Guess what? I’ve got a cool new THING! For January, February and March I am the Writer in Residence at the Bridgwater Arts Centre, the oldest Arts Council funded arts centre in the country.
Fancy. I used my best Professional Writer photo for it especially.
It means a lot to me because although I don’t live in Bridgwater now, my family has a lot of roots there and I grew up there. Bridgwater will always have a special place in my heart and it’s incredibly nostalgic to be back once a week.
So what exactly does being a Writer in Residence involve? A few things really. My main goal is to make writing accessible for people, both physically and financially. I’m at the Arts Centre every Tuesday morning from 10am to 12pm and anyone who wants to can drop in and chat to me about whatever they like – ideally vaguely writing related but I’m discovering it’s a lot more involved for most people. Most people want to tell me a lot more than how they got into writing and it’s been fascinating to hear how people’s experiences throughout their lives have shaped their experiences of writing.
I had worried that no one would show up, that I’d be sat there on my own like a chump, but couldn’t have been more wrong.
The other thing I’m doing is running a couple of structured writing workshops, which will be less life story and more writing exercises. The idea with these is to be affordable – they’re only £10 for a morning – and welcoming. I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re not good enough, not experienced enough or any nonsense like that. Writing is for everybody and anybody can come along and have a go.
If you’re interested, the workshop details are as follows. You can book and pay online through the links:
Mapping Memories: A Personal History
Tuesday 30th January, 10-12pm
In this session we’ll consider how our own experiences shape our identities and how we can draw on this to create believable characters through understanding their personal histories, their hopes and dreams and what makes them who they are.
Cultural Collage: Identity and Landscape
Tuesday 27th February, 10-12pm
This session will be inspired by Bridgwater and its history. We’ll look at how the setting for your writing can shape the narrative and how to use all of the senses to create a sense of place.
If you fancy more of a casual chat, don’t forget you can pop in on Tuesday mornings between now and the end of March, not including the dates above and February 6th when I’m busy in Copenhagen doing an escape room.