Workshops 2019

Myth Betwixt: Using Twine and Constructing a Branched Narrative

by Oliver Langmead and Francis Butterworth-Parr

Branched narratives are currently experiencing a resurgence in multiple media, thanks to experimental television shows like Bandersnatch, video games like The Witcher, and books like House of Leaves. Join author Oliver Langmead and Twine writer Francis Butterworth-Parr for a workshop introducing participants to the non-linear storytelling software Twine: an easy-to-learn tool for activating mythic narrative branching in the digital age. After a tutorial on Twine’s basic features, participants will engage with exercises to help them design and write their own branching narrative sequences, leaving them with a grounded framework to take away and develop.

Important: This workshop has a cap of 20 people. Attendees will state whether they want to participate on Thursday morning on a first-come, first-served basis. Internet connectivity is essential for this workshop, so participants will need to bring their own laptops and have access to the eduroam WiFi network.

Oliver Langmead is an author and poet based in Glasgow. His first book, Dark Star, was featured in the Guardian’s Best Books of 2015, and his second book, Metronome, was launched in 2017. Oliver is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow, where he is researching terraforming and ecological philosophy, and in late 2018 he undertook a writing residency at the European Space Agency’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne, writing about astronauts and people who work with astronauts.

Francis Butterworth-Parr is an English Literature first-year PhD at the University of Glasgow. His research uncovers the role of video games as metaphor in contemporary literary culture, research that often brings him into contact with hypertext fiction like Twine stories. Francis leads the Game Studies at Glasgow reading group, co-leads the Contemporary Fiction reading group at Glasgow, and is currently organising the symposium Ludic Literature: The Converging Interests of Writing, Games and Play (4-5th July). Francis also creates Twine fiction in collaboration with others and is an active member of the Twine Games subreddit.

When Your Characters Have Their Own Ideas: Approaches to Research in Fantasy

by K.L. Bone

Literary critic Georg Lukács states that characters “once conceived in the vision of their creator, live an independent life of their own.” This emancipation frequently drives an author to research places, activities, and areas of specialized knowledge that they’ve never before had an interest in. This workshop will examine the importance of an author’s commitment to research, and an exploration of various methods frequently used to incorporate realistic details into fantastical tales. The importance of academic diligence in speculative fiction—from the elaborate sword fights described in George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones to historical events in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander—will be highlighted through both examples and group discussion.

Important: This workshop has a cap of 15 people. Attendees will state whether they want to participate on Thursday morning on a first-come, first-served basis.

K.L. Bone is a bestselling dark fantasy and paranormal romance author. Her works include the Black Rose Guard series, the Flames of Kalleen series, the Rise of the Temple Gods series, a stand-alone science fiction novel, The Indoctrination, and numerous novellas. Following a master’s degree in modern literary cultures, Bone is currently working toward her PhD in creative writing at Queen’s University Belfast. A world traveller, Bone has lived in the Pacific Northwest, California, London, and most recently, Belfast. When not immersed in words, of her own creation or studies, you’ll find her traveling to ancient sites that have inspired storytellers for millennia.

Mythability: The Disabled Mythosphere

by Hayleigh Barclay and Gary Nelson

This workshop will examine how disability/disabled characters are portrayed within creative media. We will explore the concept of disability and if/how it affects narrative. We will deconstruct the myths of sociocultural perceptions of disability, how audiences react to disability, and how society creates its own Mythosphere.

As a way of investigating this further, you will create a disabled character and plan out a story arc, thereby populating the Mythosphere with more disabled characters and embracing the limitless possibilities of storytelling. We actively encourage participants to discuss a wide range of media, including stage and screen, literature, and graphic novels.

Important: This workshop has a cap of 12 people. Attendees will state whether they want to participate on Thursday morning, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr Hayleigh Barclay has recently obtained a DFA in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow, focusing on the female vampire within Gothic literature. Part of the doctorate involved writing her first novel, Girl of the Ashes, which currently awaits publication. She is a regular writer for Disability Horizons and has contributed to an online anthology of short stories and poems, Dancing with Death. She received an MA in Creative Media Practice, specialising in writing, directing and producing for TV, film, and radio, including producing a play based on a Pagan retelling of Robert Burns’ Tam O’Shanter.

Gary Nelson has an MA in Creative Media Practice, and spends time between writing and acting. He has taken part in theatre tours in Scotland for productions of Shang-A-Lang and A Streetcar Named Desire, written and directed for a local theatre group, and has been an extra for television shows such as Two Doors Down, Clique, and River City. He is also currently developing live performance events for National Trust venues, a stage play for a Scottish football club, and a sitcom for television, looking at life with a disability.

Embodying Character: Using Acting Techniques to Enter Fictional Worlds

by Alexandra Grunberg

Writing fantasy characters in secondary-world settings can be an overwhelming endeavour. Visualization tools help us enter the worlds we build and see them through the eyes of our characters. In this workshop, I will lead the group in the Strasberg acting technique of visualization, an active exercise in imagination that allows the performer to inhabit the body and environment of the character. We will conclude with a writing exercise from the character’s point of view. This workshop focuses on visualization, not performance, and is appropriate for participants who have no acting experience!

Important: This workshop has a cap of 20 people. Attendees will state whether they want to participate on Thursday morning on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alexandra Grunberg is an author, screenwriter, and poet. She received an MLitt in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of Glasgow, where she is currently pursuing a DFA in Creative Writing. She received a BFA in Theatre with Honours from New York University where she studied the Strasberg and Meisner acting techniques. Favourite acting roles include Charlotte Goodall in The Night of the Iguana and Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including publications certified by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.