Online Creative Writing community enjoy three days of inspirational in-person events
15 June 2022
Falmouth’s online BA(Hons) Creative Writing online community recently held Writers at Falmouth, an in-person programme bringing together students, staff and special industry guests for three days of creative workshops and inspirational readings.
The Creative Writing community at Falmouth is strong and diverse, with online students being an integral part. Unusually for online learning, optional face-to-face events are offered to students on all of Falmouth’s online courses, bringing together staff, students and industry specialists together for face-to-face collaboration.
Taking place from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 May, Writers at Falmouth was - for many students on the course - the first opportunity to meet their peers and members of the course team, after months of rich online communication and learning.
The event kicked off on Thursday with a welcome reception in The Lighthouse, Falmouth University’s iconic writing room inspired by its namesake Virginia Woolf novel, where students and staff were invited to meet one another, and to share excerpts from their writing or research practice. Students were able to share some of the work they have produced on the course so far, too.
On Friday, Booker Prize longlisted author Wyl Menmuir led the first workshop on Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth, in which he shared his award-winning expertise on writing about the sea. After an interactive lunch session, poet, publisher, and course leader on MA Professional Writing, Dr Luke Thompson, delivered a poetry workshop on understanding and writing from the perspective for animals.
I always knew community was very important in our online course, and the energy they brought to this event really helped to consolidate that.
On Saturday, acclaimed memoirist and novelist Cathy Rentzenbrink started the day’s proceedings with an engaging workshop about writing novels. After another social lunch break, freelance writer and podcaster Adele Jarrett-Kerr led a session on the craft of freelance writing; exploring how to identify points of connection with audiences and discovering diverse avenues for finding and creating work.
Between the organised sessions, the students had a chance to explore Falmouth’s historic town centre and beaches, with some venturing further afield to experience more of Cornwall’s broader sights and sounds.
Student Jax Purchase told us: “Meeting everyone face to face was exhilarating - there we all in 3D; I instantly felt the bond we had built up online. My peers and tutors made me feel part of a creative family. The writing workshops were informative and lots of fun, particularly those that expanded our thinking like the Octopus and meandering on the beach. Most of all, I enjoyed being with everyone and sharing creative work, whether that was through the pieces we created in the workshops or socially in the lighthouse.”
Course Leader Dr Sherezade García Rangel curated and organised the event. She told us: “It was a great experience to meet some of our online Creative Writing students in our very first face-to-face event at Falmouth Campus. I was fascinated to see them in person and to observe what a warm and caring cohort they have become. I always knew community was very important in our online course, and the energy they brought to this event really helped to consolidate that. They were excited and open to make the most of being in Falmouth. I loved writing with them in the workshops and sharing our beautiful campus.
Our goal for this event was for our students to feel fully part of Falmouth University and to learn a bit more about writing from our amazing workshop facilitators. I believe we achieved this beautifully!”
Images: © Ellie Hope / © Mayn Creative