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NAWGFest 2018: Workshops

Here are the details of the workshops for NAWGFest 2018.

Also on the site are mini-biographies and photos for the festival tutors and speakers.

Bookable Workshops

There are twenty workshops to choose from, all of which will add to and compliment your writing skills…

Here's a quick summary of the workshops. Click the name links for workshop details.

Tutor Workshop Sat Sun
Julie Bokowiec Bio The building blocks of good narrative script based storytelling (part 1) AM
The building blocks of good narrative script based storytelling (part 2) PM
Contemporary writing AM
The pitter-patter of comedic wordage PM
Morgen Bailey Bio Editing your Fiction: Points of View, Tenses and Characters AM
Editing your Fiction: Grabbing your Reader PM
Editing your Fiction: Writing Techniques AM
Editing Your Fiction: Killing Your Darlings PM
James Nash Bio Daily writing practice – beating the demons AM
Fresh inspirations – where to find other starting points for your writing PM
The villainous villanelle – writing to a form AM
Editing and redrafting – less is more (sometimes) PM
Ken MacLeod Bio Where do you get your ideas from? AM
As you know, professor… PM
Who's hurting? AM
Is anyone out there? PM
Simon Hall Bio Scintillating Starts AM
Planning your Plot PM
Character Dating AM
Journalism PM
Julie Bokowiec
Part 1 – Saturday AM (Julie)
Part 2 – Saturday PM (Julie)
The building blocks of good narrative script based storytelling

These workshops will explore the effective use of structured storytelling inside a classical narrative frame, in depth through the analysis of Oscar winning screenplay: Manchester by the Sea. Writers will examine scenes from the screenplay accompanied by extracts of the film before engaging in a number of writing techniques.

This workshop will benefit those interested and/or engaged in writing for both stage and screen. Writers at these sessions will receive scripts of the film.

Sunday AM (Julie) Contemporary Writing

Stories within stories (plays within plays) on the contemporary stage. Telling not showing. Or showing not telling. How to break the show don't tell rule with dramatic effect.

A range of contemporary stage script will be explored in this workshop that examines back story, character reveals, revenge tactics, political statements and creating haunting atmospheres.

Sunday PM (Julie) The pitter-patter of comedic wordage

Words, sounds and rhythms – the slight of pen and tongue – or having fun with words as the basis for comedy writing. Above and beyond actor delivery and the action of the situation, quite an ear for colourful wordplay is a skill that every aspiring comedy writer must have.

In this workshop participants will be presented with a range of comedic scripts ranging from Shakespeare to Peter Kay and will practically explore a number of approaches and techniques to writing comedy.


Morgen Bailey
Saturday AM (Morgen) Editing your Fiction: Points of View, Tenses and Characters

Opening icebreaker relevant to the session then anonymous feedback on attendees' optional submissions with regard to points of view, tenses and their characters, plus:

  • Point of View and Tenses – clarification and improvement exercises.
  • Create Compelling Characters – discussion and exercises.
  • Short Q&A session on editing and/or the writing industry.

Paper handouts provided and emailed after the course.

(See details for submitting optional work below ↓)

Saturday PM (Morgen) Editing your Fiction: Grabbing your Reader

Opening icebreaker relevant to the session then anonymous feedback on attendees' optional submissions with regard to beginnings and pacing, plus:

  • How to write a gripping opening with writing exercise.
  • What is pacing? How do we make our readers turn the page?
  • Pacing exercises.
  • Short Q&A session on editing and/or the writing industry.

Paper handouts provided and emailed after the course.

Sunday AM (Morgen) Editing your Fiction: Writing Techniques

Opening icebreaker relevant to the session then anonymous feedback on attendees' optional submissions with techniques they can implement, plus:

  • Showing not telling – discussion, tutorial and highlighter pen exercise!
  • Dazzling description and dynamic dialogue.
  • Short Q&A session on editing and/or the writing industry.

Paper handouts provided and emailed after the course.

Sunday PM (Morgen) Editing Your Fiction: Killing Your Darlings

Opening icebreaker relevant to the session then anonymous feedback on attendees' optional submissions on the topic of 'chopping', plus:

  • Deciding what should stay and what should go.
  • Editing exercise: from a specially devised 200-word piece of flash fiction, the students are tasked to reduce the piece to 100 and then 50 words. Prizes (books provided by the tutor) to students achieving the exact word counts, or nearest to them.
  • Short Q&A session on editing and/or the writing industry.

Paper handouts provided and emailed after the course.

Important Information

All attending students may (if they wish) submit up to 2,500 words of their fiction: flash fiction/s, a short story, or novel opening extract (the latter with a one-page synopsis so Morgen can appraise whether students are starting in the right place and that the story would work) – all with 100-word maximum author biographies – to be received by email to Morgen prior to the course (late enrolling students' work will be considered no more than one week before the course date). Morgen would edit the submissions and bring paper copies (including a separate report) to the workshops (emailed to the relevant students after the course).

In each session there will also be short writing exercises for the students to undertake, with some reading out if they wish. Exercises include individual, some pair work and group participation. There would also be the opportunity of winning books (provided by the tutor) at the start of each session as a quick icebreaker.

Email address for submissions: morgen@morgenbailey.com.


James Nash
Saturday AM (James) Daily writing practice – beating the demons

An interactive workshop focusing on how to establish good writing practice, and to ignore the inner critic.

Saturday PM (James) Fresh inspirations – where to find other starting points for your writing

Feeling uninspired? A chance to examine a range of activities (from art to washing up) to re-inspire and re-invigorate your writing.

Sunday AM (James) The villainous villanelle – writing to a form

Writing in more formal structures can actually be a liberation and lead you into fresh ways of being creative. Try to write a villanelle in 90 minutes. There will be prizes.

Sunday PM (James) Editing and redrafting – less is more (sometimes)

How to get the best out of your writing and discover what you really want to say. 'Murder your darlings' and get off scot-free with a better poem at the end of it.


Ken MacLeod
Saturday AM (Ken) Where do you get your ideas from?

Researching imaginary worlds. How to draw on science, history, myth and personal experience to build a solid setting for science fiction and/or fantasy.

Exercise: use what you know to evoke a new world.

Saturday PM (Ken) As you know, professor…

How do we convey our new world to the reader? Not by spelling everything out.

Exercise: write a few hundred words that take us far away, without exposition.

Sunday AM (Ken) Who's hurting?

How do we pick the right protagonist for the story of a changed or changing world? Often it is someone who is adversely affected.

Exercise: imagine a change, find out who might be at the sharp end, and show us how they push back.

Sunday PM (Ken) Is anyone out there?

How do you get your first, second, third story or novel into print? Do's and don'ts for new writers and tips about the SF/F market place.

Exercise: write a pitch for a novel.


Simon Hall
Saturday AM (Simon) Scintillating Starts

Publishers and agents are busy people. You've only got seconds to grab their attention before your lovingly crafted work is slung onto the slush pile.

Here we'll look at how to impress from your very first sentence, then build on that by letting your unique author's voice sing out, and all in a pure show-not-tell style.

Saturday PM (Simon) Planning your Plot

How to draw your reader in from the start, and keep the tension rising, eliminate the dreaded soggy middle, introduce layers in the form of sub-plots, and how to deliver the all-important twist in the tail.

Sunday AM (Simon) Character Dating

A quirky way to get to know your main characters in depth. We'll take Mr. A. Hero, or Ms. A. Villain out on a date. Where will they choose to go? What will they eat and drink? What will they wear? How will they make conversation? If you're lucky enough to be invited back to their home, what is it like?

And how does that help you to build up fascinating and plausible characters?

Sunday PM (Simon) Journalism

Learn everything you need to write stories and get them published; from the headline and opening sentence, to interviewing, basic photography and how to structure and pitch an article. We'll also examine ways to use the media to promote yourself as an author, by writing and placing stories about your work.

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Author: Kevin Machin Date: September 5, 2017 10:43 am
Categories: NAWGFest Tags: NAWGFest 2018
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