Memory and imagination: A masterclass with Cambridge University’s creative writing tutors

Sat Jan 12 2019 at 10:00 am to 04:00 pm
The Guardian, Kings Place, London, United Kingdom

The Guardian, Kings Place, London, United Kingdom

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Book the series ticket here and save £117.

Discover the key to your writing and use it to unlock your creative resources with Professor Jem Poster and Dr Sarah Burton of the University of Cambridge creative writing programme.

Aspiring writers are often told: “Write what you know.” But how do we really know what we know? When Shakespeare created compelling characters, such as Othello and Shylock, he didn’t know what it was to be black or Jewish – but he did know what it was to be an outsider, and he found in his own remembered experience the basis for an understanding of his characters’ imagined lives.

Empathy is an act both of memory and of imagination, and our writing will be enriched if we learn how to harness the two. Through discussion and practical exercises, this session will examine the nature of memory and imagination, and the creative chemistry of their interaction.

Working in a supportive and relaxed environment, you will participate in practical exercises and be able to receive feedback and ask any questions you may have during the sessions. You will leave with the knowledge and confidence to use your own experiences and observations as springboards to writing imaginative fiction.

This masterclass is suitable for all aspiring fiction writers, from beginners seeking guidance to more experienced writers wanting to sharpen and energise their practice. It is part of our four-workshop series with Professor Jem Poster and Dr Sarah Burton, founders and former leaders of the master’s degree course in creative writing at the University of Cambridge.

Book the series ticket here and save £117.

Tutor profiles

Jem Poster is the author of two novels – Courting Shadows and Rifling Paradise – as well as a collection of poetry, Brought to Light. He has also recently completed Volume 3 of the six-volume series, Edward Thomas: Prose Writings. He has won major prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry and the Peterloo Poets Open Poetry competitions. He is emeritus professor of creative writing at Aberystwyth University and has been chair of the editorial board of New Welsh Review and programme advisor to the Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education's MSt in creative writing. He is currently director of the institute's international summer programme in creative writing and is an affliated lecturer of the institute. He is director of academic programmes for the Financial Times Oxford Literary Festival and in 2014 was writer in residence at Arizona State University.

Sarah Burton was founder of the creative writing MSt at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and was its director from 2013 to 2017. Her publications include two critically acclaimed biographies, Impostors: Six Kinds of Liar and A Double Life: A Biography of Charles and Mary Lamb, which was shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year award; a children’s book, The Miracle in Bethlehem: A Storyteller’s Tale; a page-to-stage guide, How to Put on a Community Play, and the humorous Complete and Utter History of the World By Samuel Stewart, Aged 9.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible - but please contact us if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website
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Created By:
Eventbrite
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