Creative writing courses taught by New Zealand’s leading authors.
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A Year of Profound Surprises …

‘The Hub has had a year of moving adeptly between classroom and Zoom,’ said Creative Hub director John Cranna, ‘between Auckland and Wellington, and between cancelled classes and record enrolments. It’s hard to remember a year with so many surprises,’ he said.

‘We had so many enrolments on our Thirty Week Fiction / Memoir course in September, we had to put on two streams. But we had to cancel Easter School, because Aucklanders weren’t quite ready to emerge from their caves. Fortunately that’s changing and our Intro to Creative Writing course on 27th April is definitely going ahead in the classroom.’
The Hub’s online tutor, David Howard
The Hub’s online tutor, David Howard, mentored many of his students from a basement in Croatia, while Covid swept through Europe like a biblical scourge.

David has the unusual capacity to work from anywhere in the world, and still receive glowing praise from his students. He has been the lucky recipient of writing scholarships in places as far-flung as Russia (we don’t talk too much about that) and Latin America.
For a while, one of Aotearoa’s top fire-works experts, David has the distinction of having accidentally set fire to the St James theatre in Queen St, Auckland. After that, he put away his matches and concentrated on becoming a distinguished poet and essayist.

Writing aid
Paul Kalburgi, a recent immigrant from Texas, and before that the UK, with international play and screen writing credentials, ran a workshop on how to maximise your writing productivity, in which he led the students in a guided visualisation. Paul speaks persuasively of the advantages of lighting a candle and meditating prior to beginning a day’s work.
Like Hub director Cranna, he is convinced a whiff of the spiritual can animate and excite the creative passions …
Jessica Wilson, having just conquered our national pathway, Te Araroa, taught our first Wellington based Introduction to Creative Writing
Another American immigrant, Jessica Wilson, having just conquered our national pathway, Te Araroa, taught our first Wellington based Introduction to Creative Writing, while launching her PhD at the Institute for Modern Letters in Wellington (Bill Manhire’s former bailiwick) on the subject of trail hiking as a performance art.
Judith White, author of the quirky and moving novel, The Elusive Language of Ducks (Penguin Books) ran a compelling workshop on how to avoid sentimentality in your writing this month – a workshop that invariably moves some of its participants to tears.
Eileen Merriman, who since graduating from our Thirty Week Fiction / Memoir course in 2013 has published ten novels with Penguin Random House, spent much of the last year helping combat the pandemic from a senior position as a doctor at North Shore Hospital. This month she ran a workshop on how to write well about sex.

Says Hub director Cranna, ‘Several years ago, our Thirty Week Fiction Course was full of psychologists, psychotherapists and social workers.
They asked for a session on sex. This seemed like the most curved of curved balls, so I handed Eileen an – um – hospital pass. After spending a weekend poring over sex scenes in the books of authors as diverse as Tracy Slaughter, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Tom Wolfe, she delivered an entertaining guide to this tricky subject. Rule of thumb? Avoid the anatomical; focus on the metaphorical.’

An example from her workshop: Marquez at his most arresting:

She stopped beside the hammock in an icy sweat, feeling knots forming in her intestines, while Jose Arcadio stroked her ankles with the tips of his fingers, then her calves, then her thighs, murmuring: “Oh, little sister, little sister.” She had to make a supernatural effort not to die when a startlingly regulated cyclonic power lifted her up by the waist and despoiled her of her intimacy with three slashes of his claws and quartered her like a little bird. She managed to thank God for having been born before she lost herself in the inconceivable pleasure of that unbearable pain, splashing in the steaming marsh of the hammock which absorbed the explosion of blood like a blotter.


Introduction to Creative Writing, in classroom

Start Date: Wed 27th April, 6pm to 8.30pm. Six weekly classes (anytime Online)
Have a go! This course is intended to introduce you to the skills and techniques that make story-telling so enjoyable. You might already keep a journal, or have written some poetry or short stories, but would like to discover the tools professional writers use to make their work publishable. If so, this course is for you. Graduates receive a 10% discount on our 30 Week Fiction Course. Taught by Creative Hub director John Cranna. More detail ...

30 Week Fiction / Memoir Course

Start Date: 6-9pm, Tues, 20th Sept, 2022 (anytime Online)
This course is for those who want to write a novel, short stories, or a memoir / autobiography. We provide a fun and stimulating environment in which you can discover your authentic writing voice. Many graduates of this course have published books, some in London and New York. It is chaired by John Cranna, Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize. More detail ...
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