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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Catherine Bush and GRIT LIT

Catherine Bush -presenter

Jen Jones, who is a member of the GRIT LIT committee, introduced Catherine Bush to the assembled learners at this very worthwhile workshop which was held at Hamilton's Art Gallery on King Street.  For those reading this blog from outside of Hamilton, GRIT LIT is a yearly festival of writer readings, workshops and features well-known writers.

Catherine Bush is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Guelph and has a number of published books to her credit. These include her latest book, "Accusations", along with three other books titled, "Claire's Head", "The Rules of Engagement" and "Minus Time". Her topic was "Writing with Prompts."

She started the workshop by asking each participant to introduce themselves and give a little summary of their writing experience and what type of writing that they do.  

We did three, five minute exercises, one of which was for the participants' eyes only. It was about three things which really bothered us and which we would find hard to write about.

Exercise two was to write something outrageous that you want other people to believe.

Exercise 3 was to write a lipogram.  This was quite difficult to do.  We were asked to not use the letter "i" and write a paragraph.  It was surprisingly difficult.

Fiction writing is getting readers to believe what we write, even if it is not true.  In fiction writing, it is essential to tell details.

Her final remarks were that it is essential to make the time to write.  It is okay to be selfish, loving yourself as a writer.  Even half an hour keeps the work alive.  Everything won't get done, the house will be messy.  She also suggested that people unplug the internet sometimes and read and go for walks.

All in all, a very worthwhile workshop with a delightful and lovely teacher.

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