What we're about
The New Machine (Creative Writing) is not just a workshop. It is a unique opportunity.
Unlike detached, institutional writing programmes, it is a friendly space for writers to connect and stay connected: it is a regular FREE social event, a day of focus, a 5-week course, a platform for novel writing, a platform for short-story writing, a retreat for novelists, a day of poetry, etc., etc.
The New Machine is a place for absolute beginners, as well as intermediate- and advanced-level writers.
It is a commitment to you: a group you can attend and never read aloud if you don’t want to.
It is a small class (*8 people, max.).
It is you learning about narrative perspective, dialogue, tone, and narrative arc.
It is automatic prose, in the surrealist style. It is the “Proustian Questionairre”, the profile, the hero’s quest of character-led fiction.
It is a hook for the reader, the art of conflict, the dark nights and the bright mornings of plot-driven prose.
The New Machine is literary; it is you writing science fiction, action fiction, romance, thriller, adult, and/or children’s.
It is about *you* working on *your thing*.
It is getting 1-to-1 feedback from a committed tutor and a group of dedicated peers.
The New Machine is cost-effective. It is undercutting bigger institutions by half.
It is an opportunity to sit in a café, to use the pomodoro technique: a structure and a discipline to get your writing done.
It is an invitation to publish your work in an online journal.
It is for you, getting closer, to you honing your craft, to you transcending the obstacles you need, to manifest publication.
The New Machine (Creative Writing) currently offers the following MeetUps:
A regular FREE social event (every 5 weeks)
A Tuesday evening “Taster Class”
**POD-1 (a 5-Week Beginners’ Course in Short Fiction Writing)
POD-101 (a 5-Week **Character-Led** Course in Novel Writing)
POD-202 (a 5-Week **Plot-Driven** Course in Novel Writing)
A DAY OF POETRY (a 4-hour session in the poetry basics / writing poetry, for beginner- to intermediate-level writers)
POETRY OF THE CITY (a 4-hour poetry session in reading, writing, and discussing poetry in the urban space).
This is a 5-week beginners’/crash-course in how to write good prose. It will focus on “Character Development and Plot” (week 1), “Perspective and tone” (week 2), “Dialogue + feedback” (week 3), “The Question + Feedback” (week 4), and “Where to go from here + Feedback + the Opportunity for Publication” (week 5).
This is a 5-week course in how to write a novel. It is a character-driven approach and is a counterpart to the plot-driven POD-202. In this course (POD-101) you will focus on “Stasis + Trigger / Inciting Incident / Chapters 1 & 2” (week 1), “Dialogue / The Quest + Obstacles to Overcome / Chapters 3 & 4” (week 2), “Midpoint / Rising Action / Surprises / Chapter 5 & 6” (week 3), “Feedback on your work so far / Critical Choice / Climax / Chapters 7 & 8” (week 4), Feedback / Reversal / Denouement / Chapters 9 & 10 (week 5).
In this 5-week course, you will learn how to outline, plot, and structure a novel. POD-202 is a compliment to POD-101. Once you know how to construct a good, believable character, you can write you novel by plot and structure (or vice versa). In this course, you will focus on the fundamentals of good storytelling: “What makes a good story? / Premise (Week 1), then (once you have chosen your premise and hooked your reader) “How to generate conflict” (Week 2), “The keys to a satisfying climax” (Week 3), “How to flesh out the chapters of your outline” (Week 4), and “Putting everything together / Getting feedback on your outline” (Week 5).
DAY OF POETRY:
This is a 4-hour day, designed to introduce you to the basic elements of writing poetry, such as line breaks, stanza formation, rhythm, rhyme and free verse. By the end of the day you will have a handful of your own poems to take home with you.
POETRY OF THE CITY
This is a 4-hour day, designed to introduce your to some of the best city poetry, including poems by Frank O’Hara, Sharon Olds, Ted Hughes, and Erika Meitner. By the end of the day, you will have a small handful of your own “city poems” to take home and work on.
The New Machine is proud to offer a writing and critique culture that is fundamentally supportive. Whilst it aims to cultivate incisive, critical feedback, the emphasis here is on friendly, positive discourse. Writers of all abilities and experience levels are welcome. Very often, professional creative writing institutions require their participants/customers to present or to read their work aloud. The New Machine is respectful of the quiet, less vocal writer: he/she who would like the critical feedback of his/her peers, but without having to face the perils of large, intimidating classes or pitching work to an audience.
ABOUT THE ORGANISER:
Sean is 33 years old. He graduated from Goldsmiths University in 2013 with a Distinction-grade MA in Comparative/World Literature. Prior to this, he studied English and American Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Kent, where he managed to attain a 1st Class BA.
As a reader, Sean is interested in 20th Century modernism, existentialism and postmodernism. However, he has also studied (and continues to enjoy) things as various as Shakespeare, Romantic poetry, 19th Century English, French and Russian literature, Post-Colonial Literature, and 21st Century American. Some of his favourite works are: The Double/The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Trial/The Castle by Franz Kafka, Bliss (and other stories) by Katherine Mansfield, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Outsider, by Albert Camus, Bonjour Tristesse by Francois Sagan, The Story of the Eye by George Bataille, David Golder by Irene Nemirovsky, Krapp’s Last Tape (and many others) by Samuel Beckett, In the Heart of the Country by JM Coetzee, Fantasia by Assia Djebar, and The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.
When Sean isn’t being pretentious and overly literary, he also enjoys action movies, thrillers, dramas, TV, cinema… and all kinds of narrative!
Sean is currently working on his own short stories, a number of poems, and a novel.
*Other creative writing classes tend to consist of between 12 – 15 people and can be more intimidating/less focused.
**A “POD” is the name given by The New Machine to the group of 8 people; it is not an actual, physical pod!