WordShed Lite visits Gravesend

Wordsmithery's Occasional Blog

Photo of the Word Potting Shed As part of the wonderful Footfall Project from the Gravesend Arts Consortium, we are running creative writing workshops – a version of the WordShed lite.

The first workshop was held on 19 April and the next one is on 10 May.

“My daughter and I just took part in the workshop “The Word Shed” and really enjoyed it. I have to admit I don’t consider myself great at writing, but I enjoyed the different styles we tried, from Haiku, to a creative monologue. My daughter is only 9 but she really enjoyed it too and came away wanting to do more. Thanks for letting us be a part of it.”

Here’s a collective poem we wrote inspired by the phrase ‘Heart of Darkness’:

Heart of Darkness
The Heart of Darkness, a book about time…
When love was shaken to the core and the beating stopped
Silence fell, all breathing was heard
In the…

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Writing workshops at Footfall project in Gravesend

Wordsmithery's Occasional Blog

Gravesend market door picture Sam is happy to be involved with an exciting arts project in Gravesend, where she will be hosting two free writing workshops as part of the Footfall project.

Footfall is a project organised by Wendy Cottam, of Gravesend Arts Consortium.

The project brings together artists from Gravesend and beyond, to make work publicly in spaces in Gravesend’s market. There will also be a series of workshops and exhibitions, to be held every Saturday from March 22 to May 31 in Gravesend Borough Market, off the High Street.

Sam will be hosting a version of the WordShed in the market on 19 April and 10 May (tbc), from 1.30pm-3.30pm, where attendees can expect to do a range of fun writing exercises, inspired by their Gravesend location.

Find out more about the Footfall project on Facebook.

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Do a line at The Word Shed…

picture of a young man adding a line to the poem

Rochester’s longest communal poem (probably)

Here is the collaborative, collective poem that we wrote as part of the Word Shed’s visit to the Rochester LitFest Garden Party.

 

The watcher of the night awoke,

He opened one great eye and spoke,

Finally, this is me,

He croaked.

 

The princess in her ivory tower

Tainted by her life.

Maximillian Mouse, her only friend and confidante

Felt furry furry furry

Furry, furry furious furry

Feet of rodents.

 

He croaked again:

She’s ignoring me

Her mind had wandered out to sea.

He croaked again, while she was on the waves.

I’m so hot, I can’t think

GET ME OUT OF HERE!

 

Rodents don’t shed a tear.

Nothing feels worse maybe even better than this,

Even when staring down the abyss.

Time is precious, so use it well.

 

Melting, smelting, steaming,

Heat raged from the factory beyond.

Shouting, screaming, yelling, heard from the factory beyond.

 

She kissed the frog, and in despair, it croaked

And left her standing there.

She laughed and thought,

Everything is happening perfectly.

 

I’m so hot

Save me from this wretched place.

I’m stretched out like a tabby cat in the sun.

And she dreamed her dream to sail far.

Long may the maiden voyage float.

 

Word Shed on the road

picture of a young man adding a line to the poem

Rochester’s longest communal poem (probably)

The sun came out and we temporarily transformed the smoking lean-to at the Good Intent into the Word Shed for the afternoon of 14 July 2013.

Writing activities to try out included:

* contributing a line to Rochester’s longest communal poem (probably)

* Cut-n-paste poetry

* Roll the dice poetry or prose.

A great afternoon was had by all and we will post some of the poems – including probably Rochester’s longest – in due course.

The Seed Compendium

The Seed Compendium contains  large selection of additional creative writing from the Fuse Festival and our WordShops. You can read it online or download it from the Words page.

It is 50 pages long and really gives a fantastic snapshot of the creativity we encountered in Medway during the Fuse Festival. There are poems and writing from all ages in the booklet and we hope that you will enjoy it, and excuse any typing errors we might have made!

If you would like to get hold of a printed copy of The Seed Catalogue, our much shorter booklet, there are still some copies at Chatham library.

The Word Shed at Rochester Literature Festival Summer Garden Party

We are delighted to say we will be taking over the shed in the garden of the Good Intent, as a temporary squatted home for the Word Shed during the afternoon of the Rochester Literature Festival Summer Garden Party!

Come along and sit in our lean-to between 12noon and 4pm on Sunday 14th July, at the Good Intent Pub in John Street, Rochester, where you can do some writing themed around summer. The party will feature a delightful cultural mix of performances, open mic, storytelling and a special edition of Seasonally Effected.

There might even be an opportunity for you to sit on Charlie’s Chair… wait and see what that is!

See more on the Rochester Literature festival website.

 

And that’s it for the Fuse Festival this year!

Picture of people in the Word Shed

Happy Word Shedders!

We had a fantastic response to The Word Shed at the Fuse Festival. We had almost 100 people from ages 3 (with some help from mum!) to 90, who took some time out from the festival (and the sometimes rainy/windy weather), to sit in the warmth and shelter of the shed to do a bit of writing. A lot of those who visited had never had a go at creative writing before, or hadn’t really done any since school, and told us they really enjoyed the opportunity to share their stories.

For those littlies who weren’t quite up to writing in the shed, we also had large pieces of paper on the pavement in Gillingham and Chatham, where they could express themselves in words or pictures, and we had a brilliant response to this too, with one visitor telling us she had come specially from Gillingham to Chatham the next day, as her children had enjoyed writing on the pavement paper so much!

On the last day of Fuse, we launched our Seed Catalogue booklet. This is a creative writing pamphlet containing a selection of writing done during our creative writing workshops (WordShops) in the run up to the festival. We handed out a copy to anyone who came to the shed who wanted one, and also did some readings from this new publication. A few remaining copies will shortly be available from the libraries where we did our WordShops. You can also download it from the Words page.

We will be typing up and getting all the photos together this week and next, and hopefully have a full PDF of everything we could type up ready to download by the end of the month.

Here are some bits of feedback we received:

“This is an excellent, inclusive event. I really enjoyed it and so did my daughter!”

“Being under pressure to think is something I’ve not experienced since exams a decade or so ago and is a singularly uncomfortable experience… But quite good fun!”

“More local artists to be included in the Fuse Festival – Wonderful Word Shed – more, more, more!”

“I heart Word Shed. I think it is cool and fun. I would love to see it next year.”

“We only came to Chatham today because the kids enjoyed the Word Shed at Gillingham yesterday.”

“It’s a wonderful idea, I will come back with the grandchildren.”

Once again, thanks to Fuse festival (The Word Shed was developed with the aid of a Spark Commission), and to Passmores who loaned us the shed for the weekend.

If you would like to hear more about ME4Writers’ future projects, please send us an email, or follow our blog.

Picture of paper on ground with writing on

The word on the street…