10 SENTENCE STORY STARTER!

The other day I dug through my creative writing files – the old fashioned sort –preparing for a workshop I was presenting for the Brisbane Writers Group, and found this fun exercise. It  took me a long time to find, I have a lot of files!woman with endless files

I first did the exercise at a workshop by the respected Australian author Rodney Hall (he won the Miles Franklin twice!) at the QLD Writers Centre well over a decade ago now. It was one of the best I’ve ever attended.

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This exercise is a simple way to start a story.

But more that, it demonstrates just how useful setting and description can be when developing the tone of a piece and even in developing character. It’s also great for showing how much impact a little repetition can have in your writing. Sound good?

Let’s do it! Get your writing tools ready!

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FIRST – Envision a scene about two people (Person A and Person B) meeting again after a long period. Anywhere, any time, any people.

For each of the following prompts write one sentence without deliberately connecting them.

  1. Weather – describe the weather

 

  1. Object – describe an object in the environment – a non-living thing

 

  1. Person A – focus on an item of clothing they’re wearing – does it do something?

 

  1. Weather – describe the weather again

 

  1. A sound – not speech

 

  1. Mood – return to the object and show it reflecting the mood of the scene

 

  1. Person A has first glimpse of Person B

 

  1. Look at 5 and repeat the sound

 

  1. Look at 3 – what is the item of clothing doing now?

 

  1. Person A says something surprising

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How did you go? Did you come up with something you weren’t expecting that was even just a little bit poetic? I hope so! It’s a great way to start a story or just get those writing juices flowing for the day.

Have you got a favourite writing prompt? I’m always looking for new ideas for my workshops so please do share in the comments.

Always looking for prompts and writing hints and tips yourself? JOIN MY LIST.

The last two spots are still available for my upcoming Magnetic Island Relax and Write Retreat June 21 -23. CONTACT ME for more information.

And last of all, I have a couple of new workshops coming up.

7 JULY at the CYA CONFERENCE which is now including a special day – WRITING FOR ALL THE MARKETS – for writers of crossover fiction and/or adults in its program. Join me for an action-packed life writing workshop!

13 JULY at the QLD WRITERS CENTRE – come along to BUILDING YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER – or as I like to call it, Many Fingers, Many Pies. This is a fun-filled creative exploration of ways to make money as a writer. We all need to make a living and finding ways to pay the bills that align with our writing dreams isn’t as hard as you may think. Come along for some brainstorming, planning and creative collaging on ways to make money from your writing skills. This afternoon workshop is being live-streamed for regional writers. Check it out.

Good luck with all your writing projects. Let me know how you go with the 10 Sentence Story starter. Hope you have fun with it!

Lots of love,

Edwina xx

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WOOD NYMPHS WRITING RETREAT!

A wonderful time was had by all at the latest Relax and Write Retreat up in the hills and among the trees at Highfields.

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Fourteen women feasted and rested, stretched, danced, laughed, relaxed and wrote in good company.

The lovely folk at Camp Koojarewon took really good care of us, providing delicious vegetarian meals and treats. Everything was spotlessly clean and they built fires to keep us warm, making sure we were all well fed and comfy.

We had the whole camp to ourselves, so even though we were in dorms we were able to spread out and have lots of space to ourselves. The ground were beautiful with lots of walks to explore.

Highlights for me were the crazy fun of scarf dancing and all the great writing that was done in the workshops. I especially loved our workshop out on the verandah where it felt like we were in a tree house.

 

Monique provided glorious healing massages, we ate like queens, and enjoyed the company of other writers, learning from each other and being inspired.

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Come along and join the fun at the next one.

RELAX AND WRITE ON MAGNETIC ISLAND – tropical far north Queensland. June 21 – 23 2019.

More information about that coming soon!

Contact me HERE if you’d like to be kept in the loop for retreat news and for writing hints and tips and publishing opportunities.

Until then – HAPPY WRITING! May the joy of the retreat wood nymphs be with you!

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lots of love

Edwina xx

 

 

 

RELAX AND WRITE 2

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Just back from the latest Relax and Write Retreat – a combined yoga and writing retreat for women, that I run with Helena Pastor – my best writing buddy and dear friend.

With 12 participants ranging in age from 28 to 70, we did yoga and writing workshops, laughed and swam, feasted and sang. Together we shared our stories and lifted up each other’s hearts.

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For the full rundown and lots more photos see here

We had a fabulous time. Why don’t you come along and join us at the next one?

Lots of love

Edwina

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Writer in Residence

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Last week I had the honour of being Writer in Residence at St Patrick’s College  for the school’s Men of Words week. In the most beautiful teaching room imaginable, overlooking the Shorncliffe Pier and Moreton Bay, I shared my love of writing with all of the young men in years 7, 8 and 9.

We started each session with a general chat about the importance of reading, and the magic of reading and writing – the unique creation that is formed every time a different person interacts with a text. Then we got down to the fun stuff – RELAXING and WRITING!

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I love this shot because it’s such a joy to help everybody let go of their busy days and enter their imaginations. Love the boy in the jacket with the levitating arms!

Once everybody was calm, I led them into a creative writing exercise, entering a story world of their own, populated by characters of their own invention. Once they had a story in mind, I got them to roll over and write it – as fast as they could – with a time limit!

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Though I did end up with a few Fort Knight (a poplar game with teenage boys I’ve discovered!) stories, most of the writing that emerged was fresh and original, and some pieces were extraordinary. The bravest of boys read their stories aloud to the group. It’s amazing how many volunteers I had once I bribed them with a mint!

It was an absolute joy working with the young gentlemen, and hard-working staff, of St. Pat’s. I hope that my visit has helped to inspire a love of writing and reading that will last all their lives.

Shorncliffe pier

To have me come along and do writing workshops with your school or writing group please contact Speakers Ink. In the meantime – I’m off to the second ever RELAX and WRITE RETREAT for women. Three full days of yoga and writing 🙂 YAY!!

 

RELAX AND WRITE RETREAT 2018

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YAY! Dates are now set for the next Relax and Write Retreat!
Friday March 16 – Monday 19th 2018
Feeling like you deserve a special treat this Christmas?
This retreat may be just the ticket.
Three nights away in a beautiful beachside location with like-minded women, relaxing with gentle yoga and inspiring your inner writer with fun writing workshops.
It will still be lovely and warm in March so bring your swimmers and sunblock. We’ll be staying at the beautifully basic Camp Koinonia in Evans Head, Northern NSW

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So, whether you’re a writer in need of relaxation and a good stretch, or a yoga practitioner yearning to write, this is the retreat for you.
Here’s what participants from the 2017 retreat had to say…
“Edwina and Helena have an easy style of putting people at ease and making each individual feel welcome and they were flexible in altering the program to meet the needs of the participants.”
“It was a great break away, affordable and I left feeling refreshed and with a significant amount of writing done.”
“I came away with a lot of information about entering into the field of professional writing as well as a wealth of ideas and starting points for fiction and memoir writing.”

Also announcing our MORE DASH THAN CASH positions. Would you love to do a retreat like this but don’t have the available funds right now? We know what that’s like (and we need some helpers!) so we’ve created a couple of sponsored positions.
Apply for one of our supported spots where for a few hours assistance with kitchen and other duties you can join us at a greatly reduced cost.

For more information and to book please contact Helena:
helenapastor2@gmail.com or
phone 0447 334 665

relax and write yoga

So, come along and join our merry band of scribes and mermaids. Relax, write and enjoy yourself in a beautiful coastal setting with experienced workshop facilitators and published authors Helena Pastor and Edwina Shaw – see their bios HERE.
Unwind with yoga and free your creative voice with lots of fun writing activities and workshops. All only a minute’s walk from a glorious beach surrounded by national park where you can swim, walk, laze in the sun or meditate to your heart’s content.
Pick up from Coolangatta or Ballina airports is available if you’re coming from afar.
PROGRAM for March 2018
Friday
2 pm onwards – checking in
5:30 – meet and greet, drinks and nibbles
6:30 – Deep relaxation and introductory writing exercises
7:30 – Dinner
Saturday
7:30 – 9 am – Gentle morning yoga and breathing exercises with Edwina
10:30 – 12:30 – Writing Your Way into a Story – Helena
FREE TIME FOR LUNCH AND BEACH ACTIVITIES
3:30 – 5:30 – Using yoga and drama techniques for developing your characters – Edwina
7pm – dinner
Open Mic Night. If you would like to, please bring along a song or other musical item, a poem, a short performance piece or whatever else you would like to share 
Sunday
7:30 – 9 am – Yoga with Edwina
10:30 – 12:30 – Structuring for Suspense – Edwina
Excursion to Chinaman’s Beach for picnic lunch and freewriting
4pm – 6 pm – Writing Dialogue – Helena
7 pm – dinner
Monday
7:30 – 9 am – Yoga with Edwina
10:30 – 12:30 – Pitching your work – from bios to synopses to grant applications – E and H
Feedback and farewells.
For more information and to book please contact Helena:
helenapastor2@gmail.com or
phone 0447 334 665

Helena and Edwina photoCome along and join the fun. We’d love to have you with us.
Get in fast. Places are strictly limited to no more than 15 places.

TREAT YOURSELF!

 

logo relax and writeIt’s glorious weather here in Brisbane this week. Just right for the beach!

Are you in need of some rest and relaxation? In need of a whole body/ mind/ spirit makeover? Exhausted from serving the needs of others all day every day like most women?

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Treat yourself to a retreat by the sea to rejuvenate your body, nurture your creativity and inspire your heart. Come and join me, Helena, and the ten wonderful women who’ve already joined up, for a weekend of deep relaxation, gentle yoga and fun writing classes.

I guarantee you’ll thank yourself over and over again.

We’re busily planning and organising the finer details – like desserts. I hope everyone likes chocolate self-saucing pudding and ice-cream 🙂

Here’s a picture of me in my happiest of happy places, under a tree on a beautiful beach – writing. You too could look this happy (and silly and covered in sunscreen!)

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Car-pooling, single rooms and pick-ups from nearby airports are all possible. Only a couple of weeks till we’re off, so get in now while we still have a few vacancies.

Come along. You deserve it! We’d love to have you with us.

More information is in my previous post. Or contact Helena at helenapastor2@gmail.com for all the details and booking forms.

Last chance for early bird rates for RELAX AND WRITE

 

Cathedral writing kids

 

Just back from my trip to far north Queensland and Cape York. Part of my adventures there was running writing workshops for kids, first at The Cathedral School’s Writers’ camp and then at Lockhart River State school. A couple of happy snaps of kids happily writing like furies. Just like you’ll be doing if you come along to Relax and Write! Last chance for early bird rates, so get in quick!

Email Helena on helenapastor2@gmail.com for booking forms and more info. More info in my last post too 🙂

Lockhart writing kids