison by Ann Rambaut

Every day Lucinda used to walk by and see them sitting in the window, beautiful with their embroidered shoe and diamante covered 5 inch heels.

Model by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

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For this week’s homework I read from the George Mikes classic ‘How to be a Brit’.
I asked the writers to write a ‘How to be a…’ piece. It could be anything, ‘How to be a writer, a nuisance, a mafia boss…

How to be a Garden Gnome by Ann Rambaut

Albert and Fred sat on the rockery, their fishing lines dangling into the pond below

How to be Me by Angele Tornabene-Parsons

Listen to Angele reading her piece

How to be a Mature Tree by Fiona Dennis

Well, let me warn you now, that if you want to be a mature tree, then your best bet is to grow by chance.

Read more of Fiona’s piece

How to be God by Nick Lazar

Listen to Nick reading his piece

How to Spot a Demon by Mia Sundby

Listen to Mia reading her piece

How to be a Confident Speaker by Jill Webb

Listen to Ellis Goodwin reading Jill’s piece

How to be a Grumpy Old Woman by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina reading her piece

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