Free creative writing workshop for over 60s

The creative writing workshop is once a week and takes 45 minutes to an hour. Picture: Creative Commons

Sally Cranswick, a writer from Constantia, is running a free online creative-writing workshop for over-60s during lockdown.

You don’t have to be a writer to join the group.

Ms Cranswick says the aim is to discuss ways to tell people’s own true-life stories and to have fun writing in a group.

She was inspired to start the workshop when she thought about her mother, who is over 70 and living on her own during the Covid- 19 lockdown.

She feels the workshop is a good way to take people’s minds off the frustrations of the pandemic.

“Initially, it was only supposed to be for the 21 days of lockdown, but now that it’s been extended, and we’re having so much fun, I just said let’s keep going.”

The workshop is held on the Zoom conferencing app.

Five people have joined the workshop since it started in late March.

“I think that’s a nice number for a group. If I’m able to get more people, I’d like to set up a different group for a different time,” Ms Cranswick said.

The current group meets every Friday.

Last week’s theme was “Walking with ancestors”, and each participant wrote about someone from their family history.

“I love true stories. People are telling their stories all the time; they talk about them. Now we’re just learning how to put them on paper. We do creative exercises that lead to mémoire-style stories.”

The participants apply the lessons from the workshop to the stories they write during the week. They then email their efforts to Ms Cranswick who gives feedback and suggestions.

Ms Cranswick has a Master’s degree in creative writing from UCT and a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative and media writing from Middlesex University in London. She has experience in writing features in London, which were mostly fiction, and published in various women’s magazines.

A collection of her short stories, Women out of Water, is due for publication with Modjadji Books later this year.

Email sally@cranswickcc.com for more information.