Birmingham & Midland Institute
Thursdays, 6.30pm to 8.30pm (4 January 2018, 11 January 2018, 18 January 2018, 26 January 2018, 2 February 2018)
With Mandy Ross
In this five-session course, we’ll be writing the past into life, whether your family’s stories are local legends or diaspora tales connecting far away.
We’ll explore a range of writing techniques including memoir, short fiction, poetry and dialogue to capture the flavours, sounds, dreams and family dynamics of living memory and a more distant past.
We’ll be drawing on family history, photos and letters, and books set in your place of origin. We’ll take inspiration from tales passed from one generation to another, to write imaginatively and unsentimentally about the forces that shaped individual family histories.
This course is intended for those starting to write a personal or family history, as well as those who have some material written and would like to explore it further. No previous writing experience is necessary.
Mandy has written over 60 children’s books, including Children’s History of Birmingham. Her latest picture book, Dominic Grows Sweetcorn (Frances Lincoln) is based on her neighbour’s story of growing up in Jamaica and arriving in 1950s Birmingham. Twice shortlisted for Birmingham Poet Laureate, Mandy also writes poetry and plays for grown-up audiences.
Mandy is artistic co-director of Secret City Arts and uses writing to cross-fertilise with music, performance, visual arts and other art forms. She has worked with CBSO, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham Libraries, mac, various poetry festivals, Birmingham Museums Trust and she has taught at Birmingham University and BCU.
You must sign up for the full course even if you cannot attend all dates. No partial course ticket is available.
All Writing West Midlands short courses are collaborative, and you will learn as much from your fellow course attendees as from the tutor. You will be expected to play an active role in group tasks, and you will also have time to reflect on your own writing during sessions.
Course handouts are sometimes (but not always) available, and notes may be available in advance upon request. If you have any additional needs, please contact Writing West Midlands in advance of the course starting and we will try to assist you.