Category Archives: Coach

imaginarium

imaginarium dissolve

is a cross-genre writing programme where you will explore your writing potential.

Eight writers. Six monthly workshops. One tutorial.

Through small group workshops, peer-to-peer feedback, reading and a one-to-one tutorial we will consider how best to express our ideas and feed the imagination.

“The imagination is the power of the mind over the possibilities of things.” Wallace Stevens

Who’s it for?
If you are working on, or plan to begin, a sustained project of a sequence or collection of poems or short stories, a novel, memoir, creative nonfiction, a performance, or something more hybrid, this Imaginarium offers a structured space to support you through six months of writing, thinking, experimentation and / or completion.

Anyone is welcome to apply, whatever your writing experience. The only requirement is that you are committed to your writing project and the Imaginarium for its duration. It might be, at this stage, you only have the vaguest idea of what you might be working on. Vague is fine.  

The workshops will offer writing and thinking time through guided activities and structured discussions. They will be a space in which you’ll investigate your imaginations.  Each of you will be assigned a buddy for online peer-to-peer feedback on your individual writing project between meets. 

Cost
for all workshops and one hour long tutorial there are three (self-selecting) bands:  £200 full, £140 part-waged or £60 concs*

Download more information here:  imaginarium info 2017

The hope is you’ll reach the end of the programme having created surprising new work, deepened your imaginative experiences, and be equipped with the momentum and skills to continue to grow as writers.

That is the true magnificence – if you can live in a culture that is so destructive as ours is, one that keeps you down and discouraged and broken-hearted and if you can still sing your song, dance your dance, cook your food and speak your mind, then you’ve won — Alice Walker 

How to apply
Download and fill in the questions here imaginarium questions 2017, returning to me by 30th May

*Deciding whether you are a concession is at your discretion. I want this programme to be accessible to anyone interested in developing their writing.

Testimonials for the first Imaginarium

A safe space to be an unsafe writer – to push beyond your comfort zone, write stuff that doesn’t matter, chop it up, turn it round and then realise it’s like nothing you’ve written before, and that that does matter.  What it entails – better trusting the innate potency of the intangible to assist with your writing – writing, re-thinking time, colour, shape, ownership, associations, triggers. It allows you to write as your synapses actually fire, more than as society wishes your mind to work. Uncolonised writing.

I liked the inputs and reading you give us and the crazy exercises, not just writing and reading out. A group on imagination has to be imaginative after all

I didn’t really know what to expect from it but I’ve come away with some new and different ideas and a desire to finish my novel so I can chalk it up as a success … a melting pot of thoughts, discussions, ideas, views and useful written exercises for all genres of writing.

I found the one-to-one to be invaluable. Talking to someone about it and some of the problems I’m facing with it helped me to see it more clearly and gave me something of a different viewpoint on it, which was good.

Pulls you out of your writing and into yourself, then pushes you out of yourself and into your writing.

How can writers of different genres learn from each other? How might the work, ideas and interests cross-fertilize? What happens in that space where different imaginations meet? Read more about my thinking of the imaginarium here

If you have any questions, then get in touch via the below

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Visioning Day for Writers

Bay Light_cropped

Myself and Maya Chowdhry led a visioning day on Morecambe Bay in February 2015, drawing on the expanse of sea, sky and fresh air to gain clarity and focus on your writing practice.

Using a one to one coaching session, a variety of creative tools (including writing time), and group discussions we aimed to activate the participants’ creative missions.

This was a pilot day and we received very positive feedback:

“Group size was great… very relaxed and, at the same time, challenging”

“This is the time you can’t find in your office, the thinking and dreaming time, the time to plant seeds and water them.”

“The culture of the entire day was conducive to trust and relaxation. I felt refreshed after it.”

“I feel able to make some very positive steps towards my goal.”

“The walking coaching was brilliant. I loved the combination of moving in physical space and talking about quite big, otherwise difficult to identify, things. It helped me get out of my head and into intuition.”

This workshop is suitable for writers with some writing experience as you will be discussing your current creative projects. Each day will involve a short walk and some physical movement.

We are planning future days around the coast. If you would like to be told of the next day when it is finalised or one specific to your area, please get in touch

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writer celebrant editor coach mentor poet                                                                                                      Hello and Welcome

I write, publish and perform work about our ecology and personal and social histories: through poems, artistbooks and immersive walks. My current focus is our relationship with the sea.

I share my practice so others can see, feel and understand the value and intrinsic role of creativity in our lives.

My work as a poet and facilitator begins where I am based on Morecambe Bay, near Lancaster, UK, and spreads regionally, nationally and internationally.

Through the menu above you can explore my writing and ceremony work, and what I offer for writers (coaching, mentoring…) and
readers (events…).

My blog, below, reveals more about my creative practice and influences.

echo sounding

RSS Echo Soundings
  • Budget tally
    Of course I welcome the possibility of a tax on single use plastic in the forthcoming budget; and while for this budget the term 'single use' includes "packaging, bubble wrap, and polystyrene takeaway boxes", it does not include plastic drinks bottles which may be subject to a 'return and reward scheme'. Hooray.On my beach clean […]
  • Introducing the Octobook
    Several weeks before Blue Planet II hit our screens the Octobook was gestating. A very different beast from my previous artistbooks it plays between physical, image and text equally, celebrating that most extraordinary of creatures, the octopus, or perhaps, rather than celebrating it, the book might be said to be envying or maybe even emulating […]
  • Fking Up
    For the past couple of weeks we've been working towards a hardback book, collating things to photocopy onto various pages and then stitching them into signatures adding a spine, covers and fretting about uniformity. Except of course these aren't about being neat and regular. The pages are a mix of blank white paper and coloured […]
  • an immense or boundless expanse of something
    ..according to the OED, also "(hyperbolically): a very great or indefinite quantity". And, look, all those vowels too. Vowels are how we personalise a word. We pronounce consonants similarly, but vowels, in any language I suspect, are open to how our breath passes through us. We were playing with letterpress last night at Hot Bed Press, […]
  • Fold upon fold upon fold
    As part of Lancaster Words Festival, artist Sally Slade Payne and myself ran a writing and book-making workshop on plankton for 7-10 year olds (and their adult). It's been a while since I've worked with that age group and I'd forgotten just how much fun and zeal there is to be had. Everyone pitched in […]

View the full blog on Blogger

Editor

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I was editor of Flax, Lancaster Literature Festival’s publishing imprint from 2006-2011.

Alongside designer Martin Chester and then Anat Kaivanto, we produced 29 publications that ranged from pdf pamphlets of poetry and prose, illustrated posters, ebooks, films and walking tours. We launched all the publications in one way or another, celebrating the coming together of great quality work.

A sample of our work is below. You can see more on the Flax page of ISSUU

Walking in Circles – poetry walksguide for walks

Seed Haiku
Another collaboration with Maya Chowdhry
http://vimeo.com/25316376

I continue to edit anthologies created in workshops and with fellow writers.

Most recently, Solstice, with Rebecca Bilkau.
An anthology of hours. Twenty four poems clocking the twenty four hours of the longest day in 2012. This ‘hinge’ of the year is tracked by transience, evident in the views of street lamps, hedgerows, cafes, the rising light, swallows, rain, and ultimately the growing dark, its rituals, noises, pathways disappearing ahead.

Poems from Helen Ivory, Andrew McMillan, Wayne Burrows, Jane Routh, Seni Seniviratne, Maya Chowdhry, David Tait and many more.

Front Cover-page-001

Coach

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Coaching is a process by which you are supported through setting and achieving goals for your professional or personal life.

As a coach my aim is to enable clear thinking. Coaching works on the basis that you have all the answers you need to make the best decisions. It is goal-orientated. You define the goals and then decide how to approach and achieve them.

From a one-off session to a series, my coaching sessions offer the participant an opportunity for analysis, reflection and action on their work and career. The aim being you get to where you want to be.

By-products can be strengthening your personal and professional relationships, improving communication, facilitating career change or development, increasing self-awareness and confidence.

Each session will clarify ambitions and unpack skills and experiences, enabling you to achieve your potential.

I offer a confidential professional development service, either face to face, over the phone or on Skype.

I became an accredited coach in 2008 (PCT & RD1st) and worked as a career coach for the Flax writers and still do with other writers. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more. More testimonials here.

Elsewhere I have experience of working with many different groups of people and individuals, in settings as diverse as prisons, mental health day-care, schools, adult education, undergraduates and community settings.

I offer this work on a sliding scale, from £30-£60 per hour, depending on your circumstances and am happy to discuss this further.

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Mentor

statue at rievaulx

Between the mentor and the mentee is the work. As a mentor my interest lies in working with you to achieve your writing goals.

I will be a thorough and careful reader of your work; a supportive and empathetic communicator. Your work is yours – I won’t steer you in a direction you’re not happy with and although growth means change, I understand what it’s like to be a writer. I don’t want to turn you into something you’re not.

Sometimes we won’t be working on the writing, but on your writing self, on your growth and motivation, helping you to develop a sense of your own process. There are rough places, times when motivation fails, times when doubt creeps in. I can help you learn to negotiate these difficult periods in your writing life.

In the main, the mentoring meets will be monthly, face to face or virtually, to discuss your writing (the amount to be arranged between us) and other aspects of your work, such as time management, motivation, confidence, goal-setting etc.

You might want to write and/or develop a sequence, pamphlet or collection of poems. You may be on the cusp of turning writing from a hobby into a career.

At the end of the mentoring, you will have a clear idea of what you have achieved and a plan of where to go next.

What does it Cost? and Other Answers

I charge £150 per meeting, including the reading and research time.

Each meeting will be an hour and a half long. I’m based in the North West of England and if you can travel here, we can meet in person. If that’s not possible, for the same price I offer distance mentoring by email, phone or Skype.

I recommend monthly meetings, but this is negotiable.

I offer 10% discount to previous clients. If you feel you have a case for a lower rate, please get in touch.

I am also happy to advise you if you want to apply for ACE funding to support a mentoring project. Again, just get in touch.

Meeting and consultations cancelled with less than 48 hours notice are non-refundable. I’ll issue you with a contract before we begin.

Writing workshops

writing workshopsI have led writing workshops in adult education, prisons, primary schools, with undergraduates, for the  Continuing Education Department at Lancaster University,  on an annual week-long residential at The French House Experience, for the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) and The Poetry School (online) and many other short term and individual projects.

My particular interests lie in life and poetry writing. I have also led workshops on performance skills, writing from the body, self-publishing and editing.

I believe all workshops provide fertile ground for ideas and discussion and don’t expect people to produce final drafts or even work they may want to share. The workshop is precisely that: a place to explore, chisel and glue ideas. They offer the chance to hear what other writers write, read or think, to play and dip you toe into new waters and with any luck to leave stimulated, thinking thoughts you’d not had before, and confident in writing more.

What other people have said

Thanks for the talk. You were brill. All the students really enjoyed it and benefited a lot. So did I! It was really good to think about things in terms of what works for you individually.

Excellent tutor, fascinating subject!

One of the best managed/facilitated courses I have ever attended. Enhanced my listening to and respect of other people’s voices enormously.

I thought Sarah did a great job of keeping us on track and not preventing diversions. She clearly knows her stuff and how to deliver it.

Thank you, it has changed my life.

Sarah really is a genius. The way she got such a mixed bag of people to unlock their inner creativity was amazing.

Sarah, from the start, put everyone at their ease and used an amazing array of techniques and games to allow us all to tap into our own creativity.

Sarah was organised, approachable and clearly knowledgable about all aspects of creative writing and, importantly for me, the processes of creativity. I was inspired by the way she encouraged us to write for ourselves, be decisive and find our own meaning, rather than following rules, or relying too much on the opinions of writing groups.

Sarah Hymas is ingeniously clever as a creative writing tutor, and I thoroughly enjoyed her series of intense tasks and more informal parlour games, each a mind manipulation intent on making one use your imagination and freedom of expression. For me, Sarah was the perfect choice of tutor at the French  House Party Experience mini break, and would undoubtedly be equally ideal for all other such workshops.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss ideas for a workshop.

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