New Online Course, Starting 1st March 2020: Writing in the Blood

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Photograph copyright Wendy Pratt

It’s that time of the month again, when the new course is announced and bookings are open. First, though, I wanted to tell you about some changes that I have made. There will now be no closed facebook page for the online courses, in its place there will be a secret, hidden website which only paid members are invited to join. This is closed to the public and nothing in the group can be shared outside it, making it entirely secure as a space where writers wish to share ongoing work, work which they are hoping may be published at some point. Within the secret invite-only website there will be areas to post your work, which won’t chew your line breaks up, and spaces to comment. There is also a live chat facility, again private and invite-only, where course members will be invited to a weekly discussions on the course themes. I’ve run live chats in the past and my experience is that they are invigorating, fun, and exciting events. I’m very excited to be going into this next phase of the online tutorials and hoping to expand and build on this again in the future.

And so, to the march 2020 course, a band spanking new course which will consist of daily prompts delivered directly to your email and weekly course notes as well as the super shiny new invite only website.

Writing in the Blood

Writing in the Blood is a brand new biology and anatomy based creative writing course, beginning on 1st of march 2020 and ending on the 31st of March 2020. I’ll be putting my biologist hat on to take you through biology based prompts, we’ll be exploring our internal organs, the networks of nerves that keep us feeling, the grey matter of our brains, the blood in our veins. We’ll be think about bacteria, viruses, illnesses, recovery. We’ll be asking ourselves what part the body plays in our emotions, our reactions, how we feel about ageing, the lost youth of smooth skin and lithe bodies. We’ll be talking disability, ability, fitness and the joys of having a body that works, the social pressures and stigmas around bodies that don’t.

As ever, this is a fun course, there is no homework, no pressure to produce anything at all, if you don’t want to, the main aim is that you enjoy the writing. The courses are designed to be safe areas in which people feel at ease and the website will be monitored by myself daily. You might not see me, but I am always about.

This course is suitable for beginners and experienced writers and is aimed at poets, fiction writers and creative non fiction writers. Over the four weeks this course/online workshop will help you reconnect with your body. Each week you will receive a ‘lesson plan’ with a weekly writing focus, resources, writing examples, tips and guidance. You’ll also receive a daily creativity prompt to help stimulate your writing potential. These will be delivered directly to your inbox. as mentioned there will be a private, invite only website, where course attendees can chat, exchange ideas and share work for gentle and constructive criticism.

Because the new secret website is new to me, I am keeping numbers in this group fairly low, so please don’t leave it until the last minute to book a place!

I am so excited to have you join me on the next leg of the journey!

How to Sign Up

I now have a simple payment method in my shop where you can make a payment to sign up. If the email address you want your course materials, and your website invite sent to is different to your PayPal address, let me know by emailing me at wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com.

To make things fair, and to make sure that my courses are available to those on lower incomes, I have a tiered pricing system. Details below. And don’t forget, you can sponsor a place for a writer who doesn’t have the money to sign up. What a great  gift that would be! I currently have one sponsored place.

Payment Tiers

For this course, and all future courses, I am bringing in a method of tiered payment, a ‘pay what you can’  method which relies on the honesty of course attendees. There are three payment levels: £20, £40 and £60. There is also the option to sponsor another place at the price level of your choice so that I can support disadvantaged writers.

Why I have given the option to pay more

Lots of previous attendees have told me, during feedback sessions, that they would have paid much more for one of these courses, comparing it to other courses available to them. But at the same time, lots of people have told me they were grateful for the lower cost as it meant they could afford to develop their writing within their own means. I am from a working class background and still live in a working class town. There’s a grey area when it comes to WC folk, and it’s the place where almost everyone I know lives – the place where you are certainly not living in poverty, but you can’t justify retreats, courses or workshops because there is always something else (Christmas, birthdays etc).
It’s my opinion that everyone should have access to exploring their world through the arts, creative writing is my niche and in a world in which the arts are being slowly eroded, where funding is reduced and reduced, I feel I need to do something practical to help people like me, from my background. At the same time, as a working class writer and workshop facilitator, I need to be able to pay my bills and continue doing the things that I have trained for. Hence the option to pay more if you feel you can.
I know from experience how difficult it is to work out which level is right for you, so I have put some guidance together, below. I’ve based my reasoning mainly on the value of £20 in relation to  food and alcohol for some reason:

Sponsored Place – 

If you would need to make a choice between the course and essentials like food and electricity, then you are most likely entitled to a sponsored place.  Get in touch at wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com for a chat. I don’t interrogate, this is an honesty system and giving writers a leg up is important.

£20 

If £20 is what you might spend on a takeaway and a bottle of wine, this is probably the tier for you.

£40

If £20 is what you spend on a bottle of wine and a nice bar of chocolate, the forty pound tier sounds about right for you.

£60

If twenty pounds is the amount that you might put into a charity box, or a church collection, then this is probably the tier for you.

YOU CAN SPONSOR A PLACE

Even if you aren’t interested in doing the course, you can still sponsor a place and give a leg up to a writer who has hit hard times and can’t justify the disposable income for a creative writing course. If you ARE doing the course, you can also sponsor an extra place. You might choose to pay £40 for yourself and sponsor a £20 place, you might be an absolute angel and pay £60 and still sponsor a £20 place, you might be a virtual saint and sponsor two £60 places. It’s up to you. Mix and match.

 

What Happens Next

Once you have paid by PayPal (please drop me a line if you have paid in another way, I may miss your payment otherwise) I will use the email provided to invite you to the secret website, I will also use this email address to send a welcome letter to confirm that this email is working.

There might be a slight delay, while I get used to the new website, but you will get your welcome letter straight away (or the next day) confirming your place on the course.

 

Thanks for being a part of this adventure!

Wendy

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