Hands-on e-learning
for writers





email: helen AT
DOT com

Season of Inspiration

9-week online writing course

Next courses start
18th February 2008 & 6th October 2008

Course schedule for next course:
9 weeks: 18th February - 21st April 2008
9 weeks of inspirational exercises and prompts plus a chance to concentrate on a piece of your own work and get feedback.

Cost: £150/AUS$370

To register please email info@newmediawriting.com

Season of Inspiration is back again with our trademark supportive, friendly, online writing community and all-new inspiration!

Yet again we will be dipping into a variety of sources of inspiration, from nature to music to landscape. From mesostic poems to mystery stories, there'll be formats and genres to experiment with. We aim to provide inspiration for writing that'll see you through the rest of 2008. We offer support, exercises and creative bolstering. Come whether you're bursting with ideas to try out or whether you want to rediscover your creativity. Designed so that you can work at your own level (whether you're starting out as a writer or seeking inspiration for your next publication) with the support and encouragement of a writing community and two tutors. This is the online equivalent of a writers' workshop, not a lonely self-study course. Students are welcome from anywhere in the world (the course is run in English).

The tutors
Sharon Rundle and Helen Whitehead

Sharon Rundle is a published writer, fiction consultant and adult education tutor. Her work has been published and broadcast in Australia and internationally. Her most recent published story appears in "Encounters: Modern Australian Short Stories" (Five Mile, Australia, November, 2006). Other recent publications include two stories in "Beyond the Grave" an anthology of Sydney writers, (In the World, Australia, 2005) and a literary essay "Strutting Our Stuff: Sujata Sankranti’s 'The Warp and the Weft'"in "Desert in Bloom, Contemporary Indian Women’s Fiction in English" (hard cover, Delhi, India, 2004). Sharon’s stories have won literary awards including a Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She has also published books on writing. Sharon finds new media exciting and has contributed to several online writing projects as well as teaching online writing courses for trAce Online Writing School (UK). She is a Writing Fellow of the Fellowship of Australian Writers; and is also co-ordinator of the University Technology Sydney Alumni e-community Online Writer’s Network and editor of their monthly e-zine. She has a degree in Adult Education (UTS) and teaches English and writing courses for tertiary institutions in Australia and the UK. As a manuscript consultant, she assists writers to develop fiction works in progress in Indigenised Versions of English or Global Englishes. Sharon is based in the Hunter Valley, Australia. Website: www.roundtablewriting.com Helen & Sharon

Helen Whitehead is a writer and editor who has been working with online media since 1985. She explores science, family and spirituality and is particularly interested in writing at the interstices where these themes meet and intertwine. She has led collaborative webwriting projects and has taught writing and the Internet to a variety of groups, from 6-year-olds to attendees at the Arvon Foundation residential writing courses in Yorkshire, UK. In 2000/2001 she was the recipient of a UK Year of the Artist Award to create a website Web Warp & Weft, based on stories from textile workers and the many correlations between textiles and computers from the Jacquard loom up to date. She holds an MA in Writing from The Nottingham Trent University, where she specialised in hypertext fiction on the web. She was website editor and project developer for the trAce Online Writing Centre, and Manager of the trAce Online Writing School from 2000-2005. She is an E-learning Consultant with Reach Further Ltd., and a member of Professor Gilly Salmon's Beyond Distance Research Alliance at the University of Leicester. Helen is based in Nottingham, UK. www.HelenWhitehead.com
Blog at www.periodicfable.com

What previous students have said:

"Though I am a published writer (I have an anthology of Short Stories in my name) I must say I have benefitted from the Season Of Inspiration course in a big way. Can creative writing be taught? It is a much-debated question. Story telling, they say, is a gift, not a skill which can be learnt. Helen and Sharon have proved this wrong.
Having participated in Season of Inspiration I feel there is neither a magic moment nor a magic wand which can transform you into a writer. A story teller however gifted she or he may be must also be a wordsmith. You may have most original and inspiring ideas. But all stunning ideas do not end up as stunning stories or a stunning poems. Why? It is here that a course like SOI can come to your rescue. Perfectly and comprehensively structured, SOI gives-- as it should-- equal importance to concept and technique. I particularly liked the way Helen and Sharon used images and visual metaphors as prompts to get you set on a narrative. This is a subtle but extremely effective device or a ploy on the part of the instructor, which urges you to go beyond and beneath the surface and arrive at insights and epiphanies which, incidentally, is the dream of every writer. SOI is a road map to aspiring writers.
It is a truly inspiring course. I felt the nine weeks I spent with Helen and Sharon and the fellow participants in SOI were over too soon. Though hectic and demanding it was a refreshing and enjoyable experience."
Sujata (Haryana, India)

"This was the best online writing course I have ever done. Writers were given the freedom to be creative without the unnecessary restrictions of other online courses, but whilst also respecting the feelings of other course members (and the instructors). The feedback was useful and constructive - I was praised for the aspects of my writing that worked well whilst being given advice on how to improve my work (exactly what I expect from a top notch course). The technical aspects of the course were excellent in terms of layout, ease of access to lessons and general use of the forums. The other students were amazing. I loved the chat sessions and the terrific effort by Sharon and Helen to accommodate all students' time zones. The support I received from everyone when I experienced major technical problems with my computer was fantastic and really made me feel part of a community of writers. Lastly and not of all least, the exercises we were given each week were fabulous and very much encouraged my creative spirit. I have learned so much from this course."
Julia (WA, Australia)

"I have found Season Of Inspiration better each time I took part. Both students and tutors were keen and enthusiastic. The interactions have been helpful, stimulating, forthright, and most importantly, honest. The materials were more than ample and well diversified to cater for different students' individual needs. There was no pressure but a lot of pleasure and fun to be in the SOI course. It has been very productive for me even when I was away overseas for 4 weeks. As a bonus I have improved my English through
interacting with the others. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who aspires to be a writer and to writers who want to be better writers. I certainly would recommend it to potential students who are not born with English as their mother tongue."
Andrew (NSW, Australia)

"The course really was inspiring. The tutors were knowledgeable, supportive and flexible and I enjoyed communicating with other writers from around the world. I would wholeheartedly recommend a Season of Inspiration course to anyone looking for prompts and encouragement to explore their own writing and develop their critical faculties, particularly if the time they have available to write is limited or variable, or they aren't sure how to get started. Season of Inspiration gave me a whole lot of new beginnings."
Mazzy (Bath, UK)

The aims of this course are:

1. to explore inspiration in our environment
2. to investigate your own creativity
3. to develop regular writing habits, exploring freewriting and journalling
4. to generate a collection of ideas and drafts that can be built into finished works in future

Indicative content

* Writing journal and blog prompts
* Freewriting and journalling
* Nature and landscape
* Writing from place
* Inspiration from colour
* Mesostic poetry
* Short stories
* Playing with words
* Making connections with food
* Choosing a form in which to write
* Turning inspiration into a finished work
* and more!

Note that the course will be flexible to respond to the particular needs of the group, so topics may vary.

Typical reading (not obligatory)

Julia Cameron: The Artist's Way
Natalie Goldberg: Writing Down the Bones
Patti Miller: Writing Your Life
Robert Olmstead: Elements of the Writing Craft
Stephen King: On Writing
The Dawn Quilt
The Noon Quilt
A varied reading list of material available online will be provided

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:

* Nurture your creativity and maintain regular writing habits
* Look for inspiration in a variety of places and situations
* Identify a form or genre you enjoy writing in
* Be ready to take a piece of writing onto a final draft

Typical assignments

Students will be expected to keep a writing journal and post an extract at least once a week of 200-500 words. One piece of writing of up to 1000 words (or 10-20 lines of poetry) should reach first draft stage by the end of the course. Students will be expected to comment on one anothers' drafts.

Pre-requisites for this course

You will need to:

* be able to use Word, WordPerfect or other word-processing program
* be familiar with use of a browser
* be able to use search engines
* be able to write and understand English reasonably fluently
* be prepared to write something, however brief, most days

This course is not a self-study course but takes place in the context of a friendly, supportive online community - a typical writers' workshop - so you should expect to log on to the forums at least 2 or 3 times a week and will receive feedback from other students (as well as tutors) and be expected to provide it to other students. If you have any queries about the format please contact us.

How to register

To register please email Helen Whitehead/Sharon Rundle at info@newmediawriting.com. Before the course we will send you an electronic invoice.

This course is a development of one we taught for the trAce Online Writing School.

Season of Inspiration Course Space