Experimenting in Creative Writing

Presented by Ryan O’Neill

Saturday 2nd March, 12noon – 4pm


An interactive workshop that looks at attempting new forms and techniques in your writing. Most published fiction is set in a recognisably ‘real’ place, with recognisably ‘real’ characters with a linear plot where ‘something’ happens, that leads on to the next event, and so on. But though this is the default for many writers, fiction does not have to be written this way. A story can be anything- a letter of complaint, a poem with a commentary, footnotes, a list. And rather than pretending that the characters actually exist, it is possible to draw attention to the fact they are simply inventions.

When readers see the words ‘experimental fiction’ they probably have an image of pretentious and unengaging writing, but nothing could be further from the truth. In this workshop we will look at different ways of experimenting in your writing, in form, technique and style, and also what is to be gained (and sometimes lost) from experimentation. With examples from a range of experimental fiction, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of experimentation for writers, and readers, as well as try several writing exercises to generate experimental writing of our own.


Course Fees

This workshop is now booked out

Ryan O’Neill was born in Glasgow in 1975 and lived in Africa, Europe and Asia before settling in Newcastle, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. His fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Best Australian Stories, The Sleepers Almanac, and Meanjin. He is the author of the short story collection, The Weight of a Human Heart, and the novel, Their Brilliant Careers, which was shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction and the Miles Franklin Award, and which won the 2017 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction. He teaches at the University of Newcastle.