The Writers' Greenhouse

Online classes

During the pandemic, all courses are running online, using a combination of live class sessions on Zoom, video/audio materials online, and physical materials posted to you, as appropriate. That way, we can have as much social interaction and hands-on activity as possible, while safeguarding everyone. The Starting Points course moved online for its last two sessions and the Meddling with Poetry course in May–June is running online. The Summer of Writing workshops will also run online. (These won't use posted materials, to keep the bookings flexible, but I'll post out your summary booklets & goodies after each workshop.) Read below to find out about classes on Zoom, the posted materials, and recent reviews.

Classes on Zoom

Megan running a Zoom classFor courses, the class sessions run at the usual advertised times, on Zoom. This is a lovely and user-friendly platform that allows us all to see each other (if you're comfortable with that) and work together in a large group or multiple small groups. It feels extremely natural to use and has some lovely intuitive aspects. Some particularly useful things to know about it are...

  • It's free
  • You can use it on a phone, an iPad, a tablet, a laptop, or a PC
  • You can switch your video and your audio on and off easily, without leaving the session

What if I don't know Zoom?

Before each course or set of workshops, I'll run a couple of free drop-in sessions on how to use Zoom, where I'll show you round the platform and we'll practise the different features. I've already run these sessions for my current students, who were then comfortable using it for our classes.

Posted materials

Composite picture of materials being prepared for postingFor ongoing courses, I'll post you packs of materials for your classes, in batches. This will include your usual colourful handouts, your class booklets for each session, any cards you need for hands-on activities, and any other materials you'll need.

Above
On the left
, you can see the class materials getting prepped for the final two weeks of the Starting Points course – including paintbrushes and packets of the Special Magic Collage Glue!

Keeping posted materials safe

I'm maintaining the highest possible standards for handling student materials. One of the students already booked onto the course is shielding, and is in the most at-risk group, so I've double-checked with her that these procedures match the advice she was given, which they do. Here are the details for how I keep the posted materials safe:

  • I thoroughly wash my hands and wrists before handling *anything* that goes into student packs
  • I scrub down the surfaces I'm laying materials out on, for packing
  • I don't touch anything else while I'm packing, or if I have to then I stop and scrub my hands again before touching materials
  • Once the outer envelope's sealed, I wait 2 days before posting, so that by the time it reaches you the inside contents haven't been touched for 3 days

I use Royal Mail for posting and they have their own safety procedures for handling post. Once your pack arrives, follow the usual safety advice for receiving parcels: either put it in its own little quarantine corner for 3 days, OR open it, tip the contents out, dispose of the outer envelope, and wash your hands thoroughly.

Reviews

The Starting Points course began in person at the start of February and finished online. These reviews are from students who experienced both the in-person and online classes.

This is an excellent course that is well worth the money. I have quite complex disabilities but could not fault Megan in the effort she made to accommodate me. This course has a good balance of actual writing skills and methods of enhancing your creativity and has finally got me properly writing instead of just making random notes in book. I would definitely recommend it and will be returning for further courses in the future. Even though its an 8 week course Megan also helps you to continue writing after that with all the free prompts on her website and she helps you to connect with other writers.

Louise 14 Apr 2020

Megan is one of the best tutors I have come across. She makes the classes interactive, fun and they offer great learning thus stimulating your own creative juices.

Since the lockdown and classes continuing electronically Megan has continued to provide materials for us to keep focused if we choose.

Thank you Megan for the chance to understand a little more about the world of writing. Look forward to another course sometime soon.

SuzanB 14 Apr 2020

Megan is a wise, knowledgeable and inspiring teacher. Her venue is lovely, the atmosphere is lively, and itís great meeting a diverse group other writers.

Iím a big fan of Meganís courses and have done others already. They were so good that I figured this probably would be too - and it was.

The course was exactly the way it was described on Meganís website. Itís an assortment of exercises and tasters of a wide range of types and methods of writing, tied loosely together by the theme of creativity. Itís less systematic and sequential than the other courses and some things were more relevant to my own writing than others, but that was expected given the diversity of topics.

The classes are fast-paced and interactive. Lots of fairly short activities. Lots of discussion. Lots of stimulating ideas. Lots of different exercises to suit different learning styles.

We moved online for the last couple of sessions because of the coronavirus and Megan did a brilliant job of adapting the course for this, organising classes on Zoom (and a tutorial on how to use it) and mailing out worksheets etc.

Benjamin 14 Apr 2020

This was such a fantastic course from a passionate and inspirational teacher. I was a little apprehensive at first as writing can be so personal but Megan put everyone at ease right from the start. There's so much excellent content but still a lot of time to practice what you learn, and tasks to complete at home between lessons. This was one of the best courses I've ever taken and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it anyone thinking about taking their first steps into creative writing.

Ben 14 Apr 2020

I cannot rate this course/workshop highly enough or Megan as a teacher. It started as a face to face group of 12 at Megan's house and due to current COVID19 restrictions transitioned smoothly to online with very little fuss but no less enjoyment.

As someone new to creative writing and therefore very nervous, I found Megan to be, kind, encouraging, incredibly knowledgeable, and most importantly fun. She put us at our ease and no question was too stupid to ask.

You did not need to know technical terms, have read all the classics or ever written creatively before. I'd say just inquisitiveness and a love of words required. Although really appreciating notebooks helps. The course is set up in such a way that you are prompted to be creative almost without noticing. Tasks are set for outside of class, which was no hardship, and helped me see my place in the world very differently.

I highly recommend. If you have ever had an inkling or a sliver of a thought that you might, perhaps one day, maybe write something, then this is the place for you.

Manoo 14 Apr 2020

Just finished the Starting Points course with Megan Kerr. Her course came recommended to me and I now recommend it wholeheartedly to you. Lively and perceptive, Megan delivers a friendly and lively course, and, unphased by the current social distancing protocols, she moved seamlessly to on-line sessions, which were just as successful. Thinking of starting to write - start here!

Older not wiser 3 Apr 2020

Next up: Summer of Writing workshops | Back to the home page

 

 

 

 

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