Outside in - using portraits and ideas on emotion for creative writ- MWB project

Ref: C2341421

This course, taught by a published writer and visual artist, is about looking, thinking and interpreting. It looks at how character can be created for writers by using visual portraits as inspiration, and considers how we relate to faces - both as writers and human beings. Body language, clothing, and expression tell us as much about ourselves as the subject we look at. How characters can be used as inspiration for both stories and poems, means we make our own version of people, histories, and settings.

Additional information about this course

Mental Wellbeing project course

Course aim

The aim of this course is to use creative writing in conjunction with visual art, in order to look at what writers can do to create memorable characters - whilst thinking of 'mood maps' of such characters' emotions.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • All welcome and no experience is assumed, it may be that creative writers with experience aid those who are new to the skills involved. Students may learn as much from each other as from the tutor.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Learn how to look at and interpret pictures via emotion.
  • Learn how to look at and interpret pictures via clothing, historical detail, and body language.
  • Be able to write a piece of prose using a picture as inspiration.
  • Be able to write a basic poem draft using a picture as inspiration.
  • Discover how writing is made-up of images conveying atmosphere and 'mood'.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Bring in and use a writer's notebook - whatever form, electronic or otherwise, this might take.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • Homework - plus the tutor is happy to take home longer pieces to read, and comment on. Please say if you don't want these written on. If you write something that turns out to be too personal, you don't have to read it aloud to the group.

What else do I need to know?

  • pen, paper, notebook, folder, and do switch mobile phones off at the start of class please, unless you are using electronic media as a notebook.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No booklist, but apps, galleries, websites, and most vitally, book titles, will be suggested throughout. Knowledge you have, please feel free to pass on. First five minutes of each class 'information sharing time.' Tutor's newest books: Mr Bowlly Regrets, and Brand New Beat, King's England, 2017.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • You may consider sending work out for publication, or performing at open mic nights, if you so wish. Tutor has lots of share-able information on this.

Download full course information sheet

Outside in - using portraits and ideas on emotion for creative writ- MWB project


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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