On Wednesday 2nd November I did my first college author workshop at Southport College. Okay, I say as a workshop, it was more of a talk to test the waters and gain some feedback on what mature students would like from a visit such as mine.
What was different from the school author workshop?
Quite a bit. I decided to approach this visit without a full structure. When I visit schools I have the entire lesson planned, but I wanted this to be more flexible so I could learn from the students. They asked some questions that gave me ideas to include on a future visit.
I talked about the creative writing course I took in 2011 and where my story ideas come from. Aware that some of the students were considering becoming teachers, I walked the group through the Powerpoint presentation I show school students.
The group joined in and, although I hadn’t planned to read on the day, the group finally got me to relent and read an extract from ‘The Bachelor.’
There was also time for a little Q&A.
What did I learn and would I do it again?
I found out that what I take to colleges is very different to schools, though this is something I was expecting. The feedback they gave was invaluable. Some students have said they enjoyed what I did, while others would have preferred a more ‘creative writing’ approaching, digging into how to write stories.
I would do it again, and that is why I have decided to tailor a specific college author workshop, based on the fabulous feedback from the group.
If you’re a college, get in touch.
I have now set up a dedicated page for colleges with the option of two workshops. One is geared towards creative writing while the other is more of a talk and reading with hints and tips about what works and what doesn’t with the school students.
It would be suitable for college students who want to be writers (in whatever area that may be in, or are considering becoming teachers. While I’m no teacher, I can give them some feedback on the experiences I’ve had.)