Write and Shine

Salman Rushdie recently suggested we each “wake up with a little packet of creative energy for the day”. The difficulty is trying to harness this creative energy. Write and Shine, a series of early morning writing workshops, could provide part of the answer. Gemma Seltzer, who leads the workshops, is interested in the creative potential of working early in the morning. She holds fortnightly workshops at the lovely Mezzanine café in Waterstones Piccadilly from 9am to 10.45am. For those of you who are more hardcore or whose schedules won’t allow for this relatively leisurely start, she also holds workshops from 7.30am to 9am at Westminster Quaker Meeting House in Leicester Square, and at the Jewish Community Centre on Finchley Road.

We were quite sceptical as to how a workshop could help our creative output in the mornings: surely the answer is just to be more disciplined? We were therefore amazed at how productive and enjoyable we found the class at Waterstones Piccadilly, spurred on by exercises set by Gemma and by group discussion. Waterstones is still coming to life at 9am and there’s something lovely about writing in a communal space whilst booksellers arrange book displays around you. The classes are quite flexible and are open to anyone, whether you are working on an existing writing project or not. You are also not expected to share your work so the focus is on actually writing rather than absorbing criticism of your writing.

In the class we attended, we discussed the structure of short stories as well as reading the opening paragraphs of short stories by Lydia Davis and Raymond Carver. We also filled pages of our notebook and found, fairly predictably, that we were more productive than usual for the rest of the day, having been geared up for creativity in this way.

The icing on the cake is that Write and Shine costs only £10 per workshop and this includes a coffee and a pastry. The next workshop is on November 12th at Waterstones Piccadilly at 9am. It is thoroughly recommended.

Held regularly. The next one is November 12th, 9.00am - 10.45am
Mezzanine Café Waterstones Piccadilly 203-206 Piccadilly, W1J 9HD
— Alex Peake-Tomkinson
4th November 2015

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