Friday, 20 July 2018

Back to Business: Short Online Writing Courses

Two days back home and I have a major case of the 'post-holiday blues' going on and just a bit of jet lag, so I'm struggling to get back into routine. Our holiday was wonderful and I have lots of fodder for new work from it, but how to get started.

As my normal writing group is basically on hiatus over the summer, I have joined two online writing courses that will hopefully kick me back into writing mode, though I still have the kids at home for almost a month yet.

One through the University of Iowa's writing programme is called Moving the Margins: Fiction and Inclusion. It is free and part of their online writing resources and MOOCs (massive open online courses). There are hundreds of participants, so I'm not sure how inclusive it's going to be, but I figured it I would give it a go. I don't write short fiction, so am hoping to focus my writing assignments on new pieces for my novels. It's a shot in the dark, but it sounded interesting. And it had me up at 1am last night, scribbling down an idea I had for one of my novels. So not a bad thing.

I'm also joining a poetry writing course run by poet Wendy Pratt. Starting in August, it uses nature as inspiration and I'm hoping to work on some pieces inspired by our recent visit to the Highlands. She will send out daily writing prompts and five lesson plans, looking at established writers' work. The course only costs £10 which is a bargain considering how much most online courses cost and I'm sure it will be more personal than the UofI course.

And finally, I've also joined an online writing group started by a friend. There's only a few people in it so far and again, they're focusing on short fiction, but it will give me a more immediate reaction to the work I'm writing for the UofI course, so I'm sure it ill be helpful.

We're taking it easy for a few days while we get used to being back home, so I'm trying to squeeze in extra time writing while there's too much screen-time going on, but we'll see how things go when I'm on my own with the kids again. 

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