Beginnings and Endings
In January I will be re-running my popular course: Beginnings and Endings, with all new prompts and two open mic/get together sessions via zoom.
What’s it About?
January is the start of the year, a time to refocus and look at what we want to achieve over the months to come. This course will encourage you to think about how your work begins and how it ends: first lines, first paragraphs, first stanzas, last paragraphs endings and that crucial last line. It’s all about the hook at the beginning and the punch at the end. But we’ll also be reflecting on, and writing about, your own personal beginnings, your first times, the endings in your life that have meant something to you as well as looking outwards to the beginnings of civilisations, the ends of eras and the way we, as human animals, process the grief of endings.
How it Works
Starting on January 1st, this course will run until 31st of January. Each week you’ll receive course notes that explain the theme for the week, and five days a week, Monday to Friday, you will receive a brand new prompt, delivered straight into your email box, aimed at getting you putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard to get a first draft of a poem, a piece of fiction or a piece of non fiction written. There will be two friendly open mic./ get togethers during the course too. This is a no pressure course. You don’t have to produce anything if you don’t want to and we all know how life gets in the way sometimes so there is no need to post anything in the closed facebook group, which you will automatically be invited to.
The course is aimed at any level of writer, from beginners to more experienced writers. You’ll be able to join in discussions in the closed Facebook group, which will be moderated daily by myself. The group is friendly and welcoming and you’ll receive basic tips and advice from myself alongside lots of encouragement.
How to Sign Up
I now have a simple payment method in my shop (follow this link: https://wendyprattpoetry.com) where you can make a payment to sign up. If the email address you want your course materials sent to is different to your PayPal address, let me know by emailing me at email@example.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 Christmas gift that would be! If you are a writer who would not be able to partake in this course due to financial difficulties, drop me a line at wendyprattfreelancewriter.com for details of available sponsored places. You’ll not be interrogated.
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 plus a special £90 option which entitles you to more detailed editing suggestions on up to four pieces of work at the end of the course. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat. I don’t interrogate, this is an honesty system and giving writers a leg up is important.
If £20 is what you might spend on a takeaway and a bottle of wine, this is probably the tier for you.
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.
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.