• Miguel G. Lourenço

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: Fiona Sampson


Fiona Sampson visited Worcester in March 2019, for a reading of her book, In Search of Mary Shelley. Before that event, Fiona was invited by Ruth Stacey to run a creative writing and poetry workshop for a few lucky students. I was lucky enough to count myself among them. From new techniques to insights into her process, it was an invaluable experience that I will treasure always--as well as my signed copy of her book.

Below is a small paragraph I used for my application to the workshop. I believe it offers enough of a glimpse into not only why I wanted to be a part of it, but also why it was so important.

"If we use cooking as a writing metaphor, there are a couple of useful images that illustrate perfectly why I would like to attend this masterclass. Firstly, cooking instructions exist for a reason, yes, but it's in the extra dash of sugar or in cumin instead of black pepper, that adequate dishes become exciting again. Secondly, it's in doing it over and over again, until we can crack an egg one-handed or remember exactly how to make memorable spaghetti a bolognese. There's a Portuguese adage that would be wonderful for this as well. 'No one is born knowing it all.' Harper Lee said something quite similar once, and I'm sure she knew what she was talking about. University as given me countless opportunities to improve my writing and my discipline and this masterclass is another one. It's in knowing that my work to become a great writer is never done, that I am keen to learn more through Fiona Sampson's teachings. Her work and accomplishments speak for themselves; she has published more books than years I've lived, and her contributions to poetry culture and creative writing in general are astronomical. I simply could not let this masterclass pass."

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