WRITING WORKSHOPS

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.

 

-Ernest Hemingway

M y writing workshops are different. They are not think tanks of critisism and competition, but crucibles of creativity where great ideas could, and have been born. I aim to awaken creativity in people. Not everyone is a born writer, but everyone is creative and there is a chance that creativity can flow through words in the right enviornment, using  paper and pen. This is what I provide. A safe, intensely creative space. I use a method I developed called Creative Meditation to break down the barriers between the concsious and the subconsious mind. This serves not only to relax the participant, but to help them elicit the most urgent and vibrant messages from their imagination and their memory banks.

You see, all the stories are there, waiting to be excavated, as Stephen King puts it in ‘On Writing’. Hidden fossils. So if you’re ready to take an exciting adventure, come to my writing workshops. Writing is a powerful act. It is the act of tracking our own concsiousness. Sometimes, incredible things happen. Often they don’t, but we at least get to see what our innermost urgings are. My Pencraft Writing Workshops help the writer to hone their skill, and forge the raw material they have into prose that works, that has their own voice embedded in it. And the rest is the continual polishing of the nuts and bolts, so that the surface shines and the reader falls into, unquestioningly, as John Gardner puts it ‘the continuous dream’.

Contact me for Writing Consultancy, Writing Workshop facilitation, Editing and Proofreading. Rates apply. 

letters@siofraodonovan.com

UPCOMING EVENTS:

 

                                                                                                                                       

WRITING THE HERO’S JOURNEY

 

 

  • An Amazing Journey into the Creative Writing Experience!
  • INTENSIVE 12 WEEK Creative Writing COURSE
  • 20 September- 6th December (12 weeks)
  • THE ULTIMATE WRITING COURSE FOR UNLEASHING YOUR CREATIVE TALENT AND CRAFTING YOUR WRITING!
  • This is an intensive writing course which is aimed at those who are beginning, or continuing their writing practice.
  • THERE WILL BE SOME GUEST WRITERS SPEAKING, BUT THE MAJORITY OF TUITION WILL BE WITH SIOFRA O’DONOVAN, A PUBLISHED AUTHOR, JOURNALIST AND CREATIVE WRITING FACILITATOR FOR OVER 12 YEARS. SHE WORKS WITH THE WRITERS IN SCHOOLS SCHEME/ POETRY IRELAND, THE WRITERS IN PRISONS SCHEME/ ARTS COUCIL OF IRELAND AND IS MEMBER OF THE TEACHING COUNCIL OF IRELAND.
  • DATES of the COURSE: SEPT- 20th- DEC 6th WEDNESDAYS AT 10-12PM IN THE NOVARA CENTREhttp://www.thenovaracentre.ie/practitioners/siofra-o-donovan/, BRAY, CO WICKLOW
  • COST: 12 WEEK TERM: 275 EURO, PAYABLE IN TWO INSTALLMENTS.
  • TO SECURE A PLACE ON THE COURSE, A DEPOSIT OF 100 EURO will be paid.
  • Early Bird IF BOOKED IN FULL BY 10TH SEPTEMBER: 250 EURO INSTEAD OF 275 EURO
  • CONTACT: shisheb@gmail.com
  • letters@siofraodonovan.com
  • or www.siofraodonovan.com

COURSE OUTLINE:

  • The first term of 12 weeks focusses the archetypal Hero’s Journey, which we will write experientially in workshops, using the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey, a blueprint for all stories, myths and movies!
  • We will also learn how to edit and improve the writing we do, using particular excercies, drawing from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, and Pat Schneider’s The Writer as an Artist and Julia Cameron’s The Artists’ Way.
  • The work done on the course is experimental and there is no pressure to produce a perfect book/ screenplay, but support will be offered in the form of advice regarding querying agents and publishers, should the writer wish to take this route with the work they have created on the course.

“I found this course to be extraordinary. I thought it would be useful to help me find structure to the stories I write. It was much more, it was quite a personal journey; challenging, rewarding, inspirational. Siofra creates an atmosphere of such creativity, a safe space to write, a place where we could push past boundaries and self doubt. After one session, I felt inspired to write at home, so I sat and wrote a short story called A Dance with Time. Subsequently that story was longlisted for the Colm Tobin Short Story.”

Zandra C.The Hero’s Journey Writing Workshops in the Novara Centre from 2016- 2017

 

COST: 275 EURO and 10% off if booked before 10th September 2017

 

NEW: WRITE YOUR MEMOIRS

 

4 Week Intensive Course: Write your Memoirs : 4 Saturdays in September: 2nd: 11am-4pm /9th: 11am-2pm / 16th: 11am-2pm and 23rd September: 11-4pm

Cost: 160 EURO DEPOSIT: 80 EURO to secure place. PLACES LIMITED

 

SEE OUR FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/346150982475286/?ti=icl

 

COURSE TAKES PLACE IN A STUNNING, INSPIRING LOCATION IN WICKLOW FREQUENTED FAMOUSLY BY BRENDAN BEHAN, JP DONLEAVY AND MORE…

 

Facilitated by a Qualified Journalist and writer LIOSA MCNAMARA and published author SIOFRA O’DONOVAN

“Write your life story for your grandchildren”

 

Covering:

-Building YOUR story

-Skills for Writing Memoirs

-Looking back with a Writer’s Mind

-Excavating your Memories

-Finding the Story in your History

-Why your Memoir is important

 

THE HEROINE’S WRITING JOURNEY

 

STARTING OCTOBER 2017 THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY

The Heroine’s Journey Creative Writing Workshops

New Writing Course based on the Hero’s Journey, drawing from the work of Maureen Murdock, Marija Gimbutas and Clarissa Pinkola Estes. The Heroine’s Journey is an exploration, through Creative Writing, of the Separation from the Feminine, Initiation and Descent to the Goddess, the Yearning to reconnect with the Feminine, Healing the Mother/ Daughter split, Healing the Wounded Masculine and the Inegration of the Masculine and the Feminine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PENCRAFT WRITING WORKSHOPS

RESUME 21ST SEPTEMBER 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pencraft writing workshops hone your writing skills. Each workshop focuses on a different theme:  character development, setting, dialogue, plot, narrative, voice and point of view.

 

 

 

 

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath

 

 

 

 

Runs in a private venue in Greystones EIGHT WEEK COURSE From Thursday 21ST SEPTEMBER . A weekly intensive workshop series on the craft of writing that runs for a block of EIGHT weeks. Booking for the full eight weeks is necessary. Bookings through Contact Form. Handouts each week and emails for home writing are included, along with teas and coffees and biscuits.

The Hero’s Journey Writing Workshops

One of the most profound and innovative thinkers of our time was Joseph Campbell, the renowned mythologist. In 1949, in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell unveiled the structure of the ‘Monomyth’ or ‘Hero’s Journey’. Under their apparent diversity, all the great myths of humanity present us with the same map of yearnings and fears that every human being experiences on the way to discovering themselves.

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.

 

-Joseph Campbell

In these workshops, you will find your Hero, bring them over the Threshold into a New World full of Challenges and Trials, aided by your Guides and Mentors, hindered by your Enemies and, ultimately your Dragon…behind which you will find your Treasure which you must bring back on the Return Journey with skill and balance, forging the Extraordinary with the Ordinary World. This Archetypal Journey can be used for your own self discovery, or for a greater creative project like a novel or a screenplay. Christopher Vogler simplified the Hero’s Journey template and circulated it in Hollywood as a tool for structuring screenplays.

 

On 1st December 2016, we are screening the documentary Finding Joe , which is about the work of Joseph Campbell, and the Hero’s Journey. How this affects our lives, how we can map our own lives on the archetypal Hero’s Journey. How, when we write this journey, it can really help us change our lives. The well of creativity seems to erupt on the course of this amazing writing journey, which starts in February 2017. For more information, and for bookings, contact letters@siofraodonovan.com. Finding Joe.

The Hero’s Journey is not an invention, but an observation. It is a recognition of a beautiful design, a set of principles that governs the conduct of life and the world of storytelling the way physics and chemistry govern the physical world.

 

-Christopher Vogler

Writing the Hero’s Journey creatively is incredibly beneficial for your own life skills. It enhances your your understanding of life itself. The Hero’s Journey is a fundamental workshop for anyone who wishes to undertake a transformative self-discovery journey.

 

The Hero’s Journey Writing Workshops run in 8 or 12 week series. The current course is held at The Novara Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. This course finishes 24th November the next course begins in early February. Please contact me for more details. I can also give private sessions.

Testimonials

“I recently attended the CREATIVE WRITING AND DRAMATHERAPY workshop and had a most enlivening and creative experience. The free-flowing nature of the day and friendly yet professional approach of Siofra (and Eva Lindroos) ensured that all participants bonded together as a group, helping each other to enjoy, create, and participate in a way that was comfortable for them. I would highly recommend the workshop for anyone and everyone”

“I found this course to be extraordinary. I thought it would be useful to help me find structure to the stories I write. It was much more, it was quite a personal journey; challenging, rewarding, inspirational. Siofra creates an atmosphere of such creativity, a safe space to write, a place where we could push past boundaries and self doubt. After one session, I felt inspired to write at home, so I sat and wrote a short story called A Dance with Time. Subsequently that story was longlisted for the Colm Tobin Short Story.”

“I have come to truly value this powerful way of accessing material from within and beyond myself -via guided meditations. Síofra holds a beautiful class where it is safe to explore and to share, and where for me, there is the perfect balance of both fun and depth.”

“I really enjoyed the writing course, it opened up a part of me that I didn’t even know I had, it gave me the ability to be creative and to be amazed at what can come from inside me! It was also a privilege to be a witness to other people’s creative journeys, and to see what came from them. Creative writing was never really something I did, and I had the belief that I couldn’t do it, but this course completely changed that and made me see that everyone has a deep well of life and imagination and expression within them, longing to be released! The journey was about giving over to another part of myself, to that “creative genius” which I can’t even account for, but which comes from some place far beyond or deep within my psyche. Now I know I can tap into that place anytime and it is a journey I very much want to continue. It is nourishing, enriching and satisfying. What you discover is at times very surprising and yet always profound. I’d also like to say that the use of meditation as a key into that space is really powerful and wonderful. Thank you for the course, it was a privilege to be a part of it and I am very grateful for it. :)”

“I was amazed by the upwelling of latent creativity from within me. It was such a pleasure being part of this lovely class, in a wonderful environment where each student’s endeavours and abilities are kindly nurtured”

Pencraft Workshops

Writing is inextricably linked to dreaming, and good writing necessitates, as John Gardner says, ‘the continuous dream’. Seamless prose. Wonders. Jewels. Horrors. All delivered as if they were already there, in that other world, waiting to be discovered. Or, as Stephen King puts it, excavated. Stories are already in tact, waiting to be discovered.

Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered, pre-existing world.

 

-Stephen King

Pencraft workshops seek to explore the spectrum of psychic distance, and that strange, ill-defined and over-mentioned thing call ‘voice’ in writing. At the one end of the spectrum is the intensly interior voice running in stream of concsiousness, as in Molly Bloom’s soliloquay in Ulysses, or the other end of the spectrum such as a reliable, all-knowing narrator, like Nelly Dean in Wuthering Heights. Or, think of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, in which there can be five characters vying for a voice in one paragraph.

She was the most beautiful person he had ever seen. With stars in her eyes and veils in her hair, with cyclamen and wild violets – what nonsense was he thinking? She was fifty at least; she had eight children. Stepping through fields of flowers and taking breast buds that had broken and lambs that had fallen; with the stars in her eyes and the wind in her hair – He took her bag… Charles Tansley felt an extraordinary pride; felt the wind and the cyclamen and the violets for he was walking with a beautiful woman for the first time in his life. “He had hold of her bag.”

 

To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

Portrait Photo Siofra O'DonovanWe explore the very craft of writing in Pencraft. How do we overcome technical problems? What is in our toolbox? How do we develop our characters without obsessing over their every quirk, and let them be autonomous and authentic enough to drive the story forward, breaking free of any plotting the writer has attempted to imprison them within? Writing takes work, and rework, and rework. The magic often only really appears in the second or third draft, the tightening and knitting together of the narrative.

 

Pencraft Workshops run in 8 week courses.

 

 

The current Pencraft runs until 22nd November 2016 and the next one starts in early February.

 

Dates and venue TBC.

 

Please contact me for more details.

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