Homework: How it Works

Thanks so much for signing up to take part in Homework.

What is it?

The aim of this group is to inspire you (and me!) to write new, short pieces of creative nonfiction. Once a week, on Fridays, you will receive an email with a prompt from a different nonfiction writer. Each will be easy to respond to from home for those self-isolating! Our first, on Friday 20th March, will be from Robert Macfarlane.

It’s suitable for all levels of experience, from those who have never written creatively before to those who have published books.

This isn’t about creating polished pieces, but about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, getting words on the page and hopefully having fun.

There is no word limit, although you may want to aim for 500 words.

Initially I’m planning to run this for six weeks, but I will extend it if there is an appetite for it/we’re all still stuck at home!

What the hell is ‘creative nonfiction’ anyway?

Good question. Simply put, creative nonfiction uses ‘literary’ tools to tell true stories – it’s all about bringing real experiences to life on the page with the same sense of colour and lyricism you’d use to tell a fictional story or write a poem. How you interpret that is up to you. You can learn more about creative nonfiction here.

How does it work?

There are two ways to participate:

a)     you can simply be on the mailing list and receive the prompts. You have the option to upload what you’ve written to a shared folder in google drive, where they can be read by anyone participating. Please include your name & the title of the piece in the file name. The deadline for sharing your work here is the Friday one week after the day you receive the prompt (the folders are dated accordingly & with the name of the writer who provided that week’s prompt). No obligation though – if you’d prefer just to do this privately for your own enjoyment, that’s fine!

b)    if you would like to have more in-depth feedback/exchanges – as well as to have some ‘accountability’ to make sure you do actually write! – I can put you in touch with a self-organising ‘cluster’ of five or six writers to keep in touch with. Please let me know if you’d like to join a cluster (ambermblomfield@gmail.com).

Things to consider if you’re sharing work 

  • Please don’t share any writing from another author outside the group, without their explicit permission.

  • If you’re writing about sensitive or personal topics, think carefully about how you share it and how you would feel about a stranger reading it. Put your mental wellbeing first! Please include a note at the top of your piece to highlight if it contains themes that might be upsetting for anyone.

  • The author retains the copyright to any document uploaded to the shared folder.

  • You can review these notes at any time here.

If you have any comments or suggestions please get in touch with me at ambermblomfield@gmail.com or on Twitter @ambermb – you can send anyone who would like to participate my way too.

Thanks so much, have fun, and stay well!

Amber xx