Last week I finished a decent draft of the first chapter of a creative non fiction book I’m writing. It was an intense experience, partly because of the content, partly because I’m slightly out of my comfort zone with prose, but I know I need to push through that to reach the place that I want to be. I had been shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship Writing Award which was a huge deal, it’s very prestigious and the prize money would have meant having the time to write, without distraction. I can’t really emphasise how important that is for a writer. Anyhoo, I did not make it past the shortlist and though I was obviously disappointed, I had a lot to be happy about. There were 2000 entries and I made it to the last thirty, with an essay which I’m hoping will form a chapter of the book later down the line. It gave me a massive confidence boost with the prose work, right when I needed it. I feel like a tw*t feeling disappointed about a writing prize anyway, when people are dying.
After I finish each chapter of the book, which is taking about eight weeks, I am finding I need a break from thinking about it and challenging myself and putting myself out there with agents and publishers – the stressful treadmill that getting a project off the ground entails – and this week I have been working instead on changing the online courses to streamline them for a better experience for the course attendee. One of the things I have found with running the prompt a day courses is that there is a real sense of community and support within the groups and it is a brilliant experience to connect like that. I don’t want to lose that, but it’s time now to upgrade and look at a more professional way of running them. Moving forward I intend on inviting (and paying!) trusted writer friends to run courses of their own, under the umbrella of what I think of as my ‘brand’ but what is really just me wanting to run courses in a particular way. I work with a lot of underrepresented groups, and groups who struggle with having the confidence to write and I fall into that category too, so it’s good to open doors for people and give them a hand up and it’s good to be in a position (fingers crossed) to be able to pay course facilitators to help too, because I am confident in the value and the workmanship of the courses I run.
Blah blah blah me me me
Follow this link to my new online course landing page, where you will find the first of my online courses:
I’m currently using the free version of the platform, which is great but doesn’t allow me to have start dates for courses, which is no good for the prompt-a-day courses. So for now the courses on there (and I shall be adding two more soon) will be enrol at any point courses. I’m hoping to have a closed facebook group alongside, but the course is very much a work at your own pace without pressure situation. This is a version of a course I have run previously, but stripped back in terms of interaction and with a few more bits and pieces of course structure. The next stage of the plan is to upgrade as soon as I can to the paid version of the platform, which is where I need your help. I am using the course/s currently on the site to fund the upgrade so that I can once again offer a tiered pricing system (I can’t do that with the free version), and prompt-a-day courses with more feedback and interaction, alongside some higher level ‘masterclass’ and ‘getting started’ type courses. So if you know anyone who you think might enjoy this course, please share and tag them. It’s a great course for beginners to intermediate writers who want to find a way in to working in free verse, structured forms and some tips on editing and getting published. I’ve reduced the price of it, initially, by half, so it is a bargain and has proved a very popular course in the past.
Thanks so much!