Life has been throwing me a lot of lemons lately, but not when it comes to writing and spreading writing-related joy. Here are some exciting developments that keep both of us busy writing and growing.
Finally, we have a Creative-Writing-in-Munich group! When I moved to Munich in April 2016, I was looking for such a group. I could not find one, so I decided to go for it and start one myself. Our first meetup — From Where You Dream (like the title of Robert Olen Butler’s book) — will take place on Saturday, 20 June. Spots are limited, so hurry up and register now. This first kick-off workshop will be free of charge.
The number of group members is limited to fifty, my main goal being to develop a multicultural group of committed writers who show up regularly to meet themselves and others through the thing they most love doing: writing. This will be quite important at later stages when our focus will be more on critique. The group will otherwise develop based on members’ individual needs and goals.
For now, we will have craft workshops on specific topics with plenty of writing prompts, twice a month. We will expand our ideas about writing and develop the group together. It’s meant to be a supportive space with regular writing and new approaches to writing.
The Story Intensive and The Story Course
The last chance to register for this year’s The Story Intensive will be between 22 and 28 August, afterwards class will take off. I have seen real progress made in this semester-long course that teaches writing both as craft and as a contemplative practice. The course was developed by the Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Sarah Selecky. It includes craft talks with Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, and other well known authors.
I am fortunate to be a faculty member in this class and I am already looking forward to guiding a group of six committed writers throughout the fall semester. Of all the things that I do related to writing, coaching, and teaching, this one is the closest to my heart, and mind. It’s in this class that I found my real voice as writer and teacher.
To get a closer idea of whether we’d be a good fit, read my recent author spotlight. You can also read what Sarah and my former students say about working with me. Please indicate when applying whether you’d like to have me as your mentor.
If you’re not ready to commit to The Story Intensive this year, you could still consider doing The Story Course instead. The Story Course is the basis on which The Intensive was developed, but it allows you to go through the learning materials at your own pace. Margaret Atwood calls The Story Course “smart, encouraging, practical”.
Emmy Horstkamp, the founder of Munich Artists, with whom I have collaborated before, has recently asked me to engage in the project Munich Stories, based on an idea by Masha Baur. I am excited to be one of the three writers that Emmy thought of for this project. She asked three writers to choose three illustrators and three illustrators to choose three writers. My illustrator will be Pung Worathiti Manosroi.
Between 15 September and 15 October, each project contributor will produce two pieces of art/written work per week, based on a selected topic. In the middle of each week, we will exchange topics. Let’s say that from Monday to Wednesday I’ll write a text of under 1500 words based on the prompt “boat” and Pung will create an A4 illustration on the topic “sheep”. From Thursday to Sunday, he’ll illustrate “boat” and I’ll write “sheep” (note: these are not the actual words we’ll use as prompts). Then we’ll go on doing this for the remainder three weeks.
I’ll be posting updates about this project on my blog as we progress. In December, the resulting Munich Stories book will be published by Kyfio UG Publishing and available for purchase. It is also planned to have a reading night with excerpts at The Munich Readery.
Best of the Net Award Nomination
One of the most personal non-fiction texts I have ever written has been nominated by the Tupelo Quarterly (TQ) editors for the Best of the Net Award. Entries were selected by editorial teams from various magazines operating in North America; winning entries will be published by Sundress Press in an anthology, just like last year.
On the Way was a finalist in the TQ prose open contest earlier this year and was published online in the TQ9 issue of the magazine. This text is very close to my heart as it speaks about how we develop personal identity in a global context.
The shorter German version of this text, Unterwegs, won the Text+Bild contest earlier this year. I was very happy to read and discuss this text at the magazine launch party in Düsseldorf earlier this spring. It’s exciting to know that On The Way — which I initially wrote in German last summer — is still reaching out to so many people.
What are your own recent writing struggles and achievements? Do you have any questions or comments about Creative-Writing-in-Munich, From Where You Dream, The Story Intensive, or The Story Course? Please let me know in the comments section below, or contact me in a private message. I’d love to hear from you.
Remember to love yourself, to stay free of inner and outer critics, and to keep writing and telling your stories, the way only you know how,
With writerly love,