Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Upcoming Faber Academy discussion on creative writing

I'm delighted to announce that beginning tomorrow this blog will host a Faber Academy discussion on the radical question, 'What's the point of creative writing?'

As many of you will know, the Faber Academy, a series of writing courses run by the publisher and which started only in October 2008, is now a very busy concern, running several courses a year. Here's the Academy's Ian Ellard on its aims:
People come to us at lots of different stages of their writing, looking for practical help... The emphasis is on nurturing rather than churning, on the personal, not the proscriptive.
Those who follow my author blog may remember that I attended the very first Faber Academy course at the famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop on the Left Bank in Paris, tutored by the meticulous and thoughtful Tobias Hill. On that occasion several of us were fairly experienced writers, there to take stock and refresh our palates, and we had a most enjoyable and stimulating weekend, with two characterisically inspiring talks from Jeanette Winterson. (You can read about it on my other blog here - scroll down to see posts about the course.)

Many of the Faber Academy courses are inevitably for beginners, since, as Ian Ellard says, many potential writers have ambition but are 'waiting to be encouraged and nurtured.' However, he points out: 'There’s one question that, somewhere along the line, they would need to answer: What’s the point?' and this is what the upcoming discussion will focus on. Central to the discussion will be the directors and tutors of a four-month course for emerging writers, Getting Started, which begins on the 21st February: novelists Sue Gee and Marcel Theroux. Tomorrow Sue Gee will kick off by contributing her thoughts on the whole subject, and later Marcel Theroux will add his. Both will be prepared to answer any ensuing questions.

As readers of this blog will know, I have some ambivalent views about the teaching of creative writing, so this promises to be a very apt and interesting discussion...
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