Write Club at the Maddermarket

Photo by Erin Patel

Photo by Erin Patel

** STOP-PRESS: Upheaval at the Maddermarket means that Write Club is temporarily homeless. I’m looking for potential venues: suggestions welcome! In the meantime there may be a one-off summer session, so watch this space…  **

 

Norfolk is a lovely place to be a writer. I was born and bred here, and our wonderful local theatre, the Maddermarket, was one of the inspirations for the title of my novel, Madder Hall. 

Ye olde Maddermarket in the heart of Naarich.

Ye olde Maddermarket in the heart of Naarich.

Thanks to the wheeling and dealing of my secretary Miss Jones…

Jonesy does her stuff.

Jonesy does her stuff…

… I’ve been running a weekly Write Club in their rather gorgeous Redwell Bar. We’ll be having a break for the summer and starting again, for eight weeks, from 31st October, 2015. Yup, that’s Hallowe’en, people. So I’m thinking we’ll open with something kind of spooky…

Look, they even have ghosts already! That's clearly the outline of a body and there's even an orb in the courtyard. (All right, before you start: yes, it's my reflection. And the camera flash. But this *would* count as a ghost on an episode of 'Most Haunted'.)

Look, they even have ghosts already! That’s clearly the outline of a body and there’s even an orb in the courtyard. (All right, before you start: yes, it’s my reflection. And the camera flash. But this *would* count as a ghost on an episode of ‘Most Haunted’.)

Online booking is available here and I should probably mention, before I go any further, that the ticket price includes free tea and cake…

The tea and cake might look a little something like this. Or it might not. Use your imagination. (You *are* a writer, after all...)

The tea and cake might look a little something like this. Or it might not. Use your imagination. (You *are* a writer, after all…)

I’m a wise old bird (if I say so myself), after all these years of teaching, and the one thing amateur writers lack is the bum-on-seat opportunity to put pen to page on a regular basis. There’ll be plenty of that at Write Club. I’ll be giving you more prompts than you can shake your proverbial stick at, some targeted exercises (teaching specific tricks and techniques), lots of jolly old feedback, and a barrel-load of encouragement. All that and a roomful of like-minded souls to drink tea and scoff cake with.

Last time we had eight sessions devoted (a little unequally, maths fans) to the Big Questions: who, what, when, where, how and, of course, why? On the (near enough) anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking we imagined ourselves on board at various ages, decided by drawing cards:

The student who pulled the '101' card surprised us all (and herself) by discovering how calm she felt at her imminent, watery death.

The student who pulled the ‘101’ card surprised us all (and herself) by discovering how calm she felt at her imminent, watery death.

We imagined our fantasy lives, which was (probably) the most fun you can have with your clothes on…

There was only one rule: aside from the opening sentence (stating your name) every word thereafter had to be made up...

There was only one rule: aside from the opening sentence (stating your name) every word thereafter had to be made up… Reading this again, however, I note I have cheated once: my English *is* excellent, I think it’s fair to say 😉

and wrote character profiles for Rex Fox and Amanda Muster and Teddy Buxton and Lady Nest. We had fun with slides from a long lost holiday album, possibly lived by long-lost people…

Fun with slides!… and wrote stories based on Victorian slang…

'Mutton shunter'. Not as bad as it sounds.

‘Mutton shunter’. Not as bad as it sounds.

… and imagined our own births:

I’ve been swimming. Plunging and somersaulting. Salty and sweet. It isn’t like any seaside I will ever go to now I’m born, or any sea I’ll ever swim in. It isn’t a sea you can return to… I pass out and through. The light squints my eyes. Sticky-lidded. My hands are in fists. Unclench them. Open. Breathe. And cry…

And we wrote with restrictions (not the physical kind, I hasten to add) and we talked about defamiliarisation, and qualia, and emotional truth, and the narrative of our own lives, and WE ATE CAKE. It wasn’t by Mr Kipling but, still, it was exceedingly good.

So come and join us! £80 for eight sessions, or sample an individual session for £12. The more, the merrier. This time we’ll be ‘doing’ themes, not questions: ritual, romance, religion, and other things not beginning with R that I haven’t thought of yet. And, of course, we’ll be starting with ghost stories. Here’s a bit of a real-life one to whet your whistle…

You are very welcome to comment down below if you’ve got any burning questions I’ve failed to answer. (NB These should be related to Write Club. I have no answer to the meaning of life. Or, indeed, liff. I’m not very good on geography either. Or maths.)

Look forward to meeting you!

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8 thoughts on “Write Club at the Maddermarket

  1. Dear Lydsey,
    Do you vet people for the group?
    Is there a max number?
    Is the bar open to the public during the “club”?
    Best wishes,
    Tony

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  2. Hi Lynsey,
    What’s the general experience level on the course and are there a variety of ages? If I want to try and individual session can I just drop in or do I still need to book?

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    • Hello there! Yes, you can drop in and try an individual session for £12; just turn up and buy a ticket at the door. We have a range of experiences and ages: it’s not so much of a course as a club; so there’s an occasional bit of teaching, but mostly it’s just about putting pen to paper. V friendly and informal atmosphere, and free cake at half time… LMK if you need any more info.

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  3. Hi Lynsey, my Mum is enrolled on your course for Saturday- please would you confirm start and finish times. Will you be going to the NaNoWriMo event at the Library afterwards? Thank you. Karen

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