Workshop Writers’ Work 2019

 

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

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March

For this week’s timed exercise I told our writers about the auction of the Oresman collection:

“The New York auction house Doyle was honored to auction the Collection of quintessential New Yorkers Patricia and Donald Oresman on November 20, 2018. Comprising over 550 lots, this remarkable collection showcased the works of prominent artists, popular illustrators and renowned photographers. The paintings, sculptures, works on paper, prints and photographs spanned several decades, movements and mediums.” 
 
A huge art collection yet each artwork shared the same subject. I asked you to write about that subject and why the Oresman’s had been so obsessed by it. The subject was in fact Reading. Throughout the collection, figures were depicted in the act of reading, writing, printing and studying, many fully engrossed in literature.
For their homework I asked our writers to use one of the paintings – The Helping Hand by Don Freeman from 1933 as their inspiration.

 

The Helping Hand by Chris Baker 

Read Chris’s piece

In My Defence by Jill Webb

The Helping Hand by Lizzie Staples

Read Lizzie’s piece

The Helping Hand by Janie Reynolds

Read Janie’s piece

The Helping Hand by Sue Thompson

The Helping Hand by Sho Botham

Read Sho’s piece

Two Helping Hands by Melody Bertucci

The Helping Hand by Richard Rewell

Read Richard’s piece

The Helping Hand by Sandra Banks

Read Sandra’s piece

The Helping Hand by Penny Humphrey

The Helping Hand by Stuart Carruthers

Read Stuart’s piece

The Helping Hands by Lesley Dawson

Wait, Let Me Explain –  a timed exercise by Tilia Guilbaud- Walter  

 

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For this week’s timed exercise I asked our writers to write about something that was the last of its kind. I then read from Josephine Wilson’s award winning novel ‘Extinctions’.
For the homework I asked our writers to use this line from the novel as the opening line of their piece: ‘He hated the word ‘retirement’, but not as much as he hated the word ‘village’, as if aging made you a peasant or a fool.

 

Retirement by Jamie Moore 

Read Jamie’s piece

Chin Up by Jill Webb

The Collector by Holly Raber

Read Holly’s piece

He Hated the Word Retirement by Janie Reynolds

Read Janie’s piece

Clickety-Click by Sheridan Maguire

Contentment – a timed exercise by Chris Kingham

They by Sho Botham

Listen to Sho’s piece

In the Eyes of Love by Melody Bertucci

She Hated the Word Retirement by Richard Rewell

Read Richard’s piece

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February

To set this week’s homework I read from Lucia’s Berlin’s short story, ‘Angel’s Laundromat’ and discussed the merits of the ‘broken line’ story. Berlin uses the ‘broken line’ in a lot of her work, sometimes very subtly, interrupting the narrative flow with different scenes and characters to create a rich tapestry-like effect that nonetheless remains tight, gripping and surprising.

You can read ‘Angel’s Laundromat’ here: https://fsgworkinprogress.com/2015/08/20/angels-laundromat/
I asked our writers to consider creating a ‘broken line’ story in their homework. The homework  title was inspired by Lucia Berlin’s posthumous 2015 collection of short stories.
A Manual for Cleaning Women

 

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Chris Baker 

Read Chris’s piece

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Melody Bertucci

Patients and Patience by Jill Webb

Sugar Mummy by Holly Raber

Read Holly’s piece

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Janie Reynolds

Read Janie’s piece

Instructions for Cleaners by Garf Collins

A Tall Tale by Sho Botham

Listen to Sho’s piece

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Candida Lloyd

Goldilocks: the Enigma Variation by Steve Brown

Read Steve’s poem

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Richard Rewell

Read Richard’s piece

A Manual for Domestic Cooks by Richard Wilding 

Read Richard’s piece

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Ali Gale

 

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January

To set this week’s homework I read from the The End of Endings by Amanda Hess:

‘The age of the sequel is over. Now it’s the age of the sequel to the sequel. Also the prequel, the reboot, the reunion, the revival, the remake, the spinoff and the stand-alone franchise-adjacent film. Canceled television shows are reinstated. Killed-off characters are resuscitated. Movies do not begin and end so much as they loiter onscreen. And social media is built for infinite scrolling…’

For homework I asked our writers to write a sequel, or a prequel to the fairy tale Goldilocks.

 

And There She Was by Chris Baker 

Read Chris’s piece

Little Bear’s Adventure by Melody Bertucci

Wait Let Me Explain by Jill Webb

The Three Bears by Sheridan Maguire

Read Sheridan’s piece

The Desperate Mother Bear by Sue Thompson

Read Sue’s piece

The Golden Ticket by Garf Collins

A Tall Tale by Sho Botham

Listen to Sho’s piece

The Golden Ticket by Stuart Carruthers

Goldilocks: the Enigma Variation by Steve Brown

Read Steve’s poem

Warning by Richard Rewell

Read Richard’s piece

El Sombreron by Richard Wilding 

Read Richard’s piece

Who Was She? by Hilary Cole 

Read Hilary’s piece

Not a Short Story – a timed exercise by Chris Kingham

Read Chris’s piece

The Golden Ticket by Chris Kingham 

Read Chris’s piece

An Excellent Year’s Progress – a timed exercise by Malcolm Walker 

Read Malcolm’s piece

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For this week’s timed exercise I gave our writers a bar of legendary Soviet ‘Alyonka’ chocolate to write about. You can read about it here: https://soviet-art.ru/legendary-soviet-chocolate-alyonka/
I then read from Roald Dahl’s classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The homework title or subject was:  The Golden Ticket

 

I Don’t Want To Write About You Anymore by Tilia Guilbaud-Walter

Read Tilia’s piece

Herbs and Spice by Melody Bertucci

The Golden Ticket by Sheridan Maguire

Read Sheridan’s piece

A Grey Day by Jill Webb

The Year is by Sue Thompson

Read Sue’s piece

A Fairy Tale by Penny Humphrey

Maud by Sho Botham

Listen to Sho’s piece

The Golden Ticket by Stuart Carruthers

The Golden Ticket by Gill Kane

Read Gill’s piece

The Golden Ticket by Richard Rewell

Read Richard’s piece

El Boleto de Oro by Richard Wilding 

Read Richard’s piece

The Golden Ticket by Jamie Moore

Read Jamie’s piece

Little Green Men by Chris Kingham

Read Chris’s piece

Seven Kisses a timed exercise by Chris Kingham 

Read Chris’s piece

I Wish You All…  – a timed exercise by Tilia Guilbaud-Walter

Read Tilia’s piece

 

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For this week’s timed exercise I read the first part of Shelly Oria’s short story Documentation,
in which she charts a relationship in the form of kisses. Read Documentation by Shelly Oria
I then asked our writers to write 7 kisses. For the homework I read the Acknowledgements page from Oria’s superb collection of short stories ‘New York 1, Tel Aviv 0. I then asked our writers to use the first line as the opening line for their homework: I grew up in another language.

 

I Grew Up in Another Language by Tilia Guilbaud-Walter

Read Tilia’s piece

I Grew up in Another Language by Candida Lloyd

I Grew Up in Another Language by Sheridan Maguire

Read Sheridan’s piece

A Grey Day by Jill Webb

Assimilation by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

Another Language by Penny Humphrey

Another Language by Sho Botham

Read Sho’s piece

Pentecostal by Steve Brown

Mother Tongue by Holly Raber

Read Holly’s piece

I Grew Up in Another Language by Richard Rewell

Read Richard’s piece

Hand in Hand by Richard Wilding 

Read Richard’s piece

7 Kisses – a timed exercise by Sheridan Maguire 

Read Sheridan’s piece

7 Kisses – a timed exercise by Elaine Weddle

Read Elaine’s piece

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For this week’s timed exercise I asked you to end your piece with this line: Money makes the world go around. Which led us to Cabaret and Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Diaries. I asked our writers to open their homework piece with this celebrated line from the Diaries: I am a camera, with its shutter open. I also asked our writers to think about their scenes like a film director and write using ‘Word Cameras’.

 

The Library Book by Garf Collins

Read Garf’s piece

I am a Camera by Penny Humphrey

Camera by Sho Botham

Read Sho’s piece

The Bear in my Camera by Melody Bertucci

The Dinner Party by Chris Robinson

Read Chris’ piece

Daguerrotype by Richard Wilding

Read Richard’s piece

I am a Camera by Sue Thompson

Read Sue’s piece

I am a Camera by Tina Blower

Read Tina’s piece

From a Safe Distance – a timed exercise by Chris Kingham

Read Chris’s piece

Apparent Transparency by Chris Kingham

Read Chris’s piece

Gossip by Sho Botham

Listen to Sho’s piece

Life’s Too Short by Jill Webb

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