New Year, New You: creative writing sessions for Durham Libraries

I was asked by Durham County Council to design and deliver a series of writing workshops across County Durham Libraries on the theme of New Year, New You. One of the chief aims was to encourage people into the libraries to try their hand at something new in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Delivering the workshops involved travelling the length and breadth of this beautiful county, (often in near blizzard conditions!) from Stanley down to Barnard Castle and across to Peterlee.  I was privileged to meet a wide range of people and hear their creative work – from those who wanted to try writing for the first time to seasoned, published writers.  A total of 56 participants attended 9 workshops.

New Year New You workshopsAt the sessions, we looked at the use of the diary form in literature, both fiction and non-fiction.  This review and discussion was the starting point for the participants’ own creative expression based on the theme of diaries.  We were also inpired by the theme of Janus, the two-faced, ancient Roman God of beginnings, transitions, gates and doorways.

Farmer diary extract

The written responses from the workshops are now on display in Durham Clayport Library until the end of March 2018 and several pieces are being selected to be recorded for a podcast which will soon be available for everyone to enjoy on listenupnorth.

Thanks to workshop participants for coming along to the sessions and for their great feedback:

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the session, it was my first creative writing workshop and I certainly hope it isn’t the last!’

‘Thank you for the excellent session, which I found very enjoyable and stimulating but in a relaxed atmosphere.’

‘I found it very encouraging – and today I found myself plotting ideas for stories!’

New Year New You display Durham Clayport Library

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