This visit actually formed part of a module I’m teaching on at the University of Salford. My students on the Writing Short Fiction were invited to attend both a reading and a workshop. I also attended both and I’m really glad I did.
It’s quite nice, when your day job involves putting people through these sorts of experience, to actually sit back a little and have a go at a workshop yourself. I did just that this afternoon.
Neil’s reading was very interesting and he showed us several scenes form ordinary working lives. He admits to having held several uninteresting jobs and he treated us to some of the characters and situations he had met in these.
The workshop began with some reading of short story theory, which I found very useful and shall add to my collection of the same. We then read and unpicked a short story by Hemingway. We were also invited to create our own stories from memories of jobs we had done and funny / sad incidents. Mine was about donuts – based on my remembering working as a Saturday girl at Woolworth’s and being put on the donut machine because I had short hair.
We wrote for twenty minutes and by the end of that time I had about a third of a short story. I think it is one I’ll try to finish. In fact, it’s one I’m looking forward to finishing.