Juxtapose -- a Summer Workshop with Isabel Huggan
This workshop, featuring methods of juxtaposition, is suitable for writers of fiction, nonfiction (especially memoir) and poetry.
Isabel Huggan has arranged her exercises in such a way that participants can end on Saturday with a first draft, and a real sense of accomplishment. For those wishing to go further toward improving that initial piece of writing – through the process of positive criticism, group reaction, and opportunity to revise during the workshop, the half-day period on Sunday will allow time for sharing the first draft and beginning the next level of revision. This further work together is not “essential” but is highly recommended.
The writing exercises – focusing on a series of methods to “put things together in unexpected ways” -- stimulate creativity, especially by juxtaposing seemingly unrelated images, events, memories and ideas. The “element of surprise” is one of our most effective tools as writers, no matter what we are writing -- and this workshop offers several non-linear methods for gaining access to good material AND using it in a new and creative manner. Participants begin with methods such as word-collage, idea-layering, image-filtering and random connections…. and where they end up – with fresh pages of wonderful new writing -- will astonish them.
The workshop may initially appear to be “play” but as the day progresses there is time designated for “work” too, time for writing some final piece – memoir, personal essay, story or poem – that has resulted from directed juxtaposition of material, and divergent responses. The techniques learned in this workshop can be duplicated endlessly at home and refreshed according to each writer’s individual needs.
Isabel Huggan’s chief concern with any workshop is that it be easily extended forward into the writing experience of participants.
What to bring? Nothing but love of language, good humour, readiness to try new techniques and a sense of adventure… Add, of course, your own paper or notebook, and bring along (besides your usual pen) a few coloured pencils or markers. Be prepared to discover within your own experience enough material to keep you writing for another fifty years…..
Isabel Huggan is looking forward to coming back to Charlottetown!
ISABEL HUGGAN is a Canadian writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry who, by circumstance, has found herself living in the south of France. Her travels and their consequence form the basis of her memoir BELONGING: HOME AWAY FROM HOME, winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction in 2004. She has been internationally acclaimed for her first two collections of short stories, the award-winning THE ELIZABETH STORIES and YOU NEVER KNOW. More recently, she has been writing and publishing poetry and essays in Canadian journals, notably in THE NEW QUARTERLY.
She has taught creative writing for over 40 years, across Canada and abroad: France, Switzerland, Kenya, Australia and the Philippines. As well as being a private manuscript consultant, she has been an instructor with the Humber School of Writers since 1998, both for the writing workshops and in the correspondence program.