Improve your writing skills

Improve your writing skills

Students during a previous Creative Writing Course (Photo Courtesy of Linda Cleary)

Students during a previous Creative Writing Course
(Photo Courtesy of Linda Cleary)

By Hadeel Hegazy

Diwan bookstore is hosting a creative writing course for all of those with a passion for writing. The course is meant for anyone interested in developing their creative writing skills, either for their own enjoyment or to pursue a dream of becoming a professional writer. Lead by Linda Cleary, the course focuses on improving innovative writing skills and the usage of metaphors and imagery.

Linda Cleary is a British poet, writer and performer, with a diploma in LAMDA Speech (London Academy of Music and Drama Art) and Drama. She has taught workshops in creative writing, theatre and related art in countries including Holland, Czech Republic, Australia, the United Kingdom and Egypt. “I have been writing since childhood, but professionally since 2000,” Cleary said, “and have been teaching creative writing in Egypt for a couple of years.”

When asked if there is a difference between Egyptian writers and those of other nationalities, Cleary said: “No there is not; every individual has his own flair.” Given everything that has happened in Egypt since January 2011 we wondered if Cleary noticed a difference in the way her students write. “I only give them the theme and not the subject matter, but after 25 January they are more passionate and feel freer to express themselves,” she said.

Cleary believes what makes a good writer is the skills and the talent, along with an appetite to work on developing him or herself. “A writer should have the ability of imagination, and they should train their skills because one might have talent but cannot write, and the opposite of course,” she said. “And they should be working on some editing skills too.”

Cleary’s course objective is to pass on skills and techniques that develop a person’s ability to write fiction and improve the use of language and writing creatively in general. “It is also to enjoy language, the realm of creative writing and literary arts.” She added that after finishing the course the participants have an improved sense of their skills and are more able to use them in their creative work, “in writing a short story, working on a novel, developing their poetry and or taking it into their workplace with improved writing of articles and essays.”

In addition to giving creative writing courses, Cleary is the director of The Writers’ Centre; an events-based company offering “readings, workshops, writing days in places of inspiration and interest and residential writing holidays within Egypt, like Bahariya, Nuweiba, Aswan, Siwa, Fayoum,” as described on the website. For those who have completed the creative writing course and have proven their writing skills, Cleary offers a short story writing course.

“I was looking to study writing professionally but all I found were courses in journalism,” one of Cleary’s students said. “I always had the desire to write, but I needed to learn to unleash my thinking and write without limits,” she added. The course taught her a lot more than she expected, she said, “Through the simplicity of the exercises I trained the flexibility of my mind and soul and I learned to see details and deeper perspectives.” She described that the workshop affected her the way she thinks; she became more open and perceptive to everything around her.

Diwan bookstores regularly hosts courses by Linda Cleary and details can be found on their website.

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