A season of goodwill, goodies and gifts

 In Newsletters

A season of goodwill, goodies and gifts

Of course, it’s been a helluva year. But somehow we’ve survived it, and some of us have thrived. For us at All About Writing that survival has, in no small measure, been due to you. We asked each of our primary (I was going to write, “care-givers”, but I meant) facilitators to write a paragraph or so expressing their thoughts about the year…

Here they are:

Jo-Anne Richards:

Thank you, our wonderful community of writers, for taking what could have been a dead year, and making it alive with creativity and possibilities.

Your dreams and projects have fed me through months of personal stress. You have buoyed my enthusiasm about writing and its importance in the world.

May we continue to do that for each other in a new year that we certainly hope will be easier. With love to you all for a safe and happy festive season, Jo-Anne.

Richard Beynon:

For me, the highlight (against the sometimes suffocating backdrop of you-know-what) was developing, and then running, the Hero’s Journey Course, with Michele. Not only was it fun, and invigorating – but it was also hugely educational. I’m indebted, not only to all of you, in a general sense, but to the 12 hardy souls who ventured out on our inaugural hero’s voyage.

Fred de Vries:

What this year brought home to me was the power of creativity to transform the bad times. We ran travel workshops bursting with your creative ideas, in a time when travel was banned. Confined to our homes, you produced compelling reflections on family, home, our lives and the meaning of it all, in our daily Corona Diaries. It was a hard year, but you bore witness. You did what you do best – you wrote. Thanks for the inspiration. Love, Fred.

Michele Rowe:

This was a tough year.  Not only were we fearful for our health, but the financial and psychological toll, was, and continues to be, completely overwhelming. But such times often bring out the best in us. That was definitely the case with all of you in the AAW community.  You embraced the process of writing with courage, enthusiasm and humour. You persisted with what was often challenging course work.  Many of you had family and health and work constraints, that made finding time to write particularly difficult. Yet you committed to delivering the best that you could.  I was especially moved by your mutual camaraderie, and your support of one other. You brought warmth and sense of community to our strange virtual existences this year. Thank you, it was a great pleasure to explore the art of storytelling with you, in all its mystery and magic.

Have a very happy and peaceful festive season.

Gifts for one and all

If this year has taught us anything, it is that we need fewer trifles and belongings, and more of what is essential to live well.

This festive season, give someone a gift of true value – and which could just make their dreams come true. Provide them with the skills, and support, to mould that creativity into writing that will make a difference in the world. Use the coupon code festive10 for a 10% discount if you shop in either our online UK shop or SA shop. Please do let us know if you’d like a personalised gift certificate.

And here’s ours to you…

To say thank you all for remaining such a strong and supportive community, to us and each other, here’s a small gift for you:

In a document you can print out and keep, the four of us weigh in on the secret to great writing.

For our Jamboree Webinar in November, each of us chose a particular aspect of writing and made the argument for their particular writing secret. While the debate is offered in the spirit of fun, it does highlight four essentials for great writing, which we hope will both inform and inspire you.

The winner of the October/November Flash Fiction Challenge is…

A smaller crop than usual greeted us when we opened the big box allocated to the Writing Challenge entries. Perhaps Covid has taken a toll of our imaginations, along with everything else. Or perhaps it’s just that time of year…

Still, we’re not complaining. The quality of the submissions has been steadily growing over the months (and years), and the winner this month brings a rare mix of humour and tough-minded acceptance to a very difficult subject indeed.

Give a toast to Barbara Matthews for her bleak (and yet somehow funny) take on her narrator’s first plane trip after a cancer diagnosis. She wins a literary assessment worth R2750, or a voucher towards one or more of our other courses. Congrats, Barbara.

Runners up in this final challenge of 2020 are Jill Dineen, for her amusing account of the transmigration of a tabby cat’s soul; Caroline Harmer, for her story about a pilot with an actionable sense of humour; and Sal Carter for her cleverly misleading piece about a flyer of a different stripe.

Well done all of you – and thanks to the entire cohort of writers who submitted stories about flight and flying. We love you all – this year and next.

Read the winning entries here.

The winners of the AAW questionnaire draw are…

When we asked you to respond to a series of questions about our courses, we dangled the promise that we’d draw three names from the pot of all those who sent in their answers. The prize is a free ticket either to our Indispensable Guide to Creative Writing Course, or our Thirty-day Writing Bootcamp.

Here are the three winners: Adele Modari, Hermien, and Romana Chalmers.

We’ll be in touch with each of you with details of the courses.

Last chance saloon

And just in case you thought that ship had sailed, the good news is that we welcome as many more responses as you can muster. Here’s the link to the questionnaire. Your answers will help us devise a programme of courses and retreats that better meet your needs, and who knows we might even hold another lucky draw to say thank you.

It’s not too late to have your say!

Happy writing,
Richard and Team All About Writing

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