23.05.2019, by Imke van der Sanden
On the 14th of May, 2019, I joined the Narrative Writing Workshop. This is a workshop that is organised Oscar Bastiaens, and explores the realm of storytelling, discusses stories and trains its participants in writing. In this article, I will talk about my experiences and observations during the workshop as well as give a little teaser about a project The Creative Lab is working on in collaboration with the Narrative Writing Workshop and Oscar Bastiaens.
Before I walked into the room of the Horizon building, where the Narrative Writing Workshop took place on Tuesday evening, I had no clue idea to expect for this extracurricular activity. Was this workshop similar to a lecture? Or would it be identical to a book club, where the participants of the workshop are the writers of said book? It soon became evident to me that the setting of the workshop was not as formal as I anticipated it to be, which was a pleasant surprise. It felt like I found myself among a group of friends coming together to discuss their work, who were immediately welcoming towards my participation during the workshop.
Oscar, who runs the Narrative Writing Workshop, opened the workshop by asking what people had been up to and if anyone had done any writing they would like some feedback on. First, a beautiful written poem was reviewed by the group, praising its writer with compliments and suggestions to see what could further be done with this poem. After that, a small part of an ongoing story, that already had an impressive length of 60 pages, was reviewed to help out and reassure the writer with the writing style they had chosen for this story. What I noticed during the feedback session was that everyone was truly invested into reading what others had written, and that they were very polite and helpful about offering feedback, not because they had to, but because they genuinely wanted to.
Once we finished reviewing people’s private work during the workshop, it was time to get creative and do a fun writing challenge, which was probably my favourite part of the workshop! For this week’s challenge, two participants of the workshop brought a storytelling card game. Every participant was given one card as well as some writing restrictions to truly challenge themselves. After time was up, everyone’s writing was read and discussed. It was fascinating to see the funny, dark, deep and intriguing stories that were created in such a short period of time.
After the workshop, it was very clear to me that the Narrative Writing Workshop is a safe space, in which (aspiring) writers help each other become better writers by reviewing each other’s work and through fun and creative writing challenges. It is a warm supporting community, where people really take the time to review your work by giving you both feedback and compliments, encouraging and stimulating you to keep writing. In my opinion, it was a truly unique experience and opportunity for all writers out there!
If you would like to become part of the Narrative Writing Workshop, that meets every Tuesday evening, you can sign up via The Creative Lab. No prior experience is required, everybody is welcome to join!
The Creative Lab was approached by Oscar Bastiaens to organise an exhibition for one of their most unique and creative challenges so far! Similar to what is known as a Chinese Whisper, one story has been passed on to different individuals who adapted this story into different art forms, which are to eventually be translated back into a narrative story, to see if there is any similarity with the original text left, or if the original story disappeared completely. To show this creative journey, Oscar and The Creative Lab decided to turn this challenge into an exhibition for everyone to enjoy! Currently, we are busy organising the exhibition that will be presented at the new BUas Campus in November 2019. More info about the challenge and exhibition will follow in the upcoming months.