RTÉ Radio 1’s arts and culture programme, Arena in association with New Island Books launched a free, on-air creative writing course on Tuesday 4th December. The course continues on the first Tuesday of every month throughout 2013.
The course, entitled New Planet Cabaret, will see writer, poet, performer and creative writing teacher Dave Lordan discuss, deconstruct and demystify the process of writing covering a wide range of topics and genres such as poetry, short story writing, novel-writing, writing for theatre, crime fiction, song lyrics and how to get published, to name but a few. Each month, Dave will set out assignments for followers of the course, who will then be invited to send their submissions in to firstname.lastname@example.org for review by Dave Lordan and the Arena team.
In addition to potentially having their submitted work read on Arena, selected submissions will also be put forward for inclusion in a book published by New Island.
Dave Lordan spoke on Tuesday night on Arena and launched the first part of New Planet Cabaret with an intriguing writing prompt (the audio can be heard here) he has also taken the time to write-up the prompt online:
Telling stories and listening to them may actually be a crucial evolutionary advantage, helping humans to survive bleak times by allowing us to imagine different and better worlds. We make things up and we engage in believing in the made-up in order not to have to put up with an often painful or at least humdrum reality. To put it another way, fiction writing, religion, and politics all come from the same basic human drive to imagine, and our concomitant need to believe.
Because we are human then, any one of us can make up a story if we put our minds to it and we tap in to our naturally evolved creativity. We find it easy to make things up and to believe in what other people make up. We find it easy to lie. And lies are very fertile. One lie leads to another, very quickly. We need a second lie to cover the first one, and then a third one to cover the second, and so on…,