Write Beyond the Lightbulb - Colourful Characters
How do we bring our characters to life? How do we get them to interact in their own unique fashion with the world around them? This flash fiction course explores body language, the senses, dialogue, internal thought and perspective.
Upcoming Course Dates
8th-21st January 2024 (SOLD OUT)
8th-21st April 2024 (BOOKING WILL OPEN IN THE NEW YEAR)
Previous Course Dates
16th - 29th January 2023 (SOLD OUT); 13th - 26th March 2023 (SOLD OUT)
This is a pay-what-you-can workshop. The recommended price is £95*. Where this is prohibitive, please pay what you feel you can afford**. As a workshop facilitator, I am committed to opening up writing opportunities to people from all backgrounds based on ability to write rather than ability to pay.
*For the sake of transparency, this recommended price is calculated to cover (a) 3.0 hours of course tutor input (per participant) in terms of feedback, discussion and admin; (b) the research / writing time of the course tutor in putting together the course notes (approximately 15,000 words, available to download following the course); and (c) miscellaneous fees (transaction charges, website charges etc.)
**Available price options: (A) £95, (B) £85, (C) £75, (D) £60, (E) £50. If you are a low-income writer and would be interested in hearing about free places, please enter your details here.
"The Colourful Character course is in-depth, inventive and full of brilliantly devised exercises that help the writer dig deep into their creative toolbox to produce vibrant and original work. Focussing on character physicality and perspective, this is so much more than just a prompt and write workshop. I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in honing their craft to sign up at once!"
Kathy Hoyle, Author of "Chasing the Dragon"
"Matt's vast knowledge of language and form, as well as attention to detail, come to the fore again in his new Write Beyond the Lightbulb course: Colourful Characters. I am always astounded by how much I learn on his courses – through reading the highlighted stories, learning new aspects of theory and experimenting with elements of language. Together, these become tools I can put in my writer’s toolbox to use again and again."
Laura Besley, Author of "100neHundred"
"Matt’s Write Beyond the Lightbulb courses are exceptional and his new Colourful Characters course is just as refreshing and invigorating. Beautifully researched and readily accessible, this course not only offers the writer new angles and approaches for writing vibrant characters, but will send you away yearning to get on with it."
Ruth Brandt, Author of "No One Has Any Intention Of Building A Wall"
1: Body Language (actions and gestures)
2: Senses (perception and feelings)
3: Voices (dialogue and thought)
4: Perspective (our viewpoint on the world)
In each topic, we'll use example texts to explore techniques we might incorporate into our own writing. These are presented alongside warm-up and preparatory writing exercises with everything leading towards a final flash fiction challenge at the end of the topic.
The reading list for this course includes pieces by Melissa Bernal Austin, K M Elkes, Kelsey Ipsen, John Jodzio, Angie Sijun Lou, Pamela Naaki Tetteh, Nuala O'Connor, Elisabeth Ingram Wallace, Abdulbaseet Yusuff, and Tara Isabel Zambrano.
Each topic is designed to be worked through in roughly three hours. The course is fully asynchronous (work-at-your-own-pace) and fully online to allow course participants to fit it in around their other commitments.
Week 0: participants are given access to the course website seven days prior to the start date. This is to allow writers to make a headstart on reading and preparative exercises. If you would like access to the materials further in advance, this can normally be accommodated.
Week 1: participants are encouraged to work through the reading materials and preparative exercises. The course forum is open for discussion of stories and craft techniques as well as for sharing micros created from the preparative exercises.
Week 2: participants can continue working through the course materials at their own pace. The main workshop is open for sharing final challenge pieces and providing feedback on those created by other course participants.
After the course: participants will be sent full course notes in PDF format.
During the course, you'll have access to a forum where you can connect with other participants, discuss readings and share the micros you'll be creating in each topics' preparatory exercises.
In the second week, course participants will be invited to take part in a workshop where you can upload between one and four flash fiction pieces created as part of the course. This is an opportunity to give and receive feedback from other course participants in a low-pressure, friendly environment.
Micros shared on the course forum will get brief feedbcak from the course tutor. You'll also get detailed feedback (a 300-400 word structural summary plus in-line comments) on one piece of flash fiction created from the final challenge prompts.
Matt Kendrick is a writer, editor and teacher based in the East Midlands, UK. His short fiction has appeared in Bending Genres, Cheap Pop, Craft Literary, FlashBack Fiction, Fictive Dream, Lunate, New Flash Fiction Review, Spelk, Splonk, and elsewhere. He has been placed or listed in various writing competitions including Bath, Flash 500, the Oxford Flash Fiction Prize, Reflex and Leicester Writes. His work has been included on the Biffy 50 list for 2019-20, in Best Microfiction 2021, Best Small Fictions 2022 and the Wigleaf Top 50 list for 2022.
He works as a freelance editor and creative writing tutor, drawing on his knowledge of languages and other art forms to inform his workshops on lyrical writing, glorious words, colourful characters and writing flow.
The course is designed for writers of all levels but, to get the most out of the materials, it is suggested that you should have some prior familiarity with reading and writing flash fiction. While the course is geared towards the study and generation of flash, the techniques and skills acquired should also be useful for writing longer form and non-fiction pieces.
The course is hosted on a Google website using Google Classroom and Google Drive to enable the forum and workshop elements. To access materials, participants will need to have a Google account. If you don't already have one, you will be sent information on how you can set one up following sign up for the course.
The terms and conditions for the course can be found here.
Stories written on the Write Beyond The Lightbulb courses
The prompts on the Write Beyond the Lightbulb courses aim to get participants practising technique and experimenting with new ideas rather than writing perfect stories, but even so many wonderful pieces have been crafted by course participants and subsequently made their way out into the world.
The stories have been placed in major writing competitions including Reflex Fiction and Bath Flash Fiction, and have also been published in a wide variety of literary journals. A selection of these stories can be read at the link below: