A peek inside a Writing Circle

Last weekend I had the pleasure of running a taster session for the upcoming Writing Circles. I could call the session a dry run as I had a chance to familiarise myself with the hall, play with lighting, arrange chairs and tables, find teacups and sugar spoons, etc., but there was really nothing dry about it. We had a steady flow of conversation, tea and ink. In fact, even the writing prompts we used were wet!

I decided to revisit an activity from a previous workshop that seemed rich with potential the first time I used it, but in the unfolding had felt slightly rushed and underdeveloped. So for the taster session, I expanded it further, allowing time and space for more connections, more discussion and more writing. Time and space are underused ingredients in teaching and learning.

dsc07334-1024x7681-e1409383810565.jpg

After several rounds of freewriting, we shared some early lines, to aerate our ideas. Then we harvested ripe words:

And before our wondering eyes and listening ears, poems started to emerge! We found a few haikus, as well as some other forms, still in progress. Here's a taste:

A pile of orange peels too soft, too sweet fuzzed with new green mold  - Melissa
writing circle the slow melt of the ice prompt -  Nicole
Skating across my palm slipping through my fingers the beans hold their secrets - Melissa

This week, I've been planning for the sessions. I so love planning. Ideas shout out like a class of five-year-olds, waving their arms wildly, each one believing in the urgency and import of what it has to say : 'Me! Choose me!' or 'I know! I know!' or 'Oooh! What about this?' Big ideas need big paper, so I use flip-chart paper and big coloured pens to capture them all.

I consider myself a very lucky woman to count flip-chart paper as an official business expense.

Registration update:

  • Only one space remains for the Harlton Hall Writing Circle. Is it yours? Register here.
  • The Rock Road Library Writing Circle has been postponed until after the October half-term.