(photo: Cătălin Georgescu)
Creative Writing from Memory:
a Weekend Workshop with American Poet Tara Skurtu
Do you want to write, but don’t know how to get started? Could you simply use some inspiration? Join me for my weekend creative writing workshop, Writing from Memory.
We all have the same fears about writing. What if it’s not good enough? What if I can’t find the right words? What if no one likes it? In this English workshop we will address our fears and write past them. I will guide you through a series of fun, creative exercises to get you writing without thinking what if. We will use personal memory (full of images, stories, senses, and feelings) as the basis for our writing. You will surprise yourself with what you produce: a strong draft of a poem or piece of prose that captures a clear moment of transformation and tells a story.
Day 1 is all about writing. We will begin in a stream-of-consciousness manner and then weave in components of memory and place. You will use your memories to create surprising, effective, and honest narratives—writing that conveys emotion without using any emotion words. I will guide you through all of this with unique exercises I have developed.
On Day 2 you will become readers and editors. Everyone will bring in a typed page of new writing, and I will lead an engaging workshop in which we read our poems and prose aloud, have lively conversations, and make suggestions for editing and revision. In addition, I will teach simple techniques that will make all of your writing—whether it be personal, professional, academic, emails, or even social media posts—stronger and more efficient. You will build confidence in your personal voice and writing abilities (especially in English), and will feel more comfortable presenting your work to an audience.
*Professional writing experience is not necessary—in fact, 99% of the people who take this workshop don’t consider themselves writers.
Tara had a clear structure for what she wanted to teach and how she wanted to teach it. It can be difficult to give people confidence in their own creativity, but I feel Tara managed just that with everyone present. I think a great deal of that success had to do with the confidence of her lesson structure—the teaching wasn’t rigid, yet it was still very clear. Tara had a fantastic energy that made me want to share what I had written, and that enthusiasm gave me more confidence in my desire to write. (Anthony Wilkes)
The exercise I loved most was the one in which she asked us to write about a memory, which she then kept interrupting. She was giving us different suggestions and making changes to our story, which turned out to be a very good exercise for me, because I learned that a story is not just about one fact, one feeling, one memory—it’s about everything that is happening in that moment and that can add to it to make it more of what you want it to be. (Andreea Băloi)
When: Saturday April 21st & Sunday April 22nd, 11:00 to 16:00
Where: Tramvaiul 26, Strada Cercului 6, Bucharest
Cost: 500 lei
(water, tea, & light snacks included; other drinks may be purchased at Tramvaiul’s bar)
To Register: email Tara at email@example.com (subject: Workshop)
*Space is limited; first come, first served