I’m not going to start with a reference to the weather, but a recipe for a winter soup. I give it six out of ten because it involved so much grating I thought my arm was going to fall off: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/sweet-potato-lentil-soup
In January, I’ll be co-tutoring a new six week course, ‘Exeter Belongs to Me’ with the brilliant Jem Sugden, writer, editor and publisher. Each session will explore different aspects of the city and attendees will write about their personal responses to it through guided activities. Please contact me if you’d like to book your place.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how where we live affects the way we feel, and so have been paying more attention to my surroundings. I spend a lot of time walking up and down Fore Street in Exeter and here is a sign I noticed today in the doorway of a record shop:
Apologies but we will be closed now until Sat 2nd Dec for stock take, store reorganization and a million other tasks that we’ve been putting off for the last 25 years… Sorry!
Love a handwritten sign! And I thought it was a good basis for a writing prompt.
‘I’d been putting it off for twenty-five years…’
Have a go at writing a very short story with that as an opening line. Limit yourself to 250 words, or 100. It gets you practising flash fiction. People who attend my courses have been having a go at this form of writing recently and producing excellent pieces. Here is a flash fiction comp if it appeals. The deadline is 5th January and it’s free to enter:
You can practice flash fiction some more in the four-week Creative Writing Pick and Mix courses I’ll be running in January, where there’s the chance to experiment with short story, mindful writing and memoir. These courses are suitable for beginners and a great opportunity to come and have fun in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Different times and dates available – please check website for details and to book. These make great Christmas presents. If you’d like a gift certificate for it, let me know.
I’m very much looking forward to the Raw Writing Christmas Quiz that’s on Wednesday 20th December, 17:00-19:00 Studio One at Exeter Phoenix. This is a free event and I’d love to see you there. Places are limited so please contact me if you’d like a ticket. Prizes for the winning team!
The next Raw Writing social will be on Friday 20th January, starting at 16:00, One Guinea Street (Exeter Snooker Club). Details will be posted closer to the time here:
I’ve set up a ‘Writing Buddies’ scheme and the feedback so far has been excellent.
‘The Writing Buddies scheme links you with someone who understands why you’re writing. They’re in the same situation, and that means you get perspective that’s supportive, with constructive insights into what happens when a reader finds your work. You can share your project, your progress and your struggles with someone who enjoys the process as much as you do.’
If you’d like to know more about it, please get in touch.
And finally, I’m delighted to say Raw Writing is now recognised by Exeter UNESCO City of Literature. Exeter was awarded UNESCO City of Literature designation in 2019 in recognition of ‘outstanding contributions to culture and creativity’ and the wealth of literary heritage in the city.
Thank you for reading!
All the best,
If you’d like to attend any of the courses in this newsletter but find the cost prohibitive, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do. 😊