Mystery Writers by Nana B Agyei on Flickr


Diary Monday 30th March 2015

After a very dull morning job hunting, the afternoon was spent at the library, getting my notes printed out ready for a creative writing workshop in the evening. I ran off copies of the script for reading out and took them to a shop that does low cost photo-copying. It is cheaper than owning my own printer as the cost of computer printing ink is very high in the UK.


As a requested favour to a friend in a real ale group, I took some photos of a local pub, The New Crown Inn, Newton Heath, North Manchester.


I then headed to the Contact Theatre for the workshop which was very different to any I have attended to date. It was geared up to dramatic scripts, for stage and (as in my case) radio. At most workshops you either read out your own work as you wrote it, for feedback, or you actually do creative writing exercises set for the group.


Here, the work was read back to you by actors and readers as if in rehearsal for your play, giving you an immediate sense of how the cast interpret your characters, lines, etc. It was quite a refreshing and informative way to see your work and just how the readers react to it.


The first writer created a longer (thirty minute) script about a killer joining a space-shot as a means to escape justice – the playlet incorporated man lines from Beatles songs as it was aimed at a competition themed around Beatles work. It was very entertaining and I hope it does well for him in the competition.


My own pieces were two short (three to four minutes each) pieces from a satirical series of scripts I’ve created with mythical characters reflecting on modern society. It was very well received with some useful tips on expanding some of the characterization.

The Contact Theatre was selling soft drinks very cheaply, which I was very grateful about as I am on a very tight budget this month. The only real awkwardness for me was finding the exit after the workshops, as every door seemed to be locked and I found myself wandering around a labyrinth of stairwells and corridors before I eventually escaped.

A simple typo mistake almost listed this diary entry as one from 2014 instead of this year – the sort of blunder that makes even the best writers look terminally incompetent.

A big thank you to Connor McKee for organizing the workshop. This will be a recurring event now over the next few months.



Arthur Chappell

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