Helena Sheridan Workshop – Women’s Short stories

Little did we know, when we sat down on the 17th of December, what a treat was in store. The relaxed and informative presentation on ‘Women’s Short Stories’ by Helena Sheridan was both encouraging and at times hilarious.
Helena who has spent some years in Australia has had plays performed throughout Scotland and had great ideas to get us ‘writing’.
Firstly she supplies twenty-seven diverse words to be incorporated into a sensible short story. Eight brave people then read aloud their stories to the club members. Despite all stories containing the same twenty-seven words the stories varied widely. These ideas included Irish Wishes Fulfilled, Planning Expeditions, Flings with Bonnie Lasses, Swinging Handbags, Incompetent Thieves, Mothering Twins, A Boring Trip to Edinburgh and a Gruesome Death.
The judging of the best was by ‘gobbling’ like a turkey, with the story receiving the most raucous gobbling given the top accolade.
Helena then gave us some tips on story writing, highlighting the place for personal reminiscing, although characters may be changed or exaggerated and the chronological order may also be altered. It is very important for factual content to be accurate.
Our next challenge was to write a short piece alluding to the character, appearance or movements of a creature. No mention of said creature was allowed. Everyone was encouraged to read aloud to members for them to guess what creature had been ‘immortalised’ in the story. Members managed to identify all the creatures in the stories – these included sloth, snake, frog, peacock and many more.
Once again may I take the opportunity on behalf of Ayr Writers’ Club to thank Helena for a fun and informative presentation.
Nancy West.

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