Workshop Writers’ Work 2017

 

Jasmine Wing

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 Kindle book entitled  ‘Short and Curly’ featuring short pieces of homework and timed exercises by our writers is also available on amazon.

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…

Six Common Endings in Fiction…

Everything you never wanted to know about Grammar 

Tone in Creative Writing

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December

For this week’s homework I read from Stave 2 of A Christmas Carol.

The homework title was: A Christmas Carol

Christmas in Colour by Shevlyn Byroo

A Christmas Carol by Lawrence Howard

A Christmas Carol by Pauline Walden 

A Christmas Carol by Mary Brannigan

Read Mary’s piece 

Christmas Carol by Stuart Carruthers

Read Stuart’s piece 

A Christmas Carol by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece 

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For this week’s homework I returned to Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’
This time I read an extract about his accident, here it is in full:
Stephen King on Writing extract
Note how his use of detail brings the piece alive. The homework title was:
The Accident

Hot Water by Shevlyn Byroo

The Accident by Nick Lazar

The Accident by Valerie Howard

The Accident by Martin Bourne 

Listen to Martin’s piece 

The Accident by Des Holden  

Celestial Insurance by Garf Collins

The Accident by Mary Brannigan 

Accident by Steve Brown

Bah Humbug! a timed exercise by Susan Tracy

Read Susan’s piece 

Bah Humbug! a timed exercise by Elaine Weddle

Cold Hearts by Des Holden  

 

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For this week’s homework I read from History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund – see attachment.
I asked the writers to open their homework with the first line from the novel:

Its not that I never think about Paul.

The Eulogy by Shevlyn Byroo

Paul by Mia Sundby

Its not that I never think of Paul by Dave Perry 

Friendly Advice by Pauline Walden

Santa’s Little Helper by Jill Webb

Paul by Chris Robinson

Thirteen by Steve Brown

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For this week’s homework I asked our writers to use this line from Mohsin Hamid’s 2017 novel Exit West as your inspiration: We are all migrants through time.
 

…and when she went out it seemed to her that she too had migrated, that everyone migrates, even if we stay in the same houses our whole lives, because we can’t help it. We are all migrants through time.

Moving Moment by Mia Sundby

The Time Between Moments by Des Holden

Antigone by Pauline Walden

Read Pauline’s piece 

The DNA Test by Christina Buchanan

Migrants Through Time by Joan Needham

We are all Migrants by Chris Robinson

The Arrow of Time by Garf Collins

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For the homework I asked our writers to write a piece in which a dream has a transforming effect on a character. I read the following extract from Wuthering Heights: ‘I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.

Pixies and Ogres by Shevlyn Byroo

Strictly Werewolf by Des Holden

The Dream by Fiona Dennis

Read Fiona’s piece 

The Island by Christina Buchanan

The Impossible Dream by Jill Webb

The Day Dream by Rosalind May

Redemption by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece 

Seventy-Five by Des Holden

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November

for this week’s homework I asked our writers to open their piece with: Forgive me for
To set the homework I read Wislawa Szymborska poem Under one small star.

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I’m mistaken, after all.
Please, don’t be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home…

Forgive me for by Shevlyn Byroo

Forgive me for by Jamie Moore

Tea and Toast by Elaine Weddle

Forgive me by Debbie Holden

Read Debbie’s piece 

Forgive me for by Lesley Dawson 

In the Dream – a timed exercise by Shevlyn Byroo

Forgive me for by Alison Fry

Read Alison’s piece

An Apology by Steve Brown

Read Steve’s poem

In the Dream – a timed exercise by Jamie Moore

For Four Too by Des Holden

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For this week’s homework I gave our writers  the same line you they used at the end of their workshop timed exercise.  So the homework opened with this line: She was seventy-five and she was going to make some changes in her life.” This is the last line from The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Jonathan Franzen in The Guardian

Seventy-Five by Jamie Moore

She Was Seventy-Five by Stuart Carruthers

Renaissance by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece 

She was Seventy-Five by Lesley Dawson 

You Can’t have your Cake and Eat it by Jill Webb 

Bunny by Christina Buchanan

Listen to Christina’s piece

Dianne was Seventy-Five by Shevlyn Byroo

Apocalypse 1999 by Alison Fry

Read Alison’s piece

She was Seventy-Five by Debbie Holden

The Late Changes by Steve Brown

Read Steve’s poem

She was Seventy-Five by Martin Bourne

Changes by Mia Sundby

Read Mia’s piece

A New Chapter by Chris Robinson

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To set this week’s homework I read from Stephen King’s excellent book ‘On Writing’ which I can’t recommend enough. I asked the writers to open their homework piece with this line from King’s novel The Dark Tower:  Only enemies speak the truth. Friends and lovers lie endlessly.

 

Camps by Lisa Guile

Read Alison’s piece 

Friends Like These by Jamie Moore

Only Enemies by Stuart Carruthers

The Power of Truth by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece 

Only Enemies Speak the Truth by Gill Kane

The Tangled Truth by Jill Webb 

A Step Too Far by Christina Buchanan

Only Enemies by Alison Fry

Read Alison’s piece

Lion Man by Steve Brown

Read Steve’s poem

Enemies, Friends and would-be Lovers by Des Holden

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For this week’s homework I gave our writers the title of ’The Visit’ and this opening line from Charles Webb’s novel Home School, the sequel to The Graduate.

Elaine had frequently seen the woman around the small town of Hastings.

Miracles in Freetown by Jamie Moore

Read Jamie’s piece 

The Visit by Alison Fry

Elaine by Stuart Carruthers

A Hostage to Fortune by Garf Collins

The Visit by Jill Webb 

The Woman in Grey Christina Buchanan

Cillycuddy’s Kitchen by Richard Wilding

Read Richard’s piece

Hastings by Nick Lazar

Read Nick’s piece

Tightrope by Des Holden

The Point is – a timed exercise by Alison Fry 

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October

For this week’s homework I read the work of the great American poet Emily Dickinson.
The faber & faber collection edited by Ted Hughes is an easy route into Dickinson’s world and has a brilliant intro by Hughes. I asked our writers to open their homework piece with this line by Emily Dickinson: This is my letter to the world that never wrote to me.

This is my Letter by Eileen Morrisey

Read Eileen’s piece 

Letter to the World by Chris Robinson

Letter to the World by Miriam Silver

Ashram Present by Jamie Moore

Letter to the World by Katy Wise

My Letter to the World by Zoe Hitchcock 

Blood Smeared Girl by Sundby

Listen to Mia reading her piece

Colour by Lisa Guile 

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For this week’s homework I read from ‘A Far Cry from Kensington’ by Muriel Spark.
In her 18th novel Muriel Spark cast a withering glance at some fringe characters who peopled London literary life in 1954. It may feel like a charming Ealing comedy at times but the novel takes an evil turn, revealing a darker tale of obsession and revenge. 
About halfway through the novel, the narrator Mrs. Hawkins offers us some outstanding advice on writing:
 
Essentially you should write as if, “You are writing a letter to a friend. . . . And this is a dear and close friend, real – or better – invented in your mind like a fixation. Write privately, not publicly; without fear or timidity, right to the end of the letter, as if it was never going to be published, so that your true friend will read it over and over, and then want more enchanting letters from you.”
 
I asked our writers to open their homework piece with the first line of the novel:
So great was the noise during the day that I used to lie awake at night listening to the silence.

 

Every Day is a Birthday by Debbie Holden  

Listen to Debbie reading her piece

The Big Day by Chris Robinson

So Great was the Noise by Miriam Silver

Read Miriam’s piece 

Noise and Silence by Penny Humphrey

Read Penny’s piece 

Gathering Nuts by Mary Brannigan

Peace in Love and War by Jamie Moore

Silent Rest by Garf Collins

A Noise So Great by Stuart Carruthers

Read Stuart’s piece

Committed by Sue Moore

Resolves Dissolved by Jill Webb

Listen to Jill reading her piece

Nostalgia – a song by Dave Perry 

Listen to Dave performing his song

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For this week’s homework we listened to an extract from The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged
I asked the writers to open their piece the same way as the Diary with this line:
These are my New Year’s Resolutions: Create a list of character resolutions and then continue their piece. This is a great way to create a character. It gives them a past, a present and a future. It also highlights their frailties and aspirations.

New Year’s Resolutions by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

Resolutions by Shevlyn Byroo

Read Shevlyn’s’s piece

Resolutions by Steve Brown 

Read Steve’s poem

Game, Set, Match by Des Holden

New Year Resolutions by Miriam Silver

Read Miriam’s piece 

Maxwell’s by Richard Wilding

Read Richard’s piece 

Poisonous Resolutions by Jamie Moore

Resolution by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece 

Stupid Email – a timed exercise by Ellis Goodwin

Listen to Ellis reading his piece

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For this week’s homework I read from Robert Olen Butler’s brilliant short story inspired by a tabloid headline: Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot. Read it here
I asked our writers to open their homework piece with the first line of the story.
I never can quite say as much as I know.

Painting at Ninety by Steve Brown 

Read Steve’s poem

I can never quite say as much as I know by Eileen Morrisey

Read Eileen’s piece

Flighty Nighty by Jill Webb

Listen to Jill reading her piece

The Cuckoo in the Nest by Des Holden

Read Des’s piece 

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September

For this week’s homework I read from The Horses by Ted Hughes, see below.
This is an early poem from Hughes’ first collection The Hawk in the Rain.
You can read what the poet Alice Oswald has to say about it by clicking this link.
The homework subject was ‘Nostalgia’.

Not Children by Mia Sundby

Listen to Mia reading her piece

Some Horses by Steve Brown 

Read Steve’s poem

Swings by Chris Robinson

Read Chris’s piece 

Sacred Heart by Eileen Morrisey

Read Eileen’s piece

Well I Never by Jill Webb

Listen to Jill reading her piece

Nostalgia by Debbie Holden 

Listen to Debbie reading her piece

Nostalgia by Rosalind May 

Read Ros’s piece

Nostalgia by Edna Murdoch 

Read Edna’s piece

Nostalgia by Lesley Dawson 

Read Lesley’s piece

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For this week’s homework I read from the 1957 classic The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham.
The homework subject was The Cuckoo in the Nest.

Cuckoo by Steve Brown 

Read Steve’s poem

Letter to a Girlfriend by Martin Bourne

Read Martin’s piece 

Cuckoo in the Nest by Mia Sundby

Listen to Mia reading her piece

Cuckoo in the Nest by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

Operation Cuckoo by Jill Webb

Listen to Jill reading her piece

Cuckoo in the Nest by Gill Kane  

Read Gill’s piece 

The Cuckoo in the Nest by Christina Buchanan 

Read Christina’s piece

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For this week’s homework I read from the 1841 short story The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe.  Often cited as the first detective story, the character of Dupin became the prototype for many future fictional detectives, including Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. The story is distinctive from a general mystery in that the focus is on analysis. It’s also the first ‘locked room’ mystery. Like the Sherlock Holmes stories its narrated by the eccentric amateur sleuth’s accomplice. 
I asked our writers to open their homework piece with this line from the story.
‘We first met when we were trying to find the same book.’

The Same Page by Steve Brown 

Read Steve’s piece

We First Met by Des Holden

Read Des’s piece 

We First Met by Dave Perry

Read Dave’s piece

Harmony by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

A Fleeting Meeting by Jill Webb

Listen to Jill reading her piece

The Ambassador’s Wife by Chris Robinson 

Read Chris’s piece

It started with a Book by Gill Kane  

Read Gill’s piece 

Grit gets in your eyes by Christina Buchanan 

Listen to Christina’ piece

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For this week’s homework I read from the classic short story, ‘The Open Boat’ by Stephen Crane. I then asked our writers to open their piece with the first line from the story: None of them knew the colour of the sky.

The Battle of Carabobo by Richard Wilding

Read Richard’s piece

The Sky is Blue by Des Holden

Read Des’s piece 

None of them knew the Colour of the Sky by Lesley Dawson 

Read Lesley’s piece

The Colour of the Sky by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

Keep Calm and Have a Camomile by Jill Webb

Listen to Jill reading her piece

The Colour of the Sky by Chris Robinson 

Read Chris’s piece

The Colour of the Sky by Martin Bourne  

Listen to Martin’s piece 

The Last Ticket by Des Holden

Read Des’s piece 

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For the homework I read from Mickey Spillane’s first novel ‘I the Jury’ published in 1947. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_the_Jury Here’s the complete 1953 film on Youtube, by the time this film was made the book had sold 3.5million copies.
I asked our writers to open their homework with the first two lines from the novel.
I shook the rain from my hat and walked into the room. Nobody said a word.

The Pseudo Gambler by Stella Newing

Read Stella’s piece

Larry King by Richard Wilding

Read Richard’s piece

I Shook the Rain form my Hat by Stuart Carruthers 

Read Stuart’s piece

Where Were You Last Week by Gill Kane

Read Gill’s piece

Me Nosy? by Jill Webb

Listen to Jill reading her piece

I Shook the Rain from my Hat by Lesley Dawson

Read Lesley’s piece

Eavesdropping by Dave Perry  

Listen to Dave’s song

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