The best day?

Today has been one of the best days of 2011 so far, without a shadow of a doubt. This afternoon I held a creative writing workshop at Middlesbrough Central Library and it went amazingly well. The previous three went great, but this one benefited from all the practise I have out in and from a few slight alterations to exercises, which in the end made the workshop flow so much better. Five people attended today, which was fantastic and two came in half way through enquiring about when the next ones were going to be held!

The work which came out of the writers at the workshop today was fabulous. There were stories are playing marbles as a child in Pakistan, stories about climbing the Transporter Bridge, stories about the docks, stories about inscriptions on Roseberry Topping, etc. Well, to be perfectly honest work from every one of the workshops has been excellent. What was so good about today was that the group was discussing the backgrounds of their written pieces and making recommendations and giving advice to each other without any prompts.


I am going to share a few fantastic lines that were written did during a line writing exercise where each person has a piece of paper and writes one sentence on the top, folds over the paper so their neighbour can’t see what’s been written and passes it around until all of the pieces of paper have been around the group, then every person opens the paper they started with. Now, the joy of this exercise is that the finished piece can be such a mixed bag. It can either link together in some wonderfully weird way or not link at all, but provide inspiration and generate new ideas. It’s easy to move from first to third person and adopt and evolve the piece. Now, if these don’t spark your imagination I don’t know what will!


  • What does it say that he went up there with a hammer and chisel age 15 to inscribe hs name in stone on the most conspicuous hill in Teesside?
  • Why do women leave price tags on their shoes?
  • The forest in my mind is swaying with the wind.
  • She plucked out all her eyelashes and glued them to his valentines card.
  • Where’s all this going?
  • I watched his soul slowly drain away through his eyes.
  • Lapdancers can make £35k in a good year. I think I’ll have to revise my five year plan.
  • If I was a sloth I’d probably imagine I was me.
  • We started and we finished here and now.

Here are two which randomly followed each other but fitted together so well:

I spent all day crying after you left.

When ideas run out its pointless to chase them.

And another two

I wish I could find a topic about the Transporter Bridge to talk about.

The crumbly mess suddenly disintegrated.