Monday 23rd October – Open Mic and Social Meeting

Please join us for a fun filled evening of readings and socializing. Meet friends, or make new ones! This season we are very excited to expand our open mic to include stand up comedians and songwriters so if you have some material you want to test out on a fantastic crowd, don’t hesitate!

Come along and meet other creative people, take the stage, or simply sit back and enjoy the performances.

The open mic will be open for the following performances:

· poetry (max 5 minutes reading time)

· short story (max 2000 words)

· novel excerpt (max 1500 words)

· song (max 5 minutes)

· stand-up comedy (max 5 minutes)

Location: Café Korb, Brandstätte 9, 1010 Vienna ( 2 minute walk from Stephansplatz)

Date: Monday 23rd October

Time: 7.00pm to around 9.30pm

Cost: We kindly ask for between €5 and €10 contribution to cover the venue hire

For performers:

If you would like to perform on the night, please arrive at 6.45pm to put your name on the list. Please keep in mind the time / word count for performances.

We look forward to seeing you!

MasterClass: Find your character’s voice… through song!

Are you one of those people who loves to sing and write? Then you know that music taps into our deepest emotions – it’s a brilliant way to express yourself. Music is what many of us turn to in order to express joy, anger, a broken heart, or even frustration. So wouldn’t it seem the obvious way to help us access those characters we are writing about, the ones who just don’t want to reveal themselves? Perhaps you are writing a novel and the main character isn’t developing, or you can’t get a clear sense of who they really are – sounds crazy since you are the one who made them up in the first place – but writing deep, emotional characters that resonate with a reader can be difficult. Getting past the superficial characteristics and finding out what truly makes them tick takes work.

Write Now has made it our mission to occasionally  offer workshops that are outside of the box. Sure the basics are necessary and we will continue to offer those, but every once in awhile someone like Catrina Poor comes along and ‘voila’ we are standing outside the box  looking at a very common problem (evasive characters) and thinking, what would be a different approach? There are always benefits to uniting different genres of art – the results can be inspiring, insightful, and sometimes very practical.

In this particular workshop – which we are offering as a MasterClass because it will be intense, and you will come away with a very new approach – Catrina will teach you hands on, and with a lot of one to one attention, how to find your character’s authentic voice, using singing, song analysis, and basic performance techniques. She is highly professional and talented. You will not be disappointed!

For those of you who are considering this workshop but perhaps are feeling a bit apprehensive about singing in front of a group, rest assured, the environment will feel both creative and safe. The focus is not on your singing ability, but on your character. And you can always go home and practice what you’ve learned!

Classes will run for three Sunday afternoons – October 15, October 29, and November 12.

Space is limited to 8 participants. Reserve your space now! 

Write Now Winter Writers’ Retreat

The Write Now winter writers’ retreat will be held in the spectacular world heritage listed village of Hallstatt. People have been living there and mining salt (and telling stories) for thousands of years. In fact, the area is of such archeological significance, the years spanning from 800 – 400 BC are known as the Hallstatt Period.

Hallstatt clings to the lower flanks for the Dachstein Mountains with soaring limestone peaks up to 2995m, and it teeters on the rim of the Hallstatt lake with an icy depth of some 125m. The houses are ancient, the streets are steep and cobbled; a labyrinth of stairs, arches, terraces, and secret pathways are there to be discovered. In winter the entire village is snowbound. It is quiet then. There are no cars. A ferry crossing is needed to catch the train that whistles from the station across the lake. In Hallstatt the past and the present come together.

Write Now will host the winter writers’ retreat in Hallstatt on February 19th to 22nd 2015. Like our autumn retreat, there will be plenty of time for writers to work on their various projects. Some might be writing novels or short stories or memoirs or essays, others might come looking for inspiration. We’ll have time for reading and feedback, and one or two mini-workshops for those interested. There will be time also for a group activity (we love creative writing!). At the autumn retreat, writers produced a collaborative short story titled Istanbul. Something different but no less fun is planned for this winter. Perhaps with the salt mine above, people will be inspired to write some “Salty Tales”, or the dark lake might become the backdrop of a gripping mystery, and then there is all the village charm. All of it is fertile material for the writer.

To keep an intimate group feel, the retreat is restricted to 10 writers. Accommodation will be in an old and charming guest house. Everyone will have their own private room with bathroom and desk for writing. There will be a couple of communal areas for group work or writing in the company of others. Breakfast is included. Transport costs are not included. There is a train to Hallstatt (a picturesque mountain journey), and the association will coordinate car-pooling for those who would like to save the train ticket.

The details:

Write Now Winter Writers’ Retreat

When: Thursday 19th February to Sunday 22nd February 2015

Where: Hallstatt

Cost: 275 Euro for members, 300 Euro for non-members

Bookings: email office.writenow@gmail.com (Subject: winter writers retreat)

Places: limited to 10 (book early)

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

What really happened at our first writers’ retreat

By Paul Malone

 We held our first writers’ retreat last weekend at a farmhouse in Lower Austria. The weather was perfect: it rained! Extremely conducive for immersing oneself in writing and the good company of other writers.

There were fellow Australians, a couple of Canadians, a chap from London, one perfectly bilingual Austrian, a few of the cosmopolitan “I’ve lived everywhere” types. Check out our smiling faces.

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What did we write? Essays, novel chapters, short stories, for a start. Some of us wrote in the company of others in the farmhouse dining hall. Others wrote in the quietude of their rooms with a view…to all that fog. Atmospheric, slightly melancholic pieces were written, no doubt.

We ventured to the town of Weitra for the local cuisine: goulash and schnitzel, that sort of thing, at an old brewery. Some of us wandered into the forest to look at Czech totem poles signifying the Zodiac. Others soaked up the warmth in the steam room and infrared cabinet. One of us spent much of his time in bed being clobbered by a nasty cold.

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No this is isn’t where we slept!

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Hard at work…

We collaborated too: a short story called Istanbul. We came up with a framework for our story that included situation, character, objective, opponent, disaster. We drew names from a hat to determine the sequence of writers. Here were the rules:

  1. The story was to be written based on the framework
  2. Each writer had roughly 250 words before passing it on.
  3. There was no rewrite
  4. The story had to draw to its natural conclusion with the last writer

How did it go? Well, you can read for yourself. Istanbul (1st draft, no edits) is attached. It took a great deal of imagination and cooperation to complete the story. It was also fun. We read it out during our farewell lunch (see below). We all had a good laugh. Give it a read, let us know what you think:

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Farewell dinner!

I can’t speak for everyone as to what they took away with them from the retreat. I discovered new things: I’m trialing scrivener software (for writers) thanks to another retreater who explained Word really is for office documents. I received valuable group feedback on a short story. I have since revised the story and sent it off to one of my favorite publishers. I met some lovely people. I had a great time. I felt things opening up for me just a little more. It was exciting.

There will be another retreat in the winter (snowy and idyllic). I’m looking forward to it. I hope you might join us.

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By the way, if you’re looking for a farm stay, I can highly recommend Family Bruckner. Their farm is ideal for families as well as writers. There is a huge barn made into an indoor playground (no, we didn’t get time to go for a slide). Here is their link: