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'Creative Writing' Workshops Prove Their Worth at the Arts Festival

Getting Words On the Page

More than a few of us aspire to be creative writers, but most of us simply never get around to it. [The same of course could be said about 'artists' in paints, and the Prestoungrange Arts Festival gave them an exhilarating start three years and now they run three Workshops a week for 35 individuals with a self-financed studio of their own at Cockenzie.] So ... it was only a matter of time surely before a leader [modestly describing himself as a facilitator in today's idiom] stepped forward to convene the first Prestoungrange Arts Festival Creative Writing Workshop.

'Twas on a Tuesday evening in March 2005 ...

".. that, under the auspices of the Prestoungrange Arts Festival at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, a small group of budding writers came together for the first time. They had not met before but shared one thing in common: they knew they wanted to write - and were looking for some guidance as to how to release this onto the written page.

We all write for many and varied reasons. We write at different times of day. Perhaps we keep a personal diary. We write when we are happy or sad – or just to release something that has been trapped inside us for many years. Writing is a truly powerful form of personal therapy or healing. The work created and presented here from the first Workshop reflects many of these desires to write and it is I believe of a pleasingly high quality.

As facilitator I played my role by providing various “triggers” on different evenings to encourage the creative process to flow. These included listening to pieces of music and studying a painting by the American artist Edward Hopper as a trigger for a short story about a girl waiting for a bus. And we also walked the Prestoungrange Murals Trail.

An important part of this particular creative writing project [as with much of the artwork taking place] is to reflect the social history and environment of Prestonpans and vicinity, so that in myriad modest ways they can stand as a record of people’s lives and thoughts.

I would like to thank the workshop members - Elaine, Moira and Marion for their companionship, sense of fun and for their wonderful work. Their outcomes are accessible from the listing below as pdfs..... and any who read this NewsNet item who would like to join our next Workshop series, please call Adele Conn at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg on 01875 819922."

John Skinner
Tutor, Creative Writing Worksop

1. Automat - Elaine Leitch
2. Community Spirit - Moira Walker
3. Eat Me - Moira Walker
4. Jean - Elaine Leitch
5. Automat - Marion McLaughlan
6. Murals Poem - Marion McLaughlan
7. Olivia Story - Marion McLaughlan
8. Wheelie Bin - Marion McLaughlan, Moira Walker & Elaine Leitch
9. Three Poems - Moira Walker
10. My Media Day - Moira Walker & Elaine Leitch

Published Date: June 29th 2005

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