Friday, September 6, 2013

Running my first creative writing course for adults...

On October 5th I'm going to be running my first creative writing course for adults in Derby. The idea is that using freewriting exercises, I'll help adults uncover their inner teen, so that they can begin/develop their writing for young adults, or creating of convincing teen characters. I've learnt so many things over the years, and am really keen to share some of them.

Putting together the workshop has made me think about what it is that makes me want to write fiction about young adults myself. Because while I didn't always intend to write fiction for young adults, I quickly knew I wanted to write with a teen protagonist -  a thirteen year old female protagonist, to be precise.

I always say this is because it's such an interesting point in a life. Thirteen was the cusp of adulthood for me. It's when you have one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood, and the foot that's in adulthood is being pulled quite hard, and without your permission, and the foot in childhood has suddenly started to look a bit embarrassing, like maybe you should just cut it off. Inner conflict, so essential in fiction, is rife.

But really considering it, I'm not sure it's the real reason I like to write about teens. The real reason, I think, is because of the diminished responsibility of that period. The boring administrative realities and responsibilities of adulthood are unknown. For me as a teen, most boredom came from having too little to do, or not being allowed to do what I wanted, rather than from having to repeatedly do things that I didn't want to (though this happened too). I wasn't expected to run my life like a small business. I didn't even have my own passport. I had never bought toilet roll!

Plus, there was a fun side-product of not being allowed to do the things you wanted to do: rebellion. Such a simple way to have fun. Just find ways to do the things you're not allowed to. Rebelling as an adult is something different altogether. It might feature adultery or crime or weird leather clothing, and the consequences will generally be sadder and further reaching than your mum looking at you with a sad face, and telling you she's disappointed.

Anyway, if you're interested in learning more about writing for/about teens, then please sign up for my course, here:

Course details:


This workshop is all about discovering and channeling our inner teen in order to create authentic stories that will appeal to a Young Adult audience. Let writing exercises that access imagination and memory unlock the wealth of creativity within you, and discussion about narrative, character and voice give you insight about how to progress your stories. Prepare to be surprised by what you uncover and create during this dynamic workshop.

C J Flood's first novel for Young Adults, 'Infinite Sky', came out this year. It sold at auction in the UK, Germany and the United States, and has received glowing reviews from the Guardian, Telegraph and Times. C J studied for an MA in Creative Writing at UEA, where she won the Curtis Brown Award for her writing. She was selected as a mentee on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme, and received funding from the Arts Council to finish 'Infinite Sky'. She is currently working on her second novel.

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