Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Creative Writing 101

Today I participated in a one-day creative writing workshop. Upon arrival, we wrote our names and the suburb we live on a sticker and wore it for the remainder of the day. My fellow classmates were all female and mostly above the age of 60. To practice my creative writing skills, I documented my experience of the course in three short chapters.


The first question came from Janine, an eager 60-something-year-old divorcée from Sylvania Waters. Despite an obvious penchant for Botox, her leathery, sun-damaged skin creases with curiosity. “Will we be covering erotic fiction today?" she asks. I immediately picture the plethora of sex toys she has stashed in all seventeen bedrooms of her garish McMansion. She looks uncomfortable in her chair; I’m guessing it’s anal bead-related.

My mind wanders off and I think to myself, "Does having a wank while holding the Bible count as erotic fiction?” The 60-something-year-old woman who’s running this creative writing workshop makes a Fifty Shades of Grey joke. The other 60-something-year-old women laugh out loud. I visualise ISIS kidnapping their loved ones. 

This certainly isn’t what I had in mind when I enrolled in this one-day course. Hopefully it improves over the next five hours.


If you’ve ever heard a horse eating watermelon, or Rosie O’Donnell masturbating, then you know exactly what it sounds like when Vicki from Summer Hill eats pea and ham soup. Every so often, I have to remind myself that sitting next to me is an adult human being, not a bulldog with a deviated septum eating porridge. The Police’s, Every Breath You Take is playing on the café’s radio. Since her soup arrived five minutes ago, Vicki has taken three.

Margaret from Roseville and Dianne from Haberfield are talking about various cross-stitching techniques. I don’t know what cross-stitching is, but I do know that I’d rather have my testicles cross-stitched to a fire ant colony than listen to another second of their conversation. I also know that you always separate your embroidery floss into sections of two.

Bring on the afternoon session.


There was a palpable excitement in the air as we made our way back from lunch. I think it’s time you teach us all how to write the next Fifty Shades of Grey Janine from Sylvania Waters quipped, as she walked past our tutor. I honestly can't believe Janine is divorced; she’s so hilarious and interesting. 

Our tutor writes two creative writing exercises on the whiteboard.

The idea is to complete both tasks in 15 minutes and read them out in front of our fellow classmates. Unfortunately the idea of presenting unsettled a few of the ladies. So after a vote, it was determined that we would hand our work to the tutor who would provide feedback via email. 

submitted the following...

Exercise 1:

Open the dictionary to a random page. Find a word that you don’t know how to define and write an imaginary definition for it. Repeat three times.

A person who thinks that the pinnacle of creative literature is Fifty Shades of Grey.

A fully-grown member of the human species who is yet to master the basic task of eating soup.

Something I'm definitely not after completing this fucking woeful creative writing workshop.

Exercise 2:

Describe a first. It could be something like your first bike ride, first day of school or first kiss.

You won't believe it, but all of these things happened to me on the same day. The first time I ever rode a bike was to my first day of school. I had a wonderful day learning and playing with the other children. Oh how we laughed. When I returned home, the old man next door gave me my first kiss. He also fingered me. 

I very much look forward to the tutor's feedback. I didn't want to use my real name to enrol, so I used a more creative one; the same one I wrote on my name sticker at the start of the workshop. Sadly none of the 60-something-year-old ladies commented on it.

Tutor's response: