Workshop :: Full Steam Ahead!

Sorry for the short notice, but we have another exciting workshop happening tomorrow.

Sarah Grace and Rebecca Audra are running a workshop responding to the installation by Joanna Vasconcelos at Manchester Art Gallery. 

The workshop runs from 12-2pm, and we’ll be meeting in the main entrance of the gallery at 11:50 to start prompt from 12. 

Britannia hanging in the atrium.

Britannia hanging in the atrium.

You can find the event on facebook here.

Through the use of traditional Portuguese techniques and materials – crochet, lace, ceramics – she seeks to debunk the rigid pomposity of fine art, creating informal public art spaces. 

The workshop is free, but we welcome donations for the workshop facilitators.

We hope to see some of you there! 

Breathing Lightly writing workshop

On March 1st, I will be running a writing workshop with Rebecca Audra Smith focusing on ‘The Body’. At the moment I am working too much to resurrect CAKE.writers at Nexus Art Café (though if others still want to go, you’re more than welcome to use the space!), but we plan to do workshops every couple of months throughout 2014.


From the facebook event page:

This full day of workshops is aimed at prose and poetry writers, and will focus on exploring themes surrounding The Body. You will take part in a range of different writing exercises, including introspective/meditative work and group tasks! The workshops will be led by writers Sarah Grace Logan and Rebecca Audra Smith.

Please reserve a ticket via eventbrite, and then let us know if you wish to pay via paypal, or on the door (£15/ concession £12)

Arrivals, icebreakers and introductions

10:30 – 12:45 Out of Body
A workshop exploring out of body experiences, using close reading and freewriting to encourage you to reach in new directions.

12:45 – 1:30 Lunch/Writing Time
We will provide free tea, coffee and homemade cake for the breaks, but please bring along something to nibble on for lunch.

1:30 – 3:30 Sense and Sensation
In this workshop we will encourage you to consider sensation and touch in your writing, and explore the idea of words as physical beings.

3:30 – 4:30 Feedback/Writing Time
A chance to share something that you’ve written in the workshops and get feedback from the group. We will also leave you with a workbook of writing exercises to take away.

The workshop costs £15 for the whole day, and includes drinks and amazing homemade cake. There is a concessionary rate of £12 for students, unwaged and workshop leaders. The cost is primarily to cover room hire, refreshments and photocopying.

If you have any questions please let me know. You can reserve a space through eventbrite and pay on the door, in advance via paypal. Just get in touch 🙂


Making Found Poems at Nexus Art Café


The writing group met again on Sunday afternoon. Things have been quiet over the summer so I’ve been trying to come up with new exercises and games that will kick start everyone’s imagination.

For this exercise I cut up the words from September Tomatoes by Karina Borowicz. Everyone was given the mixed-up words from the poem and charged with creating their own poems/narratives from what they had.

Read more about the process, and find examples of my own found poems on my blog.

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Nexus Art Cafe Online Workshop – Finding Inspiration

Today we’ll be having a go at some exercises to help you find inspiration in mundane objects and images, and get past that pesky writer’s block. Most importantly with these workshops, be happy with writing something bad. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you write!

One – warm up

Go to the random verb generator. Grab yourself a word as a prompt, and try and work this into your story. Use it to drive your character’s motivation in a short scene. Write for five or ten minutes, until you reach a natural end point.

Two – visual stimulus

Select an image from this collection of abandoned theme park photos. Take a minute to close your eyes and imagine the place: its smells, sounds, atmosphere, weather etc. Then start to write about it for five – ten minutes.

Three – mixed bag prompts

Complete these comparative sentences with the first thing that comes into your head, however poetic or mundane it may be.

as solid as

as fluffy as

as far as

as sinister as

as cold as

as uncertain as

as delicate as

as red as

as curly as

as sharp as

ie. as red as a toddler throwing a tantrum; as delicate as snow

Once you’ve completed them, reassign the endings to a new beginning ie. as delicate as a toddler; as red as snow

You can change them up in any way you like; do it randomly if you like, to give yourself a better chance of stumbling randomly on some piece of genius!

Four – extrapolating meaning

Once you’ve finished switching up your comparative sentence, pick one or two that are particularly odd, or speak to you in some way. Base a story or poem around these prompts and write for fifteen – twenty minutes. If you get stuck or finish, try choosing another one and starting again.

Five – character through belongings

Choose an object you can see around you. Pick at random if you like. Make up a history for that object; think about what kind of person would own it, where they got it, what kind of memories they associate with it. Decide how old the character is, what kind of person they are, etc. Think of/write down as much detail as you can, then start writing a story about this character, which may or may not involve the object. Fifteen – twenty minutes.

As before, do let us know how you get on with these exercises, and please feel free to post any resulting work in the comments!