Flash Fiction workshops at St Luke’s Church, Farnworth

Friday 17th saw me leading Flash Fiction workshops in the Bridewell at St Luke’s as part of North West Libraries Pages Ago reading promotion. It was amazing to have this ancient site as a venue. The Bridewell itself used to be a house of correction for women, so there are thick sandstone walls and no windows.  It was nice and cosy with the heater on, but got a bit chilly when we had the door open for some daylight.

In the morning we looked at some examples of flash fiction and discussed structure and crafting before tackling some writing. The church was used as a resource to stimulate ideas, and I sent everyone on a mission to choose five things they loved in the church or churchyard, and describe them in detail.

There was a lovely, simple lunch laid on of bread, cheese, salad and pate. And home made fruit pie and endless cups of tea. Wonderful.

In the afternoon we looked at M.R.James extract from The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral, which I thought was very suitable, and some of Philippa Gregory’s Tudor period writing, to allow us to see how dialogue is written and how to get the flavour of historical writing without producing pastiche. The M.R. James was the bit where the carved cat comes alive. Spooky…

I provided lots of different stimuli for story ideas and we spend several chunks of time writing and sharing. It was really great to meet everyone, and I am looking forward to the surgery session when we hone our entries to the Time To Read historical flash fiction competition. Meanwhile, some more pictures.


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