ED Wright describes creative writing as ‘‘acting for shy people’’.
‘‘It allows you to become someone else,’’ he said.
‘‘You can create an entire world populated by people you’ve enjoyed inventing.
‘‘You start with nothing and build something into being and that’s such a thrilling process – hard work, but thrilling.’’
Dr Wright and award-winning writer Wendy James are hoping to share the joy of creative writing with their new venture, The Creative Word Shop, Newcastle’s first dedicated writing school.
Dr Wright, a conjoint lecturer in creative writing at the University of Newcastle, has been teaching children’s writing workshops in Sydney for two years.
‘‘People came from long distances to those workshops, but I thought, Hunter students didn’t have such a service or the opportunity to develop those creative skills,’’ he said.
‘‘They can attend classes to express their creativity through drama and dance, but not yet through writing.
‘‘Meanwhile, there were also no long-term sustained classes available for adults to develop their skills over a period of time.’’
‘‘The skills we’ll be teaching – such as how to properly construct a sentence and how to write something that really touches people – are applicable in work and play and will be valuable throughout life.’’
Children from year3 onwards can enrol in weekly after-school workshops, as well as in-school workshops organised through their teachers.
‘‘Young people’s brains and imaginations are bursting with odd ideas and creativity and yet so often they lose that as they grow up,’’ Dr Wright said.
‘‘We want to enable them to keep that in their life over a period of time and give them technical skills to be able to communicate that creativity to people.
‘‘For adults, it’s more about rediscovering that creativity.’’
Adults will be able to enrol in weekly workshops at an introductory or advanced level.
Both children and adults will also be able to request individual mentoring.
Corporate-focused and team-building workshops will be available and those with a complete manuscript will have access to editing and manuscript assessment.
Dr Wright said the pair were even considering hosting intensive weekends and longer retreats.
Adults’ introductory classes begin on April 30 and advanced classes are from May2. Children’s classes will begin in the week from May 3.
www.creativeword shop.com.au or email info@creativeword shop.com.au